Saturday, February 14, 2004
By Jerome Michaels
You never know what expect when teams get together every year for the Olympic-Cape Challenge this time at Winslow Township. The Panthers from Middle Township had been roaring through the schedule keeping pace with St. Augustine in the Cape-Atlantic Conference National Division I. Township was looking to extend their 10 game winning streak against the Irish from Camden Catholic. The Irish would stay one step ahead of Middle Township during the first half, but those steps grew larger in the second half. James Ulrich’s 21 game high points helped Camden Catholic pull away to a 58-36 win over the Panthers. The Irish now has won their last five games.
Both of these teams have solidified their position in the upcoming playoff. Camden Catholic has earned the third seed in the Parochial A bracket and has a first round bye. They already know whom they will meet in the second round as sixth ranked St. Joseph Metuchen will be their opponent as they also has earned a first round bye. Middle Township has also earned a first round bye as the second seed in the Group 2 bracket. The Panthers will await the winner of the Westampton Tech (7th seed) versus Haddon Township (11th seed).
After a slow start from both teams, the second quarter was a bit difference as the two teams scored a combined 30 points. The Irish’s 27-20 halftime lead grew bigger as Ulrich began to connect from outside. With the defense holding the Panthers to just six third quarter points, Camden Catholic stuck to their game plan to build a 41-26 lead going into the final quarter. The Irish did not slow down the rest of the way to convincingly win this challenge. James Ulrich finished the game with 21 points and Connelly added 14 points for Camden Catholic. Middle Township had two players, Clayton Palmer and Michael Bailey, who finished with a team high 9 points.
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