By DAVE O’SULLIVAN
Staff Writer
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Pleasantville sophomore forward Elijah Jones hasn’t quite developed into a dominating inside presence just yet, but don’t be surprised if he is characterized as such somewhere down the road. And maybe sooner rather than later.
With some of the starters in foul trouble — and host Egg Harbor Township giving the Greyhounds fits all night long — Pleasantville finally put down the Eagles’ upset bid thanks in large part to Jones, who played a great second half and put an exclamation point on a 70-64 victory with a pair of slam dunks in the final 30 seconds. Jones finished with 22 points, a season high.
“I just wanted to work harder, impress my teammates and my coaches, and try to win,” he said. “I feel like I got the ball more (in this game) and when I get the ball I’m starting to make the right plays.”

EHT’s Ethan Dodd tries to get a shot up past the defense of Pleasantville forward Cory Crawford during the Greyhounds’ 70-64 win over the Eagles. (Glory Days Magazine photo/Dave O’Sullivan)


“He’s a big help. He’s a special talent, so when he plays to his abilities, he changes the whole game,” added senior point guard Sahmir Jones. “He played a little bit (early on), but the more he plays, the better he gets.”
Pleasantville came in having won two straight and was 6-3 overall, and in contention for the Cape-Atlantic League United Conference title along with powerful teams such as Wildwood Catholic and St. Joseph. An expected tune-up game for Middle Township on Friday night then Elizabeth on Saturday in the Shoot Down Cancer Classic at St. Augustine Prep turned into anything but, as the host Eagles raced out to a 15-0 lead to start the game, sparked my Mike Dodd, who finished with a game-high 25 points and nailed four 3-pointers.
“We just had to get it together. I didn’t expect that from Egg Harbor Township. Our defense was one of the factors, and also passing and rebounding,” Elijah Jones said.

Sahmir Jones (13) and Elijah Jones celebrate a late dunk by Elijah during the Greyhounds’ win. (Glory Days Magazine photo/Dave O’Sullivan)


“That was surprising. We got caught up in the attention and not really taking EHT seriously enough. They came out and punched us in the mouth. We know teams are going to get excited to play against us, so we just have to be better prepared for that. Our coach told us that, but we kind of took it for granted, and we can’t play like this. This game wasn’t supposed to be close, and it ended up being really close, so I’m just glad we pulled it out,” added Sahmir Jones, who finished with eight points. “Everyone comes out to our games so we get the best fans and the other team’s best, so we just have to stay within ourselves, not do too much and just be more consistent.”
Once Pleasantville (7-3, 1-1 CAL United) realized it was in for a dogfight, the Greyhounds got reorganized and turned on the jets, going on a 26-9 run to take a 26-24 lead. The Greyhounds went into the break leading 36-30, but they were far from out of the woods as the Eagles continued to come back behind Dodd, sophomore J.J. Germann (16 points) and senior Jordan Sweeney (9 points). EHT (6-6, 2-1 CAL American) took a 59-58 early in the fourth quarter when Germann scored an inside bucket, but with 1:25 left, Elijah Jones scored to tie it at 63. The Eagles went up, 64-63, when Isiah Walsh hit 1-of-2 from the line, but Pleasantville closed it out on a 7-0 run that included a three-point play from Jalen Freeman, a huge blocked shot by Cory Crawford and two dunks from Elijah Jones.
Pleasantville is back in action on Friday night when it travels to Middle Township at 7 p.m. while EHT travels to Vineland on Friday for a 6 p.m. start.
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays