By BRIAN CUNNIFF
OCEAN CITY — For the second straight game, the Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team wasn’t at its best.
But their effort was more than good enough to get another comfortable victory.
Despite turning the ball over 21 times — which was two more than their total in their opening win over Holy Spirit — the Crusaders were able to coast past Notre Dame, 58-45, Saturday at the Ocean City Tip-Off Weekend showcase event.
Senior forward Taj Thweatt, a West Virginia signee, left his fingerprints all over this one. He shot 11 for 15 from the floor and scored a game-high 27 points to go along with seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
The final score was closer than the flow of the game actually was. Wildwood Catholic (2-0) led by 21 points midway through the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame (0-2) got to within seven points early in the third quarter but the Crusaders went on a quick 8-0 run to swell their lead to 15 points. Jahlil White completed a traditional three-point play, Thweatt hammered down one of his four dunks in the game and David Zarfati swished a three-pointer during the run.
Zarfati added 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three-point range.
Wildwood Catholic shot just 9 for 18 from the foul line for the game.
The Crusaders were solid again defensively, forcing 22 turnovers and blocking nine shots.
The victory was the 299th of head coach Dave DeWeese’s career.
Wildwood Catholic is off until the Boardwalk Basketball Classic. They’ll take on Boys Latin (Md.) on Friday.