By Phil Anastasia
Jordan Robertson said Wildwood Catholic runs the play "all the time."
But it never worked out quite like this.
Coming out of a timeout, Robertson ran the baseline, caught a pass on the right wing and rose up for a three-point attempt with 0:14.5 seconds left in the semifinals of the Cape Atlantic League semifinals against Holy Spirit.
"It felt good," Robertson said.
Robertson's shot stabbed the bottom of the net. He was fouled on the play and added the free throw for a 56-54 lead.
Moments later, Wildwood Catholic senior guard George Cook made a steal and fed Robertson for a dunk that brought dozens of Crusader students streaming out of the stands in celebration.
"Amazing," Robertson said after Wildwood Catholic's 58-54 victory.
With the win, Wildwood Catholic (21-4) advances to face Atlantic City (18-6) in the CAL tourney title game Saturday at 2 p.m. at Stockon College.
Senior forward Eddie McWade of Wildwood Catholic led all scores with 20 in the intense game played before a near-capacity crowd at Hammonton High School.
Junior guard John Middleton scored 16 for top-seeded Holy Spirit (19-6) in a game with six ties and nine lead changes.
Wildwood a Catholic closed the game in an 11-0 run after falling behind 54-47 midway in the fourth quarter.
The Crusaders' post-game celebration included those student charging the court and coach David DeWeese repeatedly pumping his fist. Players were all over the court hugging fans and parents and other family members.
The result was vindication of sorts for Wildwood Catholic, which has played with a chip on its shoulder for much of the season. The Crusaders now own two victories over Holy Spirit and have chance to beat two time champion Atlantic City on Saturday.
The game also stamped Robertson as one of the best players in South Jersey. The 6-foot-3 swingman has offers from Philadelphia University and Holy Family but could soon be drawing low Division I interest.
He has made tremendous improvement sinice last season. His game continues to grow and he showled again tonight the willingness and ability to seize the moment at a key juncture late in the game.
He finished with 19 but 11 came in the fourth quarter, including the game's final six.
Wildwood Catholic 9 14 17 18 -- 58
Holy Spirit 12 13 18 11 -- 54
WC: Kevin McWade 4, George Cook 3, Jordan Robertson 19, Clint Freeman 9, Eddie McWade 20, Garrett Moretti 3.
HS: Leon Daniels 12, Junior Saintel 11, Jordan Taylor 8, John Middleton 16, Uumhad Collier 7.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com
-- Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter