Staff Report

The Cape-Atlantic League Tournament is down to its Final Four after a slew of games on Saturday, and a pair of schools — Mainland Regional and Middle Township — will have both their boys and girls basketball programs represented.

Mainland is the defending champion in both the boys and girls tournaments, and both teams worked their way into the semifinals with wins on Saturday. The boys, the No. 2 seed who are 22-2 overall, took care of Ocean City, 56-46, while the top-seeded Mainland girls (21-2) took care of Our Lady of Mercy Academy, 42-25.

Here’s how the semifinals are stacking up. The boys semis will take place at Millville on Tuesday, with Mainland going up against rival Egg Harbor Township at 5 p.m. and top-seeded St. Augustine Prep against Middle Township at 7. The girls semis will take place on Wednesday at Atlantic City High, with the 5 p.m. game featuring No. 3 Middle Township vs. No. 2 Atlantic City and the 7 p.m. game pits No. 5 Wildwood Catholic against top-seeded Mainland.

Jamie Tyson and Mainland will have to get past Egg Harbor Township in the semifinals if they want a chance to defend their Cape-Atlantic League title. Last year, Mainland shocked EHT in the opening round as a No. 8 seed. (South Jersey Glory Days photos/Juli Fortis)

Here’s a quick look at how we got to this point:


No. 2 Mainland 56, No. 10 Ocean City 46: The Stangs held off an upset attempt by rival Ocean City, which had taken down No. 7 St. Joseph Academy in the previous round, by getting huge outputs by Cohen Cook and Tim Travagline. Cook led all scorers with 21 points and Travagline added 18, and the pair combined to hit four of Mainland’s five 3-pointers. Mainland’s defense was the story, however, as the Red Raiders were held below 10 points in both the second and fourth quarters, and only one Ocean City player, senior Omero Chevere, tallied more than 10 points.

No. 13 Middle Township 47, No. 5 Millville 45 (OT): Jamir McNeil was the hero for the visiting Panthers, as he racked up 19 points, including the game-winner in overtime as Middle became the lowest seeded team to reach the semifinals (in previous years, only the top eight teams in the league made the field, but this year any team in the league could join the tournament). Millville’s demise came at the free-throw line, where the Thunderbolts sank just 8-of-21. The win was the fourth straight for Middle, which has now won seven of its last eight since back-to-back losses to EHT and Ocean City in late January.

No. 1 St. Augustine Prep 71, No. 9 Hammonton 46: The Blue Devils, coming off a thrilling win over Atlantic Tech in the previous round, ran out of gas against the powerful Hermits, who won their ninth straight game.

No. 3 Egg Harbor Township 53, No. 6 Atlantic City 46: If you want to beat EHT, you have to be able to stop senior point guard D.J. Germann, and the Vikings weren’t able to do that. Germann racked up a game-high 23 points while adding three rebound, four assists and five steals to lead the Eagles to their third straight win. EHT also got 17 points from Holy Spirit transfer Jamil Wilkins while Keion Elliot added six points, seven rebounds and four assists. Atlantic City was led by Hasanur Freeman, who had 17 points and nine rebounds, and another Holy Spirit transfer, Ky Gilliam, who added four points, 10 rebound and four assists.


No. 1 Mainland 42, No. 9 OLMA 25: The Mazur twins, Bella and Ava, combined for 26 points to lead Mainland to its 15th straight win. The Stangs led 22-12 at halftime and never looked back, outscoring the Villagers 13-4 in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice.

No. 5 Wildwood Catholic Academy 37, No. 4 Ocean City 28: The Crusaders won their sixth straight and got some revenge on the Red Raiders, who beat them a few weeks ago. Kaci Mikulski and Ava Vogdes combined for most of Wildwood Catholic’s points as Mikulski scored 13 and Vogdes added 12. Avery Jackson scored 14 for Ocean City, but the rest of the Red Raiders were held in check as the Crusaders held Ocean City to less than five points in both the first and fourth quarters.

No. 2 Atlantic City 64, No. 7 Holy Spirit 47: The Vikings have been the hottest team in South Jersey, having won 17 straight games since a Jan. 3 loss to Hammonton, and the Spartans were no match. Quanirah Montague, a Mississippi State University commit, was simply unstoppable, as she racked up 23 points, 20 rebounds, six assists, six blocked shots and three steals. Fellow senior Sasha Lemons added eight points and four assists, while sophomore Bridget Roach chipped in 13 points and four rebounds.

No. 3 Middle Township 42, No. 11 Absegami 35: The Braves put up a valiant effort after knocking off Hammonton in the previous round, but didn’t have enough offense, especially in the second half, to record a second straight upset. They were limited to 12 second-half points, and also had no answer for Middle Township star Jada Elston, who piled up 29 points, 16 of which came from the free-throw line.


Boys: Germann is the leading scorer for EHT, but the Eagles have to find offense from somebody else if they want to play for a championship. Senior Jay-Nelly Reyes has to be a guy to step up in this situation. If he can get some scoring going early, Mainland will have trouble focusing too many players on Germann. … Elijah Brown has been outstanding for St. Augustine Prep, and to beat the Hermits you have to stop him. He has scored nearly 500 points this season and has scored in double figures in all but two games. … Cohen Cook is the one guy on Mainland who can take over a game. He’s tough and physical for his size and has great finesse around the basket. He has no problem taking on contact so EHT will have to be careful not to get into too much foul trouble trying to guard him.

Girls: Elston, of course. She’s probably the best pure scorer in the league, simply because she can get to the line so often. … Montague is the best player in this tournament and if she’s intent on making an impact there’s nobody who can stop her, you just have to try to stop everybody else in Atlantic City’s lineup. … Everyone talks about the Mazur twins at Mainland, but their offense — and defense — revolves around point guard Kasey Bretones. If she has a good game, the Stangs are going to be tough to beat.