By Sarah Camey
The Ocean City Red Raiders lost Thursday night’s state Group 3 playoff game against the Seneca Golden Eagles, 62-57.
The loss dropped Ocean City’s final record to 20-5, while Seneca improved to 12-14.
The starting five for the Red Raiders consisted of Donovan Graham, Gannon Brady, Joey Sacco, Luke Varallo and Mike Rhodes.
Varallo was Ocean City’s leading scorer with 15 points, followed by Brady with 12 and Sacco with 8.
Rhodes contributed 7 points. Graham added 5 points and chipped in with some crucial rebounds and blocks.
The Red Raiders started the game off strong, ending the first quarter with an 11-7 lead. Rhodes had a good block in the first quarter, along with scoring 4 points. Varallo also made some critical opening shots, including a 3-pointer. Brady also aided with the first quarter lead by scoring two foul shots.
Ocean City remained in the lead for the second quarter. Sacco and Graham showcased their skills during the second quarter, both scoring 5 points. Tom Finnegan, Brady and Varallo also contributed to the scoring to give Ocean City a 30-27 advantage at halftime.
Seneca began to catch up in the third quarter behind Jack Welling, who made a 3-pointer right before the buzzer to cut Ocean City’s lead to 41-40.
Golden Eagle Malin Jasinski scored off a rebound in the beginning of the fourth quarter, putting Seneca in the lead for the first time. With two minutes and 14 seconds on the clock, Sacco scored two points down the middle, putting Ocean City back in the lead.
Seneca took the lead back with 50 seconds left in the game at 55-54. The Red Raiders tried fighting back in the final minute, but fell short.
After multiple foul shots and timeouts leaving fans on the edge of their seats, Seneca clinched the win, bringing Ocean City’s season to an end.