Preview: NJSIAA South Jersey Girls’ Basketball Public School Tournaments

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Feb 19, 2019
Preview: NJSIAA South Jersey Girls’ Basketball Public School Tournaments
The NJSIAA girls’ basketball tournament begins on Monday and many of the races are truly up for grabs, while some others aren’t. Here is a look at the four South Jersey Public School Groups. Bracket information courtesy of NJ.com.
 
South Jersey Group 1
Defending champion: Haddon Township beat Woodbury, 65-29 in the sectional final.
This year’s top seed: Wildwood.
Favorite: Wildwood, but don’t count out No. 2 Haddon Township, the best defensive team in the tournament. Senior Madison Bradley averages 15 points per game and has the experience from being a key performer on last year’s team.
Championship: March 4 at the higher seed.
Outlook: It would be surprising if Haddon Township and Wildwood didn’t meet in the final.
 
South Jersey Group 2
Defending champion: Manchester Township beat Haddonfield, 54-18 in the final.
This year’s top seed: Sterling.
Favorite: Despite being the No. 2 seed, Manchester Township is the clear favorite.
Championship: March 5 at the higher seed.
Outlook: Sterling could get to the final, especially since the Silver Knights are in the opposite bracket of Manchester Township, but Haddonfield is another team to watch. Led by sophomore guard Keegan Douglas (17.6 ppg.) Haddonfield has lost two, one-point decisions to Sterling. The Bulldogs would need to upset Manchester Township to get a chance to meet Sterling in the final.
 
South Jersey Group 3
Defending champion: Ocean City beat Mainland, 36-32 in the final.
This year’s top seed: Mainland
Favorite: Mainland, with No. 2 Ocean City the best challenger
Championship: March 4 at the higher seed.
Outlook: Mainland beat Ocean City in two close games this season, winning 45-41 at home on Dec. 21 and then earning a 35-29 win on Jan. 27 at Ocean City. The key for any team that plays Mainland is attempting to stop 6-foot-3 junior Kylee Watson, who is considered among the top players in the country. It would be a surprise if anybody other than these two Cape Atlantic League rivals meet in the final.
 
South Jersey Group 4
Defending champ: Toms River North beat Cherokee, 41-34 in the sectional final.
This year’s top seed: Lenape.
Favorite: No. 2 seeded Cherokee.

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Championship: March 5 at the higher seed.

Outlook: Cherokee tuned up for the tournament by recently winning its third straight South Jersey Invitational Tournament, which consists of many of the top teams in South Jersey. This year Cherokee split with Lenape, losing 35-33 on the road, Jan. 10 and winning, 54-42 at home on Feb. 7. Ava Therien, a 5-10 Cherokee senior who averages 13.2 points, brings a lot of big-game experience for the Chiefs and is one of the key Group 4 players to watch. Nobody should sleep on No. 5 seeded Toms River North, which began the week with an 18-5 record and won’t relinquish its title very easily.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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