OCEAN CITY — If they Mainland Regional girls basketball players were tired from having to follow up Friday night's season opener against Wildwood Catholic with a 1:45 p.m. game against Southern Regional on Saturday in the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend showcase, they didn't show it.
The Mustangs built a 14-9 first-quarter lead over the Rams, then blitzed Southern with 21 points in the second quarter to cruise to a 58-43 victory. The win was the first of the season for Mainland, which lost by four points to Wildwood Catholic on Friday night.
ABSECON — The Holy Spirit football team is used to playing on the first Saturday in December — in state playoff games. Last year, the Spartans were cleaning out their lockers on Thanksgiving after a 32-10 loss to Atlantic City that left them with a 4-6 record.
Last December, the Spartans players and coaches vowed a sub-.500 record wasn't going to happen again. Not on their watch.
BORDENTOWN — When Britney Stein was a freshman, she watched from the bench as older sister April led the Ocean City field hockey team to a state championship as a senior in 2013. The next two years, Britney came out on the losing end, as the Red Raiders fell to Warren Hills in the title game.
Now a senior, Britney has a trophy of her own, as she played perhaps the best game of her life in leading Ocean City back to the top of the mountain.
EGG HARBOR CITY — Bo Melton shrugged off his helmet and shoulder pads Saturday afternoon and strode off the field. Under his jersey he was wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt that had the name "Milza" emblazoned on the back with quarterback Jesse Milza's No. 11. When you're a playmaker like Melton, you pay homage to the guy who puts the ball into your hands any way you can.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The difference between an average team and a team that competes for championships every season is the ability to take a punch.
Ocean City took an uppercut to the jaw early in Thursday night's showdown with Moorestown in the Group 3 semifinals at Egg Harbor Township High School, and while the Red Raiders staggered, they never went down.
BUENA VISTA — Vineland came into Friday night's game at LaRosa Field looking to prove it was up to the challenge of taking down undefeated St. Augustine Prep. It was, but the Hermits proved they are one of South Jersey's best teams by taking the Fighting Clan's best punch, and delivering a few of their own.
OCEAN CITY — In ancient times, out-numbered Spartan warriors employed a defensive formation called a phalanx, in which a group of warriors would gather together and allow their shields to form a defensive wall.
In the South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals, eighth-seeded Hammonton employed a similar strategy after taking a 1-0 lead on No. 1 Ocean City early in the second half. The Blue Devils packed their defense in tight, clearing the ball as far as possible to make the Red Raiders go the length of the field for each of its offensive attacks.
OCEAN CITY — When Ocean City plays its brand of field hockey, the Red Raiders are virtually unstoppable. Seneca held the Red Raiders in check throughout the first half on Wednesday in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals, but once Ocean City's passing game started clicking in the second half, there wasn't much the Golden Eagles could do.
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