LIVE Basketball: Highland at Wildwood
March 1, 2021
LIVE BOYS BASKETBALL: Timber Creek at Wildwood (Wed 3/3 – 7 pm)
March 2, 2021

VIDEO: McNeal triple-double, Miles milestone highlight Warrior tournament win


WILDWOOD — Omarian McNeal might not be too well known across the South Jersey high school boys basketball landscape.

On Monday, McNeal proved exactly why that shouldn’t be.

The 6-5 junior forward recorded a triple-double to lead the Wildwood to an impressive 87-66 victory over Highland in the opening round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament.

Wildwood, seeded second in the seven-team top bracket, will host No. 3 Timber Creek in the semifinal round Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by 98.7 The Coast radio, with a live video stream available at

McNeal tallied 30 points — his third 30-point game of the season — and added 17 rebounds and 10 assists for a Warrior team that led from start to finish.

“He certainly brought his game today,” Wildwood coach Scott McCracken said. “All year he’s done a nice job for us but we really needed him to be focused and rebound and score for us tonight and he did. He’s a good passer, too. He shares it well. This was his best game of the year.”

Seamus Fynes added 18 points and Diante Miles chipped in 17 points, including the 1,000th of his career on a layup in the second quarter.

Wildwood (12-1), which has won 12 straight, used terrific halfcourt defense to run out to a 43-22 lead at halftime. The Warriors eventually swelled their lead to 22 points at 51-29 early in the third quarter before Highland made a strong run.

The Tartans cut Wildwood’s advantage to 10 points early in the fourth quarter at 65-55, but the Warriors finished the game on a 22-11 charge to pull away. McNeal highlighted Wildwood’s fourth-quarter effort with a pair of dunks.

“We always talk about how basketball is a game of runs,” McCracken said. “They made their run but then we pushed back and that’s deflating to the team trying to come back. They cut it to 10 or 11 and then we got it right back up to 20. That made it real tough for them.”

Jaeden O’Neal poured in 30 points and Noah Graham made five three-pointers in the second half and finished with 17 points for Highland (8-5). But Wildwood, thanks to the rigid defensive work of Ernie Troiano, limited the Tartans’ leading scorer, Ian Harvey, to just four points.

“We got a little sloppy in the second half and gave them some easy transition points but I thought overall our halfcourt defense was really good,” McCracken said.

Third-seeded Timber Creek, which was a 57-40 winner over No. 6 Penns Grove Monday, will be Wildwood’s toughest opponent of the season. Like the Warriors, Timber Creek has won 12 straight since a two-point loss on opening night. Every victory has been by double digits.

“Timber Creek is very, very good but we feel like we can compete with anyone in this conference and anyone in this bracket, even the bigger schools,” McCracken said. “We’re looking to keep moving forward. It’s a big one Wednesday night, but I know our kids will be ready.”

Wildwood High School senior Diante Miles (center) scored the 1000th point of his career in Monday’s 87-66 win over Highland in the opening round of the Tri-County Conference Tournament. He’s flanked by head coach Scott McCracken (left) and older brother Kyion Flanders, Wildwood’s all-time leading scorer with 2,130 points who is now a starter for the Stockton University men’s basketball team.