Top CAL basketball teams all playing this weekend in Ocean City

OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend  – coming up tomorrow and Sunday – features another strong lineup of Cape-Atlantic League boys and girls basketball teams playing challenging opponents when the showcase event is played for the 22nd time.

Tipoff Weekend starts Saturday at noon in the Dixie Howell Memorial Gym with the Oakcrest boys and Wildwood meeting in a match between CAL and Tri-County Conference teams. The Falcons open their season tonight when Egg Harbor Township comes to Mays Landing. Wildwood will be at Woodstown tonight in its opener.

In the 1:45 game tomorrow, Cedar Creek, led by Najee Coursey, opens its season against St. Joseph. The Wildcats lost to Atlantic City last night, despite 21 points by 6-2 junior Marcus Pierce, a transfer from Middle Township.

At 3:30 on Saturday, the Wildwood Catholic girls – featuring Marianna Papazoclou and Gabby Turco, two of the CAL’s top players – will take on always tough Notre Dame of Lawrenceville. Papazoclou scored 21 and Turco 17 in Wildwood Catholic’s 68-28 win over Cedar Creek last night. Notre Dame – led by 6-2 Erika Porter, the Trenton-area Player of the Year last season with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game – will open its season tonight at Allentown.

At 5:15 on Saturday, St. Augustine Prep, led by 6-7 junior Matt Delaney and senior Kevin Foreman, will open its season against always tough Trenton Central. Coach Paul Rodio, South Jersey’s all-time leader in wins, comes into the season with 930 victories. Trenton will open its season tonight against West Windsor-Plainsboro North in its brand-new, multi-million dollar gymnasium.

The final game tomorrow (7pm) is the first of a challenging non-league schedule by the highly-rated Wildwood Catholic boys, led by 6-8 Taj Thweatt, 6-7 Jahlil White and 6-3 Jacob Hopping. The Crusaders – who defeated Holy Spirit, 56-38, last night with Thweatt scoring 22 and White 20 – will face Notre Dame, featuring 6-7 Stesher Mathelier, considered one of the best freshmen in New Jersey. Notre Dame hosts Allentown tonight.

Sunday starts with the two Atlantic City teams (girls at noon, boys to follow) playing back-to-back. Both Vikings team will play Mater Dei Prep from the Shore Conference. It will be the season opener for the ACHS girls, led by senior Ciani Redd-Howard and sophomore Sanai Garrison-Macon. The Atlantic City boys defeated St. Joseph last night with 6-7 Stephen Byard scoring 24.

At 3:30 on Sunday, Holy Spirit will take on Vineland. The Spartans lost to Wildwood Catholic last night with 6-8 Joe Glenn scoring 13 points. Vineland will be opening its season on Sunday in Tipoff Weekend.

Ocean City’s teams wrap up Tipoff Weekend Sunday at 5:15 with the Jack Boyd Memorial Doubleheader, a tribute to the memory of the former Hall of Fame coach.

The OCHS girls will play Rancocas Valley, both programs boasting frequent South Jersey championships. The Raiders got 13 points from sophomore Marin Panico last night and seven each from veteran seniors  Emma Finnegan and Abbey Fenton in a 52-16 win over Millville. RV will be opening its season against the Raiders.

The Ocean City boys, featuring a starting lineup led by junior Gannon Brady with no seniors for the first time in Coach John Bruno’s 30 years, will take on Pleasantville, The Raiders will open their season at home tonight against Middle Township. Pleasantville defeated Atlantic Christian, 83-56, last night with 6-7 Elijah Jones scoring 25 and guard Noel Gonzalez adding 14. The two schools just played in football three weeks ago and four of the Raiders first six players were on that OCHS football team.

In addition to coming together for some good basketball to get the season started, each of the participating teams bring non-perishable food items and toys that are distributed throughout the area to those in need.

Fans can see all five games each day for a single daily admission price of just $6.00, unchanged in more than 15 years. Portions of the proceeds go to the Edythe T. Selvagn Scholarship Fund.

Tipoff Weekend started in 1998 in Egg Harbor Township where it was held for four seasons. After one year at Holy Spirit and two in the Ventnor Complex, the event settled in Ocean City in 2005. It has continued in the Dixie Howell Memorial Gymnasium with the support of the Ocean City PBA and a group of other businesses and individuals.

In addition to the Ocean City PBA, the event is also sponsored by Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, the City of Ocean City, the Ocean City Firefighters, the Ocean City Free Public Library, the Ocean City Aquatic & Fitness Center, the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office, Sack-O-Subs, Ulmer Appliance Service, Rodio Catering and

More information about Tipoff Weekend is available here.


22nd Annual Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend

Noon —– Oakcrest boys vs Wildwood
1:45pm — Cedar Creek boys vs St. Joseph
3:30pm — Wildwood Catholic girls vs Notre Dame
5:15pm — St. Augustine boys vs Trenton
7:00pm — Wildwood Catholic boys vs Notre Dame

Noon ——Atlantic City girls vs Mater Dei Prep
1:45pm — Atlantic City boys vs Mater Dei Prep
3:30pm —-Holy Spirit boys vs Vineland
5:15pm — Ocean City girls vs Rancocas Valley
7:00pm — Ocean City boys vs Pleasantville

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