Basketball: Depth the difference as Paulsboro wins SJ 1 title


By Phil Anastasia

Kane Segar wasn't thinking about style points.

He was thinking about two points.

"I just wanted to get the ball in the basket," Segar said.

Segar did more than that. His rim-rocking dunk off a steal keyed a 12-0 run in the third quarter, ignited the home fans and sparked Paulsboro to a 69-55 victory over Pitman Tuesday night in the South Jersey Group 1 title game.

Segar, a 6-2 senior, bounced off the bench to score nine points with two steals and two assists as top-seeded Paulsboro (27-2) won its second consecutive sectional title and advanced to face Central Jersey champion point Pleasant Beach in the state semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m. at Toms River North.

Paulsboro reserves Saleem Little (seven points), Brandon Hamilton (four points) and Derrick Burgess (two points, two steals, two assist) also played significant roles in an intense, physical game in which Pitman's big three of Tim Delaney (30 points, 15 rebounds), Darnell Foreman (12 points) and Eric Stafford (11 points) scored 53 of the Panthers' 55 points.

"Our depth has been the difference for us all year," Paulsboro coach Sean Collins said. "This was the fourth South Jersey final I coached in and the one thing I learned from other coaches was to do what got you here. I wasn't going to tighten up our bench."

Paulsboro also got good work from seniors Xavier Lundy (12 points,  five assists) and Julien Davenport (14 points, 10 rebounds) in a fast-paced game before a capacity-plus crowd that included Villanova coach Jay Wright.

But on a night when Lundy was held to his second-lowest total of the season, and the 6-8 Davenport was engaged in a tough battle with the 6-9 Delaney, Paulsboro pulled away behind its small army of athletic, high-energy role players.

The Red Raiders' outside shooting was a big factor, too. Junior Keenan Williams made a trio of three-pointers as the home team buried nine shots from behind the arc.

"'X' has carried us for three years," Collins said of Lundy. "It was only fitting that they carried him tonight."

Pitman (24-6), the No. 2 seed without a senior in the starting lineup, set the stage for future success with a strong effort. Delaney, a sophomore who celebrated his 16th birthday on Tuesday, continued his emergence as one of the most talented young players in the state.

"He's blossoming," Pitman coach Kevin Crawford said of Delaney. "It was important for us to get the Soiuth Jersey final as far as trying to win this thing next year."

Pitman 16 10 14 15 -- 55
Paulsboro 16 15 20 18 -- 64

Pit: Darnell Foreman 12, Eric Stafford 11, Tom Delaney 30, Trevor Datz 2, Matt Spicer 0.

Paul: Xavier Lundy 12, Julien Davenport 14, Derrick Burgess 2, Theo Holloway 5, Keenan Williams 9, Kane Segar 9, Cassius Carter 7, Brandon Hamilton 4, Saleem Little 7.

Contact Phil Anastasia at Follow on Twitter @PhilAnastasia.

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