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Crusaders survive Haddonfield comeback to remain unbeaten

The Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team beat Father Judge to win the Doug DeWeese Memorial Bracket at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic.

The Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team is now South Jersey’s last unbeaten club.

The Crusaders survived a torrid comeback by previously unbeaten Haddonfield to post a 40-37 victory Saturday afternoon at the Shoot Down Cancer Classic at St. Augustine Prep in a game featuring teams ranked among the top 10 in South Jersey by various media polls.

Jacob Hopping’s three-point basket with a little more than three minutes to play gave the Crusaders the lead for good after shorthanded Haddonfield rallied from a 13-point second-quarter deficit to take a brief lead in the final period.

Hopping’s three-pointer gave Wildwood Catholic a 36-35 lead. Caleb Fields later came up with a steal and a basket to up the Crusader advantage to three points, but Haddonfield’s Sam Heine made a difficult bank shot from the right of the lane to draw his team to within a point with 24 seconds to go.

Jake McGonigal then found Matt Capozzoli for a layup with six seconds to go for Wildwood Catholic and Haddonfield couldn’t covert on its final possession.

Wildwood Catholic moved to 11-0 with the victory. Haddonfield, which had four rotation players out due to injury, fell to 11-1.

Fields (12 points) and Taj Thweatt (10) each scored in double figures for Wildwood Catholic. Aiden Blake had 12 points for Haddonfield.

— Brian Cunniff