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Robertson's late heroics send WCHS to CAL final

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HAMMONTON – The Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team was down by two points with less than 30 seconds left in Thursday’s Cape-Atlantic League semifinal against Holy Spirit.

That’s when the best player in the Cape-Atlantic League made his biggest play of the season.

Senior forward Jordan Robertson sank a right-wing three-point shot with 14 seconds to go while being fouled. He made the ensuing free throw to give the Crusaders a two-point lead, before finishing off the game with an emphatic dunk just before the buzzer after George Cook’s steal at half court.

The stunning 58-54 victory sends the Crusaders into their first Cape-Atlantic League title game under the current format, in which they’ll play Atlantic City at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Richard Stockton College. The game will serve as the back end of a girl-boy Wildwood Catholic championship doubleheader, with the Crusader girls team taking on Middle Township for the girls title at noon.

“This has been our goal all year long,” Wildwood Catholic coach Dave DeWeese said. “This was a great, great, great win for us but we’re not finished. This is unfinished business. We have to win on Saturday.”

Wildwood Catholic, which trailed by eight at one point of the fourth quarter, finished the game on an 11-0 run after being behind 54-47 with a little more than three minutes to play.

Robertson made 6 of 12 shots from the floor and all five of his free-throw attempts and scored 19 points, with 11 of them coming in the fourth quarter.

“Once again,” Robertson said, “we’re trying to prove people wrong.”

Eddie McWade scored a game-high 20 points and Clinton Freeman added nine points and a game-best seven rebounds for the Crusaders.

Fourth-seeded Wildwood Catholic (21-4) held No. 1 Holy Spirit (18-6) without a field goal and to only two points over the final 5:02 of the contest. The four-point margin of victory represented the Crusaders’ largest lead of the game.

“We pride ourselves on our defense; it’s been our signature all year long,” DeWeese said. “It really came through tonight. The kids played so hard and it’s really an awesome win for them. They never gave up. We knew at some point it was going to be our time to have a run and thankfully it came at the end. … For us, that finish was about as unbelievable as it gets.”

Wildwood Catholic shot 21 for 23 from the foul line in the game.

John Middleton led Holy Spirit with 16 points, scoring 13 in the second half. Leon Daniels added 12. The Spartans’ top scorer, Junior Saintel, chipped in 11 points, but managed only two in the second half, none in the fourth quarter.

Atlantic City was a 65-60 winner over St. Augustine Prep in the other semifinal.

Wildwood Catholic and Atlantic City met early in the season, with the Vikings winning by 37-34.

“It’s definitely going to be fun (Saturday),” Robertson said. “We like making history for the school.”


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