The Jackson Memorial boys basketball team is back in the Shore Conference Tournament for the first time in five years and the Jaguars showed Wednesday they mean business.

Senior Micah Wallace scored 19 points and junior Matt Mahala added 16 to lead the 14th-seeded Jaguars past No. 19 Pinelands, 46-43.

Neither Wallace nor Mahala were at Jackson Memorial last season and the two, along with Mahala's brother, Ryan, have been welcome additions to a senior-heavy returning group.

On Wednesday, that group overcame a less-than-ideal first half to overwhelm the Wildcats in the third quarter and hold on for a win.

Pinelands led, 27-18, at halftime but Jackson Memorial struck back with a 16-2 run for the duration of the third quarter to take a 34-29 lead. Pinelands battled back to tie the game at 39 before the Jaguars came back with five straight to take a 44-39 lead with under a minute to go.

Jackson Memorial's third quarter Wednesday resembled its third quarter in its most notable regular-season win - a 47-38 home win over Wall. After trailing 29-22 to the No. 10 team in the tournament, the Jaguars won the third quarter, 14-4, and the second half, 25-9.

Senior Andrew Schulz scored 16 points to lead Pinelands while senior Anthony Diaz added 14 and junior Ryan Skeie pitched in nine points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause.

Jackson Memorial's tournament stay will continue Thursday at No. 3 Christian Brothers Academy in the round of 16. Prior to transferring to Jackson Memorial, both Matt and Ryan Mahala played in the CBA program and their older brother, Rob, starred for the Colts before graduating last spring.

 

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