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Lots of OCHS sports action to come after Christmas break

Luke Varallo and Joe Sacco complete the fast break


It’s December 25th, the third straight day of silence on the Ocean City High School sports scene and a quiet day in all of sports (except, of course, for the NBA, which never stops). The competitions and controversies fade into the background for 24 hours.

But things will soon get exciting again.

Tomorrow Paul Baruffi and his girls basketball team (2-1) will fly south and, very much like the NBA, get off their plane and play that night. The Raiders go to Walt Disney World for a first round game in the KSA Holiday Event against Windermere (FL) High School tomorrow night. They have Thursday off, then play again on Friday and Saturday. Their eight-team bracket also features teams from Georgia,Kentucky, West Virginia, New York and North Carolina.

John Bruno’s boys basketball team (2-1) will play in the Frank McAlarnen Memorial Bracket in the Boardwalk Basketball Classic in the Wildwoods Convention Center.On Sunday they play Burlington City, coached by the legendary Paul Collins. He has more than 750 career wins, third all-time in South Jersey history behind Paul Rodio of St. Augustine and the late Clarence Turner from Camden. Ocean City will then play either Boys Latin (PA) Charter or Delcastle (DE) Tech on Dec. 31, depending on who wins on Sunday.

Dan Calhoun’s wrestlers (0-2) will again compete in the Art Marinelli Tournament at Egg Harbor Township on Thursday.

And on Saturday, Ian Keyser’s girls swim team (1-1) will compete individually in the Hackney Invitational at Atlantic City High School and the Indoor Track team will begin its season in a meet at the New York Armory in Manhattan.

In the last event before the three-day break, the OCHS boys defeated Kingsway, 59-48, Saturday night at the Wildwoods Convention Center in a showcase game of the Boardwalk Basketball Classic. The Raiders never trailed and were led by Joe Sacco’s career-high 18 points and a second double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds)by sophomore Gannon Brady. He also had a double-double in the season opener with Middle Township. In addition, 6-5 sophomore Mike Rhodes had career highs in points (8), rebounds (11) and blocked shots (4) and Luke Varallo had a career-high six steals plus three assists.

Brian Cunniff has a photo gallery from the game, below.

The full box score and complete three-game stats are here –      

OCHS Boys Scoring

Joe Sacco              15.7

Donovan Graham  14.0

Gannon Brady      12.7

Luke Varallo          5.3

Mike Rhodes          4.7

Tom Finnegan        1.0

The girls played before a packed gymnasium in Linwood on Friday afternoon and put on a rally in the fourth quarter that had the same feel as last year’s great games before losing, 45-41, to Mainland in the National Conference opener for both teams. Baruffi’s team was trailing by 18 entering the final eight minutes but senior Savanna Holt hit a trio of three-pointers and the defense became more intense. The Raiders cut the lead to three points before running out of time. Holt scored 14, Molly Hoffman seven and both Emma Finnegan and Delaney Lappin scored six. Finnegan added six rebounds, Lappin looked real strong attacking the basket, Tori Rolls made four steals and Danielle Donoghue and Rolls each had three assists.

Mainland’s 1,000-point junior, 6-3 Kylee Watson, had 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. But freshman guard Camryn Dilkes was a big factor in building Mainland’s lead, finishing with 12 points, eight boards, three steals and two assists.

Ocean City’s three-game stat totals are here –,nj)/girls-basketball/stats.htm.   

OCHS Girls Scoring

Emma Finnegan    11.0

Savanna Holt          9.3

Molly Hoffman       7.7

Abbey Fenton         6.7

Tori Rolls                4.7

Danielle Donoghue  4.3

Marin Panico          4.0

Delaney Lappin     3.0

Marlee Brestle        1.3

The Ocean City wrestlers lost to Middle Township, 40-39, in a match that went down to the eighth tie-breaker before a winning team could be determined. Lou Williams, Tom Oves, Nick Bell, Caleb Gardner, Nick Sannino and Bill Kroeger won victories on the mat.

CoastSportsToday has video and photographic coverage of the meet from Brian Cunniff here –

OCHS Wrestling Records

Charley Cossaboone       4-1

Tom Oves                       4-1

Nick Sannino                  4-1

Bill Kroeger                    3-1

Lou Williams                  3-2

Nick Bell                        2-0

Joe Garcia                      2-2

Brian Fouke                    1-0

The swim teams dropped meets to Egg Harbor Township on Friday at the Aquatic &Fitness Center. The boys lost, 115-55, despite school record performances by Nate Hays in the 200 individual medley (2:12.45) and the 100 breaststroke(1:07.77). Both performances qualified Hays for the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.He broke his own school record in the 200 IM and the old breaststroke mark had been set by Jason Marks in 2009. Hays was also part of Ocean City’s victorious 400-meter freestyle relay team with Dolan Grisbaum, Ben Wiley and Ethan McCarron.

The OCHS girls lost, 90-80, to EHT with Andrea Teofanova and Alex Antonov the dominant swimmers in the meet. Teofanova won the 200 and 500 freestyle and swam on two winning relay teams with Antonov, who also won the 200 IM and 100 Free. They were joined by Emily Myers and Olivia Scherbin to win the 200 Free Relay and both Claudia and Olivia Scherbin to win the 400 Free Relay.   

Check out the daily results and schedules of all OCHS teams in the Raider Diary –

  • Freshman Tom Finnegan secures a rebound
  • Sophomore Mike Rhodes goes up with an offensive board as Luke Varallo boxes out
  • Luke Varallo and Joe Sacco complete the fast break
  • Gannon Brady splits the defense
  • Donovan Graham gets airborne with his shot