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High School Basketball:
Defense Decides Maple Shade's Victory over Gateway

Saturday, January 29, 2005

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

There are always those teams that have been struggling with getting their win total to increase. For Gateway and Maple Shade participating in a non-league boy’s basketball game, both teams would have an equal chance of coming out on the winning side of the scoreboard. The Gators from Gateway had previously won a close game against Paulsboro and were looking for winning two games in a row. In this game, it would be Maple Shade putting an end to their three game losing streak with their 56-46 win. The Wildcats held Gateway to just two baskets during the third quarter and Maple Shade rolled onto their ten point victory.

Gateway traveled to Maple Shade in search of keeping their momentum going after a big win at home. Gateway’s Michael Flacco scored 27 points against Paulsboro helping the Gators come away with the three point victory. The way this game started out, the Gators held onto a slim lead after one quarter of basketball had ended. Maple Shade would then battle the boards and eventually lead Gateway by a 29-28 advantage at the break.

When the second half began for Maple Shade, so did the defense. Taking advantage of Gateway’s missed opportunities, Maple Shade put themselves in a position to limit the Gators shot attempts. Gateway’s four point third quarter drought was enough for the Wildcats to open a seven point lead that they would never relinquish. Damon Debardelaben finished the game leading all scorers with 17 points for Maple Shade, Gojart Cami added 13 and Shawn Wikiera 12 points. Gateway was led by Brandon Fredhoff’s 16 points while Quinzel Burns added 11 points for the Gators.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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