The Lower Cape May Regional High School boys basketball team earned its biggest victory of the season to date Wednesday evening.
Pat Holden knocked down a pull-up jump shot from the top of the lane with 12 seconds to go for the winning basket as the Caper Tigers pulled out a 53-52 victory over Holy Spirit to remain unbeaten and in first place in the Cape-Atlantic National Conference.
Lower improved to 12-3 overall, 5-0 in the National Conference. Holy Spirit fell to 7-7, 4-2, to drop into third place in the conference. Ocean City remained a game behind Lower Cape May after beating Mainland in overtime Wednesday. The Raiders are 10-3, 5-1.
“This is a huge win for us,” Lower coach Scott Holden said. “We play (Holy Spirit) again Monday (at home) but we really wanted to get this one up there. It was very important for our confidence for us to go up there and get the first one.”
Lower trailed by seven at the half but exploded for a 23-4 edge in the third quarter. But Spirit came back in the fourth and took the lead with 35 seconds to go on a traditional three-point play by Reece Miller.
Pat Holden then gave Lower the win with his late jumper.
“We said in the locker room before the game that we didn’t care if the score at the end was 23-22, as long as we had the 23,” Scott Holden said. “We knew it was always going to be a battle. When things went against us we still found a way to pull out of it.”
Pat Holden finished with 18 points to lead Lower. Khamar Matthews added 10 points and Pat Moore and Zach Cerasi each chipped in nine.
Miller paced Holy Spirit with 16 points.
— Brian Cunniff