Tipoff Weekend highlights opening of South Jersey basketball season

by Marc Narducci | Dec 16, 2021
Tipoff Weekend highlights opening of South Jersey basketball season

The NJSIAA high school basketball season is quickly approaching and one of the highlights is the annual Tipoff Weekend at Ocean City High School.

This year’s field again features some of the top boys’ and girls’ basketball teams that the Cape Atlantic League has to offer.

High school basketball season opens in South Jersey on Friday Dec. 17.

The two-day Tipoff Tournament begins on the next day.

Proceeds will benefit the Edythe T. Selvagn Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund awards scholarships to graduating Ocean City High seniors.

Here are the matchups

Saturday Dec. 18

Cedar Creek (girls) vs. Wildwood Catholic, noon

Cape May Tech (boys) vs. Vineland, 1:45

Vineland (girls) vs. Absegami, 3:30

Atlantic City (boys) vs. St. Joseph, 5:15

St. Augustine (boys) vs. Lower Cape May, 7

Sunday December 19

Atlantic City (girls) vs. Our Lady of Mercy, noon

Pleasantville (boys) vs. Hammonton, 1:45

Wildwood Catholic (boys) vs. Egg Harbor Township, 3:30

Ocean City (girls) vs. Mainland, 5:15

Ocean City (boys) vs. Mainland, 7

One of the highlights will be seeing not only St. Augustine perform, but coach Paul Rodio, who during the fall, was hospitalized with blood clots in his chest. Rodio, 69, has won 968 games and five state titles guiding the Hermits.

It’s always a big deal to see St. Augustine on the court. The Hermits went 13-2 in last year’s abbreviated season in which the NJSIAA didn’t conduct playoffs for girls’ or boys basketball.

The only two losses were to St. Joseph Hammonton, coached by Rodio’s son Paul, 57-51 and to Camden, 68-54. That is a Camden team that enters the year with 38 consecutive wins.

St. Augustine must replace its three leading scorers from last year including 6-7 Matt Delaney, now at American University.

Still, the Hermits usually are among the top teams in South Jersey and this year’s club will be interesting to watch.

The Hermits meet Lower Cape May on Sat. Dec. 18 in the final game of the day, beginning at 7.

Sunday (Dec. 19) has a schedule that is highlighted by consecutive games between Ocean City and Mainland, with the first game between the girls at 5:15 and the nightcap featuring the boys beginning at 7.

Coming off a strong soccer season, Mainland’s Camryn Dirkes, a 5-7 senior, leads the Mustangs girls’ team.

The boys’ matchup features two young teams. This is among the more inexperienced teams for veteran Ocean City coach John Bruno, who has enters his 33rd season with a 436-361 record, but doesn’t have a single starter returning from an 8-1 team.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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