Saturday, February 11, 2006
By Jerome Michaels
It takes the game of basketball to bring out the awareness that help is needed financially for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia fight against childhood cancers. There was plenty of basketball being played at the Cape-Atlantic Challenge held at Timber Creek to help the "Shoot Down Cancer Foundation, Inc." This year's event featured some very intriguing games including match-ups between several top 20 teams. So when the Red Raiders from Ocean City competed against Camden Catholic, it was an opportunity to attend a high school basketball game for a good cause. A slow start by Ocean City proved to be the difference in their 50-41 defeat to Camden Catholic.
Among the teams participating will be eleven of the top twenty teams in South Jersey, including some perennial state powerhouses. The listing of teams reads like a "who's who" of New Jersey basketball: St. Augustine Prep, Camden Catholic, Middle Township, Woodrow Wilson, Atlantic City, Winslow Township, Holy Spirit, Shawnee, Egg Harbor Township, Lenape, Pleasantville and many more. As usual, the tournament featured some of the best individual players and coaches in the state as well. Each year the Challenge proves to be quite a competition between the two conferences, with the Olympic Conference holding the advantage in four of the five years. Overall, the Olympic Conference currently holds a 31-22 record over the Cape Atlantic League.
The Red Raiders would watch most of their shot attempts during the first quarter either rim out or just come up short. Camden Catholic's defense would hold Ocean City to just five points. The Irish would then enjoy a ten point lead at the start of the second quarter. The Raiders would have more success at scoring to erase some of their deficit. With a 24-18 lead at the start of the third quarter, Ocean City once again had trouble putting points on the scoreboard. The Irish seem to fall victim to their opponent's shoot woos but managed to pull out the nine point victory. Mark McCloskey led the Irish with 14 points, Anthony Jeune dropped in 11 points and Kurt Reinhold finished with 10 points. Dave Beyel led the Red Raiders with 14 points.