Upsets, Big Moments Highlight State Playoffs
It was likely as shocking an upset to just about everyone, except for Eric Fierro.
His Southern Regional Rams faced almost-certain elimination in the NJSIAA Group IV Playoffs: down a point in the final seconds, needing to go the length of the court for a miracle basket against the Vikings in Atlantic City (a recent house of horrors for opponents during the Vikings' last two impressive state title runs).
Coach Fierro then proceeded to watch Jake Logue catch an inbound pass at half-court, dribble past one of the toughest defending teams in South Jersey, and lay-in a bucket under the net to give the Rams an incredible last-second victory.
While Southern Regional did the improbable by knocking out the two-time defending Group IV state champion Vikings, Fierro wasn't surprised by his team's determination. The Rams head coach joined us on the South Jersey Sports Report to break down the game's nail-biting final possession, and why their next playoff showdown against an old rival could be even more challenging.
Here’s a preview of some of the other interviews from this week’s edition of the South Jersey Sports Report:
- The number one seed in the NJSIAA Group III South Jersey playoffs is just days away from the Sectional Final, their first appearance in that game in almost 25 years. Mainland Regional head coach Dan Williams joined us to reflect on his role as a player on that 1990 team, and what similarities he sees in his players this season.
- Press of Atlantic City sports reporter Mike McGarry has more on Mainland's exciting championship run, and what the top-seeded Mustangs face in Monday's South Jersey sectional title game against No. 2 Delsea Regional
- 97.3 ESPN-FM's Mike Gill shares his pride as a former Mainland Regional graduate, and offers some of his observations from the broadcast table at some of the biggest high school basketball games this season
- Courier-Post sports writer Kevin Minnick dives into the nuts and bolts of the rest of the NJSIAA Group III state playoffs, and profiles one of South Jersey's most exciting "all-around" players (hint: he was a recent South Jersey Athlete of the Week winner)
- They've already clinched the Cape-Atlantic League title after an amazing comeback in last weekend's championship game; now the Middle Township Lady Panthers have even loftier goals in the South Jersey playoffs. We spoke to one of their senior leaders about what these girls are ultimately shooting for in the postseason
- Press of Atlantic City sports reporter John O’Kane has the very latest from the site of the New Jersey Individual Wrestling Championships, and explains why there's no more appropriate venue than Boardwalk Hall for the historic event
Listen to this week's show:
Lauryn Fields, Middle Township senior guard
Kevin Minnick, Courier-Post sports reporter
Eric Fierro, Southern Regional head basketball coach
John O'Kane, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
Dan Williams, Mainland Regional head basketball coach
Mike Gill, 97.3 ESPN-FM's high school basketball play-by-play broadcaster
Mike McGarry, Press of Atlantic City sports reporter
We’d also like to congratulate the South Jersey Athlete of the Week:
Wrestling, Egg Harbor Township
Follow Tyler Donohue on Twitter @TDsTake