The opening round of the 31st annual WOBM Christmas Classic presented by Barnabas Health produced little in the way of upsets although there were some anxious moments on Sunday for a couple of the boys top seeds.

Junior Evan Madigan hit two of his seven threes in the final 45 seconds and Red Bank Catholic rallied from a 22-0 deficit to beat Jackson Memorial on Sunday. (Photo by Matt Manley)

#2 Red Bank Catholic trailed 15th seed Jackson Memorial 22-0 at the end of the first quarter but climbed their way back in the game and rallied for a 51-49 victory largely due to Evan Madigan’s six second-half 3-pointers including a pair of them in the final 45 seconds. That earned the Caseys a quarterfinal round matchup with Donovan Catholic, a 68-60 winner over St. Rose.

RBC was not the only high seed that had anxious moments as #3 Freehold Township just escaped an upset bid from 14th seed Toms River East 61-58 to move into the December 27th quarterfinals in the Pine Belt Arena against Brick Memorial, who topped Point Boro 71-63 behind a 25-point effort from Aaron Scheiderman.

Top-seed Manasquan pulled away in the second half and rolled past Brick 67-47 as Jack Sheehan & Ryan Jensen each scored 17 points. Next up for the Warriors is a meeting with 9th seed Toms River South, who ousted Marlboro 75-65 behind a 24-point effort from Tymere Berry in Curt DeFillippo’s coaching debut.

Defending champion and 5th seed Manchester fought past Lacey 53-47 despite a brilliant 31-point effort from the Lions Chris Iapicco.Shavar Reynolds led the Hawks with 16 points and next up for them is a Saturday meeting with #4 seed Toms River North, an impressive 66-26 winner over Middletown South. Mike Nyisztor led a balanced Mariner attack with 16 points.

Like with the boys the only lower seed to win in the girls opening round Saturday came in the 9-8 game when Point Boro topped Brick Memorial. The top three teams in the tournament--Manasquan, Middletown South and Red Bank Catholic--all posted easy wins while Freehold Township had to fight off an upset bid from Toms River East. Colts Neck, Donovan Catholic and Central also advanced into the quarterfinal round the day after Christmas. Donovan’s Chelsea Crowe and Middletown South’s Stephanie Karcz each scored a first-round high 23 points to lead their teams to victory.

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