By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD — The members of the Wildwood High School girls basketball team were disappointed when their team wasn’t placed in the top bracket for the Tri-County Conference Tournament.
Their best response for them would be to go out and win the tournament’s B pod. They have that chance.
The Lady Warriors, the top seed in the bracket, checked into the pod championship game thanks to Wednesday’s 41-28 victory over Gloucester County Institute of Technology.
Wildwood will host No. 6 Williamstown in Friday’s pod final at 5 p.m. Williamstown beat No. 2 Delsea in overtime in the other semifinal.
Senior Jenna Hans played one of the better games of her career in the victory, scoring 16 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and picking up five steals to lead Wildwood (11-3).
Wildwood led from start to finish but certainly didn’t dominate the entire contest. The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 7-0 lead, only to see No. 5 GCIT (4-10) pull within two points in the second quarter before Wildwood grabbed a 16-11 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Hans and Leah Benichou each hit big three-pointers and Imene Fathi delivered an amazing layup with her back to the basket as Wildwood extended its lead to seven at 28-21.
Wildwood pulled away by scoring 13 of the first 18 points of the fourth quarter. Hans scored nine in the period, making a three-pointer, a short jump shot in the lane and 4 of 6 free-throw attempts.
Grace Molinari and Faith Rosa, who entered the game averaging just under 14 points per outing apiece, scored 10 and 7 points, respectively, to lead GCIT.
GCIT managed just nine field goals for the game.