By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent
It was a game that both team remembered with one team moving on, one team moving out. Last year, the Paulsboro Red Raiders met on different circumstances as they faced the Blue Devils at Burlington City High School. The Blue Devils were the top seeded team ending Paulsboro season in their semi-finals match-up. Burlington City went on to win the title. This year, the reverse…Paulsboro seeded number one and Burlington City holding down the fifth seed of the South Jersey Group 1 playoff bracket. Destined to improve from last year, Paulsboro won this year’s semi-finals game 72-59 to earn a right to compete against Schalick for the championship game.
On a night were the seniors were recognized before the game, Paulsboro wanted to give the capacity home crowd something to remember before moving on to a neutral site if they advance to the next round. Getting off to a good start helped the Red Raiders jump out to an early 10-4 lead. The backcourt was able to control the tempo during the first half setting up Joel Rone and George Davis inside the paint. But the Blue Devils came storming back and only trailed by one, 18-17, with 6:14 showing on the second quarter game clock. Paulsboro would stay in front of City and held a 37-33 advantage at the half.
Coming out on the quarter for the second half, Paulsboro turned this game into their favor outscoring Burlington City 18-10 during the third quarter. Josh Hudson and Reggie Thomas are dangerous threats for the Blue Devils, but the Red Raiders defense came up big when needed. Paulsboro, with a double-digit lead going into the final quarter, would cruise the rest of the way. Russell Carter outscored everyone dropping in 28 points and Yahmeen Johnson finished with 17 points for Paulsboro. The Blue Devils would get a team high 18 points from Reggie Thomas and Josh Hudson finished with 17 points for Burlington City.