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Heading into last week, the Monmouth Regional boys basketball players were just hoping for a night in which they could leave the gym with a winning feeling again. A year after a respectable, 11-win season, the Falcons graduated four starters and returned mostly juniors and sophomores who opened last week with a loss to Manasquan that marked their 13th straight defeat.

After losing to the Shore’s best team by 40 points, the Falcons made sure 13 was their unluckiest number. Not only did they end the losing streak; they answered it with a winning streak.

Monmouth beat Henry Hudson on Feb. 5 to snap a 13-game skid, then scored their biggest win of the year by upsetting Red Bank Catholic – the No. 8 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 at the time – in dramatic fashion two nights later.

With wins over the Admirals and Caseys in a three-day span, Monmouth doubled its win total for the season and earned Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week honors for Week 6 of 2020.

Juniors Kiran Desai, A.J. Po and Jake Marcincak and sophomore Aidan Denton were the central figures in Monmouth’s return to winning last week. Desai and Po each scored 15 points and Marcincak added 14 in the 68-45 win over Henry Hudson, with Po also grabbing 10 rebounds.

That was just the warm-up act for Friday, when Monmouth stunned the Caseys, playing without senior standout Charlie Gordinier because of a hand injury.

Denton led the way with 16 points and hit a three-pointer to put his Falcons up by four points with a little more than a minute to go. RBC battled back to tie the game but Desai earned a trip to the free throw line with three seconds left and buried the go-ahead free throws. RBC came up empty and the Falcons celebrated a Friday night upset at home.

Desai finished with 14 points and Po put up 15 in the victory, which snapped Red Bank Catholic’s six-game winning streak.

 

2020 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Barnegat

Week 2: Middletown South

Week 3: Manalapan

Week 4: Point Boro

Week 5: Lakewood

 

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