BURLINGTON – Ever since their season ended last year in the very same gym, Danny Frauenheim, Trevor Covey and the rest of the Point Beach boys basketball team had only one thing on their minds: redemption.

With a sectional title in sight against the same team which thwarted them a year ago, there was no way they were going to be denied again.

Covey drained a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:37 left in overtime and Frauenheim connected on 7 of 8 free throws in the extra session as the Garnet Gulls outlasted Burlington City, 53-47 in overtime, to capture the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I championship on Tuesday night.

Photo by Robert Badders.

“Words can’t describe this,” Frauenheim said. “Last March we were sitting in that locker room and we had tears in our eyes. We said in that locker room this isn’t happening again. All summer, all fall it was Burlington City. We got our chance and took advantage of it.”

“It’s so special, and you see I’m a little emotional over here,” Covey said. “Me, Danny and Hunter (Clark) went to coach’s house over the summer when he told us we were going to be captains and we watched (last year’s) game. We said ‘not again’. We knew if we got them again we had to pay them back.”

“This game was on my mind for a full year and on the minds of the guys who were here last year for a full year,” said Point Beach head coach Nick Catania. “There are not many times in life you get a do-over, but we got one and we made good on it.”

Point Beach will take on South Jersey Group I champion Woodbury in the Group I semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at RWJBarnabas Health Arena in Toms River.

Following a timeout that came thanks to Frauenheim diving for a loose ball and calling timeout, Covey ended a deliberate possession with a straightaway 3-pointer that gave Point Beach a 46-43 lead. From there it was Frauenheim icing the game at the line to send the Gulls to their third sectional championship in the last six years and first since 2014.

“Going into overtime we drew up a play and coach said, ‘Who wants it?’, and Trevor was the first one to say he wanted it,” Frauenheim said. “We have all the confidence in the world in Trevor hitting that shot and he stepped up big time for us.”

“That’s a shot – I go to the gym with my brother every single day in the summer and we work on threes around the horn,” Covey said. “That’s a shot I know I’m going to hit.”

The Gulls played with tenacity, poise and passion, but to win the sectional championship they also needed some good fortune. Down 43-41 with under 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Burlington City headed to the line where it had a chance to put the Gulls in a serious hole. All Beach could do was hope they missed one. The first bounced out, then the second, and suddenly the Gulls had life. Frauenheim brought the ball up the court, dropped it off to Traore while setting a pick and Traore knifed to the hoop and banked in a layup with 15.4 seconds left, the biggest of his game-high 23 points, to send the game to overtime.

“I never had a doubt we were going to win, but you start to feel down after the run they put together and it started to look a little bleak,” Covey said. “They miss two free throws, we go down and score and all the sudden we have new energy.”

Point Beach (21-9) did not trail in the first half, although both teams struggled from the floor as each team clamped down on the defensive end. Beach shot just 9-for-25 through the first two quarters while Burlington City was 6-for-20. D’Andre Thurmond, who led the Blue Devils with 20 points and was their only double-digit scorer, tied the game at eight on the first possession of the second quarter. From there Point Beach gradually added to its lead on a three from Covey and baskets from Frauenheim, Chris Pina and Traore. After Landrum knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Point Beach’s lead to 18-15, Traore answered with a three of his own to give the Gulls a 21-15 halftime lead.

Burlington City began the third quarter with an 11-4 run to take a 26-25 lead, and from there it was back and forth until the end. Traore scored 10 points in the third quarter to counter the nine points put up by Thurmond. Pina and Traore connected from behind the three-point line on consecutive possessions before Frauenheim laid one in to give Beach a 36-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Frauenheim went to work again late in the fourth quarter with Beach down by two. He cut to the basket and scored to tie the game at 38, then dished to Covey for a layup that gave the Gulls a 40-38 lead. A steal by Pina led to him being fouled on a 3-point shot, but he was only able to convert one free throw to give Beach a 41-38 lead. Thurmond scored inside to cut the deficit to 41-40 and, after a Beach turnover, Landrum drained a corner three for a 43-41 Burlington City lead that set the stage for the thrilling finish.

“This game was marked on our calendar,” Catania said. “After last season ended here it was our hope we’d get a chance to play Burlington City here. We watched the film together before the offseason program started and this was our goal. These guys weren’t walking out of here with an ‘L’.”

 

Box Score

Point Beach 53, Burlington City 47 (OT)

1 2 3 4 OT F
Point Beach (21-9) 8 13 15 7 10 53
Burlington City (24-5) 6 9 15 13 4 47

 

Point Beach (53): Mohamed Traore 10 0-0 23, Danny Frauenheim 3 7-8 13, Trevor Covey 4 1-2 11, Chris Pina 2 1-3 6, Josh Yates 0 0-2 0, Jake Clark 0 0-0 0, Johnny Langeveld 0 0-0 0.

Three-pointers: Traore 3, Covey 2, Pina.

Burlington City (47): D’Andre Thurmond 8 4-6 20, Jeremy Young 2 3-4 7, Amir Landrum 2 0-1 6, J. Santiago 2 1-2 5, Deon Butler 2 0-0 5, Deonte Woodbury 1 0-1 3, S. Turner 0 0-2 0, B. Paxton 0 0-0 0.

Three-pointers: Landrum 2, Butler.

 

Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.

 

Sign Up For The SSN Newsletter

Please fill out this form to sign up for the Shore Sports Network newsletter.