ATLANTIC CITY - The Battle by the Bay finale between the Atlantic City and Pleasantville high school boys basketball teams is usually one of the highlights on the season.
Not this year.
Both teams probably would like to forget Sunday's Battle by the Bay finale.
Atlantic City beat Pleasantville 61-39 in a ho-hum game that had none of the thrills of past Battle by the Bay games between the schools.
"Both teams should have gone to practice (Sunday)," Atlantic City coach Gene Allen said. "Both teams would have been better off having a practice. I'm speechless. I can't defend this."
The play was sloppy at best. The teams combined for 54 turnovers. Forty-six fouls were committed. Each team received technical fouls during a chippy third quarter. They shot a combined 33-of-110 (30 percent) from the field.
"With our inexperience, we weren't prepared for this," Pleasantville coach Kenny Johnson said. "Mentally we weren't there all game. We knew it was going to be a physical game. We talked about being mentally strong and poised, and we didn't do either one."
The Battle by the Bay began in 1994 and always features some of the top teams from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But the highlight of the three-day event is always the matchup between Atlantic City and Pleasantville. Atlantic City leads the Battle by the Bay series 12-6. Fans packed Atlantic City's gym Sunday. But the only excitement was the annual halftime show put on by the Atlantic City and Pleasantville cheerleaders.
Atlantic City (16-1) never trailed. Guard Dayshawn Reynolds scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Vikings. Atlantic City forward Ga-briel Chandler was a force in the lane with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Vikings freshman guard Lamar Thomas came off the bench to sink 4-of-6 field goal attempts and score a team-high 16 points.
"I don't even know what to say about this game," Chandler said. "We didn't play our game on defense or offense. It's my senior year, and I don't want to forget about this game. But it wasn't a top game like I wanted my last Battle by the Bay game to be."
Pleasantville (9-9) never got closer than 11 points in the second half. Forward Neil Peters scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Greyhounds.
Atlantic City is ranked No. 1 in The Press Elite 11, but the Vikings seem to be in a funk lately. They aren't playing as crisply on offense or defense as they did earlier in the season.
If the Vikings are to defend their state Group IV title, they will have to regain their rhythm.
"We need to sit down over the next couple of days," Chandler said, "and come back as a team instead of as individuals."
Contact Michael McGarry:
Pleasantville 8 4 13 14-39
Atlantic City 15 8 13 25-61
PV-Handy 2 1-5 5, Savage 1 0-0 2, Peters 6 4-7 16, Calloway 3 0-0 6, Bridgers 1 2-4 4, Luna 0 2-2 2, McNeal 1 0-2 3, Centenno 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 10-24 39.
AC-Graves 2 2-2 6, White 1 0-2 2, D. Reynolds 6 2-5 14, T. Reynolds 0 2-2 2, Chandler 6 1-5 13, Allen 1 1-2 3, Tolbert 0 1-2 1, Thomas 4 7-8 16, Chase 1 2-2 4. Totals 21 18-34 61.
3-Pointers-PV. McNeal; AC. Thomas.
Records-Pleasantville 9-9; Atlantic City 16-1.