The Shore Daily, 1/21/15
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It was a great night of Shore Conference basketball across the board, with a trio of girls stars serving as the headliners, led by Notre Dame-bound Manasquan star Marina Mabrey.
Mabrey scored 21 points in a win over Raritan to reach the rare 2,000-point mark for her career, making state history in the process. She and older sister Michaela Mabrey, who is now a junior guard at Notre Dame, became the first sisters in New Jersey history to each reach the 2,000-point mark in their careers.
The crazy part is that Marina missed 30 days of last season after transferring to Manasquan from Point Beach, or she might have a realistic shot at making a run at 3,000 points this season, which only three girls have ever reached in state history. The state's all-time leading scorer is the legendary Kristen Somogyi, who nearly hit 4,000 at 3,899 at now-defunct St. Peter's High School in New Brunswick in the early 1990s.
The oldest Mabrey, Roy, was a star at Christian Brothers Academy who now plays for St. Anselm, while the latest Mabrey, Dara, looks to be the next 1,000-point scorer and beyond as she already plays heavy minutes for the Warriors as a freshman.
Marina wasn't the only one hitting a milestone on Tuesday night as St. Rose's Jess Louro scored her 1,000th point in a win over Keansburg, and Neptune senior Marajiah Bacon poured in 28 points in a win over Long Branch to also cross the 1,000-point mark.
There are plenty of 1,000-point scorers coming up in boys basketball as well, as Lacey senior Chris Iapicco is now only eight points away after pouring in 27 in a loss to Southern, Toms River South senior guard Tymere Berry is 42 away after dropping 28 in a win over Toms River East, and Shore Regional senior Kevin Bloodgood is 36 points away after scoring 22 points in a win over Holmdel.
A trio of juniors are also closing in as CBA's Pat Andree is 34 points away from 1,000, Rumson's Brendan Barry is also in striking distance, and Southern is about to have two 1,000-point scorers on the same team. Junior Peyton Wejnert is 48 points away from joining Rams teammate Jake Logue in the 1,000-point club this season.
The craziest stat of all time still belongs to St. Rose legend Bob Verga, who scored 1,000 points IN ONE SEASON as a senior in 1963, and that's without the 3-point line. Do the math: That's 50 points a game for 20 games. St. Rose played more than 20 because it won a state title that year, so his average was in the high 40-points-per-game range. He is not New Jersey's all-time leading scorer, though, as that is Camden legend Dajuan Wagner, who averaged 42.5 a game as a senior and finished with 3,462 career points.
As for the results on the boys basketball side from Tuesday, the three games that stuck out were wins by Wall, Red Bank Catholic and Manalapan.
I'll start with Wall, which has now rattled off eight in a row and shown that it is a serious contender in Class B North, where the No. 9 Crimson Knights are now in sole possession of first place after a 48-44 win over No. 7 Colts Neck. I can't say enough about the job done by new coach Matt Kukoda, who has this team leading the division with essentially the same roster that went 1-11 in B North last season.
The guard trio of Brendan Barcas, Trent Mitchell and Ryan Janeczek has been a three-headed monster, and they combined for 37 of Wall's 48 points last night. They now have wins over RBC and Colts Neck under their belt and another crucial divisional game with Red Bank coming up on Thursday. Plus, the raucous home crowd for the Crimson Knights has made coming on their floor and getting a win much more difficult than in recent seasons.
As for RBC, the Caseys are becoming a hard team to figure out. They were blown out in several games last week, including a 29-point setback against a reeling Matawan team, yet the rivalry with their neighbors, Red Bank Regional, has brought out the best in them. They swept the season series from the Bucs with a 56-53 overtime thriller on the road thanks to 16 points by senior guard Liam Byrne, who led four scorers in double figures for RBC. When Byrne is hitting from deep, like he did in burying four threes last night, the Caseys are at their best.
Red Bank's only two losses this season are to the Caseys, who snapped a three-game skid with the win. The Bucs have a chance to get right back into a tie for first place in Class B North, however, when they face red-hot Wall on Thursday.
Finally, Manalapan rose up and took down No. 4 Freehold Township 50-47 for an eye-opener in Class A North, which takes some of the luster off Freehold Township's showdown with CBA on Friday and puts more distance between the No. 1 Colts and the rest of the pack in the division. Football star Kyle Mullen continued his strong basketball season with a game-high 18 points, including the go-ahead basket and the game-clinching foul shots in the last 30 seconds.
This looks to be the team Manalapan will ride with into the tournaments, as junior guard Nyrhique Smith, a Division I prospect who was sitting out via the NJSIAA transfer rule, will most likely not suit up for the Braves this season after being one of the more anticipated mid-season additions in the Shore. Smith cited "personal reasons" on his Twitter account for not playing this year.
One thing that remained status quo on Tuesday was Lakewood's dominance in Class B South as the Piners drilled Manchester behind a career-high 29 points by junior guard Amir Tyler to take over sole possession of first place. Clearly that loss at the Boardwalk Showcase to Neptune was a wake-up call, and the Piners are again looking like a serious contender for Shore Conference Tournament and state sectional crowns.
As for other quick things from Tuesday night, Toms River East guard Ryan West had a career-high 30 points in a tight loss to Toms River South, and Henry Hudson gave Point Beach a surprising battle in Class B Central thanks to 18 points and 13 rebounds by Chris Coberg, who is quietly having a nice season for the Admirals. Junior guard Mike Rice dropped in a career-high 21 points to help the defending champion Garnet Gulls avoid the upset with a 51-45 win while playing short-handed without injured Florida Atlantic recruit Jesse Hill to stay unbeaten in the division.
Also, I wrote a feature on Holmdel guard Jeff Harris, who is playing his senior season with no ACL in his left knee after tearing it in October. You almost never see anyone do that in basketball, but Harris was determined not to miss his senior season.
Finally, even though two of his teammates are going to Yale, Manalapan senior kicker Mike Caggiano is the smartest player in the Shore because he made sure to take his visit to the University of Hawaii this week after being offered in the fall. Even if you have no intention of ever going to that school, you take the visit.
More on Wednesday:
- Here is the 2015 Shore Conference football college commitment list.
- The newest issue of the free Shore Sports Network Journal newspaper is out now, so go grab a copy at Super WaWa (with gas stations), Surf Taco, or a Shore Conference high school.
- In case you missed it, Toms River South's Tymere Berry headlined the Players of the Week for last week.
- The latest NJSIAA power points for boys basketball.
- Running up the "Rocky" steps in Philly, then getting a selfie with Rocky himself. Doesn't get better than that.
- The sixth man for George Washington is the first Japanese-born Division I scholarship men's basketball player.
- Ewing's Trey Lowe became the first player in Colonial Valley Conference history to score 2,000 points last night.
- Don Mattingly's son is playing Division I basketball at 27 years old after a failed baseball career.
- Former Louisville player Kevin Ware of gruesome broken leg fame is trying to put his career back together at Georgia State.
On tap for tonight: The highly-anticipated wrestling showdown at No. 2 Brick Memorial against visiting No. 3 Jackson Memorial in Class A South has been moved up to 4:30 p.m. because of the impending snow.
No. 6 Long Branch is also scheduled to wrestle at Ocean tonight, weather permitting, as it looks to lock down the Class B North title. Jackson Liberty can also put the finishing touches on the Class B South title with a win at Central at 5:30 p.m.
That's all for today. I'll have the Brick Memorial Camo Nation sign off for me.