Boys Basketball – SSN Player of the Week, Week Six
SSN Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Player of the Week
Nick Harris, Holmdel
Holmdel scratched and clawed to stay in the Class A Central division race and that fight ended Thursday with a loss to newly-minted division champion Rumson-Fair Haven. Last week, the Hornets kept their hopes alive with a pair of wins over Raritan and St. John Vianney that represented the tail end of a four-game winning streak.
Harris has been the offensive catalyst for Holmdel this season and he was in the center of the team's success last week. The senior led the 46-43 win over Raritan with 16 points and poured in 14 more in a 66-49 win over St. John Vianney on Thursday. He also poured in 18 points in a loss to St. Rose on Saturday that dropped the Hornets back to .500.
This coming week, Holmdel will look to climb back to the .500 mark and reach the Shore Conference Tournament, which might have seemed like a far-fetched goal heading into the season. The Hornets lost their entire starting lineup from last year's 11-13 team, including leading scorer Kyle Cardaci - who transferred to Mater Dei Prep instead of bringing his 17 points per game back to Holmdel for his junior year.
Instead of folding with a lack of experienced and strained program depth, Holmdel has remained competitive in A Central (6-4 within the division), albeit well behind division champion Rumson in the standings.
Harris has emerged as the top offensive player on the team and has scored in a variety of ways. He entered play Thursday as the No. 12 scorer in the Shore Conference at 16.79 points per game and surpassed that average with 18 in the loss to Rumson.
Harris won this week's recognition with just under 38 percent of the vote and beat out Red Bank Catholic senior Mike Conley, who collected over 29 percent. Toms River North sixth man Sean O'Donnell came in third with over 14 percent of the more than 3,500 votes cast.