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High School Basketball:
Camden Outperforms Wilson, Earns a Trip to S.J. Group Finals

Saturday, March 8, 2003

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

All in attendance for the boy’s semifinals basketball game between Camden and Woodrow Wilson knew they were in for a highly competitive battle. The first time these two teams met, the entertaining Olympic Conference National Divisional match-up was decided by a basket by Wayne Smalls giving Camden the one point victory. In this game, the first quarter proved to be the difference as Shamari Moore scored 15 of the Panthers’ 31 points. That lead held up for Camden as Wilson’s second half surge came up short giving the Panthers a trip to the South Jersey Group 3 finals winning 79-74 at Cherry Hill East High School.

The Tigers’ fans were on the edge of their seats as they were waiting for a reason to celebrate. Trailing for the entire game, they knew that Chris Polk, Bryant DeShields or Hussain Shakir had the ability to put up some serious points. Woodrow Wilson did all they could to extend their season just one more game. The closest the Tigers would get would be within three points less than four minutes remaining in the game. Too many missed opportunities down the stretch allowed the Panthers to hold onto their five-point win.

Woodrow Wilson did not crumble being down 13 points after the first quarter ended as Lamar Bennett and Shakir got the Tigers closer before the half trailing 46-37. Camden’s lead continued to shrink in during the third quarter when DeShields’ three just 2 minutes into the quarter closed the deficit to 48-44. Preston Brown would score four important points for the Tigers in the final quarter and Wilson would be down 66-63. To top things off, Shomari Moore picked up his fourth personal foul for Camden with 5:41 remaining in the game. It would be clock management that won this game for the Panthers against their the cross-city rivals.

Camden would lead 74-71 late in the game, but the Panthers would be able to knock down some key free throws for the win. Shomari Moore was held to three points in the final quarter, but 33 points for the game to lead all scorers. David Foster (12 points) and Byron Sellers (10 points) each scored double digits points for Camden. The Tigers got 11 points from Preston Brown, Bryant DeShields added 12 points, and both Hussain Shakir and Chris Polk finished with 16 points apiece for Woodrow Wilson.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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