By TOM WILLIAMS
The final week of 2018 brought more success to Ocean City High School sports.
In the last event of the calendar year, on the afternoon of Dec. 31, John Bruno’s boys basketball team (4-1) defeated Boys Latin Charter (7-2) of Philadelphia, 59-52, in the championship game of the Frank McAlarnen Memorial Bracket at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic in Wildwood.
The Raiders (above) made eight straight free throws in the final 100 seconds of the game – six of them by Donovan Graham – to hold off Latin. Ocean City took the lead for keeps on a short jumper by Gannon Brady with three minutes left.
Graham finished with 19 points, two steals and three assists. Joe Sacco had 13 points and five assists, Luke Varallo had 11 points and Brady finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Mike Rhodes added six points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Raiders came from 11 points down in the fourth quarter in their opening tournament game to defeat Burlington City, 61-60. A 12-foot jumper by Graham with 1:32 left gave OCHS its only lead of the game and completed an 8-0 run. Graham had 23 points, Brady added 19 with 11 rebounds and Varallo scored 11. Rhodes had five rebounds, three blocks and four assists.
It is believed that Brady is the first OCHS player to ever record a double-double in three of the first four games he started.
The Ocean City boys will start their Cape-Atlantic League National Conference schedule on Thursday at Holy Spirit, the defending champion. The game will be broadcast live on 97.3-ESPN and video-streamed on OceanCitySports.com.
Paul Baruffi’s girls (4-2), above at the airport, spent most of the week in Florida, winning two games after losing their opener at Walt Disney World.
Ocean City defeated Westminster (FL) Academy, 58-38, to earn fifth place in their bracket. Danielle Donoghue scored 19 points, Savanna Holt 11 and Molly Hoffman and Emma Finnegan eight each.
The Raiders defeated Washburn (TN) School, 58-27, in their second game. Hoffman led the scoring with 14 points, Abbey Fenton added 13 and Finnegan eight.
In their opening game, Ocean City lost to Windermere FL, 44-36. Donoghue scored 11 and Finnegan eight.
The OCHS girls return home to play Holy Spirit on Thursday night.
The two Raider basketball teams will play a girl-boy doubleheader on Sunday at Holy Spirit in The Seagull Classic. The girls will play Lenape at noon and the boys will follow against Howell.
At the New York Armory in Manhattan, Ocean City senior Kevin King ran the 55 meter hurdles in 7.87 seconds to break Ryan Givens school record. King (right, below) posed after the race with Givens (left), now at Lehigh University, and Givens’ father, Steve.
The indoor track team returns to action Monday in the South Jersey Relays at the Bennett Center in Toms River.
The OCHS wrestlers (0-2) finished seventh in the Art Marinelli Tournament at Egg Harbor Township with Bill Kroeger finishing third at 182 pounds and Nick Sannino taking third at 285.
Dan Calhoun’s wrestlers will host Atlantic City Wednesday in the Dixie Howell Memorial Gymnasium.
In the Hackney Memorial Girls Invitational Swim Meet at Atlantic City, the Ocean City quartet of Alex Antonov, Emily Myers, Olivia Scherbin and Claudia Scherbin won both the 200 and 400 meter freestyle races. Antonov also was a close second in the 100-meter freestyle. Below are, from left, Claudia Scherbin, Myers and Antonov.
The girls swimmers (1-1) will host Woodstown on Friday. The boys swim team (1-1), which was idle this week, will travel to St. Augustine Prep on Thursday and also face Woodstown on Friday.
The Raiders were in Orlando, Manhattan, Wildwood, Atlantic City and Egg Harbor Township in the final week of 2018, completing a highly successful calendar year.
Check back for a photo review of 2018 on CoastSportsToday.com New Year’s Day. That will be followed by the OCHS Team of the Year, Athletes of the Year and the 56th Annual Ocean City Sportsperson of the Year.
Look for daily results and schedules of all OCHS teams in the Raider Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.