MARLBORO - The Neptune basketball team had three full days to regroup after losing to Bloomfield on Monday and letting a seven-game winning streak get away.

Friday, it was back to the Shore Conference Class A North race in the form of a trip to Marlboro and with both teams needing the win to stay in the race, the Scarlet Fliers once again found their winning edge.

Senior Jules Calhoun scored 11 of his 15 points in the second quarter and junior Jared Kimbrough added 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Scarlet Fliers - No. 8 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - edged No. 7 Marlboro, 48-47, to pick up a key A North road win.

Neptune senior Jules Calhoun. (Photo by Larry Murphy)
Neptune senior Jules Calhoun. (Photo by Larry Murphy)

Kimbrough fed senior Seth Harrington for a backdoor layup for the go-ahead basket that put Neptune ahead, 46-44, with 37 seconds left. The 6-6 forward also assisted a tying three-point play by Harrington with just under three minutes to play.

After a missed front end of a one-and-one by Calhoun with his team up 48-46, Marlboro sophomore Dylan Kaufman earned a trip to the free-throw line with 4.7 seconds left and a chance to tie the game. Kaufman hit the first shot but missed the second shot. A scramble for the ball near the Neptune basket lasted long enough to bleed out the remainder of time on the clock.

Kaufman finished with 11 points and senior P.J. Ringel led Marlboro with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals.

Kimbrough posted his eighth double-double of the season despite sitting the entire second quarter with two fouls. Calhoun took over in Kimbrough's absence, scoring all 11 of Neptune's points in the quarter. Marlboro (8-4, 6-2) built a 29-21 lead in the early stages of the third quarter before Neptune answered with a 10-0 run to go back in front.

Ringel scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Mustangs surge in front, 42-39. The Mustangs will turn around quickly to play Manasquan on the road on Saturday afternoon.

Neptune (9-4, 6-2), meanwhile, is slated to host undefeated Freehold Township on Tuesday in a must-win game for the Fliers as it pertains to their Class A North division title hopes. Freehold Township handled Neptune in late December by a 24-point margin.

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