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High School Basketball:
Willingboro Loses To Shabazz In State Finals

Sunday, March 14, 2004

By Susan Hall
SJSports Special Correspondent

It was another team from the South Jersey area looking to bring home the state title. The Lady Chimeras from Willingboro had advanced to the Group 3 State finals for the second year in a row. And in the second year in a row, they have matched up with Malcolm X Shabazz for the state finals. The Bulldogs were expecting Crystal Langhorne and Lateisha Wade to lead the charge for Willingboro. The two talented tandem were not able to carry their team to the title. Shabazz quickly jumped out to an early lead and started them on their way to their second consecutive state title. The Chimeras would go down in defeat by a 63-52 margin.

Willingboro has a lot to be proud about this year winning the Burlington County Liberty Division title, picking up the Central Group 3 championship trophy and also winning their highly anticipated battle during the state semifinals against Highland. The Chimeras were again proving to themselves that they could win against a team that was one of the top 5 girl’s basketball programs in the state.

During this state finals game played at the Ritacco Center at Toms River North, Langhorne set the tone by getting Willingboro on the scoreboard. But Shabazz also were able to spread the ball around and control the first quarter. The Bulldogs would lead at the half by a score of 29-17. During the second half, Willingboro was unable to slow down their opponents’ offense and Shabazz was the team on the court at the end of the game poising for the team title picture. Crystal Langhorne finished with a game high 34 points and Lateisha Wade finished with 13 points for Willingboro. Shabazz was led by Matee Ajavon who scored a team high 20 points, Shahida Williams and Kellindra Zackery both finished the game with 14 points apiece.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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