Tom Dickson drove for a game-winning layup in the closing seconds, lifting top-seeded Kingsway to a 55-54 thriller over upset-minded Pemberton yesterday in an NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 boys' basketball semifinal at Kingsway.

Despite being held scoreless in a 10-0 second quarter, fifth-seeded Pemberton fought the Dragons with 13 points apiece by Ransom Eaves and Jalen Armstead.

Dickson's layup came with 4.6 seconds remaining, and the Dragons held on as Pemberton had two last-second shots miss the mark.

For Kingsway, Rondell Gilmore had 19 points and four assists, T. J. Pratt grabbed seven rebounds, and Stephen Pigford contributed nine points and three steals.

The Dragons will face Tri-County Conference rival Deptford for the sectional championship at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Eastern.

Erv Ezell scored seven of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter, when No. 2 seed Deptford built a 14-8 lead en route to a 54-46 triumph over third-seeded Shawnee.

Dillon Fields (13 points) and Dave Westman (10) paced the scoring for the Renegades, who were unable to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit.

Dan Brodie added 14 points and Jared Winningham contributed 11 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans, who finished in a second-place tie with Kingsway in the Tri-County Royal Division.

Deptford and Kingsway split two regular-season meetings.

South Jersey Group 1. Woodbury's Mark DiRugeris faced a box-and-one defense for the first time this season and was held to 12 points - 10 below his average - but his teammates picked up the offense for a 58-47 win over visiting Pitman.

The Herd's Jared Roberts collected 16 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals in a solid all-round performance, while Brian Purnell added 11 points and 10 boards.

Salem advanced with a 77-61 victory over visiting Burlington City in which Quayshun Morris scored 25 points and Barry Numan and Derrick Parsley each posted double-doubles.

Numan Matched 11 points with 11 rebounds, Parsley piled up 18 points and 12 boards, and Morris also dealt eight assists to put the Rams in Tuesday's final against Woodbury at 7 p.m. at Kingsway.

Woodbury defeated the Rams, 71-45, in a regular-season game Feb. 14.

Central Jersey Group 1. New Egypt rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit and earned its first trip to a sectional title game with a 54-44 semifinal win at Point Pleasant Beach.

Down by 25-16 at intermission, the Warriors came back with 10 third-quarter points from Desmond Hubert (14), and 17-for-19 foul shooting in the final period.

Hubert also contributed six rebounds and seven blocked shots, and Kevin Janowski added 18 points and 13 boards.

New Egypt, seeded third, will face a high-powered Asbury Park squad on Tuesday at Franklin for the title. Top-seeded Asbury Park whipped Perth Amboy Tech, 109-50, in the other semifinal.