MANCHESTER TWP. – Midway through the third quarter of Friday’s Shore Conference Class B South showdown, the Central Regional boys basketball team appeared to be on its way to a banner night with host Manchester posing as a minor obstacle.

Once Golden Eagles senior Evan Lang reached a career landmark with his 1,000th point, Manchester turned the tide thanks to a career night from one of its own.

Junior Jordan Torney scored 10 of his career-high 37 points in overtime to cap off a furious finish by the Hawks that spoiled Lang’s celebration and stunned Central, 73-61.

Manchester junior Jordan Torney poured in 37 points to lead the Hawks back from 15 down in the fourth quarter to beat Central on Friday night. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Manchester trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half and trailed by 15 inside the three-minute mark of the third quarter before outscoring the Golden Eagles 37-10 over the final 11 minutes of regulation and the four-minute overtime.

“Looking up at the scoreboard in the first half, it was unacceptable,” Torney said. “We just didn’t play with any fire in the first half, especially on defense. We knew if we were going to come back, it had to start on defense.”

Lang’s 1,000th point of his career – the 16th point of 20 on the night – came on a free throw with 4:23 left in the third quarter that put Central ahead 49-36. The Golden Eagles pushed the lead to 51-36 before Manchester went on a 17-2 run over the final two-plus minutes of the third and first half of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 53 with 4:10 left.

Lang gave Central the lead back with a three-point play to put the Golden Eagles up 56-53, but Manchester junior Shavar Reynolds later tied the game at 57 on a baseline floater with 1:39 left. Central senior Anthony Arneth gave his team a 59-57 lead with 1:05 left on two free throws before Reynolds nailed a go-ahead three from the left wing to give Manchester a 60-59 edge with 48 seconds left, the Hawks’ first lead since 9-8 in the first quarter.

Lang made two free throws on the other end to give Central the lead back and Reynolds once again came through by hitting one of two free throws to tie the game at 61 with 20.8 seconds left. Central had the final possession of regulation, but could only muster a broken play that ended with Lang throwing up a desperation shot as time expired.

Torney dominated the overtime period by scoring 10 of Manchester’s 12 points, capping the scoring with a fast-break dunk. In addition to his 37 points, Torney also had six rebounds, three assists, four steals and three blocks while shooting 14-for-21 from the floor.

“I felt like I had a mismatch for most of the game, so any time I got the ball, I was looking to get to the basket,” Torney said.

“No matter who we play, there is usually going to be a mismatch for whoever is guarding (Torney),” Reynolds said. “He has a way of just sliding through the defense. We call him ‘The Worm’ because he just kind of wiggles through the defense.”

After giving up 20 points in the first quarter and 39 in the first half, the Hawks turned up the defensive pressure by going to their run-and-jump press that forced 23 Central turnovers in the game. Against a revived Manchester defense, Central shot just 7-for-29 after halftime and 2-for-18 with 14 turnovers over the final 11 minutes of the game.

“We try not to worry about how we match up with other teams. We want to make them match up with us,” Manchester coach Ryan Ramsay said. “We knew we were going to throw pressure at them and to their credit, they handled it in the first half. I think we brought a little more intensity in the second half knowing we were down.”

Reynolds finished with 21 points, including six in the final 1:40 of regulation to help push the game into overtime. Lang and Arneth, meanwhile, led Central with 20 points each, with both scoring 14 in the first half. Sophomore Elijah Barnes scored scored only seven points, but added nine rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals to go with a one-handed alley-oop dunk off a lob from Lang.

Lang entered the night 15 points shy of 1,000 and went into the halftime locker room a point shy of the mark.

“I knew I had 14 at the half because a bunch of people were telling me that I was one away,” Lang said. “I would have liked to have gotten it by halftime so I could stop thinking about it. Once I got it and we got done with all the pictures and stuff, I felt like the game got easier for me, but we struggled as a team.”

Lang is a three-year varsity starter who has played for three different head coaches in his time with the program, including the last two with second-year coach Steve Zengel. Central has not had a player reach the 1,000-point mark since 2009 graduate Ibn Moye.

“Ibn came by practice the other day and I was talking to him about the thousand,” Lang said. “I grew up watching him hit threes from our near half court and that’s where I got my range – from watching Ibn. It’s a great accomplishment to follow him onto the thousand-point scorers list and it’s going to be an honor to see my name on that banner.”

While the Lang family celebrated Evan’s 1,000th point during the game, Evan’s older brother, Erik, also got to celebrate a win. Erik is the freshman coach at Manchester and got the best of both worlds Friday night.

“I know he wanted Evan to get his thousandth, but he wanted us to win,” Reynolds said of his coach. “When Evan got his thousandth, (Erik) Lang didn’t even want to go out to take a picture with him.”


Box Score

Manchester 73, Central 61 (OT)







Central (9-8, 7-5)







Manchester (12-4, 10-2)








Central (61): Jaden Rhoden 3 3-4 9, Evan Lang 7 4-5 20, Schuyler Smith 0 0-2 0, Anthony Arneth 7 3-3 20, Elijah Barnes 3 0-2 7, John Forrester 2 1-2 5, Maks Gruzecki 0 0-0 0, Zach Skeeter 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 11-16 61

Three-pointers: Lang 2, Arneth 3, Barnes

Fouled Out: Forrester

Manchester (73): Shavar Reynolds 7 5-7 21, Jordan Torney 14 6-9 37, Israel Almestica 2 0-2 4, Robert Planter 2 0-0 4, L.J. Robinson 2 0-0 4, Nakim Stokes 1 1-2 3, Alex Lunn 0 0-0 0, Jerry Blackburn 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 12-20 73

Three-pointers: Reynolds 2, Torney 3

Fouled Out: Planter