By TOM WILLIAMS
A lot of good things are happening this week for Ocean City High School’s sports teams.
For the first time in history, both the OCHS boys and girls basketball teams have reached the Cape-Atlantic League Final Four in the same year and both will play in the CAL Tournament semifinals.
Ocean City also has two district wrestling champions for the first time in eight years and they will be joined by a third Raider in this week’s Region 8 Tournament.
And a trio of Ocean City athletes advanced to the NJSIAA Indoor Track Meet of Champions.
Junior Nick Sannino and senior Bill Kroeger won District 32 wrestling championships at Kingsway and freshman Charley Cossaboone advanced with a second place finish.
Sannino (30-4) pinned Deshon Alexander of Overbrook in 3:31 at 285 pounds, handing him his first defeat of the season. One of Alexander’s wins was over Sannino in the first match of the season.
Kroeger (30-4) pinned Noah Falabella of Kingsway in 3:30 at 182.
Cossaboone (27-3) lost a technical fall (17-2) to McKenzie Bell of Kingsway in the 120-pound final.
The opening round of Region 8 at Egg Harbor Township has been postponed from Wednesday until Thursday. Cossaboone will open with Wesley Tosto of Lower Cape Mayon on Thursday.
Sannino, the No. 1 seed, will debut on Friday against the winner between Elijah Wilson (Highland) and Amir Walker (Buena).
Kroeger, seeded second at 182, faces the winner of the match between Curtis Thomas (Delsea) and John Seaman (Timber Creek) on Friday.
Ocean City has had four wrestlers win a total of six regional championships through the years, three of them by Pat Lynch. The last regional winner was Cooper Gallagher in 2014.
OCHS District Champs in 21st Century
2019 Bill Kroeger (182), Nick Sannino (285)
2015 Luke Demore (160)
2014 Cooper Gallagher (119)
2011 Coley O’Brien (119), Dan Pettit (145)
2010 Coley O’Brien (119)
2009 Coley O’Brien (119)
2003 Mike Galante (152)
2002 Joe Galante (145)
2001 Joe Galante (140)
2000 Jon Howell (171), Joe Galante (145), Justin Millett (140)
Paul Baruffi’s OCHS girls (18-6) will play Wildwood Catholic Thursday (5pm) at St. Augustine Prep in the semifinals of the CAL Girls Tournament. The Raiders defeated Oakcrest, 49-36, in the first round with Danielle Donoghue scoring 15 points, Savanna Holt 11, Lauren Mirsky 10 and Tori Rolls 8.
Ocean City almost upset Gloucester Catholic on Sunday in a showcase game at the South Jersey Girls Invitational before losing, 60-58, in overtime when Gloucester Catholic hit a three-pointer in the final seconds. Gloucester Catholic is ranked No. 8 in the Online 25 and OCHS is No. 11. Donoghue scored a career-high 28 and Emma Finnegan scored 12. Azana Baines, committed to Duke University, led all scorers with 30.
The current girls South Jersey rankings are here – http://www.primeevents.net/2019GirlsBB25.html.
The winner of Thursday’s CAL semifinal will play the Mainland-Middle Township winner on Saturday (noon) at Stockton University for the league title.
OCHS Girls Basketball Scoring Leaders
10.9 – Danielle Donoghue
10.3 – Emma Finnegan
7.3 – Savanna Holt
5.7 – Molly Hoffman
5.6 – Abbey Fenton
4.0 – Tori Rolls
2.8 – Lauren Mirsky
2.1 – Delaney Lappin
The Ocean City boys (19-3) will face St. Augustine Prep in the CAL Tournament semifinals. The doubleheader (Wildwood Catholic-Pleasantville in the second game) at Absegami is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. but will be postponed until Thursday if snow forces a change. The Prep is ranked No. 4 in South Jersey in the Online 25 while the Raiders are No. 15.
In the opening round, the Raiders defeated Millville, 70-63, and led most of the game, using a 20-14 advantage in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Joe Sacco made seven free throws in the final eight minutes and Gannon Brady scored six points in the fourth quarter.
Sacco’s 23 points were a career high. He also had five steals and eight assists. Brady added 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Luke Varallo scored 16, including four three-pointers. Millville had six players in double figures, led by Rynell Lawrence with 12. Lawrence is Millville’s all-time career scoring leader with nearly 1,600 points.
The current boys South Jersey rankings are here – http://www.primeevents.net/2019BoysBB25.html/.
OCHS Boys Basketball Scoring Leaders
15.0 – Donovan Graham
13.4 – Joe Sacco
13.2 – Gannon Brady
9.6 – Luke Varallo
4.5 – Mike Rhodes
3.6 – Ian Aungst
2.0 – Will Drain
The complete CAL Tournament brackets – boys and girls – can be found here – http://www.primeevents.net/2019cal.html.
The three OCHS athletes who will compete in the weekend’s Meet of Champions in Toms River are Alexa Palmieri, Jaden Tocci-Rogers and Luke Kramer.
Palmieri, who won the South Jersey Group 3 championship, finished fourth in the 3200 meters in the state Group 3 meet to qualify.
Kramer was fifth in the 1600 meters and Tocci-Rogers finished sixth in the high jump at the state meet. They both helped the OCHS boys win the South Jersey Group 3 championship.
Visit the Raider Sports Diary for day-by-day results and schedule of all teams at http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.