Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Westwood in Need of Win to Lock Up Jamboree Berth

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Westwood in Need of Win to Lock Up Jamboree Berth

Article excerpt

The path to a winning season and potential bid to the 61st Bergen County Jamboree boys basketball tournament has been one long road trip for Westwood.

The Cardinals (9-4) are playing their home games at Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls parochial school also located in Washington Township, because their main gym is under repair.

"We are fortunate in that not too many teams could lose their home gym for the entire year and still be able to play their home games in their home town," said veteran coach John Santulli, grateful to Steve Silver, a longtime friend and IHA hoops coach.

Teams can secure an automatic bid to the Jamboree with a .650 winning percentage by Tuesday's cutoff, and Westwood can clinch with a victory Tuesday over visiting Mahwah.

The Cardinals defeated Mahwah in last month's season opener, 60- 42.

Westwood is among several teams that need a win Tuesday to clinch a Jamboree bid. That list includes Big North Conference brethren Fair Lawn (9-4) and Tenafly (9-4), as well as Bogota (9-4), Rutherford (9-5) and St. Mary (7-4) of the small-school North Jersey Interscholastic Conference.

The Jamboree committee gathers Wednesday night to select and seed the field.

Two NJIC schools entered Monday night with a chance to secure a Jamboree bid: Becton (10-4) and Glen Rock (8-3).

If the Wildcats and Panthers lose Monday, they can qualify with victories Tuesday.

Westwood, No. 22 in The Record Top 25, remained in contention with double-digit wins over No. 16 DePaul and Passaic Valley.

The Cardinals also feature wins over Jamboree-bound Saddle River Day, and Ramsey.

They played one home game in Westwood's auxiliary gym, Santulli said, and the rest at IHA.

Junior guard Collin Liddy "is our leader in every way," Santulli said, and averages a team-leading 12.8 points and 4.3 assists. Junior forward Joe Kramer "is getting into basketball shape," the coach said, after playing football into December, and averages 10. …

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