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Boys basketball: Points tough to come by as Bridgeton nips Oakcrest 39-37

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From staff reports MAYS LANDING — The Oakcrest boys basketball team had the situation it wanted on Tuesday night against visiting Bridgeton. Possession with a chance to win the game in the final five seconds. The Falcons got the ball inbounds, got a look at the basket — the shot just didn’t fall. Lashawn Elliott’s 3-pointer at the buzzer came up just short as Bridgeton hung on for a 39-37 victory. The Bulldogs won their second game in a row and improved to 3-4, although they were held to less than half of the 87 points they scored in a win over Buena Regional on Monday night. Oakcrest won its first two games of the season, but has lost two of its last three to fall to 3-2 overall. Bridgeton took a 16-15 lead midway through the second quarter on a putback by Miguel Rivera, but Oakcrest stormed back to take a 22-18 halftime lead behind Jayden Britt, who nailed a 3-pointer to give the Falcons an 18-16 lead before closing out the half by putting back a missed runner in the lane by MacGyver Hay. Oakcrest's Corey Smith puts up a shot against Bridgeton's Dequan Solomon during the Falcons' matchup against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night in Mays Landing. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Oakcrest’s Corey Smith puts up a shot against Bridgeton’s Dequan Solomon during the Falcons’ matchup against the Bulldogs on Tuesday night in Mays Landing. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) The Bulldogs built a 28-25 lead midway through the third quarter, but again Oakcrest responded. Pierce Smith put back a missed shot to close the gap to 28-27 before Corey Smith, who scored seven points in the first half, found Tyron Garland for a layup that gave Oakcrest a 29-28 lead. Bridgeton battled back to tie the game at 32 heading into the fourth quarter, and Jerome Smith stroked a 3-pointer out of a timeout to give Bridgeton the lead for good, 37-34. Oakcrest’s Vernon Burch hit a jumper with 2:40 left to pull the Falcons within 37-36, but Bridgeton’s Marquese Bell answered with an inside bucket to make it 39-36. Burch hit 1-of-2 free throws with 29 seconds left to get the Falcons within two, 39-37, and Bridgeton missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity with 15 seconds left to set up Oakcrest’s final possession. The Falcons won’t have much time to recover, as they travel to Cedar Creek on Thursday and then Egg Harbor Township on Friday before hosting St. Augustine Prep on Monday night. Bridgeton returns home Thursday night to host Ocean City, which saw its five-game winning streak snapped against Middle Township. [adsense]

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