On the other hand, Township had faltered against Palmyra's late full-court press, committing 10 fourth-quarter turnovers and allowing the Panthers to climb back from a 19-point third-quarter deficit.
``I don't know what to think of this game,'' Flanagan said. ``It's just nice to get out of here alive. And it's tough to beat a team for a third time [as Township did last night]. We needed a win to get ready for the tournament, and a close win is good for us.''
Township, provided it plays with the first-half precision it displayed last night, should be a factor in the South Jersey Group 1 field. The sixth-seeded Falcons (15-8 overall, 8-4 league) host 11th-seeded Woodbury (11-13) Tuesday. The winner plays at third-seeded Gloucester.
The Falcons have the speed and the weapons to cause Gloucester problems.
``We don't have a big scorer, so there's not one person a team can key on,'' Township forward Steve MacNeill said. ``We have a lot of guys who are scorers.''
MacNeill, a rugged 6-foot-4 senior who was academically ineligible until Feb. 4, scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half last night and triggered Township's early lead.
``He gives us a finisher against a zone, and he can handle the ball against the press,'' Flanagan said.
Fleet guards Chris Tokley (20 points) and Shaun Davis (13) and 6-3 center Mike Jackson (14) also reached double figures for Township. Tokely hit 4 of 6 three-point shots.
Palmyra (13-11, 5-7) committed 16 first-half turnovers and faced a 40-26 halftime deficit. Clayton Brown, a 6-5 junior who is coveted by numerous Division I colleges, and Rashan Hunt led Palmyra's second-half comeback. Brown scored 38 points on 17-for-20 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Hunt added 22 points.
Palmyra, seeded 10th, plays at seventh-seeded Florence (11-8) Tuesday in a Group 1 opener.
``If the real Palmyra team shows up, I'm confident we can go into Florence and win,'' Palmyra coach Jack Davies said. ``But we just can't turn the intensity off and on like we did tonight.''
With seven seconds left and Township holding a 73-71 lead, the Falcons' Davis missed the front end of a one-and-one. It took several seconds before Palmyra, which was out of time-outs, controlled the rebound and the Panthers were unable to get off a shot.