By Phil Anastasia
Tim Delaney collected 28 points and 20 rebounds to lead Pitman to a 48-35 victory over Penns Grove in the SJ 1 semifinals before a capacity crowd in the Panthers' gymnasium on Saturday.
Delaney, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, called it the "best game" of his season. His coach went even farther.
"That's the best game I've seen him play in the two years I've had the pleasure of coaching him," Pitman coach Kevin Crawford said. "He came to play. It was a special player doing something special tonight."
Delaney dominated the first half as Pitman built a 24-11 lead.
Second-seeded Pitman (23-5) advanced to face top-seeded Paulsboro (26-2) in the SJ 1 title game Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Paulsboro.
Delaney said he was motivated by the knowledge that Pitman's seniors likely were playing their last home game.
"That was my focus to go as hard as I couldn" Delaney said. "I wanted to try to take it to another level."
The Pitman vs. Paulsboro matchup has been anticipated all season.
"I'm a big fan of Paulsboro," Crawford said. "I love the way they play. They dunk 10 times a game. It's exciting.
"It's almost like a legacy, like they deserve a state championship for how well they've played. But we're not going to hand it to them."
Garrett Wilson scored 10 for third-seeded Penns Grove, which finished 16-8.
Pens Grove 8 3 9 15 -- 35
Pitman 11 13 10 14 -- 48
PG: Davis 7, Ware 5, Wilson 10, Lloyd 4, Lee 6, Ridgeway 2.
Pit: Delaney 28, Stafford 9, Foreman 6, Spicer 4, Shayer 1.
Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.