[LIVE Basketball; Boys] Wildwood High at Woodstown at 5:30pm with commentary by Buddy Tarbotton & Maddie McCracken
March 4, 2020
VIDEO: Lady Warriors defense again on point in playoff victory
March 4, 2020

Warriors create more playoff magic away from home


The Warrior Playoff Magic has returned.

The Wildwood High School boys basketball team, a season removed from winning three road state playoff games to reach the South Jersey title game, has done it again.

The Warriors, seeded sixth in the South Jersey Group I Tournament, sent shockwaves through the local basketball community with a 101-82 victory in the second round at third-seeded Woodstown Wednesday evening.

Trailing 45-39 at the half, Wildwood exploded for 63 second-half points to get the victory.

“Just a great job by our team,” Wildwood coach Scott McCracken said during an interview on 106.3 The Shore radio following the game. “The kids played with a lot of poise and confidence and they never quit. We came up here opening night and lost (by 28 points). That’s a good basketball team. They play tough and they play hard. But our kids stayed focused when we went down and we battled back. I thought we made some big shots in the second half. Every kid we had stepped up and did the right things for us.”


Junior guard Diante Miles was terrific for the Warriors (20-8). He poured in a game-high 36 points and also posted nine rebounds, seven assists and six steals. He shot 12 for 24 from the floor, including 6 for 12 from three-point range, and also went 6 for 8 from the foul line.

Senior forward Karl Brown recorded 20 points and seven rebounds; senior forward Max McGrath added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists; and junior forward Omarian McNeal canned 16 points, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and dished five assists.

Facing its six-point deficit, Wildwood took the lead for good behind a 29-18 surge in the third quarter. Woodstown’s Zach Wygand made a three-pointer to cut what had been a double-digit Wildwood lead down to six, but Wildwood reeled off a 16-2 run to put the game away, highlighted by two three-pointers by McGrath and one by Miles.

Wildwood shot 11 for 25 on three-point attempts.

“Woodstown is a very well-coached team but our kids did a great job in the second half,” McCracken said. “We made shots and we handled the ball well down the stretch. We had a lot of turnovers in the first half but I thought we cleaned that up and were much better in the second half.

“We believed we could come here and win. My assistant coaches came up with a great game plan and the kids believed. We got great senior leadership and our juniors stepped up and did good job, too. We really believed we could win and that makes a big difference. As coaches, you just try to keep kids grounded and playing hard.”

Wygand scored 28 points for Woodstown (23-5), which had won 13 of its previous 14 games. Tyreek Husser added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory moves Wildwood into the sectional semifinal round on Friday at second-seeded Penns Grove, which routed Paulsboro, 70-39, in its second-round game Wednesday.

Wildwood was beaten by Penns Grove, 89-70, early last week. At this stage, that doesn’t really matter, however.

Especially if that Warrior Playoff Magic comes to life once again.