Boys Basketball – SSN Player of the Week Vote, Week 5
Each week, Shore Sports Network nominates a group of players as the Shore Sports Network Player of the Week, sponsored by Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey, and the SSN readers will have a chance to pick the winner. Below are the players of the week from the six Shore Conference divisional, plus two wild card candidates from which to choose for this week’s honor. Voting ends at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Class A North Player of the Week
P.J. Ringel, Marlboro
In his second week back in action since returning from a fractured left hand, Ringel began to find his rhythm on both ends of the floor. In three games last week – against tradition-rich CBA, Neptune and Manasquan, no less – Ringel averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, four assists and six steals to lead the Mustangs to a pair of wins and nearly three (they lost to Neptune, 48-47). Ringel scored 12 points to go with six assists and six steals against CBA, logged 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in the loss to Neptune, and put up 25 points, six rebounds and five assists in a road win over Manasquan.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Reggie Tawiah, Matawan
The Huskies are on a five-game roll behind the junior duo of Mike Dunne and Reggie Tawiah, both of whom has strong showings over the past week. Tawiah gets the nod for his big game against Nutley on Jan. 16, in which he scored a career-high 27 points to go with 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a double-overtime win over Nutley.
Class A South Player of the Week
Maks Gruszecki, Central
The Golden Eagles continued to plug along through their impressive regular season with three more wins this week. Any 12-win team has a lot of heroes and while this week was no different, Gruszecki – as he has been for most of the year – was at the forefront. The senior guard scored 18 or more in wins over Toms River East, Brick and Colonia and averaged a shade over 20 points over the three games. He scored 23 against Toms River East, put up 20 in the win over the Green Dragons and pumped in 18 against Colonia at the Coaches vs. Cancer benefit that Central hosted on Saturday.
Class B North Player of the Week
Rob Higgins, Middletown North
Middletown North is resurfacing as a dangerous team in the Shore Conference landscape and Higgins’s return from a four-game absence due to a wrist injury has a lot to do with that. Since returning, Higgins has scored at least 20 points in each of the Lions’ five games and is averaging 22.4 in that stretch. In the three games this past week, Higgins 22 points in a win over Wall, 27 in a win over Red Bank Catholic and 20 more in a big road win over Point Beach.
Class B Central Player of the Week
Josmere Taylor, Asbury Park
Asbury Park ended an agonizing 10-game losing streak by beating Keyport on Wednesday, led by a 20-point performance by Taylor. Just two days earlier, Taylor did his best to pull the Blue Bishops to a win over Arts Newark. Taylor scored 34 points, but Arts pulled out the win over Asbury Park. Fortunately for Taylor and the Bishops, they got in the win column for the first time since opening night with that win over the Red Raiders.
Class B South Player of the Week
Anthony Diaz, Pinelands
It’s been a rough year for the sophomore-heavy Wildcats, but they scored a big win to cap this week as they try to finish off a big developmental year on a high note. Diaz is one of those sophomores and the guard had a strong showing this past week in three games. His last game of the week was his best, with Diaz pouring in 23 points in a win over a Barnegat team that was very much in the thick of the B South race. In the lead-up to the win over the Bengals, Diaz had an eight-point game in a loss to Manchester and put up 14 in a loss to Millville.
Mike Nyisztor, Toms River North
Nyisztor had a pair of solid games to open and close the week, with 11 points and nine rebounds against Brick and 10 points and nine boards against Woodbridge. His big performance came on Thursday, when he victimized crosstown rival Toms River South with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Tyree Morris, Long Branch
After beginning the season 1-4, Long Branch has won seven straight, including three wins last week. Morris was a constant in the three Green Wave victories, scoring 16 in a win over Al-Ghazaly, 11 in a big overtime win over Red Bank Catholic, and 18 in a hard-fought win over a Middletown South squad that knocked off Long Branch on opening night.