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Late blocks help Wildwood preserve playoff win

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WOODBURY – A team known more for its offense and transition play won a state playoff game because of its halfcourt defense.

The Wildwood High School boys basketball team recorded two blocked shots over the final seven seconds of the game to preserve a 46-44 road victory over Woodbury in a first-round South Jersey Group I playoff game Tuesday night.

The victory avenged last season’s state playoff loss to the eight-seeded Thundering Herd and moves the No. 9 Warriors into a sectional quarterfinal game with top-seeded Paulsboro on Thursday night.

Francis Christian, who netted 16 of his game-high 19 points after halftime, gave Wildwood (17-10) the lead by making two free throws with 12 seconds left after he was inexplicably fouled on the perimeter while dribbling from the top of the key toward the left wing.

Woodbury (15-12) attempted two shots on its final possession but neither reached the rim. Wes Hills blocked Duwon Martin’s tough-angle layup attempt out of bounds with 2.3 seconds to go, and Mark Jones followed with a block of Mario Joyner’s foul-line jumper just before the buzzer sounded.

David Flanders added 15 points and Wes Hills provided 10 points, nine rebounds and five steals for Wildwood. Christian also contributed 10 rebounds and six steals.

Martin and Joyner, Woodbury’s two leading scorers, combined to score 16 points, 10 below their combined season average.


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