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Note: Coming tomorrow on the site will be our boys and girls All-Shore basketball teams with Player and Coach of the Year. 

It was a great night of basketball as always at Wednesday's Shore Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Games at Wall Township High School to wrap up the 2014-15 season.

Video highlights: Boys Senior All-Star Game

Video highlights: Girls Senior All-Star Game

Boys basketball: Final Shore Conference stat leaders

The games are always a good chance to see players you haven't seen during the season. I know it's not anything resembling a real game and defense is usually optional, but it lets you know the quickness or athleticism from certain players. In the girls game, St. Francis (N.Y.) recruit Mia Ehling had a game-high 22 points to lead the East to a win over the West and earn MVP honors. She was one of three St. Francis recruits in the game along with St. Rose guard Kat Phipps and Freehold Township center Tori Wagner.

Neptune's Marajiah Bacon capped a great high school career with 15 points for the winning East all-stars. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

Neptune point guard Marajiah Bacon had 15 points and was one of the most impressive players out there with her speed and ability to finish in traffic. Central's Katelyn Kuster also stood out for her ability to score inside and also step out and hit the three. St. Rose's Jess Louro dropped in 20 for the West squad before she heads off to Middle Tennessee State, showing why she is one of the top five players in the Shore.

Manasquan star Marina Mabrey and Middletown South's Tom Brennan were each honored at halftime for receiving the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the SBCA.

Middletown South coach Tom Brennan was honored by SBCA president Mike Puorro after being voted the Shore Conference girls basketball Coach of the Year this season. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

The boys side was a dunkfest and 3-point bombing party as usual, with Neptune's Micah Kerr taking MVP honors in the East's lop-sided win. I had only seen Barnegat's Kyle Morris on a football field before last night and he had some nice dunks and a block while sticking a 3-pointer. Head coach Mike Puorro also informed me that he is on pace to be Barnegat's valedictorian as he ranks No. 1 in the class academically.

Southern senior Jake Logue also had a few nice dunks of his own along with Point Beach's Jesse Hill, who pulled out a windmill and a between-the-legs throwdown. Hill also happens to be Morris's cousin.

Point Beach's Jesse Hill put some flair into his dunks at Wednesday's SBCA Senior All-Star Game. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

Toms River South star Tymere Berry, who led the Shore in scoring at 25 points per game, told Matt Manley that he plans to speak to Monmouth University head coach King Rice about also playing basketball for the Hawks if he gets clearance from football coach Kevin Callahan after committing to a football scholarship. He's definitely a good enough athlete to do it, that's for sure.

Also, we definitely appreciate the kind words of those who approached us last night and said thanks. We'll work to make it even better next season.

SAVE THE SERAPHS

Great to hear the announcement on Thursday that the Mater Dei Prep community has raised the $1 million necessary to avoid the school closing in June because of financial difficulties. To raise that much money in under two months, three weeks before the April 15 deadline set forth by Rev. Jeff Kegley, is a true testament to how much that school means to its graduates, students and faculty.

Now the goal is to keep stacking up the money to ensure things beyond the next school year. A crucial piece moving forward is the approval of the Diocese of Trenton to allow Mater Dei to become a private Catholic school separate from St. Mary parish and the Diocese, so that's the next hurdle to sustainability.

As Mater Dei Prep neared ultimately achieving its fundraising goal to keep the school open, it was a proud and optimistic night at the SBCA Senior All-Star Games for Tysaun White and Katie Viscardi, who were joined by Seraphs' boys basketball coach Bob Klatt, who coached the West all-stars. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

These smiles are from last night, but I'm sure they extended into today for all-stars Tysaun White and Katie Viscardi as well as boys basketball coach and Mater Dei alumnus Bob Klatt. Read more on them here in a story by new SSN writer Ella Brockway, who is a student at Red Bank Regional.

FOOTBALL 

Former Colts Neck coach Greg LaCava is now officially the head coach at Holmdel after getting approved by the Board of Education on Wednesday night. He is the third head coach in three seasons for the Hornets, who have not had a winning season since 2007, and hopes to bring the type of success he brought to Colts Neck, which went 19-4 in his last two seasons and won a school-record 10 games in 2013 while reaching its only state final.

In college commitment news, Southern wide receiver Zac Halliday, who had 17 catches for 195 yards in an injury-shortened senior season, will continue his career at Rowan University.

LACROSSE

Wednesday marked the blustery, rainy start to the lacrosse season, but there was some excitement as Bob Badders took in a 7-6 double-overtime thriller in which St. John Vianney picked up an impressive early nondivisional victory over Freehold Township. The hero was Tom Hanson, who finished off a pass from Matt Adelfio to get the victory.

Point Boro's boys lacrosse team made its varsity debut in a 12-1 loss to Brick, while Long Branch beat Union City 8-7 for its first varsity win in program history thanks to four goals each by T.J. Conlon and Andrew Thomas. The Green Wave have also recruited some players off the football team with Joey Jasio, Brandon Lane and Earl Mackason all playing lacrosse this season. One other win of note was Christian Brothers Academy going on the road and edging Princeton, 5-4, thanks to a pair of goals by Mike Carroll.

Also, Southern scoring machine Dylan Jinks hit a milestone with his 200th career goal in a victory over Oakcrest.

More on Thursday: 

  • Good story on the Spurs' Patty Mills and his ancestry in the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Didi Gregorius has no easy task in replacing Derek Jeter, but so far, so good.
  • The mother of a slain high school basketball star in Dallas is suing the school district saying that illegal recruiting practices led to her son's death.
  • Jersey guy Troy Murphy, who played 12 seasons in the NBA and used to play in the JSBL in the summer, is now a 34-year-old student at Columbia trying to get his degree.

On tap for tonight: Wisconsin and Kentucky must win to set up Gonzaga tomorrow to help stave off my bracket from Armageddon.

I'll end with some top plays from the Senior All-Star Games. Mater Dei Prep's Katie Viscardi with the step-through and scoop, Neptune's Marajiah Bacon pinballing off a defender and making a fadeaway, Point Beach's Jesse Hill with the windmill, and Southern's Jake Logue with a baseline throwdown and a dunk off the glass.