The opening weekend of the 32nd Annual WOBM Christmas Classic is in the books and it came with few if any surprises.

On Saturday all eight of the higher-seeded boys’ teams won their first round games at the Pine Belt Arena and on Sunday the only lower seeded girls’ team to prevail was #10 Wall, who outlasted 7th seed Donovan Catholic 57-54 in overtime. The tournament resumes on Saturday, December 26th with the boys quarterfinals while the girls return to action on Sunday.

Freehold Township senior Nick Facendo exploded for 31 pints, 11 rebounds, eight assists and six steals in a win over Wall. (Photo by Ray Richardson)

Among the more impressive individual performances in the opening weekend was turned in by Freehold Township senior guard Nick Facendo who scored 31 points and added 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals in a win over Wall. Donovan Catholic’s Riley Collins poured-in 29 points as the Griffins took care of Brick Memorial, Phil Lingat of Toms River East scored 26 in a victory over Point Boro and defending boys champion Toms River North cruised past Middletown South with the help of transfer Jaden Rhodin who had 17 points and 11 rebounds in his Mariners debut.

On the girls side Sunday Colts Neck’s Elise Brown scored 20 in a victory over Brick Memorial, Manchester’s Anissia Fucci hit four three-pointers and scored 16 in a close win over Toms River South and senior Kaitlin Lister scored 18 of Toms River East’s 33 points in a four-point victory over Central. Kaitlin is one of three Lister sisters on the Raiders team including twin Kristin and freshman Kamyrn and at one point all three were on the court at the same time.

Toms River East’s Kaitlin Lister drives against Central (photo by Eric Braun)

A couple of other quick hitters this morning:

The Giants last-second loss to the undefeated Panthers Sunday was a microcosm of their entire season and I don’t know what was more embarrassing: the juvenile antics of Odell Beckham Jr. or the fact that coach Tom Coughlin did nothing about it.

My how times have changed. Rutgers basketball fans can take some consolation in the fact they only lost to visiting Monmouth by six points Sunday…the Hawks were favored by 11. While its good times in West Long Branch it could be an ugly winter in Piscataway.