Wildwood can't keep pace after strong start

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

PAULSBORO – Five seconds into the game, Francis Christian stole the ball and scored a layup to give the Wildwood High School boys basketball team an early lead. A few minutes later, the Warriors were up 7-2 and the home crowd in Paulsboro High School’s quaint gymnasium was beginning to grow restless.

But then the Red Raiders, ranked second in all of South Jersey by many media polls, exploded, and Wildwood’s fast start was nothing but a distant memory by the time Thursday’s South Jersey Group I quarterfinal was complete. Paulsboro responded to the Warriors’ early surge by closing the first quarter on a 23-5 run, en route to a rather easy 79-58 victory.

For Wildwood, the loss snapped a season-high eight-game winning streak and ended the team’s season at a still solid 17-11.

Top-seeded Paulsboro (24-2), a Group I anomaly that features tremendous size, athleticism and skill, was simply too long and too talented for the Warriors. Despite missing two of its top seven players, one due to injury and the other to disciplinary issues, Paulsboro still managed to run out a starting five that featured a 6-8 center, a 6-5 forward, a 6-4 forward and a 6-2 shooting guard.

Wildwood’s tallest player is 6-3.

The 6-5 forward, Xavier Lundy, is one of the top players in South Jersey. He scored a very efficient, almost quiet 21 points to pace the Raiders, who received a scare when Lundy went down with an apparent knee injury with four minutes to play in the game and had to be helped off the floor. Head coach Sean Collins said after the game he thought Lundy “was going to be OK” going forward in the playoffs.

Theo Holloway, a 6-3 sophomore, was brilliant for Paulsboro in adding 17 points and Delaware football signee Julian Davenport, the 6-8 center, added 16 points in the win.

Christian did his best to try to keep Wildwood in the game. He poured in 19 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 29 in his final high school game. Christian recently became academically qualified to play as a college freshman and is being heavily recruited by some top-flight Division III programs in the area, including Widener and Stockton.

Wes Hills added 10 points in the loss.

blog comments powered by Disqus