Thursday, March 2, 2006
By Vincent Lewis
There's something about attending school on a day when your school is hosting a playoff game. Walking through the hallways, individual conversations take place mostly asking about the game and whether they will in attendance. Highland would be hosting the second round of the South Jersey Group III boys' basketball tournament and the house was packed. The seventh seeded Panthers from Camden would bring their fans to this game looking to upset the second seeded Tartans. Trailing for the majority of this game through three full quarters, the Panthers began to convert on their second chance shots enabling them to propel past Highland. MacArthur Mason scored 17 of his game high points during the fourth quarter and ignited Camden to a 61-50 victory. The Panthers will now travel to Timber Creek during the semi-finals.
There's something about the game of basketball that tests not only the players and coaching staff, but also the fans as well. Everyone in the gymnasium shows up to see a good game with fast breaks, big time plays and crowd pleasing dunks, but when things don't go your way on the court, it can get emotional for all participating at the game. This game had all of those emotions and then some and the fans from both schools need to be rewarded as they were watching this highly competitive high school basketball game. With so many in attendance, too many time reports of bad behavior always makes the highlights. When there aren't any incidences, sometime those situations need to be recognized...nice job fans.
Through out the first three quarters, Highland would be able to keep up one step ahead of the Panthers jumping out to a 15-11 lead after one quarter. The Panthers would be able to position themselves inside for a short range shot. Most of those shots would roll or bounce off the rim with another Panther waiting for the second chance shot. The ball just wasn’t falling in favor of Camden during the first half. Highland would lead 28-26 at the break and would increase their lead to 40-35 heading into the final quarter. That’s when the Panthers would outscore Highland 26-10 and earned a chance to move onto the next round against Timber Creek. The Panthers were without to starters in this game but managed to pull out the nine point victory. MacArthur Mason led the Panthers with 37 points. Lemeire Talley finished the game with 17 points and Sean Mergenthal dropped in 13 points for Highland.