Thursday, February 19, 2004
By Vincent Lewis
If we were to use this game as a measuring stick for the upcoming South Jersey Group playoffs, buckle your seat belts because its going to be a bumpy ride. On paper, all indications pointed to the Eagles from Winslow Township winning their Olympic Conference match-up against Woodrow Wilson. To support that assumption, Winslow Township was riding a 10 game winning streak and was looking to extend that by one at Woodrow Wilson High School. Cedric Smith has been the top scoring during season and their opponent knew that. The Tigers’ double threat in Bryant DeShields and Semaj Inge proved to be the difference in this game as they upset the Eagles 91-81.
With the madness of March is just around the corner, it will be the playoffs for high school basketball that will take center stage before the NCAA captures the attention of fans across the country. The Hawks from Saint Joseph University are holding down the second seed on the Associated Press Top 25 College Basketball Poll and there are a few high school teams who just might be in the same situation as the Hawks’ Jameer Nelson. But first, division titles are still on the line before any player can think of being in the spotlight in the college ranks.
Since these two teams will not meet one another again this season, both will be concentrating on first completing their regular season and then their first game of the playoffs. The Tigers will have another tough test during the second round of the Group 3 playoffs against fifth seeded Timber Creek. Both have a first round bye. It will be the first time the two Olympic Conference teams will meet on the court this season. Last year, Timber Creek and Woodrow Wilson had unexpected endings for their bid to capture the group title. For Winslow Township, they too fell victim to a one-point loss against Shawnee last year in their first game of the playoffs.
During the first half, the Tigers carried a slim lead heading into the locker room. The two teams combined for 75 points, which lead to believe even more points would light up the scoreboard during the second half. DeShields found his range behind the three point arc keeping the Tigers ahead. Winslow would rally during the third scoring 26 points in the quarter to pull within two. An early 12-6 run during the start of the final quarter gave the Tigers a 73-65 advantage with 4:45 remaining. That lead would be enough for Wilson to pick up the victory. The Tigers were led by Bryant DeShields’ game high 31 points, Semaj Inge added 29 and Hussain Shakir finished with 12 points. Cedric Smith finished with a team high 27 points and Andre Whittick added 24 points for Winslow Township.
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