Girls Basketball Playoff Rematch?

Girls Basketball Playoff Rematch? Gloucester Catholic & Camden Catholic Could Have Playoff Rematch

As usual, the field in the upcoming South Jersey girls basketball playoffs is extremely competitive. And it looks as if two of South Jersey’s top teams, Gloucester Catholic and Camden Catholic, could renew their recent rivalry if all goes according to form, in the semifinals.

Make no mistake about it, as good a season as Gloucester Catholic and Camden Catholic are enjoying, the favorite will be No. 1 seeded St. John Vianney, a perennial state power.

Yet the thought of Gloucester Catholic and Camden Catholic meeting in the semis is something that will excite South Jersey fans.

On Sunday, Camden Catholic won its 20th consecutive game with a 42-37 victory over Gloucester Catholic in the championship of the South Jersey Invitational Tournament at Eastern. This is a tournament that pits most of the top teams in South Jersey, and the Irish, led by junior guard Taiah Thornton, won the title.

Thornton was named the tourney MVP with 15 points and six rebounds in the championship game.

Camden Catholic’s only loss was an opening night 49-35 defeat at Shawnee, which is the defending South Jersey Group 4 champion. The Irish were in that game until being outscored 14-5 in the fourth quarter.

Since then, the Irish had won 18 games by 10 points or more. Gloucester Catholic, which began the week, 17-5, will still be formidable in the tournament and is a contender to win it all.

The Rams are led by junior forward Mary Gedaka, who has already made a commitment to Villanova.

Gloucester Catholic has geared up for the tournament by playing a difficult non-league schedule, which includes losses to perennial Philadelphia Catholic League powers Cardinal O’Hara and Archbishop Carroll, the latter by a 40-37 score.

Gloucester Catholic has also beaten two strong Group 4 schools: Rancocas Valley and Lenape.

Then again, it will take a lot for anybody in the field to dethrone St. John Vianney. The Lancers beat Gloucester Catholic, 58-47 in last year’s South Jersey championship. St. John Vianney then lost to Immaculate Heart, 45-43 in the state final.

St. John Vianney began the week, 18-2 and the lone bad game was a 64-39 loss at Manasquan, a team that the Lancers beat earlier in the season, 58-51.

That is a Manasquan team that advanced to last year’s Tournament of Champions final before losing to Shabazz.

One other sleeper in this year’s Non-Public A tournament is No. 5 seed Red Bank Catholic, which began the week 18-2. RBC opens the tournament March 3 at home against No. 12 Paul VI.

Still, St. John Vianney is the team to beat, but if Gloucester Catholic does meet Camden Catholic, the winner of that game will be a formidable challenger in the final.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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