GALLERY: Battle By the Bay

Started nearly 30 years ago, the Battle By the Bay invitational basketball tournament showcases top basketball programs and helps raise money for scholarships.

GALLERY: Battle By the Bay

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A spirited crowd witnessed the Atlantic City High School Vikings secure a definitive 81-58 victory against their rivals, the Pleasantville High School Greyhounds, at this year's Battle by the Bay on Sunday, February 4, 2024. This annual basketball classic not only fuels a historic rivalry but also serves a noble cause, raising funds for student scholarships.

Since its inception in the mid-1990s, the Battle by the Bay has been more than just a basketball tournament. It prepares teams for high-stakes games and raises money to help local students pursue higher education. Over the years, the event has contributed more than $200,000 to scholarships for students from both Atlantic City and Pleasantville.

Wilbur Banks, chair of the event, highlighted the dual benefits of the tournament: "It's a cornerstone of community unity and support. Beyond the game, it's about giving back and building futures."

The tournament was born out of a necessity when the new Atlantic City High School facility opened in 1995. Donald Marsh, one of the founders, envisioned an event that would prepare the school's basketball team for postseason play while fostering community spirit. Over time, Battle by the Bay has grown to include elite teams from across the Northeast, including New York and Pennsylvania, with St. Augustine Preparatory School among the participants.

This year's final game was particularly charged, with local principals and married couple, Constance Days-Chapman of Atlantic City and Dr. Lapell Chapman of Pleasantville, embodying the rivalry. Both principals are alumni of their respective schools, adding a personal stake to the competition.

"The friendly rivalry at home adds to the fun," Constance Days-Chapman shared. "This win is sweet, but the real win is helping our students achieve their dreams through the scholarships."

Dr. Lapell Chapman agreed, emphasizing the broader impact of the event. "It's about more than basketball. It's about supporting our students' futures," he said.

As the Vikings celebrated their victory, their first over the Greyhounds in the classic since 2020, the event reaffirmed its status as a beloved community tradition, promising to continue its legacy of competition and charity for years to come.

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