EGG HARBOR CITY — It was no ordinary 3-point basket.
When Jazzy Duverglas sank the long-range shot with 6 minutes, 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter Tuesday, the Cedar Creek High School girls basketball team had already built an insurmountable 48-9 lead over Haddon Heights in its South Jersey Group II first-round game.
But the crowd still went ballistic after waiting in anticipation all night for this moment.
Duverglas scored her 1,000th career point.
The senior forward entered the game needing just 20 points to reach the coveted plateau. Duverglas scored a team-leading 23 points to lead the No. 5 seed Pirates to a 62-18 win over No. 12 Haddon Heights.
Duverglas now has 1,003 points for her career.
“It feels amazing,” said Duverglas. “I had a feeling I could do it because I scored 20 points before.”
The Pirates will travel Thursday to fourth-seeded Sterling in the quarterfinals.
“Now the pressure is taken off of me,” Duverglas said. “Now I can just focus on winning.”
Cedar Creek coach Jessica Sartorio was thrilled that Duverglas was able to achieve this milestone.
“She has been an amazing player to have on the team,” the first-year coach said. “She has an overall great character — a great teammate and player. I wish I could coach her again next year.”
Duverglas’ teammates were equally as excited.
“We are very proud of her,” said Trina Deveney, who scored 10 points. “She deserved all of it.”
In each the last three seasons, Cedar Creek (17-8) made it as far as the South Jersey Group II quarterfinals, but could not advance any further.
And for this season to be different, the fifth-seeded Pirates had to first win their opening-round game over No. 12 Haddon Heights (11-15).
“This has been our best team win all year,” Sartorio said. “Our motto is to ‘play hard, smart and together.’ That’s what we did tonight.”
The Pirates led the Garnets 34-7 at the half. That lead increased in the third quarter as the stingy Cedar Creek defense allowed just two points.
Cedar Creek scored 28 second-half points, more than it allowed all game.
The Pirates’ Gabbie Luko scored eight points, while Jess Amos and Jezlyn Cross each added six points.
“I think it was one of the best games we played as a team,” Deveney said. “Great teamwork tonight. We have to keep our minds focused on what we have to do.”
Cedar Creek captured the South Jersey Group II title in 2014, before Duverglas started high school.
The last three seasons of losing in the quarterfinals is something that is on Duverglas’ mind, especially being a senior.
“If we play like we did tonight, like limit turnovers and play together as a team,” Duverglas said, “we will hopefully beat Sterling and get to the semis.”
Sartorio, an assistant coach with the Stockton University women’s basketball team last season, said the team did all the right things, adding that the momentum will help going forward.
“We know we have the confidence going into the next game,” Sartorio said. “I’m happy about the win. We will enjoy it now, but then get back to work. Sterling is a great team, and we are up for the challenge.”
Contact: 609-272-7210 PMulranen@pressofac.com
Haddon 2 5 7 9—18
Cedar 20 14 10 18—62
H—Irish 3, Speakman 2, Iacona 11, Repolio 2.
C—Tomasello 4, Duverglas 23, Devenney 10, Parker 3, Luko 8, Cross 6, Amos 6, Nelson 2.
3-pointers—Irish H; Duverglas (4), Parker C.