Wednesday, March 2, 2005
By Jerome Michaels
It was a game that could have been different if it wasn’t for the slow start the Pirates from Cinnaminson had during the opening minutes of their game. But what was noticed was the success Collingswood was having both offensively and defensively during their home game against the Pirates during the opening round of the boy’s South Jersey Group 2 tournament game. After honoring their seniors before the game, Collingswood went right to work building a double digit lead at the half. Cinnaminson rally during the exciting third quarter wasn’t enough to upset the third seeded Panthers. Eight players from Collingswood found their way into the scoring column to defeat Cinnaminson 50-46 in front of a packed house.
The Group 2 bracket has the smallest number of team participating in it and that means just a couple of well put together game plans will get that team into the finals. So far, each of the high seeds has advanced to the next round and those teams are Haddonfield, Sterling, Collingswood and Middle Township. Three of the four are very familiar opponents with one another being from the Colonial Conference and the somewhat unfamiliar to the others would be the Panthers from Middle Township.
Cinnaminson appeared to focus on slowing down Justin Dempsey and they did limiting his shot opportunities. That’s when the other players picked up the slack building on their 18-4 first quarter lead. The Pirates would begin to find success before the half and turned up the defense after the half to eliminate any thoughts of a blowout. Holding Collingswood to only two baskets made from the field, Cinnaminson outscored their opponent 13-5 to reduce their deficit to 38-31 before the start of the fourth quarter. The Pirates would come close, but Collingswood would hold on to advance to the next round against Sterling. Tawan Austin led the Panthers with 14 points. Cinnaminson received team high points from Tim Fiori and Buddy Custer who finished with 12 points while Tim Flanagan added 10 points.