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TOMS RIVER – The Toms River North boys basketball team has now had three cracks at trying to contain Toms River South senior guard and Shore Conference leading scorer Tymere Berry and has performed to mixed results.

While Berry has had his unstoppable moments against the Mariners, one thing has remained constant: Toms River North has had its rival’s number thanks to an unstoppable scorer of its own.

Sophomore Mike Nyisztor continued to do to Toms River South what Berry has done to so many teams this season, scoring 25 points in helping lead Mariners surges during the second and third quarters on Tuesday that helped the Toms River North beat the Indians for the third time this season, 66-52, for sole possession of first place in Class A South.

Sophomore Mike Nyisztor scored 25 points Tuesday to help lead Toms River North to a win over rival Toms River South. (Photo by Larry Murphy, Sports Pix NJ)

In three Toms River North wins over Toms River South this season, Nyisztor is averaging 23.7 points – short of Berry’s current season average (26.4) but more than the 19.3 the standout guard has averaged in those three head-to-head match-ups. Berry finished with 23 points Tuesday night.

“The South rivalry is big for us, so to take three games from them is a big accomplishment,” Nyisztor said. “Me and (senior) Evan (Martin) both had older siblings who played in this rivalry, so it’s in our blood.”

Nyisztor scored 11 of his points – nine on three 3-pointers – during an 18-0 run that closed the third quarter and stretched into the opening seconds of the fourth. Toms River South took a 42-38 lead on a three by senior guard Khaleel Greene before Nyisztor hit triples on consecutive possessions to vault the Mariners into the lead, 44-42.

“We started to get some stops and turnovers and were able to get out in transition,” Nyisztor said. “I got some easy baskets that way and a couple of times I was able to spot up for open looks and guys found me. I missed some early on, but my teammates kept giving me the ball when I was open and I eventually got a few to go.”

From there, senior Jordan Craig scored on two putbacks and Nyisztor and junior Hunter Petrick each buried a three to cap the third quarter and send the Mariners into the fourth with a 54-42 lead.

Berry helped Toms River South take leads of 18-8 and 42-38, scoring eight points in the first half and reaching 17 points by the time the Indians built their four-point lead in the third quarter. Berry also finished with eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks while shooting 8-for-21 from the field against a Toms River defense that played some variation of a zone for the entire game with a helping of full-court pressure. Four of Berry’s field goals were three-point shots and two of his baskets came off the offensive glass, where he hurt the Mariners in a 67-66 Toms River North win back on Jan. 8.

Toms River North senior Evan Martin (2) defends Toms River South senior and Shore Conference leader scorer Tymere Berry, who scored 23 points Tuesday against the Mariners - three points below his season average. (Photo by Larry Murphy, Sports Pix NJ)

“We just wanted to make it as hard as possible for him (Berry) to get his points,” said Martin, who finished with 13 points and four steals. “He’s really quick off the dribble and also on the offensive glass, so you need to be ready with help near the basket and make sure you block him out when the ball goes up. He killed us on the offensive glass in the last game, but we did a better job today keeping him off the glass.”

Craig was a key factor in keeping Berry off the boards, as the Toms River North center pulled in 12 rebounds to go with nine points. Senior Ted Thelemaque – starting in place of injured junior starter Pat Marinaccio (ankle) – also added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Petrick chipped in nine points off the bench.

Marinaccio injured his left ankle last Wednesday against Toms River East and has missed the last two games while recovering. Toms River North lost Friday night at Southern with Marinaccio out of the lineup but made the necessary adjustments playing without him on Tuesday.

“The main thing we’ve been saying is it’s not just one guy replacing Pat,” Martin said. “It takes a bunch of guys stepping up to do all the things that he brings to our team, and I think against Southern, it took us a while for everyone to get comfortable in those new roles. Today, you had a bunch of guys step up and give us really big minutes.”

Toms River South also played without a key member of its frontcourt. Junior R.J. Laing missed his third straight game with a broken bone in his right hand that he suffered in a win over Southern on Jan. 22.

Tuesday’s win gives Toms River North a one-game lead over both Toms River South and Southern for the Class A South division lead after the Mariners entered the evening tied with the Indians atop the standings.

“Basketball works like that sometimes,” Martin said. “Teams get hot, teams have bad days; you just have to know how to bounce back strong. After the Brick Memorial (loss), we won the next three or four games by thirty points because we were mad and refocused, and there was probably an element of that tonight.”

“Nobody put their head down,” Nyisztor said. “We had a chance to put ourselves back in first place and in good position for the division, and we stuck together and made the most of it.”


Box Score

Toms River North 66, Toms River South 52






Toms River South (9-5, 7-3)






Toms River North (14-2, 9-1)







Toms River South (52): Khaleel Greene 5 0-0 11, Tymere Berry 8 3-5 23, Tyler Fall 3 3-4 10, Francis Hearne 2 0-0 4, Malcolm Gillespie 1 0-0 2, Ryan Schwartz 1 0-0 2, Matt Shiffer 0 0-0 0, Nykie Lofton 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 6-9 52

Three-pointers: Greene, Berry 4, Fall

Fouled Out: Tyler Fall

Toms River North (66): Darrion Carrington 0 0-3 0, Evan Martin 5 2-3 13, Jordan Craig 4 1-2 9, Ted Thelemaque 3 2-3 10, Mike Nyisztor 11 0-0 25, Hunter Petrick 4 0-0 9, Kevin Blum 0 0-0 0, Quintin Manning 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 5-11 66

Three-pointers: Martin, Thelemaque 2, Nyisztor 3, Petrick