By BRIAN CUNNIFF
RICHLAND — The Ocean City High School girls basketball team is headed back to a very familiar place.
The Raiders checked into the Cape-Atlantic League championship game for the fifth straight season and ninth time overall behind a 64-42 victory over Wildwood Catholic in Thursday’s semifinal round.
Ocean City will face Middle Township in the title game Saturday at noon at Richard Stockton University. Middle was a 34-25 winner over Mainland in the other semifinal.https://coastsportstoday.com/2019/02/middle-puts-away/
Saturday’s title game will be broadcast live on 98.7 The Coast, with a live video stream available at CoastSportsToday.com.
Junior forward Abbey Fenton’s hot outside shooting in the second quarter tilted the game in favor of second-seeded Ocean City. Fenton made three three-pointers in the quarter, with two of those baskets coming during a 10-0 run that turned a one-point Raider lead into a 29-18 advantage late in the period.
Fenton also started the third quarter by making her first shot, another three-pointer. Sixth-seeded Wildwood Catholic (21-5) eventually cut the Raider lead to five midway through the third quarter but the Raiders scored the final four points of the period to go ahead by 39-30.
Senior guard Danielle Donoghue then scored two quick baskets early in the fourth quarter as Ocean City (19-6) began to pull away. The Raiders outscored Wildwood Catholic 25-12 in the fourth quarter.
Fenton and Donoghue each scored 15 points and Tori Rolls added 14 points for the Raiders. Savannah Holt chipped in nine points. Donoghue also had nine rebounds.
Sophomore Marianna Papazoglou and junior Gabby Turco combined for all but five of Wildwood Catholic’s points. Papazoglou tallied 19 points, while Turco added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Ocean City will bid for its sixth victory in nine appearances in the CAL title game since the contest’s inception in 1992. The Raiders won three straight from 2007 through 2009 and also were victorious in 2015 and 2017. The team lost the title game in overtime to Mainland in 2018 and in overtime to Middle Township in 2016. The Raiders also lost a one-point decision to Sacred Heart in 2012.