For the second straight year, Manasquan senior Dara Mabrey girls winner of the Kerwin Award as the top Shore Conference basketball player and is joined by Ranney junior Bryan Antoine as the boys recipient, the Kerwin Family announced in a press release Tuesday morning.

Mabrey's older sisters - Michaela and Marina - each won the award as seniors before playing at Notre Dame and Dara blazed her own trail by winning the award for a second time on Tuesday. She is the third girls player to win the award twice, joining Victoria Sourlis of Rumson-Fair Haven in 1981 and 1982 and Chakhia Cole of Marlboro in 2003 and 2004.

Manasquan senior Dara Mabrey. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Manasquan senior Dara Mabrey. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Two boys have also won the award twice - former NBA guard John Crotty of Christian Brothers Academy in 1986 and 1987 and Jarelle Reischel of Point Pleasant Beach in 2010 and 2011.

“Mabrey has excellent court sense,” family spokesperson Peggy Kerwin Fleischer said. “She can shoot from the outside as well as fearlessly attack the basket. Mabrey is a clutch player, outstanding passer and plays tough defense. She is often tasked with guarding the top player on the other team.”

Dara Mabrey has also distinguished herself from her accomplished sisters by spending all of her four years at Manasquan, during which she has improved significantly from season to season. This year has been her best yet, as Mabrey is averaging career-highs in scoring (22.1 points per game), rebounding (5.0), assists (4.96) and steals (2.96) while also assuming point guard duties on offense and routinely guarding the opponent's best player on the defensive end.

Michaela started her career at St. John Vianney before spending her last three at Manasquan, while Marina spent her sophomore season and part of her junior year at Point Pleasant Beach.

As much as her statistical profile warrants praise, Mabrey has made her mark as a winner while at Manasquan. She has played in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final in each of her first three seasons and won one as a freshman. She also won a Shore Conference Tournament title as a freshman and has led Manasquan to a 22-2 record and the No. 2 ranking in N.J. heading into Tuesday night's Shore Conference Tournament semifinal against Red Bank Catholic.

While Antoine will receive the Kerwin Award for the first time, he is the second straight Ranney player to win the honor. Classmate Scottie Lewis won the award as a sophomore last season and was the first ever player from Ranney to win it.

Ranney junior Bryan Antoine. (Photo by Robert Samuels)
Ranney junior Bryan Antoine. (Photo by Robert Samuels)

“Antoine is an outstanding athletic talent," Kerwin Fleischer said. "He is a great pure shooter, he can shoot three’s and can showcase his talent driving to the basket. Bryan can fight for the rebound and block the shot. He’s quick and can steal the ball, often finishing with an impressive dunk.”

During his junior season, Antoine has continued his march toward the top of the Shore Conference scoring list. He is averaging a career-best 21.3 points per game, up a tick from 20.5 as a sophomore and 20.6 as a freshman. With more than 1,600 points already to his name, Antoine is on pace to become the first 2,000-point scorer at the Shore in more than 25 years and is within 700 points of the Shore's all-time scoring mark.

According to N.J. basketball historian Chuck Langerman, the record is 2,302 by Norman Caldwell of Croydon Hall in 1973. Croydon Hall was a Middletown school that has since closed down.

This year marks the 45th year of the Kerwin Awards, considered one of the more prestigious honors in Shore Conference basketball.

Mabrey and Antoine will receive their trophies prior to their respective NJSIAA Tournament opening-round games next Tuesday, Feb. 27. Manasquan plays Bordentown at 5 p.m. in the Central Jersey Group II playoffs, while Ranney hosts Wardlaw-Hartridge at 5:30 p.m. in the South Jersey Non-Public B opening round.


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