Boy Basketball – Week 6 Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week: Holmdel
The Holmdel boys basketball team has embraced the role of underdog over the last couple of years and the Hornets seemingly had no better opportunity to use that mentality to its advantage than by going to Rumson-Fair Haven and shocking the No. 3 team at the Shore to clinch a Shore Conference Tournament berth.
Instead, an even great underdog came out of Holmdel's matchup with Rumson and when Holmdel was asked to put its own interests to the side to let a committed young man enjoy an unforgettable moment, coach Sean Devaney and his players embraced a different role as great sports and for their gesture, as well as their on-court response two days later, they are this week's Jersey Mike's Team of the Week.
On Rumson's Senior Night, longtime team manager and 4-foot-2 senior Jack Velcamp was granted by his coach, Chris Champeau, a chance to start - which included a pregame player introduction that followed a heartfelt speech from the nine-year Bulldogs coach. It also required an opponent willing to play the first several minutes of the game under an unusual set of circumstances.
Holmdel did just that and a little more than four minutes into the game, Velcamp scored his first ever career basket and set off a raucous celebration on the floor.
After playing the role of gracious guest, Holmdel battled the Bulldogs before ultimately falling, 63-50.
The loss delayed clinching a Shore Conference Tournament berth by the Hornets, but two days later, Holmdel got its spot in the SCT by beating Brick Memorial - a likely Shore Conference Tournament team when the tournament begins next week - 63-52.
Holmdel has now made the SCT for the third straight year and the last two years have been against some difficult odds. Last year, the Hornets had to replace leading scorer Kyle Cardaci after Cardaci transferred to Mater Dei Prep for his junior year and still reached the postseason.
This year, they had to replace last year's leading scorer, Nick Harris, and have done so thanks to seniors Tim Zhou - this year's leading scorer - Connor LaMountain as well as sophomores Doug and Derek Chan. Holmdel will be among the teams seeded in the Shore Conference Tournament will be seeded on Sunday and is projected to be the the No. 9 seed in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II Tournament, according to NJ.com.
2018 Team of the Week Winners
Week 1: Manasquan
Week 2: Rumson-Fair Haven
Week 3: CBA
Week 4: Central
Week 5: Red Bank Catholic