By TOM WILLIAMS
WILDWOOD- The Ocean City girls are 6-0 – and the champions of the Boardwalk Basketball Classic’s GWITDA Bracket.
Paul Baruffi’s Raiders defeated Methacton (PA) High School, 46-40, tonight in the Wildwoods Convention Center to wrap up the championship.
The OCHS boys saw their four-game winning streak end an hour or so later on an adjacent court when Millville defeated the Raiders, 66-61, for the championship of the Ray Martin Memorial Bracket.
It was hard to know what to expect from the Ocean City girls after four starters graduated, including point guard Grace Sacco, who pulled the team together for four years. But this team has gotten off to a great start.
Junior Danielle Donoghue has been the offensive force, averaging 13 points, five rebounds and four steals per game. Senior Mickey Baker and junior Tori Rolls bring defensive intensity, with Baker getting six rebounds a game. Sophomore Emma Finnegan continues to progress, now up to nine points and five boards per game. And senior Kilie Wyers not only has made 13 of 26 three-point attempts but, if the ball is loose on the floor, she will be on the floor, too.
Sophomores Abbey Fenton and Delaney Lappin are the first two off the bench, a bench that will get deeper in the middle of January when junior Savanna Holt, a transfer from Holy Spirit where she started last season, becomes eligible after sitting out the required 30 days.
Baruffi talks about his team’s first six games in a brief video interview, below.
Tonight against Methacton, Donoghue scored 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, grabbed five rebounds, made four steals and tossed two assists. She got the Raidfers going with eight points in the first six minutes and then, in the fourth quarter, scored seven points and made two of those steals to hold off a Methacton rally.
Rolls and Finnegan each scored eight points with Wyers and Baker each getting six. Rolls was perfect from the foul line in four attempts and Baker grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. The Raiders, in their game’s one negative, missed six straight free throws in the second half and were just 8 for 18 in the game.
John Bruno’s boys (4-2) were outrebounded, 45-23, by Millville. Rynell Lawrence, a 6-1 junior, led the way for the Thunderbolts with 26 points, 19 rebounds, three steals and three assists. Lawrence was 8 for 11 from the line, though Millville hurt itself by making just 11 of 24 free throws.
Ocean City, down by 13 after one quarter and by 16 in the third period, rallied to within five. Luke Varallo scored a career-high 21 points along with four rebounds, two steals and four assists. He made a trio of shots from beyond the three-point line. Donovan Graham had a career-high 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting, plus four rebounds and two blocked shots. Issac Richardson chipped in with 10 points and four boards.
Millville improved to 5-1, its only loss coming to St. Augustine.
FREE THROWS: Further examination of Tom Jamison, Ocean City’s leading scorer who was injured Saturday in the game with Burlington City, indicates he bruised his shoulder and should return early in January. It was originally feared he might have dislocated it …. both OCHS teams return to National Conference play on Jan. 3 against Absegami – the girls in the Dixie Howell Gym at 6pm and the boys in Galloway Township at 7pm …. Luke Varallo’s previous career high scoring game was 19 at Holy Spirit last year …. box scores, schedule, results, stats and more are available at http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.