Tip-Off Weekend Highlights the Beginning of the South Jersey Basketball Season

Tip-Off Weekend Highlights the Beginning of the South Jersey Basketball Season
The South Jersey high school basketball season begins on Friday and the next day one of the great traditions in South Jersey takes place – the Ocean City PBA Tipoff Weekend.

This is the 21st season and it features some of the top Cape Atlantic League girls’ and boys’ basketball teams against top-flight opponents.

Here is the schedule for the games that will all be staged at Ocean City’s Dixie Howell Memorial Gymnasium.

Local announcing and writing legend Tom Williams runs the tournament and always does an outstanding job securing a top-rate field. Here are the games this weekend.

Saturday
12 pm ----- Pleasantville Boys vs Howell
1:45 pm --- Cedar Creek Girls vs Wildwood
3:30 pm --- Mainland Girls vs Rancocas Valley
5:15 pm --- St. Augustine vs Toms River North
7:00 pm --- Wildwood Catholic Boys vs Trenton

Sunday

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12 pm ----- Holy Spirit Girls vs Egg Harbor Township
1:45pm --- Holy Spirit Boys vs Cape May Tech
3:30pm --- St. Joseph Boys vs Ewing
5:15pm --- Ocean City Girls vs Atlantic City
7:00pm --- Ocean City Boys vs Atlantic City

In the opening game, Saturday at noon, all eyes will be on Pleasantville 6-6 senior Jacob Valeus, who averaged 17.1 points and 6-2 senior Sahmir Jones (15.9 ppg.) Jones, who was the football quarterback and a top track performer, is one of the best athletes in South Jersey.

A player to watch in the second game is Wildwood senior Maddie McCracken, who averaged 23.4 points per game for the Warriors.

In the 3:30 pm game, the highlight will be seeing 6-3 Kylee Watson of Mainland, one of the top juniors in the country. According to Williams, she is ranked 30th nationally by ESPN among high school juniors and she enters the season with 999 career points.

Two-time South Jersey Non-Public A defending champion St. Augustine will face SJ Group 4 contender in the 5:15 pm game on Saturday.

This tipoff will have both Cape Atlantic League defending champion, Mainland’s girls and the Wildwood Catholic boys’ who should be challenged by defending Central Jersey Group 4 champion Trenton.

Wildwood Catholic has two of the better juniors in South Jersey if not statewide, 6-7 Taj Thweatt and 6-6 Jahill White.

On the Sunday schedule, Holy Spirit girls play at noon and the boys after at 1:30 pm.

In the 3:30 pm game St. Joseph’s Hammonton boys’ face Ewing. St. Joseph, which opens on Friday against Atlantic City, is led by Marcellus Ross, who averaged 23.1 points last year.

The weekend concludes with the Ocean City girls and boys in action. The girls are the three-time defending South Jersey champions and they will face Atlantic City.

The boys meet Atlantic City, which as usual is expected to be among the top teams in South Jersey. 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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