With a young roster and two transfers from Red Bank Catholic sitting out until Jan. 15, the Ocean Township boys basketball team was a team to watch during the second half of the Shore Conference high school basketball seasons. If the Spartans could stay afloat for the first four weeks of the season, they could be dangerous in February.

That scenario has indeed played out, with Ocean making a late push for the Shore Conference Tournament. Last week, the Spartans took down Matawan on the road and Class B North champion Wall in a home thriller to creep to within a game of .500, as well as earn the Week 6 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week Award.

Wall and Matawan are currently two of the top three teams in the B North standings and for Ocean to qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament, beating the Huskies and the Crimson Knights was a virtual necessity. They opened the week by dropping Matawan in convincing fashion, 65-54, behind 21 points from junior Sam Meeks and 20 more from junior Jack Miller.

Meeks, along with sophomore Jack Savare, is one of two transfers from Red Bank Catholic to join the Ocean rotation in mid-January and Meeks has mad an instant impact as a third scorer alongside Jack Miller and freshman Corey Miller. Since his Ocean debut, Meeks is averaging 12.7 points in nine games.

Jack Miller was the hero in Thursday's win over Wall. The junior pulled up from 23 feet and drilled the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to sink the Knights, 56-55, and finish with 16 points.

Miller is already a member of the 1,000-point club as a junior and at 1,088 heading into Ocean's next game on Friday, he will have a good chance at passing 1971 graduate Mark Hlatky (1,661) as the program's all-time leading scorer during his senior season.

Ocean's SCT hopes took a hit with a loss to Middletown North to open this week but the Spartans can still get in by beating St. John Vianney on Friday and North Brunswick on Saturday.

 

2019 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Matawan

Week 2: Wall

Week 3: Red Bank Catholic

Week 4: Toms River North

Week 5: Middletown South

 

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