Middle survives Wildwood's upset bid

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

WILDWOOD – The Middle Township High School boys basketball team lost an overtime game to rival St. Augustine Prep Friday night. The Panthers got no rest the next day, finding themselves in another down-to-the wire fight in a recently rekindled rivalry.

The Panthers survived a major upset bid by Wildwood Saturday night, posting a 60-56 victory after trailing by two points with less than five minutes to play.

Darrell Shelton’s banked jump shot from 19 feet away broke a 56-56 tie and gave the Panthers (12-3) the lead for good.

Wildwood trailed by as much as nine points in the third quarter but got back in the game by forcing 12 second-half turnovers against the Panthers and knocking down seven second-half three-pointers.

Warrior star Francis Christian, held to four first-half points, erupted for 16 over the third and fourth quarters and Dave Flanders made four three-point attempts in the second half and added 14 points for the game to spark Wildwood’s effort.

Shelton’s shot from the top of the key banked off the backboard and into the basket and gave Middle a 58-56 lead with less than two minutes to play.

Wildwood was also done in by misses on the front ends of three one-and-one free-throw opportunities in the last 2 ½ minutes of the game.

Tommy Feraco scored 20 points, collected 10 rebounds and dished four assists to lead Middle. Tom Catanoso made four three-point shots and added 17 points.

Middle went 8 for 8 from the line in the fourth quarter.

Wes Hills contributed nine points and 11 rebounds and Christian handed out seven assists for Wildwood (7-8).

Middle and Wildwood did not play one another for eight straight seasons after Wildwood left the Cape-Atlantic League for the Tri-County Conference in 2002. The teams have now played one another for the past three seasons, with Middle winning each time, although each of the last two games between the two rivals have been decided in the final minutes.

blog comments powered by Disqus