The Absegami High School boys’ basketball team is looking to end a three-game losing streak when it begins play at the Boardwalk Classic at the Wildwoods Convention Center this morning, Dec. 27.
The Braves will compete in the Ernie Troiano Senior Memorial Boys’ Bracket at 11 a.m., against Cherokee. District rival Cedar Creek is competing in the same bracket, and will open competition against Woodbury, at 12:30.
The winners meet on Friday, Dec. 28 at 2:15 p.m. The losers will meet in the consolation game, which commences at 12:30 p.m.
The Braves opened the season with a 79-29 win over Lower Cape May. Junior guard Abdul Anderson led the way with 24 points in the victory, and senior forward Vladimir Shustov contributed 18.
However, the Braves then dropped three straight games, beginning with a 58-38 defeat at the hands of Cherokee’s rival, Shawnee, in Ocean City on Dec. 16. Shawnee held a 35-11 lead at the half, but the Braves outscored the Renegades, 27-23, in the second half. Senior forward Jaleel Christmon led the Braves with 14 points.
The Braves then hosted a pair of high profile conference foes in Holy Spirit and Atlantic City. Holy Spirit defeated Absegami, 66-42, and the Vikings downed the Braves, 87-50.
Between them Shawnee (4-0), Holy Spirit (3-0) and Atlantic City (5-0) have yet to lose a game.
Cherokee is 2-2, including a 57-53 loss to Shawnee in the season opener. The Chiefs also lost to Cherry Hill East by two points, 44-42, and own victories over Woodrow Wilson, 48-32, and Kingsway, 41-38.
Cedar Creek enters the tournament with a 3-1 record, with its only defeat coming at the hands of Pleasantville, 49-46, on Dec. 17, 49-46. The Pirates own victories over Buena, 71-43; Ocean City, 48-44; and ACIT, 72-39.
Woodbury comes into the tournament sporting a 1-2 record.
The Absegami girls’ basketball team enters the tournament 0-3, and will compete in the Kaitlin Anzelone Bracket against ACIT at 11 a.m. Host Wildwood plays Lindenwold in the 12:45 game. The winners meet at 2:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28. The consolation game takes place at 9:30 a.m.
The Boardwalk Classic raises scholarship money for seniors graduating from Wildwood and Wildwood Catholic high schools. Ticket prices can be found here. The tournament is not-for-profit, and those who work on the tournament year-round are all volunteers, according to the tournament's website. It is the largest co-ed basketball tournament in the country.
The host schools played each other on the first day of the tournament, Dec. 22, in a pair of showcase games. The Wildwood Catholic girls defeated Wildwood, 56-40, while the Wildwood Catholic boys downed Wildwood, 57-51.
The tournament has been in existence since 1998.
The tournament runs through Dec. 30, and features multiple four-team brackets named after memorable residents from throughout the area. There are also 10 showcase games, concluding with a game between Camden and St. Anthony at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 30.