Ocean City High School has a big week coming up for its sports teams as the winter season heads into the home stretch.
The swimming teams start their playoffs this week while the basketball teams are making their final pushes for the Cape-Atlantic League and South Jersey tournaments. The wrestling teams is getting a few more matches in before the individual tournament starts for the Red Raiders next week.
The girls swimming team is fresh off of an impressive day at the CAL Individual Swimming Championships at Atlantic City, winning several races and breaking meet and school records.
The Raiders are chasing a fifth straight S.J. Group B championship and first state title since the 2015-16 season.
The second-seeded Raiders eared a bye for the first two rounds of the tournament. Their possible opponents include No. 6 Gloucester Tech against No. 7 Cherry Hill West, who face in the first round, or third-seeded Shawnee, which got a bye into the second round.
They are led by outstanding seniors Ryann Styer and Maggie Wallace, and boast a deep team that includes Alex Antonov and Andrea Teofanova.
The boys, seeded fifth, competed Tuesday afternoon against eighth-seeded Cherry Hill West. That result ended too late for this edition.
Senior Nate Hays has been outstanding for the Raiders this season and will be a major factor in his individual and relay races.
On Wednesday, the basketball team (15-3) can strengthen its chances of winning the CAL National Divison when it takes on Lower Cape May Regional at 7 p.m. Both teams are 8-1 in the National.
Ocean City has several key players, including seniors Jacob McQuarrie and Isaac Robertson, and juniors Joey Sacco and Luke Varallo. Lower Cape May has senior Pat Holden, the school's all-time leading scorer, and sharp-shooting freshman Martin Anguelov.
The Ocean City girls (13-4) have three games left in the National, starting with Lower Cape May on Wednesday. The Raiders need to win out and hope rival Mainland Regional (17-0 overall, 8-0 in the National) drops two of its remaining games.
The CAL basketball tournament, which features the top eight boys and girls teams, begins Feb. 16 with the finals Feb. 24 at Stockton University.