By LESLEY GRAHAM
The Ocean City boys basketball team got back on track with a dominant 60-26 win over the visiting Absegami Braves on Monday night.
The win raised Ocean City’s record to 4-6 (3-3 in conference), while Absegami dropped to 0-7.
They starting five for Ocean City included Gannon Brady, Joe Repetti, Brad Jamison, Mike Rhodes and Will Drain. Brady led all scorers with 15 points, but the Red Raiders showed their depth with 11 different players scoring in the game.
The Red Raiders have struggled at home this season, especially during the first half of play. But against the Braves, Ocean City was anything but rusty, dominating from start to finish with a particularly strong performance in the second quarter.
Ocean City scored the first 10 points of the game before Absegami was able to hit a three-pointer to end the first quarter, 10-3.
The Red Raiders relied on their strong defense in the second quarter to create takeaways and keep the Braves from ever being able to find an offensive rhythm.
They used a high-tempo, high-pressure defense to force Absegami into limited passing options and poor shot opportunities.
Ocean City extended its lead to 20 points, allowing some new faces to enter the game for the Red Raiders. With 30 seconds to play in the half, Sam Burns hit two three-pointers, giving the Red Raiders 27 points in eight minutes of play and a 39-11 lead at halftime.
The second half of the game was much of the same as the first. The third quarter saw both teams hustling and looking for opportunities to create plays.
Absegami never gave up, continuing to fight for every possession and chip away at the lead. The fourth quarter would start with the Braves trailing, 49-18.
Ocean City would use its lead to get some younger players quality minutes in the final eight minutes of play.
Although the starters were sitting on the bench, the level of play did not drop off as Ocean City once again used crisp, clean passing and quick ball movement to find the open player and get a quality look at the basket.
As the clock ticked down, the Red Raiders would take home the win, 60-26.