By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer
The Schalick boy’s basketball team was not satisfied with just winning the Tri-County Conference Classic Division. Standing in their way were the Spartans from Deptford High School. When the final buzzer sounded to end the game, a total of 174 points were scored with over 40 three-point attempts flying through the air. Sophomore guard Paul Gause helped with those totals by scoring 43 points during their win against Deptford at Williamstown High School. With their 93-81 victory, Schalick won the Tri-County Conference crown.
Paul Gause put on his personal highlight show demonstrating his ability to score not only from behind the 3-point arch, but also inside the arch a well. During the first half, Gause shot an impressive 73% from the floor (5 for 5 in the second quarter) that included 3 for 5 from three-point land. Deptford did a good job staying close during the first half dominating the paint with Jeff Paynter, Mike Green and Scott Duckett. That trio was enough for the Spartans to keep the game close and trail by two at the half. That’s when Jeff Hoyer established himself as a three point shooter as well hitting all three of his shots during the third quarter for Schalick. The Cougars' dual alone was too much for Deptford to handle.
Coming into this game were two teams that has established themselves as winners before even stepping onto the court. The reason for this game was to finally find out who would be crowned the winner of the Tri-County Conference. The Spartans were the winners of the Royal Division as they were able to stay in front of Highland in the standings. The competition in the Classic Division was just as fierce as Wildwood and Salem were only a few games behind Schalick in the overall standings.
Deptford does have the ability off putting some serious points on the scoreboard with Isham Poe and the rest of the frontcourt ruling the perimeter. But that part of their game never got into full transition. Once the second half of this game began, the Cougars full court pressure cause Deptford to have problems running their offense. With 11 turnovers during the second half, those mistakes proved to be the main reason why Schalick was able to put up 93 points.
Forward Mike Green, who scored a total of 17 points, and Poe were able to lead Deptford to a one point lead after one quarter. Deptford looked to have things under control when Paynter was able to position himself down low scoring 7 points in the second quarter. But it was that full court pressure at the beginning of the second half that caused Deptford to turn the ball over. The Cougars would go on a 10-0 run to lead 58-47 lead with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter.
Only trailing by eight going into the final quarter, Poe picked up his game as he was able to at least get to the line after being fouled. He shot 13 for 13 from the charity stripe, but it was not enough as Schalick began to get others into the scoring act with Deptford concentrating on Gause. Eric Bailey (14 points), Jeff Hoyer (22 points) and Gause worked well together to lead the team in scoring for the Schalick Cougars. Deptford got 17 points from Mike Green, 15 from Scott Duckett and Jeff Paynter, but it was Isham Poe who led the team with 28 points (17 in the first half).