Boys Basketball – Kerr, Morris, Logue and Mitchell Lead East to Senior All-Star Win
WALL TWP. - Like many of the Shore Conference Senior all-stars, Neptune senior Micah Kerr envisioned himself on the receiving end of an alley-oop Wednesday night in the Shore Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game at Wall High School.Listen to audio of the game broadcast at the end of this report.
Instead, he found himself hitting a three-pointer and setting up a teammate for a dunk in one of the game's deciding stretches.
Kerr and teammate Kyle Morris from Barnegat each scored 18 points with Kerr taking home the Arthur Harmon Most Valuable Player award as the East All-Stars rolled to a 143-107 win over the West All-Stars Wednesday night.
"Honestly, I wasn't thinking about the MVP," said Kerr, who said he has interest from Nyack College, Kean University and Rutgers-Newark. "I was just hoping to come out here and play hard, show what I can do and just have fun with all these guys in my last high school game."
During his entire senior season with the Scarlet Fliers, Kerr hit all of two three-pointers but showed off his range during his final four-minute stint on the court Wednesday night. He then converted a three-point play and capped his MVP performance by breaking down a defender with the dribble and hitting a cutting Jake Logue for a backdoor dunk.
"I thought I'd be on the other end, getting a dunk," Kerr said. "We had a lot of guys out there who could do some good things with the ball so if one of them was open, you've got to make sure you get them the ball."
Logue, a Southern Regional senior committed to play at Centenary College, added 16 points - 14 of which came in the second half and were highlight-reel worthy. In addition to his dunk off the Kerr feed, Logue hammered home a lob from Rumson-Fair Haven senior Thomas Famulary and also drained two long three-pointers.
After missing the start to the season due to injury and returing to help Barnegat get back to the .500 mark this season, Morris capped his high school basketball career by shining on the all-star stage Wednesday night. Among the 18 points Morris scored, four baskets came on dunks, and the senior forward was the rare player who was active on the defensive end in the offense-heavy game.
Morris' offensive display rivaled that of his cousin, Point Beach forward Jesse Hill, who led the West team with a game-high 19 points.
"We grew up playing together," said Hill, a Florida Atlantic University recruit. "It was great to end our high school careers playing against each other in a game like this."
Hill hammered home four spectacular dunks and hit three three-pointers in a losing effort. On the second of his dunks, he finished despite some token resistance from Garnet Gulls teammate Mike Frauenheim, who played on the East squad.
"He never wants to lose no matter what, even if it's an all-star game," Hill said of Frauenheim. "Usually, he's going to make you earn that, but nobody wants to get anybody hurt out here."
Colts Neck guard Chris O'Reilly and Brick Memorial sharp-shooter Aaron Scheiderman each contributed 15 points to the winning cause and Freehold Township's Tyree Wilson made it seven East scorers in double-figures with 10 points. Matawan's Jason Dunne and Manasquan's Aidan McMenaman each added eight points on three dunks apiece.
Wednesday also marked a fitting end for Wall's senior trio of Trent Mitchell, Brendan Barcas and Ryan Janeczek. All three Crimson Knights seniors reached the 1,000-career-point milestone while leading Wall to its first outright Shore Conference division title since 1974, and the three teammates finished their high school basketball careers on their home floor Wednesday night.
"With the way this year and these last four years have been, it's only fitting that we all ended it together on our home floor in an all-star game," Mitchell said.
Mitchell scored 17 points in the East's winning effort, including eight during his first four-minute stretch of the second half. Barcas and Janeczek each added five points.
"This has been a brotherhood," Janeczek said of playing with Barcas and Mitchell. "We've been playing together since we were young and we came up the ranks together. We went through the struggles in the first three years and we finished with a great season."
Running the point on a team that featured some of the Shore's top scorers, including Hill, Toms River South guard Tymere Berry (nine points), Christian Brothers Academy swingman Jack Laffey (11 points) and St. Rose guard Nolan Slattery (13 points), gave Barcas plenty of options.
"The second half, we were trying to come back so I looked for my shot a little more," Barcas said. "Coming out, though, you're definitely trying to get everyone involved and you try to add a little flair when you can."
Earlier this season, Berry might have looked forward to Wednesday's All-Star Game as a "last hurrah" of sorts given that he was being recruited to play football at the next level and ultimately committed to Monmouth University. Since committing to join the Hawks on the gridiron, though, Berry has inquired about playing basketball in college as well and has the green light to pursue a tryout.
"People ask me all the time which sport I like best and my answer is always, 'My favorite sport is whatever's in season,'" Berry said. "While I was getting recruited for football, it was always in the back of my mind that wanted to try to play basketball."
Berry said he plans to speak with Monmouth head coach King Rice sometime in the near future after getting clearance from head football coach Kevin Callahan.
"I'm ready for the challenge," Berry said. "I know it will be a tough schedule, but I'm going to do whatever's possible to keep doing what I love."
Rumson coach Chris Champeau and junior star Brendan Barry were honored at halftime as the SBCA selections for Coach and Player of the Year in the Shore Conference, respectively. Also, Red Bank Catholic's Liam Byrne won the 3-point shootout.