At this time a year ago, the burning question heading into the Shore Conference Class B South regular season was whether or not this would finally be the year the Lakewood did not win at least a share of a division championship. It, in fact, was not the year and Lakewood enters this season seeking its 11th straight piece of a division champions, most of which have come in Class B South. The Piners overcame a fast start by Point Pleasant Boro to share the 2017-18 championship with the Panthers and also edged out Barnegat and Pinelands by a game.

Extending the streak to 11 will be even harder – Lakewood returns only one starter and Pinelands is one of three teams that bring back almost of their scoring from the previous year. Last year was the first time Lakewood had to settle for a share of the division championship since 2009-10, so an eight-year run of outright tiles did end, but it was a demonstration that the lineage of Piners players don’t want to give up on the streak their predecessors built.

With that being said, this is as beatable as Lakewood has been in nine years and coming off a turnaround season in 2017-18, Pinelands is at the front of the line of contenders that will take a shot at the spot Lakewood has occupied for a full decade.

 

In predicted order of finish

Pinelands

Head Coach: Fred Johnson, third season
2017-18 Record: 15-11 (10-4, tied third in B South)
Key Returners: Anthony Diaz (Sr., 5-10, Guard), Andrew Schulz (Sr., 6-1, Guard), Ryan Skeie (Jr., 6-3, Forward), Luke Wiatroski (Sr., 5-9, Guard), Garrett Brown (Sr., 6-0, Guard)
Key Losses: Caden Sundermann (5-10, Guard)
Newcomers: Kevin Cameron (Sr., 6-2, Forward), Arpit Gainder (Sr., 6-0, Guard), Ricky O’Brien (Sr., 6-2, Forward), Andrew Barlett (Jr., 6-1, Forward), Ed Wilkinson (Jr., 6-4, Forward), Josh Kline (So., 5-7, Guard), Andrew Jenkins (So., 5-10, Forward)

No team in the Shore Conference improved more from 2016-17 to 2017-18 than Pinelands, at least as it pertains to overall record. Coming off a 3-21 campaign just two years ago in coach Fred Johnson’s first season, the Wildcats pulled a 180 and catapulted themselves into the B South race en route to a 15-win season. On top of the successful turnaround, Pinelands did it without much senior influence, which leaves the Wildcats in great position to aim even higher this season and complete what would be a two-year turnaround that rivals their one-year turnaround.

Among the Pinelands returnees are its top three scorers from a year ago. Seniors Andrew Schulz and Anthony Diaz were a formidable one-two, back-court scoring punch as juniors last year, with Schulz leading the way at 15.4 per game. Diaz went down with an ankle injury that cost him a stretch of time, but the Wildcats stayed afloat thanks to Schulz who, more than anyone, carried Pinelands during that stretch. Diaz was also a threat when healthy, posting 13.9 points per game in 21 games and was on a pace to finish with a higher average prior to his injury.

Junior forward Ryan Skie was Pinelands’ breakout player last year and his play inside was another major factor in mitigating the absence of Diaz, as well as giving the Wildcats some interior play to go with its perimeter prowess. Skie averaged 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds and figures to eclipse those numbers as a junior. Senior Garrett Brown is also back from last year’s lineup and senior Luke Wiatroski is healthy after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Pinelands should also have a little more depth to fortify the roster and support a strong starting five that could potentially be a couple months away from going from 3-21 to winning its first division championship in two years.

 

Lakewood

Head Coach: Randy Holmes, 13th season
2017-18 Record: 15-11 (11-3, tied first in B South)
Key Returners: Ryan Savoy (Jr., 6-4, Guard/Forward)
Key Losses: Zyheir Jones (6-2, Guard), Jyheir Jones (6-2, Guard), Kevin Dent (5-9, Guard), Khari Jenkins (5-10, Guard), Drayton Bonaparte (5-10, Guard)
Newcomers: Omari Barksdale (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Zy'mere Calhoun (Sr., 6-3, Forward), De’Andre Harris (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Sean Antoine (Jr., 6-0, Guard), Sincere Moore (Sr., 6-1, Forward), Junior Bravo (Sr., 5-10, Guard), T.J. Paturzo (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Ty’mir Berdstrom (Jr., 6-3, Forward), Erick Torres (Jr., 5-8, Guard), Mathew Vargas (Fr., 5-8, Guard)

With only one starter back and a host of teams engaged in an arms race to try to end Lakewood’s 10-year run of division titles, the Piners appear to be facing their toughest challenge in the last decade. Even with Lakewood sporting its least experienced roster in some time, it is still hard to envision the Piners as anything but a division-title contender. Just last year, it appeared the run was coming to an end until Point Boro stumbled down the stretch and Lakewood stepped through the door of opportunity to win a share of the B South crown, extending the run of 10 straight years with at least a share of a division championship.

Despite the loss of four starters and a key bench player, Lakewood returns a foundation piece in junior Ryan Savoy. The 6-4 junior was the No. 2 shot-blocker in the Shore as a sophomore last year at better than four per game, which trailed only Rumson’s Elijah McAllister. Savoy will be a triple-double threat throughout the season with his scoring, rebounding and shot-blocking and his effort on both ends of the floor should help set the tone for his teammates. Among the new regulars alongside Savoy will be junior guards Omari Barksdale, De’Andre Harris and Sean Antoine, who are in line to form the rotation of guards with Savoy playing either the three, four or even the five. Seniors Sincere Moore and Zy’mere Calhoun will fortify the front court and 6-3 junior Ty’mir Berdstrom will add depth there.

It would be foolish to write off Lakewood in the conversation of B South favorites, but make no mistake about it – the Piners are an underdog this season, just like they were at midseason last year. Like last year, the goal is to, somehow, find a way. The non-divisional schedule is a little milder than it has been and it will take some development on the part of the newcomers and creativity on the part of coach Randy Holmes to make it work, but it’s always safest to assume Holmes and Lakewood will figure it out in B South, regardless of the circumstances.

 

Jackson Liberty

Head Coach: Mike Antenucci, second season
2017-18 Record: 8-19 (3-11, tied sixth in B South)
Key Returners: Daniel Sofield (Sr., 6-6, Guard/Forward), Takai Anderson (Sr., 5-11, Guard), Miles Neal (Sr., 6-1, Guard), Jimmy Celentano (Jr., 6-0, Forward), Tim Gjonballa (Jr., 6-5, Forward/Center), Jake Bosco (Jr., 5-6, Guard), Manny Clay (Jr., 5-5, Guard)
Key Losses: Kyle White (6-4, Forward), Jack Lilienkamp (5-10, Guard)
Newcomers: Cameron Wilson (Jr., 6-3, Forward), Dubem Emenuga (So., 6-2, Forward), Carl Barth (So., 6-0, Forward), Tyler Cunningham (So., 5-9, Guard), Will Pipher (Jr., 6-0, Forward)

Jackson Liberty senior Daniel Sofield. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

Last season began with some guarded optimism for Jackson Liberty before a losing skid and an injury to star swingman Daniel Sofield buried the Lions. Jackson Liberty will get one more shot at a memorable season, or at least a winning one, with Sofield on board. The 6-6 senior enters the season with more than 1,100 career points and is, arguably, the best player in the division for two years running. Despite that, Jackson Liberty has played only one postseason game with Sofield, which was a 77-44 loss to eventual Group III champion Nottingham in last year's NJSIAA Tournament.

Jackson Liberty has relied a lot on Sofield over his first three years and while that will be the case again this year, the Lions should have some other weapons to keep defenses honest. Senior guards Takai Anderson and Miles Neal have shown they can score at the varsity level and Anderson has the make-up of a quality point guard that can help the Lions operate on the offensive end. The junior and sophomore classes will be an x-factor, with Jimmy Celentano, Tim Gjonballa and sophomore Dubem Emenuga playing in the front court and Jake Bosco, Manny Clay and sophomore Tyler Cunningham adding some depth to the back court.

With more of a senior presence than past years and some more depth, Jackson Liberty will also look to take the next step on the defensive end as well. The offensive ceiling has been there with Sofield leading the way and Anderson and Neal playing well, but the defense will have to take a step forward in order to compete for a division title. The defensive performance likely holds the key, because it’s hard to imagine a team with Sofield and a solid supporting cast struggling to score over the course of a 25-plus game season. One way or another, Sofield will be a reason to check out Jackson Liberty this season and he and his team should have a chance at more of the big-game spotlight.

 

Lacey

Head Coach: Sean McAndrew, second season
2017-18 Record: 7-18 (3-11, tied sixth in B South)
Key Returners: Carl Swensen (Sr., 6-1, Guard), Kevin O’Rourke (Sr., 6-1, Guard), Kalvin Kuhn (Jr., 6-3, Forward), Jordan Cohen (Jr., 6-4, Center), Dylan Gudzak (Sr., 5-11, Guard), Jimmy Roselli (Sr., 5-8, Guard)
Key Losses: Kyle Priebe (6-3, Forward), Tanner Miick (6-3, Forward), Ryan Kilmurray (6-3, Forward) D.J. Grisard (6-1, Guard)
Newcomers: Jason Nemick (Jr., 6-4, Forward), Jacob Bowles (So., 6-2, Forward), Majid Crawford (Sr., 6-1, Forward), Donovan Bachetta (Jr., 5-8, Guard)

Lacey senior Carl Swensen. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Another team hoping to flip the 2017-18 B South division standings on their head, Lacey steadily improved and grew more competitive as the season progressed, even if their 7-18 record doesn’t necessarily indicate progress. The Lions return most of their impact players from last year’s team, led by senior guard Carl Swensen. After suffering a severe leg injury during football season that knocked him out for the entirety of his sophomore basketball season, Swensen returned with a vengeance last season. The 6-1 slasher was one of five players in the Shore Conference in 2017-18 to averaged 20 points or more per game and joins Rob Higgins of Middletown North and Villanova commit Bryan Antoine of Ranney as the lone returning players to eclipse 20 points per game last year.

Swensen is the most notable of Lacey’s returning starters after his dynamite statistical season as a junior, but the Lions should have the makings of a well-rounded lineup that can beat opposing teams in multiple ways. Senior Kevin O’Rourke is a four-year varsity starter and has also had to overcome some injuries, but served as a capable complement to Swensen last year. Fellow senior Kalvin Kuhn provides some muscle and scoring in the paint and 6-4 junior center Jordan Cohen brings some length and athleticism to the table, as well as the ability to step out and knock down a three. Senior guards Dylan Gudzak and Jimmy Roselli also return with experience and can bring some more toughness to the perimeter.

Lacey’s incoming talent will mostly provide depth in the front court, namely 6-4 junior Jason Nemick, 6-2 sophomore Jacob Bowles and 6-1 senior forward Majid Crawford. With Swensen and O’Rourke leading the way, Lacey won’t need much help in the perimeter scoring department but if the supporting cast can help bolster the defensive and rebounding efforts and pick up some scoring along the way, the Lions won’t have too many vulnerabilities. The climb to the top of the division started during the second half of last year and Lacey continues to build on its strong finish, it is a serious threat to win B South.

 

Donovan Catholic

Head Coach: Mike Kearney, 21st season
2017-18 Record: 9-15 (6-8, fifth in B South)
Key Returners: Matt Melon (Sr., 5-11, Guard), Glenn Swenson (Sr., 5-10, Guard), Brady Kunzman (Sr., 6-3, Guard/Forward), Neithan Ramos (Jr., 5-9, Guard), Rola Popoola (Sr., 5-11, Guard), Sean Farrell (So., 6-1, Guard)
Key Losses: Joe San Fillipo (6-2, Guard/Forward), Anthony Silvestrone (5-10, Guard), Jethro Moll (6-2, Guard), Nik Ferraro (6-6, Forward), Phil Mylod (Sr., 6-6, Forward)
Newcomers: Isaiah Ulep (Sr., 5-9, Guard), Trevor Asanza (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Christian McElroy (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Matt Weeden (Jr., 6-3, Forward), Sam Gates (So., 5-10, Guard), Cam McNair (So., 6-3, Guard/Forward), Jaden Anthony (Fr., 6-1, Guard), Mari Petty (Fr., 5-9, Guard), Alex Melon (Fr., 5-9, Guard)

Mike Kearney has won more than 400 games during his career and his Griffins have been one of the more consistent winners during his 20-year tenure at the school now known as Donovan Catholic. The last decade has been a little more of a mixed bag for the Griffins, which experienced consecutive losing seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18 – the second time Donovan Catholic has had back-to-back losing campaigns this decade (2011-12 and 2012-13). The Griffins bounced back in year three back in 2013-14 and there is reason to expect they will do it again this year in a division in which several other teams lost even more than Donovan Catholic did and several of the teams that bring back the most talent are teams that trailed the Griffins in the standings (Lacey, Jackson Liberty, Manchester).

On sheer volume, Donovan Catholic lost as much as any team from a year ago. The Griffins are looking to replace five key contributors (four starters), but the good news for Donovan Catholic is a lot of players got to see significant minutes during the course of the season. That should give the Griffins a leg up in plugging some of their holes, most of which will be in the front court, where Donovan Catholic lost a pair of 6-6 forwards and a tough, versatile wing in Joe San Fillipo. In the back court, however, Donovan Catholic returns a proven pair of senior guards in Matt Melon and Glenn Swenson. Melon missed most of the season due to injury, which was a major reason Donovan Catholic struggled, and Swenson stepped up in his absence.

The healthy back-court duo of Melon and Swenson will be complemented by senior Brady Kunzman, who can play on the win or on the interior for the guard-heavy Griffins. Donovan Catholic’s other three returnees – Neithan Ramos, Rola Popoola and Sean Farrell – are all guards and promising freshmen Jaden Anthony, Mari Petty and Alex Melon are also guards, which underscores the need for some interior play to emerge. Junior Matt Weeden and sophomore Cam McNair will help out with their size at 6-3 apiece but that is as big as Donovan Catholic will go on the front line. Guards can win games, though, and Donovan Catholic will have plenty of them in a division should leave the door open for the Griffins to put together a contender.

 

Point Pleasant Boro

Head Coach: Kevin Hynes, 24th season
2017-18 Record: 16-7 (11-3, tied first in B South)
Key Returners: Brian Hawthorne (Sr., 6-0, Guard), Sam Young (Jr., 6-5, Center), Cole Young (Jr., 6-4, Forward), Alex Drucquer (Jr., 5-10, Guard)
Key Losses: John Duda (6-4, Forward), Connor Strickland (5-9, Guard), Connor Costigan (6-2, Forward), John Chipak (6-0, Forward)
Newcomers: Nick Tuzzolino (So., 5-9, Guard), A.J. Hernandez (Jr., 6-0, Guard/Forward), Jon Nguyen (Sr., 5-9, Guard), Sam Beckedorff (Jr., 5-11, Guard/Forward), Aaron Stencel (So., 6-4, Forward), Matt Lee (Fr., 5-10, Guard), Dominic Schiappa (Fr., 6-1, Forward), Kai Messeroll (Fr., 5-8, Guard)

After letting an opportunity to win an outright B South championship slip away while settling for a share of the title with Lakewood, Point Boro will test the depth of the program this season. The top four scorers from last year’s starting lineup all graduated and the Panthers were very reliant on that starting group to carry them to a 16-7 mark and the B South co-title. The lone returning starter is Sam Young, who was a reliable rebounder and interior defender who did some scoring here and there when the opportunity arose. Young and his twin brother, Cole, will be a large part of Point Boro’s foundation this season and fit the profile of tough, physical players that have been the Panthers’ trademark during Kevin Hynes’s prior 23 seasons as coach.

Senior guard Brian Hawthorne played plenty of meaningful minutes off the bench last year and is a leading candidate to pace the Panthers when it comes to scoring. Junior guard Alex Drucquer will join Hawthorne in the back court to fill out three of the four open spots in the lineup. Among the top candidates to grab the fifth are sophomore guard Nick Tuzzolino and junior A.J. Hernandez, with sophomore Aaron Stencel providing a different look at 6-4 and freshmen Matt Lee, Dominic Schiappa and Kai Messeroll all hoping to impress and win time over the course of the season.

To some degree, Point Boro is like Lakewood in that the Panthers have always found a way to stay relevant in the B South race. Also like Lakewood, Point Boro is facing one of its tougher challenges in the tenure of its current head coach. Without a lot of seniors in the mix, Point Boro should have plenty of room to grow over the course of the season and in a division in which the champion could have four losses, the Panthers can’t be overlooked.

 

Manchester

Head Coach: Ryan Ramsay, 14th season
2017-18 Record: 4-19 (2-12, eighth in B South)
Key Returners: Josh Hayes (Jr., 5-11, Guard), Trevor Pruitt (So., 6-2, Guard/Forward), Josh Glenn (So., 6-0, Guard)
Key Losses: Jerry Ward (6-2, Forward), Jesse Devero (6-3, Forward), Mike Richardson (5-11, Guard), Jalen Glenn (6-0, Guard)
Newcomers: Wyatt Hasselbauer (Fr., 6-6, Forward), Savon Myers (Fr., 6-1, Guard), Tyler Brockmeyer (Sr., 6-2, Guard), Keigan Kelusak (Sr., 5-11, Guard), Zykeem Jenkins (Sr., 6-2, Forward), Gavin Clark (So., 6-3, Forward), Sean Snead (So., 6-0, Guard), Jeramiah Gee (Sr., 5-7 Guard), D’Maari Brown (Fr., 5-7, Guard), Anthony Gencarelli (Fr., 6-2, Guard)

Manchester has been home to some top individual talent in recent years so when the Hawks did not bring back an All-Shore candidate in the mold of Shamar Reynolds, L.J. Robinson or Jordan Torney last year, it made for an uphill climb for a young team. With seniors Jerry Ward and Jesse Devero graduating, the Hawks will be even younger this year, with a talented group of freshmen moving in to fill the open spots.

Junior Josh Hayes will be the team’s floor general at point guard, with sophomores Trevor Pruitt and Josh Glenn returning to the starting lineup after playing as freshmen. Pruitt will float between the three and four while Glenn will link up with Hayes and freshman Savon Myers in the back court. Myers is one of two freshmen projected to start for Manchester, with 6-6 Wyatt Hasselbauer debuting as Manchester’s starting center.

Hasselbauer and Myers were central players on a middle school team that lost two games in two years and coach Ryan Ramsay is hoping the lower-level success will translate sooner rather than later. If it does not happen right away, Manchester will certainly be a team to watch late in the season and certainly pushing toward 2020.

 

Barnegat

Head Coach: Mike Puorro, fifth season
2017-18 Record: 22-7 (10-4, tied third in B South)
Key Returners: Sean Morris (Sr., 6-4, Forward), Brian Finucan (Sr., 6-2, Forward)
Key Losses: Mike Revello (5-9, Guard), Carson Francisco (6-1, Guard), Alex Grogan (6-1, Forward), Parth Patel (6-2, Forward), Tommy Kray (6-0, Guard)
Newcomers: Dave Ciani (Sr., 5-8, Guard), Brendan Revello (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Nick Revello (Jr., 5-10, Guard), Devyn DeFilipo (Jr., 6-2, Forward), Laurence Davis (So., 5-10, Guard), Kevin Becker (Sr., Guard), Chris Revello (Jr., Guard), Shan Savastano (Jr., Forward), Jaxon Baker (So., Guard)

Last year was a banner year for Barnegat in just about every way possible. The Bengals won a school-record 22 games, won a Shore Conference Tournament game to earn a trip to play Ranney, and saw its leader Mike Revello become the first player in program history to reach the 1,000-career-point plateau. It is the kind of season that future players in a still-young program will hold up as a standard, but it’s also a year coach Mike Puorro and his younger players hope will be a starting point.

Unlike the rest of the teams in the division, Barnegat lacks both the numbers and the impact from last year’s starting lineup, which, for the Bengals, included four seniors and three double-figure scorers in Revello, Carson Francisco and Alex Grogan. The Bengals did not go deep into their bench like Donovan Catholic and while senior Sean Morris is a standout athlete and a reliable interior presence, he doesn’t have the track record that Savoy at Lakewood has to try to carry the load. Barnegat also doesn’t have the track record of reloading that Lakewood does, so this year will be a test of the program’s ability to turn over.

Senior Brian Finucan will jump into the starting lineup along with Morris, his tight end and top target as the Bengals quarterback during football season. The two seniors will lead the way for an otherwise-young group that includes three more Revellos – juniors Nick, Brendan and Chris – and fellow juniors Devyn DeFelipo and Shan Savastano. Sophomores Laurence Davis and Jaxon Baker could be factors during what Barnegat hopes will be a strong follow-up to 2017-18.

 

Players to Watch

Daniel Sofield, Jackson Liberty – The Lions have been very reliant on Sofield during his first three years, so when Liberty’s 6-6 swingman got injured last year, it slowed the team down considerably. With a clean bill of health, Jackson Liberty’s all-time leading scorer should thrive, exceed his 16.9 points per game last year and lead the Lions to that elusive winning season.

Carl Swensen, Lacey – Lacey’s scoring machine is one of only three Shore Conference returnees to average 20 points or more last year and he is in elite company with Villanova commit Bryan Antoine and Division I prospect Rob Higgins. Swensen had a storybook season coming back from a gruesome injury the previous year and the only way to top it would be to lead his team to a B South title.

Ryan Savoy, Lakewood – The Shore’s best returning shot-blocker has an improving offensive game to go with his defensive prowess. Savoy should find himself among the Shore’s leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots and has also proven to be an adept passer as well.

Andrew Schulz, Pinelands – One half of Pinelands’ dynamic duo, Schulz came up huge for the Shore’s most improved team when his partner-in-crime, Anthony Diaz got hurt. The Wildcats hardly missed a beat and were in the division hunt until the end, with Schulz leading the way at 15.4 points per game.

Anthony Diaz, Pinelands – Speaking of Diaz, the senior sparkplug had a fast start derailed by an ankle injury but still managed to put up 13.9 points per game. Both Diaz (611 career points) and Schulz (598) enter the season within striking distance of 1,000 career points.

 

Breakout Players to Watch

Matt Melon, Donovan Catholic – Last year was a lost season for Melon, who is motivated to get back on the floor after an injury-marred junior year and lead Donovan Catholic back toward the top of the heap in B South.

Sam Young, Point Boro – The lone returning starter for the Panthers, Young will carry more of the scoring load this year while remaining a steady presence as a rebounder and defender.

Josh Hayes, Manchester – On a team loaded with sophomores and freshmen, Hayes is a junior with a lot of responsibility, both as a point guard and a leader.

Jordan Cohen, Lacey – A versatile 6-4 center, Cohen has a chance to solidify himself as Lacey’s second scorer after Swensen, as well as a rebounder and rim-protector on the other end.

Sean Morris, Barnegat – The Bengals needs someone to shoulder the load and you won’t find many broader shoulders than on the Holy Cross football commit, who has shown scoring and rebounding ability throughout his career.

 

Burning Questions

For the 10th time: Can Lakewood keep its run of division titles going?

The streak of nine straight division titles looked to be in jeopardy at the beginning of the year and by the end of the regular season, the Piners had scratched-and-clawed their way to a 10th straight in the form of a co-title with Point Boro. The narrative is similar this season and with some non-traditional contenders heading up the field, maybe coach Randy Holmes and Lakewood can pull another rabbit out of the hat.

Can Pinelands finish off the worst-to-first climb in only two years?

The Wildcats were one win away from making the worst-to-first climb in just one year, finishing one game behind both Lakewood and Point Boro for first place in B South. That came just one year after going 3-21 overall with a 2-12 record in the division – which made Pinelands the best turnaround story at the Shore last year at plus-12 wins. With just one starter graduating and two potential 1,000-point scorers leading the group of returnees, there has never been as much anticipation for a season of Pinelands basketball as there is this year.

Now a senior, how far can Sofield carry Jackson Liberty?

Sofield is indeed a good enough player to carry a team to a .500 record, but the task has taken a physical toll on the four-year starter and the Lions would really like to maximize their accomplishments by giving Sofield some help this year. That should be easier considering Sofield has not played with a lot of players older than him over the past two seasons and the returning back-court tandem of Takai Anderson and Miles Neal should help take some pressure off the 1,000-plus-point scorer.

With all its young talent, is Manchester at the beginning of a big run?

After a rough, 4-19 outing last year, Manchester is hoping to do what Pinelands did last year and begin a trek toward the top of the standings following a forgettable season with a young roster. The Hawks’ top returner is junior Josh Glenn and the rest of Manchester’s starting lineup is comprised of two sophomores and two freshmen – making them a team to follow as the season progresses.

Is this a changing-of-the-guard season in B South?

Lakewood, Point Boro and Donovan Catholic have long been the regular contenders in Class B South and all three might be about – by their standards – fall on hard times. Donovan Catholic is trying to avoid a third straight losing season while Lakewood and Point Boro try to overcome heavy losses to graduation. Meanwhile, Pinelands, Lacey and Jackson Liberty – teams that have finished in the bottom half of the standings in recent years – all have experienced rosters with proven offensive talent. This might be the year of the underdog in B South anyway you slice it: a team like Pinelands could win its first division title or Lakewood, Point Boro or Donovan Catholic could again reign supreme, even in what looks like a possible down year.

 

Sign Up For The SSN Newsletter

Please fill out this form to sign up for the Shore Sports Network newsletter.