CAMDEN (N.J.) - In the city of Camden, it's like a city-wide holiday whenever Eastside High School and its southern counterpart, Camden High School, meet to battle on the gridiron or the hardwood.
The occasion has proven to bring out the city's administrators, professional athletes, former local stars and fans from neighborhoods scattered throughout the municipality.
On Tuesday night, the Camden High School boys basketball team hosted the Tigers in an Olympic Conference National Division showdown between the two top-ranked teams in the South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15. The top-ranked Panthers prevailed, 81-48, to improve their record to 9-1 at Clarence Turner Gymnasium.
Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl selections Haason Reddick and Darius Slay were among the viewers in the audience.
And the Panthers made sure to not disappoint on the stage.
Billy Richmond and Kentucky commit Aaron Bradshaw set the tone from the opening tip-off with rim-rattling dunks and dominating play in the low post. Richmond tallied 14 points and Bradshaw added 13. The Memphis East (Tn.) transfer also added seven rebounds and three blocks, while Bradshaw collected eight rebounds.
Albany commit Cornelius Robinson contributed a team-high 15 points for the Panthers.
Rashee Bell scored a game-high 25 for Eastside.
First-year Camden coach Maalik Wayns experienced his first installment of the rivalry on Tuesday. But the former Villanova and Philadelphia 76ers guard was well aware of its importance ahead of time, and knew just how much it meant to his players to conquer their crosstown rival.
"It means a lot for our guys to beat their rival," Wayns said. "I know a lot of these kids may go to school together so amongst them, they definitely like to trash talk and the winner gets bragging rights after the game. It's a friendly rivalry at the end of the day."
Bradshaw was very casual about beating cross-town rival Eastside.
It was just another day at the office.
"We just went out there and took care of business," Bradshaw said. "As a team we know what we're capable of so we came out and played our game and came away with the win."