CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Josh Wright seemed poised during team warmups Wednesday night.
He was not overthinking anything, scoring the game’s first two points on a routine layup.
But it was not an ordinary night.
The 17-year-old senior from Whitesboro needed just five points to reach 2,000 for his career.
With 4 minutes, 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and only one point away from the coveted plateau, Wright hit a jumper in front of traffic to reach the milestone.
Wright scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Cape May Tech boys basketball team to a 55-38 victory over Absegami in a Cape-Atlantic League interdivision game.
Wright made two 3-point shots as the Hawks improved to 6-3.
“I just thought I could play the game hard and let it come to me and didn’t rush the shots,” Wright said. “It was a real honor for me and my dad (Gerald Wright) because we worked so hard for this.”
Gerald Wright played basketball at Wildwood.
Josh Wright became the eighth player in boys and girls basketball to score their 2,000th career point with a Cape May County high school — Monica Johnson (Wildwood, 2002), LaMarr Greer (Middle Township, 1994), Lauren Holden (Lower Cape May, 2015), John Leahy (Middle, 1990), Kyion Flanders (Wildwood, 2018), Pat Holden (Lower Cape May, 2018) and Dan Leahy (Wildwood Catholic, 1988).
“What’s impressive is he’s committed to playing basketball 24/7, 365 days a year,” Cape May Tech coach Josh Mercado said. “Even if he has a day off from basketball practice, he still has a ball in his hand. He truly loves the game and he is very passionate.”
The Braves’ Devin Andermanis scored a team-leading 13 points, while Kashim Durham added 10 points. Andermanis and Durham each made two 3-pointers.
Absegami (1-5) led 15-14 after the first quarter.
The Hawks trailed the Braves 21-14 early in the second quarter but went on a 14-2 run in the final minutes to take a 28-23 lead into halftime.
Tech outscored Absegami 12-7 in the third, including eight points from Wright.
“I told my team, ‘Let’s get going and turn this thing up,’” Wright said. “We just executed really well late in the game. We rebounded well and shared the ball more.”
Dylan Delvecchio, a freshman, scored nine of his 10 points in the final three quarters. The 15-year-old from Middle Township went 4 for 7 from the free-throw line.
“I think we played really good,” Delvecchio said. “Our transition defense was great. The defense was just great (overall). We ran our offense well and got the win.”
The intense energy in Cape May Tech’s gymnasium also played a factor, Mercado said. He added it was a huge win to have in a competitive CAL United Division.
“We really challenged them to pick up the energy and engage the crowd,” Mercado said. “Putting pressure on and getting turnovers and exciting the crowd, a lot who came out to support Josh (Wright), which was pretty impressive. I felt we owed it to the crowd to give it our absolute everything.”
Tech plays St. Joseph at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Hammonton. The Hawks host the Wildcats on February 4.
The Hawks also have to play division rivals Pleasantville twice and Wildwood Catholic once. Tech lost to the Crusaders 49-41 last week.
Mercado is looking to make noise in South Jersey Group I, adding the Hawks divisional play will help down the stretch.
“We are very realistic,” Mercado said. “We are just trying to get better and just keep getting better so we are playing our best basketball in February.”
Cape May Tech; 14 14 12 15—55
Absegami; 15 8 7 7—38
CMT—Wright 29, Delvecchio 10, Roach 8, Castro 3, Hoffmann 3, Saddler 2.
A—Andermanis 13, Durham 10, Nunez 3, Searight 2, Woodson 4, Fitten 2, Allen 3.
3-pointers—Wright (2), Castro CMT. Durham (2), Andermanis (2), Nunez A.
Records—CMT 6-3, A 1-5.