The Shore Daily, 2/10/15
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Pinelands boys basketball made school history, Monmouth got back into the win column for the first time since 2013, Southern girls basketball grabbed ahold of Class A South, and a pair of local wrestling teams picked up wins in the opening round of the NJSIAA Team Tournament to highlight Monday's action.
Real quick, before I get to that stuff, Mater Dei Prep has set up a website, SavetheSeraphs.org, where people can donate to save the school and receive the latest updates on the fundraising efforts, so make sure to check that out.
Pinelands was the headliner last night as the Wildcats picked up a 65-47 nondivisional win over Asbury Park thanks to 27 points and eight boards by junior Dave Lunn to clinch the first Shore Conference Tournament berth for boys basketball in the school's 36-year history, according to coach John Tierney. The Wildcats moved to 10-8 with teams needing to be .500 or better through Saturday's games to qualify for the SCT. Senior Milanj Coursey added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win to put Pinelands into uncharted territory in program history.
"This year's team has overcome many obstacles, but they never quit,'' said Tierney, who is in his 10th season with the Wildcats. "The focus was always on the goal of making the SCT. This is just one step along the journey, but it's a great one for the program."
The Wildcats are most likely looking at a seed in the mid-20s, according to Matt Manley's latest SCT Watch, but the bottom line is that they are in.
The other games of note from Monday were Monmouth Regional ending a 35-game losing streak dating back to December of 2013 with a 47-41 nondivisional victory over a 10-win Mater Dei Prep team, and No. 1 Christian Brothers Academy officially clinching the outright Class A North title with a 21-point win over Middletown South thanks to 28 points by junior star Pat Andree.
On the girls basketball side, the big win was Southern's 51-43 victory over Brick Memorial to take sole possession of first place in Class A South thanks to a big 28-point night by Victoria Caiazzo. It's been an inspiring run for the Rams, one season after the tragic death of legendary girls basketball coach Kathy Snyder.
Most of the sectional quarterfinal action was postponed to tonight because of the weather, but two Shore teams did pick up wins as Southern rolled past Cherokee to set up an anticipated semifinal at Howell on Wednesday in South Jersey Group V, and Wall took care of Clayton, 38-23, in South Jersey Group III.
Bob Badders has the story of how Wall is hoping to run a difficult gauntlet to give itself a chance at its first Group title after winning a sectional title last season.
It's been a long, winding road, but former Neptune star RB/LB/DB Ikie Calderon has landed at a Division I program. Calderon is enrolled in classes at Eastern Michigan University, an FBS program that competes in the Mid-American conference, as a junior after playing a post-graduate season at Milford Academy and playing at College of the Desert, a junior college program out in California.
Great to see Calderon's perseverance when a lot of players from the Shore who go the juco route often end up hanging it up before they land at a four-year program. Maybe Calderon can be the next Vinny Curry, a former Neptune star who played at a prep school in Cincinnati and stuck with it before landing at Marshall and eventually getting drafted by the Eagles.
More on Tuesday:
- Roselle Catholic super freshman Nazreon Reid, a 6-foot-9 forward from Asbury Park, is already up to six Division I offers.
- A North Jersey state senator is willing to propose legislation to separate public and non-public athletic teams so that they don't play each other if the NJSIAA does not take action.
- Football recruits can feel betrayed when the position coaches who recruited them bolt for new jobs right before Signing Day.
- A Bay Area community mourns the tragic killing of a high school boys basketball player.
- Former Manasquan star Michaela Mabrey dropped a career-high 20 points and hit six threes in a Notre Dame win on Sunday night.
- The Tennessee high school wrestling community is mourning the loss of a state tournament qualifier who died in a car accident.
- Julio Franco is still playing professional baseball in Japan. He's 56 years old.
- The Philly-area girls basketball coach who got busted sending anonymous, slandering emails about a rival has resigned.
- Twenty-five years after his takedown of Mike Tyson, fans still can't forget Buster Douglas, who uses that fame to raise money for charity.
- This cavernous, underground bike park with 45 trails below the city in Louisville is pretty awesome.
- The days of authenticating with just a username and password look to be coming to an end.
- The 73-year-old Knicks fan who received the now-infamous reply from James Dolan talked about it with The Wall Street Journal.
On tap for tonight: The remainder of the opening round of the NJSIAA wrestling tournament starts tonight after being postponed, with nine Shore teams in action.
In girls basketball, Rumson-Fair Haven coach George Sourlis looks to become the all-time winningest coach in Shore Conference history on the boys or girls side when the Bulldogs head to Raritan tonight. Sourlis is currently tied with retired CBA great Ed Wicelinski with 625 career wins.
On the boys side, Red Bank heads to Colts Neck for a crucial Class B North game that the Bucs need for their title hopes, Manasquan welcomes Holmdel for a game it needs to keep pace atop Class A Central and the same goes for Rumson-Fair Haven, which hosts Raritan. Toms River North hosts Brick in looking to get one step closer to clinching the Class A South title, Wall welcomes a hot Neptune team in a game the Crimson Knights have to have to stay with Red Bank atop Class B North, and Lakewood heads to Point Boro to continue its march toward another Class B South title.
I'll end with a great feature by the Patriot League on former Rumson-Fair Haven basketball star Kevin Alter, who is now a senior captain as a guard on Navy. Alter has shown what being a real teammate and a high-character person is all about. He used to get that Rumson gym rocking back then by nailing threes from another zip code. I guess when he's inevitably elected President of the United States in 20 years, he will have to drop his "Pookie" nickname from his days with the Bulldogs.