By BRIAN CUNNIFF
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Wildwood High School boys basketball team has a lot of good attributes. They play as hard as anyone, they’re gritty and they get the most out of their talent.
When the Warriors bring all of that into a game and add terrific outside shooting, they’re going to be awfully difficult to beat.
Cape May Tech found that out Monday.
Wildwood made eight of its first 12 shots from three-point range in the first half and finished with 12 made three-pointers for the game in rolling to a 65-38 victory over the Hawks in front of a near-capacity crowd.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Warriors, who had lost to Salem and Paulsboro on back-to-back days late last week.
“We came ready to play,” Wildwood coach Scott McCracken said. “The last couple games we actually had made some more threes but not like this. We’ve played some tough competition recently. We had a feeling we’d play well today and it was nice to see us do that.”
Wildwood made its first four attempts from beyond the arc, getting three from Ernie Troiano and one from Junior Hans, and jumped to a 17-8 lead after the first quarter. Jordan Fusick then came off the bench to sink two from distance, Hans made another and Ryan Troiano chipped in one more to spark a 17-6 run in the second quarter that gave Wildwood a 34-14 lead at the break.
The Warriors didn’t shoot as well in the second half but didn’t need to. They took 25 seconds or more off the clock on many of their second-half possessions to take complete control of the game. Hans scored seven of Wildwood’s 10 points in the third quarter.
“We’re not the most athletic team and we usually don’t score a ton but we do a good job handling the basketball and a good job running our stuff, and tonight we were making shots,” McCracken said.
Wildwood (10-6) eventually led by as much as 34 at 60-26 in the fourth quarter.
Troiano led all scorers with 20 points and Hans added 19. Fusick had nine off the bench.
“The Tri-County Conference doesn’t get a lot of respect but we have some good teams in our league – we just played two of them and we have a couple more big ones later this week (against Gloucester Catholic and Salem),” McCracken said. “This was a big game for us. The kids were excited to play and we were excited to coach it, and it showed on the court.”
Jo’el Hutchinson led Cape May Tech (3-11) with 13 points.