Raiders' season ends in Tournament of Champions

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TOMS RIVER – The Ocean City High School girls basketball team’s magical season has come to an end.

Red Bank Catholic, the state Non-Public A champion, handed the Group III champion Raiders a 45-23 defeat in the opening round of the Tournament of Champions Tuesday night at Pine Belt Arena.

The Tournament of Champions is an event that includes the six state enrollment group champions competing to produce an ultimate state champion.

RBC, the third seed in the six-team tournament, held sixth-seeded Ocean City to one field goal and only four points over the first 9 ½ minutes of the second half, turning a seven-point halftime lead into a comfortable double-digit advantage.

Red Bank Catholic (29-1) will take on second-seeded Rancocas Valley in a Tournament of Champions semifinal on Thursday.

Grace Fallon netted 13 points and Alex Barazotti added 12 points to pace a balanced scoring attack for Red Bank Catholic, which outscored Ocean City 19-4 in the third quarter and at one stage of the period scored 13 straight points.

Julia Duggan scored 12 points to lead Ocean City, but the 6-2 senior was plagued by foul trouble throughout the game. Committed to play at Division I Rider next year, Duggan finished her career with 1,651 points, which is good for second in program history. Mary Kate Mateer added five points for the Raiders.

Ocean City, which beat Jefferson on Sunday to win the program’s first-ever state championship, finished the season at 16-5.

Group I champion Point Pleasant Beach topped Non-Public B champ Trenton Catholic, 74-68, in the other Tournament of Champions first-round game Tuesday night. Pt. Pleasant Beach will play top-seeded Shabazz on Thursday in the other semifinal.

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