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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

St. Joe tops Ocean City in triple overtime

THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Shamar Cox scored 17 points to help lead St. Joseph to a triple overtime victory against Ocean City at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic in Wildwood last week.

WILDWOOD—St. Joseph Academy’s boys basketball team needed three extra periods to pull out its third win of the season last week, defeating Ocean City 75-74 in triple overtime at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic last week at the Wildwoods Convention Center.

Playing in the consolation game of the Bill Osborn bracket, the Wildcats won a wild game that saw several lead changes and momentum shifts.

Ocean City had defeated St. Joe 59-56 in the season-opener for both teams on December 15, and in last week’s rematch, the Raiders led 45-34 at the start of the fourth quarter.

St. Joe fought back in the final eight minutes of regulation, and with time winding down, Shamar Cox drilled a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc to tie the game 57-57 and force overtime.

“I wanted the ball and I made the shot,” Cox said.

In the first overtime period, the teams remained tied at 64-64 and St. Joe held a 69-66 lead late in the second overtime, but this time it was Ocean City with some late heroics, as Omero Chevere connected from 3-point range with 12 seconds to go to force another extra period.

Devon Theophile’s late free throw gave St. Joseph a one-point lead and Ocean City’s final attempt missed, giving the Wildcats a hard-earned win.

The victory improved St. Joseph to 3-4 this season, one that has seen some unfamiliar early adversity for coach Paul Rodio’s squad.

“We’ve been struggling, but I keep telling our kids to keep the faith and just do the right things every day. I’m happy with the way we’re fighting. We could have quit, but we didn’t. I tell them all the time that if they just keep faith things will start going our way,” Rodio said.

Senior Arnaldo Rodriguez led St. Joseph with 25 points, including six 3-pointers, while Theophile had one of the best games of his career with 21 points and 23 rebounds.

Jared Demara added six points and Cox scored 17 in the win.

“We’re still working on our [team] chemistry, but we’re getting better every day,” Cox said.

The win against Ocean City came a day after St. Joe opened the tournament with a 61-44 loss to Bishop Eustace Prep.

The Crusaders took control early with an 18-6 first-quarter run and the Wildcats were never really in the game, losing for the fourth time in six matchups.

Cox had 15 points to lead St. Joe, while Rodriguez added 12.

Earlier this week, St. Joseph hosted Cape Atlantic League rival Middle Twp., but that game ended too late for this edition. On January 7, the Wildcats are scheduled to take on Timber Creek at the Seagull Classic at Holy Spirit at 7 p.m.


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