By BRIAN CUNNIFF
The Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team has bigger, more high-profile goals it wants to reach over the next few weeks.
But one of the team’s first missions has been accomplished.
Wildwood Catholic clinched the Cape-Atlantic United Conference title for the eighth straight season Tuesday after an 82-41 romp at Buena Regional.
Jahlil White posted 23 points and Taj Thweatt added 22 points to lead Wildwood Catholic (20-1 overall, 9-0 CAL United). The junior stars packed all of their combined 45 points into the first three quarters and didn’t play in the fourth after the Crusaders had exploded for 73 points through three periods.
Jacob Hopping made four three-pointers and chipped in 18 points. Seven other Wildwood Catholic players also scored.
It was the 15th straight victory for Wildwood Catholic, which hasn’t lost since a 57-51 defeat to Camden at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic on Dec. 27.
While winning the upcoming CAL playoff tournament might rank as a more important accomplishment, taking the United Conference regular-season crown is still rather significant, considering the Crusaders have beaten out such standout teams as Pleasantville and St. Joseph and competitive sides such as Middle Township and Cape May Tech to win it.
Wildwood Catholic can wrap up an unbeaten conference slate with a win on Friday at home against St. Joseph. That game will air live at 7 p.m. on 98.7 The Coast radio and will be streamed live at CoastSportsToday.com.
Wildwood Catholic beat the Wildcats in overtime in the teams’ first meeting of the season in Hammonton in early January.