Last year, Williamstown's girls' basketball team played catch-up from the beginning after losing its opening game, 44-35, to Clearview. In the end, the Braves caught up and shared the Royal Division title with Clearview and Deptford. All three were 10-2 in the division.
This time, things have changed, and the Braves may be back in the favorite's role after defeating Deptford, 52-41, last week. Williamstown opened its season and Royal schedule with a 58-38 win over Clearview.
Clearview remains dangerous, and Deptford is again considered a contender in the Royal.
"Last year, we started 0-1, and it took us a while to get out of that," said Williamstown coach Karen Dilmore, who has guided the Braves to either a share of or the outright Royal title in four straight seasons. "We still have a long way to go, but it was a good way to get started."
The Braves are short on height, but not on athletic ability. There is no one taller than 5-foot-9 on the team,
Senior guards Jessica Martinez and Briana White are averaging 12 and 8.6 points per game, respectively, for the Braves, who dropped to 2-1 after Saturday night's loss to St. Basil in a tournament games in Wildwood.
Injury update. Cherry Hill West's boys' team missed senior guard Darryl Nable, who sat out with a sprained ankle in the Lions' 60-47 loss to Emily Fisher on Wednesday. According to coach Dave Allen, Nable's status is "iffy" for tonight's game at West against Northern Burlington.
Nable, who is averaging 16.5 points, suffered the injury in Tuesday's 50-44 win over Eastern. According to Allen, Nable was only able to shoot and could not participate in the rest of yesterday's practice.
Defensive job of the week. Tiffany Turner was dominant on both sides of the ball in Cherokee's 53-40 win on Saturday over Penn Charter. The 6-2 Turner, who is headed to the University of Cincinnati, had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
According to coach Shannon Bretz, Turner also defended Brianna Butler, a highly touted 5-11 sophomore. Butler was held to seven points. Cherokee is No. 2 in South Jersey in today's girls' basketball rankings.
Interesting matchup. Lenape's boys' basketball team is hosting a showcase this week, and on Wednesday the defending state Group 4 champion will meet defending South Jersey Group 3 champ Kingsway in a 7 p.m. game.
Both teams graduated four starters, but each started off with a 2-0 record. Lenape will host Cardinal Dougherty (3-1) in tonight's 5:30 p.m. game.
"I didn't want to make it easy on us because it's our tournament," Lenape coach Chuck Guittar said.
Crazy race. How balanced is the boys' Tri-County Royal Division in boys' basketball? No team has played more than two division games and six of the seven already have one loss. Kingsway is the lone exception.