The Wildwood High School girls basketball mustered only one three-point basket in the opening quarter of its second-round South Jersey Group I playoff game Thursday.
The Lady Warriors had no such issues scoring over the final three quarters.
Wildwood, the top seed in the section, shrugged off that slow start that saw it trailing 4-3 after one period and eventually exploded in the second half en route to a 51-33 victory over No. 8 Gloucester to advance to the sectional semifinal round.
Wildwood will host No. 4 Schalick Saturday at 1 p.m. Schalick was a 55-50 winner over No. 13 Woodbury in its state playoff game Thursday.
Saturday’s game will air live on 98.7 The Coast radio.
An 8-0 run late in the second quarter helped Wildwood take a 15-10 lead over Gloucester into halftime. The Lady Warriors then outscored Gloucester 21-10 in the third quarter, ending the period on a 14-2 run, to take a commanding 16-point lead into the final period.
Gloucester cut Wildwood’s lead to 11 with 4 ½ minutes to play but five quick points by the Lady Warriors ended any thoughts of a Lion comeback.
Senior Maddie McCracken poured in 27 points for Wildwood in the win. She made 10 of 11 foul shots in the second half, including all eight of her attempts in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Imene Fathi added 11 points and sophomore Jenna Hans chipped in seven.
The win also allowed Wildwood (20-8) to secure its third straight 20-win season.
Wildwood will have a chance at revenge in Saturday’s game against No. 4 Schalick. The Lady Warriors lost, 45-38, at Schalick on Feb. 14 after holding a five-point lead at halftime.
— Brian Cunniff