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High School Boys Basketball:
Willingboro Ends Red Devils' Winning Streak

Thursday, February 3, 2000

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Everyone has seen it or experienced it if you played some kind of sports...the dreaded slump. The Chimeras were hosting Rancocas Valley in a Burlington County Liberty Division boy's basketball game. Marquis Gaston for Willingboro and Dan Trump for Rancocas Valley were experiencing that shooting slump for their respective teams. But for this game, the Chimeras erased a halftime deficit to extend their winning streak with a 67-58 win in front of the home crowd.

When the halftime buzzer sounded, Trump was a dismal 0 for 6 from the floor while Gaston was 0 for 4 and no points. One of these players would find their game in the second half. Finding the range for the Red Devils was Steve Butler. His eight first quarter points helped Rancocas Valley jump out to an 18-15 first quarter lead. Not to be outdone, Khalil Birdsong was perfect from the floor, going 5 for 5 from the floor and 12 points in the quarter for the Chimeras.


With the Red Devils beginning the second half with a four point lead, Willingboro started off with an 8-0 run to jump out to their first lead of the game. Gaston finally found his game and convert on his first 3 shots during the run. Willingboro would see their lead evaporate when Lionel Bulen's three pointer put the Red Devils up by two, 46-44, with 3:34 remaining in the third quarter. The Chimeras would hold a seven point lead at the end of the quarter, 53-46.

Jay McCollom turned the momentum around for the Red Devils when his reverse slam lifted the fans out of their seats. With the game tied at fifty-three all with just over six minutes remaining in the game, Kevin Washington's jumper put the Chimeras up to stay. Willingboro went on a 12-5 run to end the game. Khalil Birdsong finished with a game high 20 points, Mike Davis (12 points), Marquis Gaston (12 points) and Kevin Washington (10 points) all finished with double figures. Rancocas' Lionel Bulen finished with a team high 12 points, Steve Butler added 11 points and Jay McCollom and Justin Jackson each added 10 points.

Photos by Art Redd

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