By TOM WILLIAMS
John Bruno celebrated his birthday tonight the way he enjoys – with a victory.
The Ocean City High School boys basketball coach, who claims he is 46 years old, saw his team make 21 of 25 free throws and defeat Cape May County rival Middle Township, 71-65. The win lifted the Raiders to 6-2 while Middle, which came into the game off an impressive battle it lost to St. Augustine on Saturday, dropped to 4-4.
Bruno talks about the game and the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference battle with Lower Cape May coming up on Friday in a brief video interview below. Lower suffered its only defeat to Middle Township.
Middle took a six-point lead into the fourth quarter but the Panthers made only two of eight free throws while the Raiders made 12 of 14. Tom Jamison and Luke Varallo each scored eight points in the final period with Varallo hitting all six of his free throws.
Jamison finished with 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Varallo scored 16 points, Donovan Graham added 12 and Jake McQuarrie got 10. The Raiders were very effective early, getting a 26-13 lead early in the second quarter before Corey Holton and Jalen Freeman sparked a rally.
Holton, the 6-5 junior, created problems for Ocean City in the paint, getting 28 points, the most against the Raiders this year. But Holton fouled out in the final minute when he was called for a personal and technical foul on the same play. Freeman scored 17 for Middle and Mack Selby, who also fouled out, added 10.
FREE THROWS: The OCHS teams play Lower Cape May on Friday. The boys play in the Dixie Howell Gym and the girls play in Erma. The boys game can be heard live on 98.7-The Coast and will be video streamed …. John Bruno’s teams are now 7-5 on Jan. 8, his birthday, during his career …. the Ocean City-Atlantic City girls game, postponed on Monday, has not been re-scheduled yet …. box scores, schedule, results, stats and more are available at http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.
CAL National Boys Standings
CAL National Girls Standings