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WEST LONG BRANCH – With the clock working its way toward all zeroes and his team trying to protect a 10-point lead against a Shore Conference Class A Central division rival, Rumson-Fair Haven coach Chris Champeau told his team – like most any coach would – to prioritize running time off the clock with each offensive possession.

He did, however, offer one caveat for his leading scorer, junior Brendan Barry.

“I called a timeout and told the guys that we need to chew some clock,” Champeau said. “Then when we broke the huddle, I grabbed (Barry) and told him, ‘If you get an open look, drill it.’”

Rumson junior Brendan Barry scored 29 points and the Bulldogs beat Shore for the second time this season. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Open looks did not come easy or very close to the basket for Barry, but the junior sharp-shooter and second-leading scorer in the Shore Conference entering play Thursday made his shots count, particularly down the stretch during a 29-point night that sparked the Bulldogs to a 70-56 win over Shore Regional.

“Everyone comes out hyped thinking they have to stop Brendan Barry,” Champeau said. “He’s not a chucker, he lets the game come to him. So sometimes, when you think a team might be shutting him down, he’s just working within the framework of the offense until the time comes where he says, ‘Okay, let me do my thing.’”

Barry needed only 10 field goal attempts to score his 29 points and also added four assists and five steals. He shot 7-for-10 from the field, 4-for-5 from three-point range and 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.

“This was one of those games where you just go after everything so if I had a shot, I was going to take it,” Barry said. “Plus, I was kind of feeling it today, so if I had any room, I was going to shoot it.”

With Shore – ranked No. 10 in the latest Shore Sports Network Top 10 – in the midst of a 12-2 run that cut No. 9 Rumson’s lead from 54-38 to 56-50 with 2:59 left, Barry hit his two biggest shots of the game to bury the Blue Devils. The junior missed his only three-point attempt with his team up 56-48, which directly led to a foul in transition that allowed Shore to cut its deficit to six on two free throws by senior Dan Largey.

The missed three did not deter Barry, who let a three fly from the left corner on the very next possession and buried the shot to stretch the lead back to nine points. After Largey missed a three on the other end, Barry drilled an NBA-range three from the right wing early in the possession to push the lead back to 12 with just over two minutes left.

“He’s just a special player,” Champeau said. “He’s always in control and with players like him, you give them the green light and know they are going to make the right decision. As a matter of fact, at halftime, I said, ‘Guys, with a minute and forty-eight left, when I said slow it down, I meant hit (Barry) for a thirty-footer.’”

Barry did almost all of his damage in the second and fourth quarters. After a scoreless first quarter in which he attempted only one shot, Barry scored 12 points in the second quarter and later closed the game with 12 more in the fourth.

Shore senior Jack Byrne played him close during the first quarter and into the second, but as soon as Byrne went to the bench after picking up his first foul, Barry knocked down the two ensuing free throws and buried a three from the left wing to begin his scoring barrage.

“Byrne is a great defender,” Barry said. “He’s really long and he’s pretty quick. Once he went to the bench, I was able to get my first good look and that seemed to open things up on offense.”

Senior Alex Geiger scored 10 points on three 3-pointers for Rumson, while Thomas Famulary added nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals, including the first four Rumson points of the game. The Bulldogs went scoreless over the first 5:50 of the first quarter before Famulary ended an 8-0 Shore run with a running bank shot, which he followed up with a drive to the basket two possessions later.

“Guys hit some shots early and that probably helped take some attention away from me,” Barry said. “Geiger hit three threes, Famulary got to the basket early on, (Jack) Luby and Mickey Schluter hit some shots, so we had a lot of guys contribute, which is something we’ve been focusing on.”

Although the two shots by Barry served as the dagger that put Shore away on Thursday night, the Blue Devils still got a chance to celebrate late in the game when senior Kevin Bloodgood hit a baseline jumper out of an out-of-bounds play underneath with 1:46 left to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career. The four-year varsity letter-winner finished with 13 points and follows former teammate Dan Pillari as the second Blue Devil to reach the mark in as many years.

“I told the guys before the game to not think about it because I didn’t want it to be a distraction,” Bloodgood said. “I didn’t want guys passing me the ball just to help me get to 1,000. This was a big game tonight and I wanted all of my focus to be on winning the game. It was definitely in the back of my mind, but I tried not to get too wrapped up in it.

“It’s definitely an honor. I don’t know how many players at Shore have done it, but I don’t think it’s very many, so to be in that company is humbling.”

Largey led Shore with 16 points despite sitting out for a large portion of the second quarter after getting poked in the eye on a drive to the basket.

Rumson’s win over Shore Thursday gives the Bulldogs a regular-season sweep over their rivals and knocks the Blue Devils out of a first-place tie with Manasquan in the Class A Central standings. Manasquan now holds a half-game lead over both Shore and Rumson and has already defeated Rumson twice this season. Shore, however, already has a road win over Manasquan and will host the Warriors this coming Thursday with a chance to force a three-way tie atop the division.

“We probably match up better with Shore than Manasquan does because of our shooters, but Manasquan is tough with their size and athleticism,” Barry said. “We knew it was going to be us three battling it out for the division, so we’re just going to keep trying to do our part and we’ll see where we end up.”


Box Score

Rumson-Fair Haven 70, Shore 56






Rumson-Fair Haven (11-3, 6-2)






Shore (10-3, 6-2)







Rumson-Fair Haven (70): Brendan Barry 7 11-11 29, Thomas Famulary 4 1-3 9, Kenny Ferrare 2 0-2 4, Jack Luby 3 2-2 9, Alex Geiger 3 1-2 10, Morgan Maguire 0 2-2 2, Mickey Schluter 2 2-4 7, Elijah McCallister 0 0-1 0, Mike O’Connor 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 19-27 70

Three-pointers: Barry 4, Luby, Geiger 3, Schluter

Fouled Out: Famulary

Shore (56): Rob Gialanella 2 0-0 4, Kevin Bloodgood 4 2-4 13, Matt McCarthy 2 2-4 6, Dan Largey 4 8-9 16, Jack Byrne 0 8-8 8, Billy Deerin 3 2-3 8, Ryan Jones 0 0-0 0, James Kelly 0 1-2 1. Totals: 15 23-30 56

Three-pointers: Bloodgood 3

Fouled Out: Byrne