TOMS RIVER - Junior Brad McCabe found his scoring touch for the first time this season Tuesday to help his Manasquan boys basketball team jump out to a big lead in Tuesday's WOBM Christmas Classic quarterfinal against Middletown South, but he and his Warriors' defense had to step up to ward off a comeback by the Eagles.

McCabe scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Warriors past the Eagles, 63-55, and into the WOBM semifinals Thursday against Class B North rival Red Bank Catholic.

"When teams are smaller, we like to pound them with our size," McCabe said. "We have guys who can shoot and so far, we have just been feeding the hot hand. This was the first time I've had my shot going, so my teammates got me the ball and I just made shots."

PHOTO GALLERY: WOBM First Round by Paula Lopez

McCabe shot 6-for-9 from beyond the three-point arc and also came up with a key blocked shot in the final three minutes with Middletown South trying to come back from a 21-point first-half deficit.

Senior Ryan Flanagan added 12 points, while senior Emilio Stevenson and Xander Korolik added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Senior Ryan Purcell led Middletown South with 22 points and senior Dave Gervase added 13. The Eagles trailed 35-14 in the second quarter and went on a 12-0 run over the end of the third and early in the fourth to pull within 46-42.

McCabe is the leading returning scorer from last year's team, but had not scored more than 14 points in any of Manasquan's first four games and reached double-figure scoring just once. On Tuesday, he connected on his first three three-point shots and threw down a dunk as part of a 16-point first half that sparked the Warriors to a 35-20 halftime lead.

"Last year, I was more of an inside scorer because that's when the team needed," McCabe said. "I'm more of a perimeter player - that's what I'm going to play in college - so I've been playing more guard this year. I'm used to playing it but we have a new lineup now so we're still getting our rhythm."

Manasquan's next opponent is a familiar one. The two teams met on Dec. 19 in a Class B North divisional game in Red Bank, won by Manasquan, 54-44.

"We were able to win the boards and shoot the ball well last time, so that's going to be the game plan again," McCabe said. "When we defend, rebound and make shots, we can be a tough team."

(3) Red Bank Catholic 58, (6) Point Boro 43

Sophomore Charlie Gordinier scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the first half and the Caseys (4-1) cruised past the Panthers (4-1) and into the WOBM semifinals on Thursday night.

Gordinier also added nine rebounds and junior John Duffy added 16 points in the win.

Point Boro cut a 33-16 second-quarter deficit to 36-30 by the middle of the third quarter, but RBC closed the third with nine straight points, including six by Gordinier. The Caseys stretched the run to 15-0 to go up 51-30 early in the fourth.

Senior John Duda led Point Boro with 20 points while senior Connor Costigan added 13 in the loss.

(5) Marlboro 66, (13) Brick Memorial 42

Senior Justin Marcus scored 17 points and hauled in 10 rebounds to pace Marlboro (3-2) to a lopsided win over Brick Memorial (3-1). The Mustangs advance to the WOBM semifinals on Thursday.

Junior Dylan Kaufman, senior Brian Levine and sophomore Alex Ratner added 10 points apiece, with Kaufman also grabbing 10 rebounds and Levine posting seven assists and four steals.

Marlboro led 15-14 early in the second quarter before blowing the game open with 20 straight points before halftime. The Mustangs scored the first two baskets of the third quarter to make it a 24-0 run that turned a one-point lead into a 39-14 second-half lead. Marlboro pushed the lead as high as 29 at 48-19.

Senior Anthony Argondizza led Brick Memorial with 16 points while senior Jake Sliazis and senior Vin Vecchione each scored nine in the loss.

(1) Toms River North 63, (9) St. Rose 40

Senior Travis Holland led a balanced scoring effort with 15 points and the Mariners (5-0) coasted to a win over the Purple Roses (3-2). Toms River North will play No. 5 seed Marlboro in the WOBM Classic semifinals on Thursday.

Senior Mark Mogarte added 13 points, six rebounds and five assists and senior Elliot Daks poured in 10 points and grabbed 10 boards for Toms River North. Senior Nick Perna also pitched in six points, six rebounds and four assists in the win.

Sophomore John Beattie led St. Rose with 15 points.

 

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