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Boys Basketball Preview: South Jersey Group 3

Boys Basketball Preview: South Jersey Group 3

South Jersey Group 3 appears to have many challengers for a boy’s basketball sectional title. The defending champion is Delsea, which got off to a rough start, but the Crusaders are rounding into form and are considered one of many expected contenders.

The Crusaders entered the week 12-7 and winners of three in a row and six of seven. They won’t be listed as favorites, but how can one discount them in such a balanced Group.

Senior guard Javon Gordon was is averaging nearly 17 points per game and he has taken his game up a level recently.

Delsea will be happy not to be the favorite. That role could go to Moorestown, but Ocean City, Mainland, Pinelands, Timber Creek, Westampton Tech and Highland, in addition to Delsea, appear to have the ability to contend.

Moorestown improved to 14-5 with Monday’s 67-54 win over a talented Willingboro team. The Quakers have played a difficult schedule, which includes a 34-32 loss to Wildwood Catholic, a team making a run to be the No. 1 team in South Jersey.

Football standout Nick Cartwright-Atkins is Moorestown’s leading scorer, averaging more than 15 points per game.

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One of Moorestown’s better wins was a 57-28 early-season victory over Delsea, although the Crusaders are playing much better than in the beginning of the year.

Where Moorestown is especially impressive is on defense, where the Quakers have held teams to 50 points or fewer 10 times.

Two rivals from the Cape Atlantic League, Ocean City and Mainland, will be high seeds and dangerous. These two teams split their regular season games.

Ocean City is a balanced team, with four players averaging between 9 and 13 points per game.

Mainland, which beat Ocean City 71-51 in their most recent meeting, will be entering the postseason on a roll. The Mustangs won their 10thstraight game with Monday’s 79-46 win over Highland.

Pinelands is a team that many in South Jersey don’t know about, but the Wildcats began the week 13-4 and have a prolific scorer in 6-1 senior Andrew Schulz, who is averaging more than 20 points per game.

Timber Creek, which began the week 12-6, could be a sleeper. The Chargers won’t have a high seed, but they have played one of the more difficult schedules among Group 3 teams and that could prepare them for the state tournament.

Previously mentioned Westampton Tech and Highland can’t be discounted in a Group where there is no prohibitive favorite and plenty of challengers.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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