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December 18, 2021

VIDEO: Trombetta shines off bench as Greer wins coaching debut at Middle


CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – New Middle Township High School boys basketball coach LaMarr Greer played professionally in Europe for about a decade after his time at Middle and Florida State.

He explained how the game overseas is different.

“Over there, a lot of times their best guys come off the bench,” Greer said.

Middle Township head coach LaMarr Greer with sophomore guard Anthony Trombetta (22 points).

In Middle’s opener on Friday, Anthony Trombetta played that exact role right here in Cape May County.

The sophomore guard came off the bench to provide a game-high 22 points as the Panthers shook off a slow start to breeze to a 63-39 win over Cape May Tech to give Greer a victory in his debut.

Cape May Tech jumped out to a 7-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Enter Trombetta, who, coupled with increased defensive pressure by Middle, led the Panthers back. Trombetta scored 14 of his points in the first half as Middle used an 18-1 run to turn that early five-point deficit into a 20-8 lead midway through the second quarter.

Middle turned Tech over 21 times in the game. Fifteen of those turnovers occurred over the middle two quarters, when Middle outscored the Hawks by 44-15. The Panthers employed various man-to-man and zone presses to turn the game in their favor.

“Our first nine games are on the road, so we’re using the saying that defense travels,” Greer said. “We have to play defense and not rely on our shooting and scoring. If we rely on our defense, we can turn people over and get easy baskets.”

Trombetta was extremely efficient, making 10 of 15 shots from the floor. He was 9 for 10 on two-point attempts.

“He was amazing tonight,” Greer said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to buy into that role nowadays but he was great tonight.”

The brother tandem of sophomore Jermaine McNeil and freshman Jahmir McNeil each added 10 points for Middle, which had nine different players score. Jermaine McNeil executed an athletic tip-in of his brother’s missed shot at the buzzer of the first half to give Middle a 32-15 lead.

All told, Middle received 37 of its 69 points from bench players. The Panthers rotated nine players throughout the contest before allowing some deeper reserves to play the final few minutes.