By BRIAN CUNNIFF
The Middle Township High School girls basketball team has advanced in the South Jersey Group II playoffs after a dominating performance at home against Oakcrest.
The school’s boys team wasn’t as fortunate, coming close but ultimately falling short in an upset bid of West Deptford.
Kira Sides and Kate Herlihy exploded for 27 points apiece as the Lady Panthers posted a not-as-close-as-it-looks 60-40 home win over the Falcons.
Middle (21-6), the No. 3 seed in the tournament, jumped out to a 25-5 lead after the first quarter and was ahead 42-16 at halftime against No. 14 Oakcrest (9-17).
“Our kids came out ready to take care of business,” Middle coach John Leahy said. “I thought our tempo was really, really good, getting up and down the floor. I thought we did a pretty good job. The second half was a little bit sloppy but sometimes you expect that when you have a big lead at halftime.”
Middle will host No. 6 West Deptford on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in a game that can be heard live on 106.3 The Shore radio. West Deptford beat Audubon in its playoff opener Tuesday.
“I think, again, it’ll be about tempo and it’ll be about us using our pressure to create turnovers and get up and down the floor a little bit,” Leahy said. “If we can rebound the ball and push the pace and finish, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Middle’s boys team, seeded 14th in the South Jersey Group II bracket, pushed No. 3 West Deptford to the limit but fell short, 56-53. The game was tied at 50-50 with two minutes to play.
Matt Marino scored 20 points, T.J. Harris chipped in 13 points and Miles Sapp added 12 for Middle, which finished the season at 12-15.