By BRIAN CUNNIFF
ERMA — In his eyes, Jeremiah Camacho did the easy part.
Camacho’s three-pointer from the right baseline with 2.7 seconds to play gave the Middle Township High School boys basketball team a 48-45 victory over Lower Cape May in front a near-capacity crowd in the Tigers’ home gym.
On the deciding play, T.J. Harris drove into the right side of the lane and drew defensive help, leaving Camacho open in the corner. Harris delivered the pass and Camacho delivered the game-winner, his sixth three-point shot of the night hit nothing but net.
“I had my feet set and T.J. got it to me,” said Camacho, a 6-1 junior. “It was all T.J. He got my defender to come off me and he got it to me and I shot it just like I do in practice.”
Lower Cape May held a short lead for much of the fourth quarter. A three-point shot by freshman Archie Lawler gave the Tigers the lead at 40-38 with 6:18 remaining. Lower (6-10) upped its fourth-quarter lead to as high as four points but Middle eventually tied the game on a Camacho three-pointer with 3:51 to go. A Damyon Bencievengo short jump shot gave Lower the lead again, but Harris sank a layup with 1:40 to go to tie the score. Neither team scored until Camacho’s winner.
Middle (8-9) won for the fifth time in six games.
“I wouldn’t say we’re hitting our stride but we are playing better,” Middle coach Tom Feraco said. “It’s tough to play in here. They’ve played so many close games that have gone to the wire and they are very well coached.”
Camacho led Middle with 18 points. Harris netted 17, getting 10 of them in the second half. And Matt Marino added 12 points and two critical steals in the final two minutes of the game.
Middle shot 11 for 23 from the three-point line for the game.
“We hit timely shots,” Feraco said. “We shot the ball well.”
Lawler finished with a game-high 21 points to pace Lower.