Boys Basketball – 2021 Season Preview: Point Boro
Behind a steady senior inside-outside punch, Point Boro climbed back to the cusp of first place in Class B South last season and in 2021, the Panthers will be passing the program off to very promising, very young group that will try to finish the job by the end of 2022. In a pod that features a Manchester team loaded up on juniors as well, the Panthers have their work cut out for them. They are also part of a program that embraces the role of underdog.
Point Boro won’t so much be an underdog this season as much as it will be a team of young pups. Twenty-sixth-year coach Kevin Hynes expects he will be featuring a regular rotation without a senior in it, led by returning junior shooting guard and three-point marksman Matt Lee. Classmates Kai Messeroll and Colton MacGlashan will also join the starting lineup to fill the two most glaring holes, left behind by point guard Alex Drucquer and center Sam Young.
Sophomore Stephen Mellet is the other returning starter after a successful freshman debut and classmates Dan Coughlan (6-foot-3) and Noah Knauf (5-10) will round out the starting lineup depending on whether or not Hynes wants to go big or small to start the game. Point Boro’s bench is also all juniors and sophomores and it should be fairly deep, giving the Panthers a roster that can push Manchester for the top spot in the five-team pod this year and shoot for an official division championship in 2022.
Head Coach: Kevin Hynes, 26th season
2019-20 Record: 15-11 (10-4, second in Class B South)
2020 Postseason Performance: Lost in Shore Conference Tournament first round (Mater Dei Prep); Reached NJSIAA South Jersey Group II quarterfinals (lost to Haddonfield)
Disclaimer: Projected lineups listed in the 2021 Shore Sports Network Preview are not necessarily directly from coaches. Some are, while others are projections from Shore Sports Network staff. In either case, the projected lineup is fluid and could change leading up to the start of the season and beyond. Check back for periodic updates to every team's projected starting lineup on shoresportsnetwork.com.
Kai Messeroll, Jr., 5-10, Guard (R)
Matt Lee, Jr., 6-3, Guard (RS)
Colton MacGlashan, Jr., 6-4, Center (R)
Stephen Mellett, So., 6-2, Forward (RS)
Dan Coughlan, So., 6-3, Forward (R)
Alex Drucquer, 6-0, Guard
Sam Young, 6-5, Center
A.J. Hernandez, 5-10, Guard/Forward
Off the Bench
Noah Knauf, So., 5-10, Guard/Forward (R)
Jeff Guilfoyle, Jr., 6-1, Forward (R)
Jayden Levonoskie, Jr., 5-10, Guard (transfer from Donovan Catholic)
Alex Baginski, So., 5-10, Guard (R)
Shane Ryan, So., 5-8, Guard (R)
Connor Newsome, Jr., 6-1, Forward (R)
RS – Returning Starter
R – Returning Varsity Player
Player to Watch: Matt Lee
Lee wedged his way into a starting role as a freshman two years ago and as a sophomore last season, he upped his average to 12 points per game while finishing in the top 20 at the Shore in three-pointers made with 57. Lee benefited from Drucquer facilitating the offense last year and while he is likely to expand his offensive game in order to get good shots, how the rest of the team develops around him will play a part in the kind of scoring season Lee has.
Big Shoes to Fill: Kai Messeroll
Point Boro will have some young players with height who can help replace Young, although none are going to be as physical as Young was right away. Replacing Drucquer at point guard will be much harder, but Messeroll got some experience as a sophomore and just like Drucquer came on strong over his final two seasons to finish with an all-division senior year, Point Boro is hoping Messeroll can make similar strides.
Impact Newcomer: Noah Knauf
Hynes typically likes his teams big and physical, but he could change it up and play Knauf as the fifth starter in order to help Point Boro match the speed of the other two returning winning teams in the pod – Manchester and Barnegat. Knauf improved enough between his freshman and sophomore season that he could make the leap right into the starting lineup and perhaps not look back.
X-Factor: Win-now mentality
Normally a team that sports this many juniors and sophomores would consider the 2021 season a chance to get its footing for a bigger showing in 2022. In Point Boro’s case, however, the Panthers will have to make a statement this season. Manchester is also a team loaded with players who will be back next season and if Point Boro wants a chance to win big with this group, it will have to get into a win-now frame of mind this year, even if it doesn’t pay off until next year.
Jan. 28 vs. New Egypt - Canceled
Feb. 1 vs. Jackson Liberty - PPD, TBA
Feb. 3 at Jackson Liberty - PPD, TBA
Feb. 6 vs. Freehold Boro, 1 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Pinelands, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 11 vs. Pinelands, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 13 at Wall, 1 p.m.
Feb. 16 vs. Barnegat, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 18 at Barnegat, 5:15 p.m.
Feb. 20 vs. Point Beach, 1 p.m.
Feb. 23 at Manchester, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs. Manchester, 6:30 p.m.