Basketball – Brendan Barry, Kelly Campbell Named Kerwin Award Winners
Rumson-Fair Haven senior Brendan Barry and St. John Vianney senior Kelly Campbell were named the 2015-16 Kerwin Award winners, the Kerwin Family of West Long Branch announced Friday.
The award is presented to the top boys and girls basketball players from the Shore Area and is named for James J. and Margaret M. Kerwin. The award was first presented in 1974.
Barry is the first ever Rumson-Fair Haven player to win the award. He is the reigning Shore Sports Network Player of the Year and has followed his standout junior season with an even better individual season this year. He is currently averaging 25.8 points per game for the 19-5 Bulldogs while also chipping in 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Barry's signature game this season came on Feb. 13 when he went off for a career-high and single-game school record 50 points in a Rumson win over Middletown North. That was the first 50-point game at the Shore since Nolan Hall from Southern scored 52.
“Brendan can really shoot, he has an excellent touch,” Kerwin Family spokesperson John Kerwin said in the press release. “What’s also great about his play is that he never forces his shot. He handles the ball very well and gets everyone involved in the offense with his great passing. You see that most coaches will set up defensive schemes to try to stop him, with little success.
“Brendan always comes out and defends the other team’s best guard. He really works hard on the defensive end."
Campbell, meanwhile, is headed to play basketball at DePaul next season and picked up a prestigious Kerwin Award in her final year with the Lancers. Campbell routinely fills up the stat sheet as St. John Vianney's point guard, evidenced by a 17-point, 11-rebound, eight-assist game in a win over North Jersey Prep power Blair Academy on Feb. 6.
Campbell will lead St. John Vianney into the Shore Conference Tournament final against Manasquan on Saturday night as the No. 1 ranked team in N.J., according to NJ.com.
“Kelly is such an unselfish player as she does everything on the court for the win, her stats do not indicate her importance on this team," Kerwin said. “As a good point player should do, she handles the ball very well and distributes with great passing and if needed she can lead the team in scoring.
“She always takes the defensive assignment of the best guard on the opposing team and if someone else gets hot you’ll see her coach switch her over to guard that player. At 5’10” she can play shut down defense on guards or forwards."
Campbell is the fifth St. John Vianney girls player to win the Kerwin Award, joining Audrey Gomez, Erica Gomez, Shantel Brown and Alisa Apo.
Both Barry and Campbell will be presented with the Kerwin Award trophy prior to their respective team's first NJSIAA Tournament game. Barry and Rumson open up at home Tuesday against Holmdel in the Central Jersey Group II bracket, while Campbell and the Lancers will host either Donovan Catholic or Bishop Eustace on Friday in the Non-Public A South quarterfinals.