Boys Basketball – 2021 All-Shore Team
2021 Shore Sports Network Boys Basketball All-Shore Team
Teams selected by Shore Sports Network Senior Editor Matt Manley based on stats, first-hand accounts, team success and coach input.
2021 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Team
Ben Roy, Jr., Guard, 6-2, Manasquan
Key Stats: 24.0 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 36 3-pointers, 72.7% FT
Signature Game: There are a number of candidates for this distinction, with Roy scoring 20 or more points nine times and leading Manasquan in scoring in 10 of the team’s 12 games. Even in one of those games in which someone else led the way in scoring, Roy scored his 1000th career point and finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Warriors beat Don Bosco. If we’re narrowing it down to one game, though, it has to be the 30-point outing vs. Trenton Catholic. In that game, Roy hit a halfcourt shot to beat the third-quarter buzzer and pull Manasquan within one point – part of an 11-0 run that swung the game in the Warriors’ favor.
With a chance to play four full, normal-length seasons of high-school basketball, Roy would have had a chance to rewrite the Shore Conference record books with his scoring prowess. Even with only 12 games to add to his career scoring total, Roy completed his junior season with 1,174 points. With an average of 24 points per game while playing 10 hard-fought, emotional games in a span of three weeks, it is not outlandish to think he could have scored enough over two full seasons to blow past 2,000 career points and maybe even challenge Bryan Antoine’s Shore record of 2,499.
With this season chopped down to only six weeks, Antoine’s record remains safe and the 2,000-point plateau is a longshot – albeit a longshot for a player who specializes in them. Roy showed off his limitless range throughout the season, not only hitting deep three-pointers but hitting them at critical junctures of the game – including the halfcourt shot vs. Trenton Catholic.
Ultimately, though, Roy’s excellence so far has been less about the stats (as good as they are) and more about the winning. Manasquan is 72-5 since he joined the program with two Shore Conference championships – one official and another unofficial – and two NJSIAA sectional championships. He will return next year to add to his numbers, his legacy and Manasquan’s championship trophy case with one more run.
Read more about Ben Roy’s season in the 2021 Shore Sports Network Player of the Year Feature.
Jack Seidler, Jr., Forward, 6-5, Marlboro
Key Stats: 20.1 points per game, 7.15 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 19 3-pointers, 83% FT
Signature Game: After dropping its opener against state-ranked St. Peter’s Prep and fighting off Howell the following day, Marlboro was staring at an early 10-point deficit against a quality Colonia team in the third game of the season. At that point, Seidler threw the team on his back and went off for a career-high 31 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists. The effort was enough to carry Marlboro to a 75-69 win over the Patriots, which proved to be one of the two biggest wins of the regular season for Marlboro.
Seidler was one of the Shore’s breakout performers in 2019-20, putting together an All-Shore season as a sophomore for a Marlboro team that came within one basket of winning its first ever NJSIAA sectional championship. With one more defensive stand, the Mustangs would have won and Seidler would have been the hero after making the go-ahead shot with 15 seconds left. Instead, the Mustangs came back motivated in 2021 and raised their game.
Marlboro did endure a rough stretch of games early in the season that was exacerbated by two-week shutdown that wiped out most of the first two weeks of practice time. Seidler had strong outings against St. Peter’s Prep, Howell, Colonia and Ranney to open the year but a 33-point loss to CBA was a low point for both player and team. As it has done over the past two years, though, Marlboro bounced back with a seven-game winning streak that carried the Mustangs all the way to the unofficial Shore Conference title game.
Seidler put forth strong performances against CBA, Neptune and Ranney along the way and put up 19 points in the championship game against Manasquan. The 6-5 junior and his team had some momentum in the final but two unfortunate offensive foul calls within a three-minute span of the fourth quarter and overtime knocked Seidler out of the game with five fouls. Like the loss to South Brunswick in the 2020 Central Group IV final was fuel on the 2021 fire, the season-ending loss at Manasquan will only intensify the heat Seidler and his team put on the rest of the Shore when the core comes back as seniors in 2022.
Jon Spatola, Jr., Guard, 5-8, Marlboro
Key Stats: 19.1 points per game, 4.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.6 steals, 26 3-pointers, 80% FT
Signature Game: Most of the players on the first team have a handful of games from which to choose, but not Spatola. It’s not that the Marlboro guard did not have multiple quality performances; he certainly did. In Spatola’s case, though, his performance on March 3 at Ranney in the Shore Conference Pod A semifinals was not only the best game of his season, but one of the best performances by any player in the Shore Conference in 2021. Spatola finished with 27 points and during the second half of Marlboro’s 71-65 win over the Panthers, he scored 21 points and locked up Ranney leading scorer Isaac Hester for nearly 13 minutes before Hester finally scored seven points during the final three-plus minutes as Ranney played catch-up. Spatola also went 10-for-10 from the foul line in the game, including 6-for-6 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Spatola’s dominant second-half performance at Ranney was just one example of how Marlboro’s 5-8 guard embraces big games. Two days earlier, he scored 25 points to go with six rebounds and three assists in a playoff win over Holmdel and he capped the season with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists in the championship classic at Manasquan – including a clutch, game-tying jumper with just over a minute to go in overtime.
Spatola had four games of 25 points or more and they came against Greater Middlesex Conference champion Colonia, No. 4 CBA, No. 6 Holmdel and No. 2 Ranney. In the win over Colonia – Marlboro’s first of the season – Spatola was a menace on both ends of the floor, finishing with 25 points, five rebounds, four assists and a career-high eight steals in the 75-69 Mustangs win.
The combination of electric offense, relentless perimeter defense and an overall motor make Spatola one of the best guards returning in New Jersey for 2022. He finished this season No. 8 in the Shore in both scoring and steals and will have almost an entire team back around him next year, when Marlboro – which finished higher in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 (No. 3) and the state top 20 (No. 20) than ever before this season – will look to capture a postseason championship that has thus far eluded the Mustangs.
Elijah Perkins, Jr., Guard, 6-4, Ranney
Key Stats: 15.0 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.5 steals, 0.9 blocks
Signature Game: Perkins did not dominate games by scoring a boatload of points but he still dominated quite a number of them with his ability to get in the lane, find teammates and cause havoc on defense. One game in which he did all of it was a Shore Conference Playoff win over Southern – Ranney’s first game in more than a week after shutting down for several days while undergoing COVID-19 contact tracing. In his team’s first game back, Perkins went off for 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals in a 30-plus-point win over the Rams.
There were players with more robust numbers than the ones Perkins put up, but that is life on a team that goes 10-deep with everyone looking to get their shots. Throughout the shortened 2021 season, Perkins was the player who tied it all together for the 9-1 Panthers, whose only loss came in a Shore Conference Playoff game in which Perkins scored a season-high 21 points and got into the paint regularly.
His numbers might not jump off the page, but Perkins has ability that does just that. It was incredibly difficult for defenders to keep him in front of them, and when he has a head of steam, his ability to elevate and play above the rim exceeds that of any other player in the Shore Conference by a fair margin. Perkins also caused havoc on the ground with the second-highest per-game steal total in the Shore Conference.
Perkins posted two 20-point games this season and on top of the 21-point game vs. Marlboro, also led Ranney in scoring three other times – against CBA (15 points), Wall (14) and Southern (17). Ranney played an all-Shore-Conference schedule this season and nine of the Panthers’ 10 games were against teams ranked in the SSN Top 10. Against the Shore’s best, Perkins consistently showed up and the result is his second All-Shore selection and first as a First-Teamer.
Isaac Hester, So., Guard, 6-0, Ranney
Key Stats: 16.4 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.2 steals, 15 3-pointers
Signature Game: It did not take long for Hester to introduce himself to the Shore Conference with his A-game, which he brought to the gym in Neptune for the second game of Ranney’s season. In Ranney’s second of two wins over the Scarlet Fliers, Hester posted a career-high 30 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists in an 81-65 win over Neptune.
Hester began his high school career at Gill St. Bernard last season and made a significant impact as a freshman at one of the state’s strongest programs. The Ocean Township native looked to play closer to home this season and landed at Ranney, where he added a dimension to the Panthers that they were somewhat lacking in 2019-20. Ranney already had athleticism, size and some shooting, but lacked a player who combined both athleticism, skill and consistent shooting ability. Hester brought that combination in spades during the 2021 season and it got this Ranney group to the next level.
Like Perkins, Hester probably did not score as much as some of the Shore’s other highest scorers because he played on a team with so many players who can score and were worthy of shots. Hester had his games in which he took the offensive lead – the 30-point game at Neptune, 22 points in wins at Marlboro and St. Rose, and team-highs in other wins over Neptune and Wall. He also had games in which he was more deferential – 23 combined points in two wins over CBA, nine points in a 36-point rout of Wall and two points in a 33-point win over Southern. Even when Spatola kept him in check during the second half of the Shore Conference semifinal, Hester still finished with 17 points.
Hester’s final numbers still put him in exclusive company within this year’s Shore Conference. He was one of only three players at the Shore to average at least 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals per game, and the other two – Andre Wells of Matawan and Savon Myers of Manchester – did so as clear No. 1 options and ball-handlers on their respective teams. Hester is set to return next year with a loaded Ranney roster that will again challenge for Shore Conference supremacy and is likely to be extra motivated after coming up short in 2021.
Jack Collins, Sr., Guard/Forward, 6-5, Manasquan
Key Stats: 14.8 points per game, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.75 steals, 1.1 blocks, 31 3-pointers, 77% FT
Signature Game: Like his fellow First-Team teammate, Collins had a number of great performances during Manasquan’s perfect season. The best, though, was a 29-point outburst at Neptune in which Collins not only set a career-high in scoring, but also put up 13 rebounds and matched his season-high with five three-pointers as Manasquan pulled away late to beat the Scarlet Fliers, 62-45 – the first of three wins over Neptune.
While Collins entered the season with big-game experience from a year ago – some of it even coming as a starter – his role on this year’s Manasquan team had to increase for the Warriors to be close to as good as they were a year ago. Collins delivered across the board, stepping up as the second scoring option alongside Roy while also leading the team in rebounds. Collins had such a well-rounded game for Manasquan that he was the only player in the Shore Conference to finish in the Shore’s top 50 in points (27th), rebounds (17th), assists (46th), steals (32nd), blocks (21st), three-pointers (14th) and free-throw percentage (23rd).
There may not be any top-10 finishes among those categories for Collins, but that could also be because Manasquan was consistently up against some of the best teams at the Shore and from around the state. After opening the season with two wins over St. Rose, Manasquan exclusively played teams that were ranked either in the state Top 20 (No. 6 Montclair Immaculate, No. 14 Trenton Catholic, No. 19 Don Bosco and No. 20 Marlboro) or the Shore Top 10 (No. 3 Marlboro, No. 4 CBA, No. 7 Neptune and No. 8 Wall). The lone exception was a Life Center Academy team that is not eligible to be ranked in the NJ.com Top 20 but boasts multiple Division I prospects and would be a Top 20 team if eligible.
Collins had one of his better games against Life Center, going for 24 points and seven rebounds in that Manasquan win, including 18 points in the first half. The senior also posted his other double-doubles in wins over Montclair Immaculate (18 points and 10 rebounds) and Marlboro (12 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks) and in the Marlboro win, he set up the final Manasquan possession with an all-out dive into the first row to save the ball by calling timeout. In a year in which Collins appeared all over the stat sheet for Manasquan, it was a play Collins made that does not appear in the box score that made the difference in Manasquan’s championship win.
Colin Farrell, Sr., Guard, 6-1, Christian Brothers Academy
Key Stats: 18.6 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 20 3-pointers
CBA returned to the Shore final four behind its senior trio of Farrell, Mike White and Dane Moran. Farrell was the top scorer in the group, finishing ninth in the Shore Conference in scoring at 18.6 points per game. Farrell also showed up against the top teams on the CBA schedule, averaging 18.1 points in the six games against Shore-ranked teams, plus the opener against the Hun School. Farrell had to carry the offense in losses to Ranney (16 points) and Marlboro (24) and in the first round of the Shore Conference Pod A Playoffs, Farrell’s offensive outburst was enough to win. Farrell scored a career-high 30 points in a 61-48 win over Red Bank Catholic, which entered the game undefeated. Farrell then led the Colts in scoring in each of their final two games, including 13 of the team’s 35 points in a competitive, low-scoring loss at Manasquan.
Alex Bauman, Jr., Guard, 6-5, Red Bank Catholic
Key Stats: 16.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.2 blocks, 78.4% FT, 13 3-pointers
In one week during the shortened season, Bauman catapulted himself into the Player of the Year conversation. Red Bank Catholic endured an early two-week shutdown and in their first full week back, the Caseys went 4-0 against all ranked opponents with Bauman putting up huge numbers during the unbeaten week. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound point forward averaged 20.7 points, 14.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and an even two blocks in the four victories – two over Rumson-Fair Haven and one each at Wall and Holmdel. In the first win over Rumson, he posted 21 points, 25 rebounds and five assists to lead the winning effort. Bauman’s final season stat line for his junior year put him all over the Shore leaderboard: 17th in scoring, sixth in rebounding, third in assists and fifth in blocked shots.
Andre Wells, Sr., Guard, 6-0, Matawan
Key Stats: 22.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 2.35 steals, 21 3-pointers, 77.5% FT
When it comes to statistical profile, no player in the Shore Conference had a year that rivaled the one that Wells engineered during his senior season with the Huskies. The six-foot speedster finished second in the Shore Conference in scoring, first in assists and 12th in steals in 14 games. Wells was also the only player in the Shore Conference to break the 300-point plateau for the season (320) and he did so while playing with four new starters. Wells scored 30 or more points four times – two more than any other player at the Shore – and scored 30-plus in three straight games against St. John Vianney (twice) and Manalapan. With the inexperienced team around him, Wells led Matawan to a 9-5 record and a Pod C championship in the Shore Conference postseason, capping his season with 32 points, five rebounds and five assists in a championship win over Middletown North.
Alex Baker, Sr., Forward, 6-5, Holmdel
Key Stats: 21.3 points per game, 8.6 rebounds
For the second straight season, Baker represents Holmdel on the All-Shore Second Team and he did so with a much different statistical performance than a year ago, when he came in at better than 12 points per game. This time around, as the only returning starter on the team, Baker carried a large portion of the scoring load as one of the five players in the Shore Conference to average at least 20 points. Baker finished fourth in the conference and posted 20 points or more in six of Holmdel’s 11 games, including 30 in Holmdel’s first game back from a two-week shutdown – a win over Donovan Catholic. After the shutdown, Baker closed the season by averaging 24 points over Holmdel’s final five games, which included four games against other teams that finished in the Shore Sports Network Top 10.
Sam Fagan, Sr., Guard, 6-0, Neptune
Key Stats: 12.4 points per game, 4.5 assists, 92% FT
For the first time since the very beginning of his sophomore season, Fagan was somewhere close to 100 percent health. A severe leg injury wiped out most of that sophomore season and saddled him with some limitations during his junior season in 2019-20, so this season was to be a grand return for the Monmouth University signee. It turned out to be a much shorter season than Fagan and his team had hoped for, with Neptune playing only 10 games thanks to a two-week COVID-related shutdown on top of the already-shortened season. Fagan, however, made the most of what he and his team had, finishing top-five at the Shore in assists and No. 1 in free-throw shooting while leading the Scarlet Fliers to the Pod A Playoffs as the No. 8 seed. Neptune’s record was only 3-7 and there were players who scored more than Fagan did, but the senior guard did just about everything for his team and did it against, perhaps, the Shore’s toughest schedule.
Pat Lacey, Sr., Guard, 6-3, Wall
Key Stats: 16.6 points per game, 35 3-pointers, 72.3% FT
Lacey finished his career as a four-year starter and the final three of those years went about as well as anyone around the Wall program could have hoped. With Lacey helping to lead the way, Wall won back-to-back NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III championships after last winning one in 1973. There was no NJSIAA championship of any kind to win this season, but that did not stop the Crimson Knights from winning an unofficial championship. Wall played one of the Shore’s toughest regular-season schedules, then rolled through Pod B of the Shore Playoffs with double-digit wins over Central, Toms River North and Rumson-Fair Haven. Lacey averaged 18 points in the postseason, which followed a regular season in which he reached the 1,000-point milestone with a 28-point performance against St. Rose. Lacey finishes his career with 1,102 points, two sectional championships and three straight Top 10 finishes for his Wall team.
Scott Gyimesi, Jr., Forward, 6-5, Rumson-Fair Haven
Key Stats: 19.15 points per game, 12.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.7 blocks, 18 3-pointers, 77.5% FT
The above numbers show that Gyimesi was one of the Shore’s best players but they may not quite do him justice. Yes, the Bulldogs’ 6-5 forward was one of the Shore’s top paint players, as evidenced by a scoring (seventh), rebounding (fourth) and blocked-shot (eighth) averages that placed him within the top 10 in the conference. What those numbers don’t show is how efficient he was. Gyimesi finished the season shooting 48.6 percent and 41 percent from three-point range, in addition to his 77-percent clip from the line. Those numbers suggest Gyimesi is more than just a clean-up artist on the inside: he is an all-around player who will be a force as a senior in 2022.
Connor Walsh, Sr., Forward, 6-5, Manasquan
Key Stats: 7.6 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 78.3% FT
In other situations, Walsh probably would have put up more robust scoring numbers than he did as Manasquan’s third-leading scorer in 2021. Instead, he was a do-it-all power forward for the No. 2 team in the state – one who had plenty of great individual moments along the way. Against great competition, Walsh delivered across the board: his best game came in a 57-44 win over Don Bosco, in which he posted 19 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks while facing a team that played four players listed taller than he is. The Catholic University commit also put up 15 points and seven boards vs. Trenton Catholic and his 11 second-half points helped the Warriors beat rival Wall.
Mike White, Sr., Guard, 6-2, Christian Brothers Academy
Key Stats: 12.9 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 17 three-pointers
CBA made a strong case as the Shore’s best defensive team and White was, arguably, its best defender, rivaled only by his younger brother, Joe. In addition to locking down backcourt opponents – he and his teammates held both Seidler and Spatola from Marlboro below 10 points in the first meeting – White also showed a scoring touch. When Farrell missed two games against Middletown South, White stepped up to score 34 combined points in the two wins and also went off on Manalapan, with 54 points in two games vs. the Braves.
Savon Myers, Jr., Guard, 6-4, Manchester
Key Stats: 17.85 points per game, 12.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3.9 steals, 1.5 blocks
Myers does everything on the court and in 2021, the numbers bore that out. He finished 13th in scoring in the Shore Conference, second in rebounding, seventh in assists, first in steals and 11th in blocked shots. At a long 6-4, he showed he could cause havoc in passing lanes and challenge shots at the rim, while also handling the ball and knocking down perimeter shots. Myers had his best all-around game in a bounceback win over Point Boro that ended a two-game skid. In that win, Myers threw up 30 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six steals in the Manchester win.
D.J. Thomson, Jr., Guard, 6-4, Keyport
Key Stats: 21.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds
For the second straight year, Thomson eclipsed the 20-points-per-game mark – the only player in the Shore Conference to do so in each of the past two seasons. The rub on Thomson is that he is putting up those big point totals against the smallest schools in the conference, but a closer look at his performances reveals he is scoring against everybody on his team’s schedule. Thomson scored 18 points in each of Keyport’s two games vs. Mater Dei Prep, netted 29 in a loss to Middletown North, went for 21 in a win over Donovan Catholic and pumped in 23 to open the season against Ocean. Thomson has already moved past 1,000 points for his career and could move up the all-time leaderboard at the Shore with another strong season as a senior.
Justin Soranno, Jr., Forward, 6-6, Central
Key Stats: 17.9 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 blocks
After showing promise in each of his first two high-school seasons, Soranno had his breakthrough year in 2021 for a Central team that rallied to a 9-3 finish. Soranno was particularly good at the end of the season, when he played the best stretch of basketball of his career. He put up 23 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in a big intra-pod win over Howell, then averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds during the Pod B Playoffs. Soranno closed out the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Barnegat and 22 points and seven boards to close the season with a win over Manchester.