Big Weekend for High School Hoops
The weekend before the Super Bowl is a good one for those who want to head out and watch multiple high school basketball games in once place. It starts Saturday with the first-ever Toms River Basketball Showcase at the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. Six boys’ basketball games will be played matching Ocean County teams against those from out of the area beginning at 11am when Toms River East faces Middletown North. At 12:45 Class A South-leading Toms River North (#5 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10) will take on Union and following that at 2:30 its Toms River South against South Brunswick. The action continues at 4:15 with Donovan Catholic to meet Ridge and then at 6pm it’s Central Regional against North Brunswick. The full day of basketball ends at 7:45 when Manchester (#8 in the SSN Top 10) goes up against East Brunswick. All-Day admission is just $5 for Adults and $3 for Students.
The Pine Belt Arena, which is clearly one of the top facilities in New Jersey, will be buzzing with action the very next day as Sunday is the Valerie Fund Basketball Challenge which is being presented and sponsored by Mater Dei Prep. Eight high school teams from across the region will be taking part with the action tipping-off at noon when American History High School of Newark goes up against Don Bosco Prep. Highly-regarded Mater Dei Prep (#2 team in the Shore Sports Network Top Ten) will face St. Joseph of Montvale next and then perennial powerhouse St. Anthony of Jersey City battles The Hun School at 3pm. Hudson Catholic and Mater Dei Prep girls teams meet at 4:30 and in the final game of the day (6pm) the shore’s top-ranked team Christian Brothers Academy faces East Orange Campus High School. All proceeds will support the Valerie Fund, a non-profit organization that provides support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. The Challenge was the brainchild of Seraphs coach Ben Gamble and tickets for the all-day event are $10.
Sunday is also the 10th Annual Coaches Choice USA College Girls Showcase at Holmdel High School featuring some of the top teams in New Jersey and New York. The first of five games begins at 11am with Red Bank Catholic(#16 in NJ) playing Staten Island Academy(#5 NYC) and then at 12:30 Manasquan (#5 NJ) will do battle with Long Island Lutheran who some consider the top ranked team in New York. At 2pm Rumson-Fair Haven (#4 NJ) meets Notre Dame(#14 NJ) and then at 3:30 New Jersey’s #1 team St. John Vianney plays 3rd ranked Gill St. Bernards. The incredible lineup of games ends shortly after 5pm when Archbishop Molloy of New York takes on the host school Holmdel. All Day admission is $10 for adults and $5 for Students with ID.