A Historic Winter For The Garnet Gulls
Normally at this time of year if you get into a sports conversation with Point Pleasant Beach High School Athletic Director Ellen Magliaro it will be about her beloved New York Yankees. However these days the guys in pinstripes are a bit of an after thought because she is too busy dealing with a pair of basketball teams who have helped make this the most memorable winter in Garnett Gulls history.
Both the boys and girls teams won their first-ever state group championships and are headed to the Tournament of Champions.
It all started at high noon at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River where the ladies hung on to edge Bloomfield Tech 56-54 in a wild Group 1 final. Maybe the best 1-2 punch in Shore Conference history combined for all 56 points as junior Katelynn Flaherty scored 30 and sophomore Marina Mabry the other 26 along with 11 rebounds. Both were clutch went it counted the most as they hit 18-22 free throws as the Beach improved to 25-1 in a game that left even nattily-attired coach Mike Feerst a bit disheveled afterwards.
When that game ended many of the red-and-white clad Garnett Gull faithful made their way north to Rutgers University where the boys played Dayton in the Group 1 title game at 7pm. The normally explosive Gulls struggled a bit on offense but when the horn sounded it was Point Beach on top 43-39 to complete a Sunday sweep for a school and community still dealing with the after effects of Superstorm Sandy.
Senior Riley Calzonetti, who often plays much bigger than his size, came up big when he was needed the most and finished with a game-high 18 points,14 of them in the second half.
There will be some notable absences in the high school on Trenton Avenue today because the 12 boys and girls teams that won state titles over the weekend gather for a Tournament of Champions luncheon. A day off from school is a nice treat for the hoopsters but then it’s back to business as both will be big underdogs in the TOC this week at the Pine Belt Arena.
The girls face Trenton Catholic tomorrow night at 8pm while the boys battle Atlantic City Wednesday at 8pm.
It was quite a Sunday for Toms River South 145-pound wrestler B.J. Clagon, who used a reversal with just 13 seconds left to edge South Plainfield’s Troy Heilmann 2-1 and win his second straight state title before over 11,000 fans at Boardwalk Hall.
Clagon joins the immortal Jeff Parker, who was in Atlantic City all weekend, as the only two-time state champs in South history. Teammate and close friend Kevin Corrigan lost a 5-4 decision in the 113 pound final while Rich Lewis of Toms River East finished 3rd at 138 pounds. Brick Memorial’s Dan O’Cone was named the state coach of the year for leading the Mustangs to the Group 4 title.