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Mainland outlasts Ocean City in triple overtime to win first sectional title in 43 years

Mainland's Cohen Cook (3) scores at the rim against Ocean City in the South Jersey Group 3 boys' basketball final played at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood, New Jersey on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Lukas Guerrier/D2 Sports Network


LINWOOD - Mainland Regional High School boys' basketball coach Dan Williams is at the helm of his alma mater.


Williams played for the Mustangs and recalled a game against Ninth Street Bridge rival Ocean City that was decided in triple or quadruple overtime. It was during Ocean City coach John Bruno's current tenure.


For Williams, the latest meeting between the two rivals felt like déjà vu.


Mainland outlasted Ocean City, 69-67, in triple overtime in the South Jersey Group 3 final on Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs captured their first sectional title since 1981. The Linwood program will play Freehold Borough in the NJSIAA Group 3 state semifinals at Monroe Township High School on Wednesday at 5 pm.


"It got a little scary at the end," senior Cohen Cook said. "We went to overtime three times. We just kept working. We just got it done."

Cook, a New Hampshire football commit, scored to give the Mustangs an eight-point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation. Kori Segich responded with a 3-pointer for the Red Raiders with 1:40 left to cut the deficit to five points. Tim Travagline scored for Mainland before a 3-pointer from Ocean City's Patrick Grimley cut the deficit to 53-49.


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