HAMMONTON—Junior John Andaloro poured in a career-high 35 points as Hammonton High School’s boys basketball team snapped a three-game losing skid and closed out its 2021 season with a victory, defeating Cedar Creek 68-53 last weekend.
The Blue Devils held a four point lead at the end of the first quarter, but Cedar Creek closed the gap to just two points at the half. In the third quarter, Andaloro led a 25-point outburst for Hammonton that opened up a 52-44 lead for the Devils.
Hammonton closed out the game on a 16-9 run. In addition to Andaloro’s 35 points, Jaron Hill added 10, while Owen Mauriello and Tyler Lowe each had eight.
Earlier in the week, Hammonton lost games to Lower Cape May, Egg Harbor Twp. (EHT) and St. Augustine Prep.
Lower Cape May led by 10 at the half and held on for a 60-52 win at Hammonton on March 1.
Lowe led the Blue Devils with 19 points, while Andaloro added 14 and Hill finished with 13.
“We didn’t really match up with them [Lower Cape May] that well, and they were able to grab an early lead on us. Give our kids credit, they never gave up, but we kind of dug ourselves too big a hole to come out of,” Hammonton coach Joe Martino said.
Two nights later, Hammonton hosted EHT, the Cape Atlantic League North Division champion, and lost 59-40.
Hill and Declan Roeder each hit 3-pointers to help Hammonton take an early 12-10 lead, but EHT pulled ahead in the second period behind baskets from J.J. Germann and Carlos Lopez.
In the second half, EHT cut off Hammonton’s passing lanes, creating several turnovers that allowed the Eagles to break the game open with a 20-8 run.
“They’re a very good team. I think they were a little deeper than us and a little more athletic. We had a lot of trouble with our halfcourt offense tonight and just couldn’t generate enough offense,” Martino said.
The losing streak hit three games on March 5, when Hammonton played another CAL division champion, losing at St. Augustine Prep 68-40.
The host Hermits made the most of their senior night, breaking open a one-point game in the second quarter with a 34-point outburst led by seniors John Horner and Matt Delaney, who combined for 22 points in the period.
The win against Cedar Creek clinched a winning season for Hammonton, who finished with an 8-7 record. That mark was good for third place in the CAL West Division behind both St. Augustine and St. Joseph, who tied for the division title.
“I think we had a really solid season. We’re very young, mostly sophomores and juniors, and I think we’re only going to get better. This was a different kind of season because of COVID-19, and I enjoyed working with these guys. They played hard every minute of every game, and that’s all I can ask. We all wish we could have more games, more time together as a team, but we’re thankful we had a season and I’m proud of them,” Martino said.