Kevin Allen’s tough work on blocks lifts Atlantic City over Middle Township at Shoot Down Cancer Classic

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher BUENA VISTA — In the first half of Saturday afternoon’s Shoot Down Cancer Classic matchup with Middle Township, the Atlantic City boys basketball team looked like an 18-wheeler trying to get out of second gear. In the second half, the Vikings more closely resembled a Camaro weaving in and out of traffic on the interstate. Atlantic City turned up the heat defensively and got a huge game from senior Kevin Allen to rally past the Panthers, 54-46, after being down by as many as 11 points in the first half. Allen finished with a game-high 24 points, 16 of which came in the second half, and also added six rebounds, five steals, an assist and a blocked shot. He went 11-of-16 from the free-throw line, as the Vikings (12-4) continued to feed him the ball down low in an effort to get some open looks outside. But when Allen got the ball on the blocks, more often than not he went right to the rim with it. Jamir Prevard drives in for a layup during Atlantic City's 54-46 win over Middle Township at the Shoot Down Cancer Classic at St. Augustine Prep. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Jamir Prevard drives in for a layup during Atlantic City’s 54-46 win over Middle Township at the Shoot Down Cancer Classic at St. Augustine Prep. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) “This is what I expected of him all along. He’s a three-year varsity player, and this is the time of year when you see most seniors starting to look at the end of their high school careers and they want to turn it up and play with a lot more intensity,” said Atlantic City coach Gene Allen. “That was an example of what a senior who really wants to win plays like.” “I was basically just trying to stay aggressive, run the floor and defend. I’ve been watching film, seeing plays that I’ve missed that I know I can make, and now I’m basically just stepping up and making them,” Kevin Allen said. Fellow senior Laceon Redfurn said it wasn’t any secret what the Vikings were trying to do offensively. “He did a great job down low, getting rebounds and getting fouled,” Redfurn said. “They were paying attention to our guards and we were able to find him down low for some baskets. Give it to Kevin down low was our game plan.” Middle Township (12-6) jumped out to a 21-10 lead behind Tim Toney and Corey Greer, who combined for 17 of the Panthers’ 27 first-half points. But Atlantic City hung around, closing the gap to 27-23 by halftime. Atlantic City's Laceon Redfurn drives the lane past Middle Townshp's Michael Feraco. Atlantic City’s Laceon Redfurn drives the lane past Middle Townshp’s Michael Feraco. The Vikings finally took command when Kevin Allen converted a 4-point play to give Atlantic City a 43-39 lead with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter. He followed that up with an inside basket moments later that made it 49-42, and Atlantic City did enough at the foul line in the final two minutes to seal the win. Defensive intensity was the key for the Vikings, who went to full-court pressure almost exclusively in the second half, and that seemed to rattle the Panthers’ guards. “Defense, that’s all we did was play defense,” Redfurn said. “We’re playing well. We’re starting to play together as a team, and we’re building and growing. It’s almost there, but we still have a long way to go.” “The whole goal is to run as hard as you can, get your hands up, and just keep that up the whole game,” Kevin Allen said. Redfurn finished with five points, four rebounds and three assists for Atlantic City, and Lamar Thomas added seven points and five assists. Toney led the Panthers with 15 points and Greer finished with 12 points and five rebounds. Washington Township 60, Cedar Creek 35: In the opening game of the showcase event at St. Augustine Prep, the Minutemen (9-10) got 18 points from Spencer Cook and 10 from Justin Ortiz to dispatch the Pirates (9-9). Lavelle Davis led the Pirates with 14 points and five rebounds, and Isaiah Watson chipped in four points and nine rebounds. Seneca 55, Egg Harbor Township 43: The Golden Eagles improved to 5-11 with a win over EHT (10-6), getting a game-high 22 points from Tommy Egan, who sank five 3-pointers. Christian Estrada led the Eagles with nine points and five rebounds, and Carmine Fiore added nine points. Quanif Ames and Omar Dixon each chipped in with seven for EHT. Notes: Sunday’s schedule includes a big finale featuring Holy Spirit vs. Camden Catholic at 6 p.m. Contact Dave O’Sullivan:; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]


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