Colts Neck’s Federici Shines in Senior All-Star Game
Colts Neck senior Brandon Federici's game made him one of the Shore Conference's top players this season and his sense of humor helped him deal with a season-ending groin injury that spoiled a potential deep NJSIAA Tournament run for his Cougars team. Both were on display Wednesday night at Wall High School.
In his first action since taking a knee to the groin against Roselle Catholic on Feb. 23 that required surgery and ended his season just before the start of the NJSIAA Tournament, Federici scored a game-high 29 points and buried nine 3-pointers to earn MVP honors while leading the West All-Stars to a 109-105 win over the East in the Shore Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game.
Federici required emergency surgery following the loss to Roselle Catholic - which won the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on Tuesday by beating St. Joseph of Metuchen - and missed the NJSIAA Group III playoffs. Colts Neck won two games in the Central Jesey Group III bracket before losing to eventual sectional champion Lawrence at home by a three-point margin.
"The hardest part was watching those games and not being able to do anything about it," Federici said. "I definitely wanted my career to go out better than the injury against Roselle Catholic, so this was a nice way to go out."
On top of missing a chance to help lead his team to a NJSIAA Group III championship, Federici finished 14 points shy of 1,000 for his career. When Federici hit his fifth 3-pointer to reach 15 points for the game early in the second half, the buzzer sounded, play stopped and Federici was recognized for his 1,000th career point. Federici was as confused as he was honored.
"That was all my dad," Federici said, pinning the half-hearted ceremony on his father, Bob. "I didn't really know what to make of it. I knew it didn't really count, but it was all in good fun. It was good."
Just before halftime, Federici called his own number by dribbling the clock down toward zero and launching a 3-pointer from just inside mid-court and burying it as time expired to put the West up 51-50.
"I told (Holmdel guard) Robbie Cantelli that I was going to dribble the clock down and let it go from half-court," Federici joked. "Yeah, I designed that play on my own."
The West led by as many as nine points in the second half and the East team rallied with Federici on the bench. The East eventually took the led 103-102 on a 3-pointer by Manchester's Mason Jones, but Federici answered with his ninth and final three of the game to put the West on top for good. Federici later converted a lay-up to make it 109-105 in the final seconds, his only two-point field goal of the game.
In total, Federici finished 10-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-12 from behind the 3-point arc. His nine threes led a barrage of threes by the West squad, which hit 23 shots from beyond the arc.
"They had some high-fliers on their team and they played above the rim," Federici said. "We watched their practice before ours and everybody was going at it. They were all dunking, doing alley-oops, and we were just doing lay-up lines and shooting. I guess that was enough, though."
Lakewood forward Jared Craddox added 13 points, including nine in the second half to help the West put the game away. Manchester guard Damiun Moore had 11 points and three assists, while Middletown North's Cody Thompson had nine points on three second-half 3-pointers.
St. Rose guard Conor Leddy led the East squad with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including 12 points in the second half. Jones added 12, while Toms River North's Damien Singleton (11 points) and Keansburg forward Dan Markulin (10) both scored in double-figures. Point Boro guard Andre Taylor, Point Beach forward Riley Calzonetti, Neptune forwad Keith Kirkwood and Middletown South guard Tom DiMeo all had eight points each in the loss.
After two missed free throws by Manalapan's Anthony Firkser, the East had a chance to tie or take the lead in the final seconds while trailing 107-105, but Jones and Calzonetti both missed 3-point attempts before Federici converted a lay-up to put the game out of reach.
West All-Stars 109, East All-Stars 105
West (109): Brandon Federici 10 0-0 29, Jarrod Craddox 6 0-0 13, Damiun Moore 5 0-0 11, Cody Thompson 3 0-0 9, J.R. Hobbie 3 0-0 7, Anthony Firkser 2 0-2 6, Kevin Neller 2 0-0 6, Nick Specht 2 0-0 6, P.J. Kineavy 2 0-0 5, Solly Stansbury 2 0-0 4, John Horrigan 2 0-0 4, Mike Golden 2 0-0 4, Ryan Branagan 1 0-0 3, Robbie Cantelli 1 0-0 2, Alex Cirlincione 0 0-0 0. Totals: 43 0-2 109
Three-pointers: Federici 9, Thompson 3, Firkser 2, Neller 2, Specht 2, Craddox, Moore, Hobbie, Kineavy, Branagan
East (105): Conor Leddy 7 0-0 16, Mason Jones 5 0-0 12, Damien Singleton 4 0-0 11, Dan Markulin 5 0-0 10, Andre Taylor 3 0-0 8, Keith Kirkwood 4 0-0 8, Riley Calzonetti 4 0-0 8, Tom DiMeo 3 2-3 8, Erick Davis 3 0-0 6, Jimmy Walsh 3 0-0 6, Will Boman 2 0-0 5, James Sobieski 2 1-2 5, Eric Musto 1 0-0 2, Dwight Clark 0 0-0 0, Kevin Waters 0 0-0 0. Totals: 46 3-5 105
Three-pointers: Singleton 3, Leddy 2, Jones 2, Taylor 2, Boman