By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD — Scott McCracken, the Wildwood High School boys basketball coach, put it simply when asked about his team’s game against Cape May Tech Tuesday evening.
“It was probably the best $3 you could spend” for admission, he said.
That it was.
Tyler Tomlin’s layup with seven seconds to play broke the sixth tie score of the fourth quarter and wound up as the winning basket in Wildwood’s 68-66 victory after a 27-foot three-point shot by Cape May Tech’s Josh Wright bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
“The game was highly competitive, back and forth the whole way, and both teams played tough throughout,” McCracken said. “We’ve struggled most of the year so this is a huge win for us against a local rival.”
Wildwood (4-10) took more than 30 seconds off the clock before Tomlin drove through the right side of the lane and finished at the rim for the winning basket.
“We originally wanted to run a three-point play for me at the end but they started playing really good defense on us on the perimeter,” Tomlin said. “I got the ball and I knew I had to go because there wasn’t much time left. I got the shot off and it went in.”
Wright alertly pushed the ball up the left side of the floor and pulled up for his heavily-contested desperation shot at the horn. The ball hit squarely on the back of the rim and bounced away.
Wildwood’s players rushed the floor in celebration.
“This was a good win for our program,” Tomlin said. “We haven’t been doing so well so we needed it. The energy in here was great.”
Tomlin gave Wildwood a 66-63 lead with 58 seconds to go with an old-fashioned three-point play. Wright then tied the game again for Tech with a three-pointer with 40 seconds left. That set the stage for the late dramatics.
Will Long led Wildwood with 19 points. Tomlin added 18, leaving him 32 shy of 1,000 for his career. It was Tomlin’s second game back in the lineup after missing three straight games with the flu.
Diante Miles was also in double figures for the Warriors with 15 points.
Wright scored 27 points and Dylan Delvecchio added 15 points for Cape May Tech (6-7).
In the girls game played in the afternoon, Maddie McCracken posted a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — and also had six steals — in Wildwood’s 67-24 victory. Leah Benichou added 13 points for the Lady Warriors (11-2).
Emily Pasceri tallied 11 points for Cape May Tech (4-9).