MIDDLETOWN - A 35-point loss on opening night could be a demoralizing experience for any basketball team and for a few hours, at least, Point Pleasant Beach felt that way about their opening-night rout at the hands of Ranney.

Within 24 hours, however, the Garnet Gulls turned that loss from a demoralizing blow to their early-season psyche into motivation and it has helped fuel them ever since.

Point Beach - the No. 5 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - took a seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's finale of the Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase against No. 6 Manasquan and turned in another strong performance in beating the Warriors, 61-48, to run its winning streak to eight.

"We were a little shellshocked after that first game," junior point guard Danny Frauenheim. "We were coming into the season a little too confident, so that was really a reality check for us. We went back the next day and started practicing a lot harder and focused a lot more on the things we needed to work on."

While Point Beach has played quality teams like St. Rose and Union during the run, Tuesday's win had a special tenor given the setting and the opponent.

"When you're in the Boardwalk, that's a big deal," Point Beach coach Nick Catania said. "I'm sure that's on all (the players') minds. From a coach's standpoint, Union was a really good win and Manasquan's a really good win. But the Boardwalk's always on these guys' calendar. They love it."

Frauenheim led the way for the Garnet Gulls Tuesday with a career-high 27 points, including 11 during the fourth quarter, when Point Beach pulled away.

With Manasquan leading 40-39 late in the third quarter, Frauenheim took over the game. He scored two baskets and assisted another by classmate Trevor Covey, who was fouled on the basket and converted the free throw, before the end of the third.

Point Beach took a 46-43 lead into the fourth and Frauenheim continued his hot streak with seven consecutive points to open the final quarter, giving the Garnet Gulls a 53-43. Frauenheim then went 4-for-4 from the free throw line over the remainder of the game to help seal the win for Point Beach, as well as his career performance.

Frauenheim also scored 10 points in the first quarter to help the Garnet Gulls lay claim to a 20-11 lead after one. Manasquan responded with a 22-12 advantage in the second quarter, led by senior Devin Jensen. The Shore's leading scorer (23.8 points per game) put up seven of his team-high 17 points in the third quarter and strolled into the halftime locker room with 12 points.

In the second half, Frauenheim handled the primary duties guarding Jensen and limited him to five points after halftime.

The scoring and defensive prowess Frauenheim showed, while not unprecedented for the junior guard, have not been the best part of his game so far this year. Frauenheim leads the Shore Conference at nearly 10 assists per game, including a 15-assist performance.

"He's just more confident," Catania said. "He's the leader of our team. He's got a super-high I.Q. This is his team. He knows it. We're going to go as he goes and he's really taken to that role."

"I like having the ball in my hands and I like getting my teammates open shots," Frauenheim said. "I've embraced the role and I really want to make my teammates better and help them score the ball."

Covey added 11 points for Point Beach, while senior Steve Flanders also reach double-figures with 10 points.

 

Box Score

Point Beach 61, Manasquan 48

1 2 3 4 F
Point Beach (8-1) 20 12 14 15 61
Manasquan (7-3) 11 22 10 5 51

Point Beach (61): Danny Frauenheim 10 4-4 27, Chris Pina 1 1-2 4, Jake Lorenzo 4 1-2 9, Steve Flanders 5 0-0 10, Trevor Covey 3 3-3 11, Josh Yates 0 0-0 0, Luke Frauenheim 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 9-11 61

Three-pointers: Frauenheim 3, Pina, Covey 2

Manasquan (48): Ryan Flanagan 3 1-2 9, Tyler Hobbie 0 0-0 0, Seamus Hogan 2 5-9 9, Brad McCabe 5 0-0 11, Devin Jensen 7 2-4 17, Justin Gladden 1 0-1 2, Jack Miles 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 8-16 48

Three-pointers: Flanagan 2, McCabe, Jensen