WILDWOOD — When the Wildwood High School girls basketball team faced Haddon Township in the quarterfinals of last season’s South Jersey Group I playoffs, the Warriors saw their opponents make nine 3-pointers on its way to an eight-point win.
On Tuesday, with the stakes much higher, the Warriors made sure Haddon Township didn’t repeat that kind of long-distance shooting success.
Wildwood forced Haddon Township to miss all 23 of its 3-point attempts and led nearly from start to finish in a 42-31 victory in the South Jersey Group I championship game. The Warriors advance to a state semifinal game against Central Jersey champion Bound Brook at 4 p.m. Thursday at Deptford Township High School. Bound Brook beat Shore Regional in the Central Jersey title game Tuesday.
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“We stressed, as soon as we beat Clayton (in a sectional semifinal game Saturday), that we had to defend the ‘three,’” Wildwood coach Dave Troiano said. “They did get some open looks, and we got a little lucky that they were missing them. But for the most part, the kids did an outstanding job.”
Wildwood senior forward Mackenzie McCracken scored a game-high 26 points, getting 16 of them in the second half. She also had 11 rebounds.
“It’s been our goal, ever since Haddon Township beat us up there last year, to win South Jersey,” McCracken said. “We knew we had the tools to do it, and I felt like we were very well prepared going into this game.
“This is the best feeling in the world. Definitely the best feeling I’ve had in my 18 years of life.”