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Two years ago,  a senior-laden Barnegat boys basketball team made a run at the program's first ever Shore Conference Class B South division championship but came up two games shy.

Now, the underclassmen who waited their turn behind that experienced core is getting their chance to make a run and during the early going of the season, the Bengals are making the most of it.

Barnegat is off to its best start ever, having won five straight games to open the season heading into Thursday's tilt at Lacey. In outlasting Donovan Catholic - another B South contender - on Friday night, the Bengals successfully made their case as the first Jersey Mike's Boys Basketball Team of the Week of 2020.

The Bengals' are a perfect 3-0 in the division so far, although all three of their wins have come down to the wire. It started with an overtime win over perennial contender Lakewood in which junior Jaxon Baker hit a game-tying three with one second left before his team finally took control in overtime.

Against Donovan Catholic, Baker shined again with 19 points, but it was senior Isaiah Gerena who really stole the show with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. Gerena is a transfer from Holy Spirit and has given the Bengals instant impact in the paint thanks to his strong, 6-foot-5 frame.

This past week, the Bengals kept the train rolling by edging defending B South champion Jackson Liberty on the road behind 12 points from junior Jared Krey, whose offensive effort resulted the first time he has led Barnegat in scoring.

On top of Gerena, Baker and Krey, senior guards Nick and Brendan Revello have continued their strong play as leaders. Nick Revello led Barnegat in scoring as a junior and Brendan led the team in assists while finishing top-five in the conference in that category.

There is a long way to the finish line for Barnegat - under the direction of sixth-year head coach Mike Puorro - but the Bengals have set themselves up for a run at their first ever division title. With wins over Donovan Catholic and Lakewood already in the books, it is shaping up to be their best run yet.

 

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