WILLIAMSTOWN -- A young team. You never know how inexperienced players might react in pressure situations.
Egg Harbor Township boys basketball coach Cameron Bell, who fields a roster loaded with underclassmen, is certainly seeing the upside of a youthful team that is just discovering a bright future.
On Thursday night, the No. 16 seed Eagles, who began the tournament with an 11-14 record, continued their magical ride through the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs by turning away No. 9 Williamstown, 49-40.
Freshman guard DJ Germann proved unstoppable as he deposited 21 points and collected three steals while dominating the game defensively down the stretch. Teammate Isiah Walsh chipped in with 10 points.
Earlier in the week, EHT stunned top-seed Toms River North 67-61. Coupled with the win over Williamstown, the Eagles now have a date to play Cherry Hill East in a Group 4 sectional semifinal on Saturday.
"Maybe these guys are so young they don't understand what pressure means," said an ecstatic Bell following the win. "But whatever it is, I hope it continues."
The Eagles were forced into rally mode early to walk away with this triumph. Williamstown's Keon Jabb, who finished with 15 points, netted seven points in the first quarter to help his team out to a 10-4 first quarter lead.
"We came out flat, but we managed to stay close," said Germann. "We weren't playing at our pace, but once we put it into gear, we knew we wouldn't be stopped."
Indeed, the Eagles tied the score 14-14, but then fell behind once again in the second half by a 32-27 count.
With 4:40 remaining, Germann stole the ball at half court, raced in for a layup and added a foul shot for a 41-34 lead. He added another layup moments later with 1:10 left for a 45-40 lead, and then the Eagles effectively ran out the clock to seal the triumph.
"DJ (Germann) keeps improving all the time, and he was a real force out there tonight," said Bell. "He has a great future."
Next up for the Eagles (13-14) will be the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals vs. Cherry Hill East in a noon start. Williamstown finished its season with a 16-12 record.