Boys Basketball – Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week: Point Boro
Last season could be described as a rebuilding one for the Point Pleasant Boro boys basketball team but the Panthers broke for the offseason optimistic that the pieces would be in place for a potential banner season in 2020.
The journey has not gone as expected and the climb is not yet over, but this year's Point Boro squad has fought their way through just about every obstacle put in front of it. With three more wins last week, including a 10th straight, Point Boro is the fourth Jersey Mike's Team of the Week of 2020.
The Panthers' resilience was on full display last week, when they rallied to beat Donovan Catholic, 60-53, in overtime on Jan. 20. Freshman Stephen Mellett hit a game-tying shot with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send it into overtime and senior Sam Young posted 20 points and 16 rebounds to highlight what was Point Boro's eighth straight win.
Point Boro later ran the winning streak to nine with a win over Jackson Liberty and handled crosstown rival Point Beach on Saturday to make it 10 wins in a row - the second-longest streak in the Shore Conference this season behind Middletown South's current 11-game run.
Before the start of camp this season, Point Boro was already without 2018-19 leading scorer Dominic Schiappa, who transferred to Metuchen, and senior Cole Young, who decided to skip basketball season to focus on baseball. The Panthers then opened the season with Sam Young injured and opened the year 1-2.
Once Young returned to give the Panthers a force in the paint to go with sophomore sharpshooter Matt Lee, senior point guard Alex Drucquer, senior guard A.J. Hernandez and Mellett. After beating Barnegat and Donovan Catholic in consecutive games, te Panthers held a two-game lead in the B South standings through one turn through the schedule.
Point Boro's winning streak came to an end Tuesday in a lopsided loss to Lakewood but the Panthers remain in first place by a game over the Piners and two games ahead of Barnegat, Donovan Catholic and Manchester.
2020 Team of the Week Winners
Week 1: Barnegat
Week 2: Middletown South
Week 3: Manalapan