The boy’s basketball team’s valiant comeback bid fell short on Monday night against Lower Cape May in the first round of the playoffs.
The 57-53 loss ends the Pirates season with a 9-18 record.
“I told them it’s a game of runs,” head coach Mike Fries said. “We were cold the first half. We started making shots. They have a good team over there.”
Cinnaminson was the #5 seed in the South, Group 2 playoffs and Lower Cape May came in as the #12 seed.
The Tigers got off to a quick start, draining three straight three-pointers to open an 11-4 lead on the Pirates.
The three straight three-pointers came after Craig Turner (19 points) tied the Cinnaminson single season three record at 68.
Turner would hit four on the night, giving him 71 for the season and the new record.
“It’s always nice to break records and achieve individual accomplishments, but obviously the loss is tough,” Turner said. “We are a young group. We will come back next year and look for another five-seed or higher.”
The Pirates trailed 22-20 at the break, but the Tigers went on an 11-5 run to open a 33-25 lead in the third quarter.
A three at the third quarter buzzer by JP Rickus made it a 43-35 Tiger lead heading into the final quarter of play.
“We were told to leave it all out there,” Turner said. “No one wants to end their season at home, but we fought all the way back. They’re a really good team.”
Turner hit his third three of the night to make it a five point game before Conor Bresnahan (12 points) knocked in a bucket to cut the deficit to three.
“The way we moved the ball and shared it,” Fries said. “They looked for each other, found the open guys and trusted each other.”
With 4:38 to play Turner was fouled shooting a three. He hit all three from the line to tie the game.
Two possessions later Turner’s fourth three of the night gave the Pirates a brief lead.
The Pirates got the game as close as two points down the stretch before the Tigers hit two foul shots with one second left to secure the victory.
“This is going to help us a lot,” Turner said. “Most of these players, it was their first playoff game in this kind of atmosphere. We are going to be able to play really well on the road next year.”
Lower Cape May moves to 16-8 and will face #4 Barnegat in the second round.
Pat Holden led all scorers with 26 points.
“Holden’s a great player,” Turner said. “He doesn’t miss many shots. He deserves a lot of credit.”
Fries left the following message with his players:
“It sucks losing at home in the playoffs, but I told them they need to get stronger and quicker so we can improve next year.”
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