By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD — The Wildwood High School girls basketball team couldn’t get both ends of its game going at the same time in Tuesday’s South Jersey Group I title game.
When the Lady Warriors had trouble scoring, they remained in the game through solid defense. But when they finally got their offense going, they couldn’t get a stop.
Wildwood fell, 38-32, to Woodbury in the sectional title game, losing the South Jersey championship game at home for the second straight year.
The Lady Warriors often went long stretches without scoring in the contest but trailed just 18-14 at the half thanks to sound defense. But they eventually fell behind by as many as 11 points in the third quarter. They finally put together some baskets in quick succession in the fourth quarter in an attempt to rally, but the Thundering Herd would respond with a bucket or free throws of their own.
Wildwood’s best chance to make it close came with a little less than a minute to play. Down six, Wildwood got a good look at a right-wing three-point shot but missed. The Lady Warriors never got closer.
“It stinks but I’m just happy with the season we had,” Wildwood senior Winter Favre said. “We definitely could have won but the other team came out better today. I don’t think anyone expected us to have the season we had. To end up here, I’m really proud of everyone.”
Imene Fathi led second-seeded Wildwood (24-6) with 12 points despite sitting out the entire second quarter due to foul trouble.
Milani Harvey scored 12 points and Aniyah Nichols added 10 points for fourth-seeded Woodbury (24-6), which won its first South Jersey title.
Wildwood shot just 4 for 10 from the foul line. Woodbury was 8 for 10.
The loss ended the careers of Favre and fellow senior Gabby Keoughan.
“We really grew as a family,” Keoughan said. “We had a really nice bond as a team.”
Wildwood fell to 9-4 all-time in South Jersey title games. The team also lost last year’s title game to Haddon Township, 45-39.
Woodbury avenged a regular-season loss to Wildwood, which beat the Thundering Herd, 56-51, in mid January.