By TOM WILLIAMS
There were mixed results for the Ocean City High School sports teams in December, a month that lasted four weeks for the two swim teams but less than two weeks for every other winter team.
Boys Basketball (2-3) had a tough start. John Bruno’s Raiders defeated Middle Township, 65-48, with junior Gannon Brady and sophomore Tom Finnegan each scoring 23 points with the 6-7 Finnegan debuting his three-point shooting threat. The two coaches (Bruno and the newly returned Tom Feraco) combined for over 1,100 wins, the second highest total between two coaches ever in a game between Cape-Atlantic League teams. And it kicked off the first season in Bruno’s 31 years when his starting lineup did not include a senior. Junior Mike Rhodes got off to a good start, making all seven of his shots.
The Raiders lost to a tough Pleasantville team, 93-66, in the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend despite Brady’s 27 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and six assists. The Greyhounds finished the month 3-1 and ranked No. 12 in South Jersey. Senior guard Marquise McLoughlin made seven three-pointers, the most ever in Tipoff Weekend’s 22 years.
In Wildwood, the Raiders played three good Pennsylvania teams, losing a game they were expected to lose, winning a good victory and letting the third game get away. The loss to Philly’s Math Civics & Science, 72-49, saw junior Nisine Poplar, being heavily recruited by Temple, score 32 points on 13-for-18 shooting and add five rebounds, three steals and four assists. Brady scored 14 for the Raiders. MCS is ranked No. 14 in Pennsylvania and played its next game at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Ocean City won its getaway game, 54-39, over Latin Charter of Philadelphia with Brady scoring 23 and Finnegan 17. Rhodes, in foul trouble before fouling out, still managed 10 rebounds. The game the Raiders should have won was a 48-42 loss to Phoenixville Area. The Raiders dominated in the paint with Brady getting 19 points and eight rebounds, Finnegan nine points and nine boards and Rhodes adding eight points and 13 rebounds. But the Raiders could only turn Phoenixville over seven times, made just one of nine three-pointers and shot 33 percent from the foul line.
Brady and Finnegan are scoring in double figures, Rhodes leads in rebounds and blocks, junior Joe Repetti leads in steals and assists and junior Brad Jamison has been the most accurate foul shooter. The stat totals for five games are here. All five of the December boys box scores are here. And more OCHS boys basketball info is here.
Girls Basketball (1-4) started the season by blasting Millville, 52-16, with sophomore Marin Panico scoring 13 points and senior Emma Finnegan getting seven points and seven rebounds. But Paul Baruffi’s team lost the next four games against a quartet of teams that were a combined 12-1 in December.
Rancocas Valley used a 14-point advantage in the fourth quarter to rally and win, 60-53, in the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend. Senior Lauren Mirsky scored 14 points with Finnegan getting seven points and 10 rebounds and junior Marlee Brestle contributing seven steals and six assists. OCHS turned the ball over 27 times. In a show case at Cherokee, the Raiders lost to No. 10 Washington Township, 41-21, with Brestle scoring seven and Finnegan getting eight rebounds. Then No. 7 ranked Cherokee beat Ocean City, 52-19, with senior Abbey Fenton scoring five points and Brestle making five steals. Finally, in Wildwood, Ocean City lost to Kingsway, 43-34, despite 11 points by Brestle. The Raiders shot 29 percent from the field, eight percent from three-point range and 41 percent from the foul line.
Fenton is the leading scorer, Finnegan leads in rebounds, Brestle is tops in steals and assists, senior Lauren Mirsky in blocks and Panico has the top shooting percentage – from the field and the foul line. The stat totals for five games are here. All five of the December girls box scores are here. And there is more girls basketball info is here.
Boys Swimming (3-2) started with three straight comfortable wins over Atlantic City, Woodstown and Vineland but then fell to powerful Egg Harbor Township and Mainland back-to-back. Junior Dolan Grisbaum was a big factor. He won an e ent and was on two winning relay teams against Atlantic City, won the 200 IM against EHT and finished first in two events against the Mustangs. Freshman Pat Armstrong and senior Ethan McCarron also were individual winners and on two winning relay teams against the Vikings and McCarron did it again against Woodstown. Junior Steve Gooden had two individual wins and two relay wins against Vineland.
More about boys swimming can be found here.
Girls Swimming (3-1-1) also won three straight before tying highly-rated Egg Harbor Township and losing to Mainland. Senior Brooke Powell notched an individual win and two relay wins against Woodstown. Sophomore Olivia Scherbin won twice and swam on a relay winner against Vineland with senior Claudia Scherbin notching a win and two relay wins. The Scherbins repeated their success against EHT and junior Alex Antonov also scored two individual wins and part of a relay win. Against Mainland, Olivia Scherbin won twice.
More about girls swimming can be found here.
Wrestling (1-0) has just one dual meet so far this season but senior Nick Sannino won the 285-pound championship at the Art Marinelli Tournament at EHT, winning the final match in 34 seconds to win the John Davis Award as the meet’s outstanding wrestler. In the dual meet win, Ocean City defeated Middle Township, 40-39. Sannino, senior Tom Oves, freshman Dominic Morrill, freshman Jon Wooton, junior Joe Garcia and sophomore Aiden Fisher all notched pins for OCHS.
Things won’t be getting any easier
On Friday afternoon, the boys swimming team will host powerful St. Augustine Prep. That same day, boys basketball will visit Mainland in its first National Conference game. And the wrestlers will visit Vineland Friday night.
On Saturday morning the wrestling team will compete in the Hammonton Duals and the indoor track team will be part of the South Jersey Open at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
On Sunday both OCHS basketball teams will face ranked teams in The Seagull Classic at Holy Spirit. The Raider girls will face No. 9 Lenape at noon and the boys will tangle with No. 16 Haddonfield right afterward.
Among next week’s highlights, the swimmers will face Absegami, the wrestlers will visit Mainland and the basketball teams will take on Holy Spirit.
Follow all the results and the upcoming schedule in the Raider Diary.