Head Coach Randy Holmes and his Lakewood Piners boys basketball team accept the Army Strong Team of the Week from Staff Sgt. Caroline Thiel. (Photo by Ry Richardson)

Before being named the Shore Sports Network Army Strong Team of the Week for its efforts last week, the Lakewood boys basketball team played a key role in another team winning the award just three weeks earlier.

Manchester defeated Lakewood at the buzzer in mid-January to snap the Piners' 45-game Class B South winning streak and in addition to earning themselves recognition, the Hawks also earned Lakewood's ire.

Last week, the Piners exacted their revenge over Manchester by beating the Hawks, 71-65, to clinch the outright Class B South championship - the Piners' sixth straight division championship.

Senior Amir Tyler scored 24 points in the win - part of a big week for the two-sport star heading to Temple University next year on a football scholarship. Three days prior to the big win over Manchester, Tyler scored 27 points in a 91-52 win over Point Pleasant Borough, which included the 1,000th point of his high school career.

Two days after Lakewood defeated Manchester to clinch the division title, Tyler hit the go-ahead floater in the lane with 10 seconds left to lift Lakewood to a 69-66 win over Newark Tech. Tyler scored 22 points in that game.


Photo by Ray Richardson

Lakewood carried its strong week into the Shore Conference Tournament this week - a run that continued Thursday with a 77-66 win over Point Pleasant Beach. Thursday was also a revenge game for Lakewood, which lost at home as a No. 2 seed to No. 15 Point Beach in last year's SCT round of 16.

Tyler scored 24 points to go along with eight assists and seven steals to lead Lakewood on Thursday night. Junior Adiam Palmer added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Piners, who opened up a 22-point lead by the end of the third quarter to take full control.

Lakewood will take on No. 2 CBA and attempt to hand the Colts their first loss against a Shore Conference opponent this season at 11 a.m. Sunday at Collins Arena on the campus of Brookdale Community College.

Past SSN Team of the Week Honrees

Week 1: Ranney

Week 2: Rumson-Fair Haven

Week 3: Toms River North

Week 4: Manchester

Week 5: Colts Neck

Week 6: Mater Dei Prep