Two games, two dramatic finishes.
Here's hoping it's an omen for the South Jersey boys' basketball season.
I saw a great game Friday night at Cherokee. Eastern rallied from way back and won 64-63 when Shumeek Scott made both ends of a one-and-one with eight-tenths of a second on the clock.
The 6-2 Scott, who finished with 24, was a monster in the second half. He's surprisngly quick for a big, burly athlete and an impossible matchup for most teams. He drives past bigger defenders and overpowers smaller ones. Plus, he's got soft hands for a big guy. Cherokee coach Ron Powell called Scott one of the best players in the Olympic. If Scott was still at Gloucester Catholic, where he played as a freshman and sophomore, he'd be making major hay in the Tri-County Conference.
Eastern also has a nice scorer in Bobby Harris and a few other elements. It will be tough for the Vikings every night in the Olympic American but they could be right in the mix.
Cherokee's Ronson Quick had a solid game with 18 points. He's a load on the blocks and has good hands too. His dad, former Eagles receiver Mike Quick, was talking before the game about how happy he was that Ronson has decided on Assumption College, a D-2 program in Massachusetts. Sounds like a great fit for Ronson.
The Chiefs have a nice complement in Nelson Torres but need that third option. You almost always have to have that Third Man -- the third leg in a triangle -- to make an offense really work, in just about every sport. But Cherokee will be in the mix in the conference and in Group 4 before the season is over.
Saturday afternoon, another great game.
Lindenwold beat Overbrook 54-51 in another game that went to the wire. This one was tied with a minute to play but the Lions got a big hoop from senior guard A.J. Johnson and survived down the stretch.
It was a wild game. Lindenwold went ahead 13-0. Overbrook then outscored Lindenwold by 26 to take a 40-27 lead. Lindenwold then rallied and pulled it out.
Both teams played hard. Both have some potential, and could grab their share of victories in Colonial divisions that look to be wide open this season.
Lindenwold with down by just three entering the fourth quarter against Collingswood Friday night. Overbrook beat Haddon Township pretty good. With Audubon giving Haddonfield a battle, it looks like the conference could be crazy competitive, although there's a bit of a buzz on West Deptford.
-- Phil Anastasia