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VIDEO: Bouncing back from loss, Middle wins twice at Classic

Jalen Freeman of Middle Township emerged as one of the best two-way guards in the CAL during his junior season.

WILDWOOD – After the Middle Township High School boys basketball team was beaten soundly at home last Tuesday against Wildwood Catholic, Panther coach Anthony Farmer talked about simply improving every day going forward.

A week later, the team has proven it has done so.

Middle posted two solid victories in showcase games at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic. After a 60-54 win over rival Lower Cape May on Saturday, the Panthers returned to the Classic the day after Christmas to turn back Westampton Tech, 57-39.

“I think we’re starting to improve. I think we’re starting to get our identity,” Farmer said. “It was a tough night for us (against Wildwood Catholic) with the atmosphere and I think we panicked a little. It’s a big rivalry and I think it was a little overwhelming for us. We’ve been better these last couple games.”

Jalen Freeman made 10 of 18 shots from the floor and scored a game-high 23 points and Coley Holton sank 6 of 9 shots and added 13 points for Middle (3-2) in the win over Westampton Tech. After holding a two-point lead at the half, Middle outscored Westampton Tech 30-14 after halftime.

In the win over Lower, Mack Selby shot a sizzling 10 for 13 from the floor and poured in 23 points. Freeman (16) and Holton (10) were also each in double figures.

“We needed to improve on our team chemistry and playing together and moving the basketball and we’re starting to show that,” Farmer said.

Last year, Middle lost both of its game at the Boardwalk Classic. This time, the Panthers will surely feel much better about themselves coming out of the holiday break.

“These were very important when look at (the) Group II (playoff picture),” Farmer said. “We were a 14 seed last year and if we had won the two games here we might have been as high as seven or eight instead. So we’re keeping an eye on the (playoff seedings) but at the same time it’s one game at a time for us. We’re just looking to continue to improve and get better.”

— Brian Cunniff