POINT PLEASANT BEACH – Matt Farrell started in the Point Pleasant Beach boys basketball program as a role player who knocked down the occasional shot and worked hard on both ends of the floor while the team’s top player threw down dunks and garnered most of the attention.

Farrell did not envision that role for himself back then, and it may not have fully dawned on him that he was on that level until Thursday night when he became the ninth member of the school’s 1,000-point club with, what else, but a dunk.

 

Point Beach senior Matt Farrell goes up for one of his dunks Thursday in a win over Asbury Park. Farrell scored his 1,000th point on a dunk earlier in the game. (Photo by Christine Swenson)

The six-foot senior threw down a dunk – which Farrell claimed was the second time he has dunked in his high school career – in the opening minute of the second quarter to eclipse 1,000 career points while leading the Garnet Gulls to a 92-53 win over Asbury Park.

“I never really thought back then, playing with some of those guys, that I would be in that conversation as a thousand-point scorer,” Farrell said. “I was just trying to fit in at the time, but I had players and coaches telling me that I had a chance to be a special player in the program and that always motivated me to work hard to try to live up to that potential.”

Entering play Thursday, Farrell needed 12 points to reach 1,000 and had not scored fewer than 14 points in any game this season while averaging 20 points per game. He scored all 19 of his points in the first half and also added six assists and seven steals. He and the rest of the starters played only three minutes of the third quarter before heading for the bench with their team leading 74-20.

Matt Farrell scores his 1,000th point with a dunk from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment and I feel very fortunate to have a chance to do it, not only for me, but for the program,” Farrell said. “What makes it special is that I got to do it with this team, these players and the coaches who have helped me get to where I am today.”

Farrell reached his career milestone without his head coach in attendance. Nick Catania missed his third straight game while battling the flu, according to assistant Brian Moberg, but the coach was in contact with his point guard throughout the week.

“He texted me earlier and told me that it would happen tonight,” Farrell said. “He just told me not to worry about it, play the game and it would happen soon enough.”

Farrell began the game with five quick points on a fast break lay-up and a three-point play to put Point Beach ahead 7-0. He then took a back seat in the scoring while the Garnet Gulls built a 23-7 lead. Farrell missed two 3-pointers and a dunk after the fast start, but senior Dom Uhl scored nine of his game-high 23 points during that stretch to lead the fast start for Point Beach.

Uhl alley oop from Farrell from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

“I was definitely feeling the butterflies early on,” Farrell said. “I really wanted to make sure I got it. I had my family here to see me do it, so I didn’t want to keep them waiting too long.”

Farrell finally knocked down an open three from the right corner late in the first and buried another three from the right wing early in the third to move within one point of 1,000. On the ensuing Asbury Park possession, senior Noah Yates stole the ball and fired it up court to Farrell, who slammed home his 1,000th and 1,001st points with two hands.

“I worked a lot this offseason on becoming more explosive,” Farrell said. “It wasn’t just so I could dunk the ball, but it’s nice to be able to go up and put it down when I have a chance.”

The dunk was the first of two dunks, the second of which Farrell hammered home with one hand on a break. He also set up Uhl for two alley-oop dunks, the last two of three alley-oop slams by Uhl. The 6-7 Iowa recruit also dunked a lob from junior Mike Frauenheim on the first possession of the game.

Matt Farrell receives a commemorative basketball for scoring his 1,000th career point. (Photo by Christine Swenson)

Farrell is the ninth member of Point Beach’s 1,000-point club and the first since former teammate Jarelle Reischel reached 1,000 during his senior season – Farrell’s freshman season – in 2010-11.

“I walk past his (1,000-point) ball in the hallway all the time and it’s a great memory of him, but it’s also been motivation," Farrell said. “It’s a reminder that I have a tradition to uphold and we, as a team, have a tradition to uphold.”

Thursday’s game was never in doubt for the Garnet Gulls, which went on a 36-2 run over a stretch of just under eight minutes between the first and second quarters to put Point Beach up 43-7.

Next up for Farrell is the program’s career assist record, which he could set by the end of the month.

“That’s the record that would mean the most to me, out of all the individual stuff,” Farrell said. “We’ve got so many guys who can score, I don’t have to worry about changing my game to get that one.”

 

Box Score

Point Beach 92, Asbury Park 53

1

2

3

4

F

Asbury Park (1-7, 1-4)

7

11

13

22

53

Point Beach (8-0, 5-0)

34

33

14

11

92

 

Asbury Park (53): Cishiume Simmons 1 0-0 2, Tyquis Davis 8 4-6 21, Mikal Fearon 6 4-5 16, Tyquere Davis 2 2-2 8, Najir Ridout 1 0-0 2, Shaleek Davis 1 0-0 2, Paul Bacon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 10-13 53

Three-pointers: Tyquis Davis, Tyquere Davis 2

Point Beach (92): Matt Farrell 8 1-1 19, Mike Frauenheim 2 0-0 6, Jeff Bryant 6 0-1 12, Dom Uhl 9 4-5 23, Noah Yates 6 0-0 14, Chris Schifano 0 0-0 0, Ryan Prima 1 0-0 3, Joe Budya 0 0-2 0, Chris Mangini 1 0-0 2, Tanner Smith 2 0-0 4, Ryan Sheehan 1 0-0 2, Andrew Riddick 1 0-0 2, Mike Liccho 2 0-0 5. Totals: 39 5-9 92

Three-pointers: Farrell 2, Frauenheim 2, Uhl, Yates 2, Prima, Liccho