Boys Basketball – Manasquan Finds Revenges, Hands St. Rose First Loss
MANASQUAN -- The first time No. 1 St. Rose and No. 2 Manasquan met as the top two teams in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, St. Rose beat the then-top-ranked Warriors despite playing without three transfers -- two of which were suited up and in the starting lineup Thursday for the rematch at Manasquan High School.
Manasquan was also missing a player for that Dec. 22 loss at St. Rose, although it was not a heralded transfer or injured starter with an All-Shore pedigree.
Senior Jack Dettlinger watched the first meeting from the sidelines due to injury and on Thursday, his return was the difference for Manasquan.
Moving from the sixth-man role to the starting five, Dettlinger provided a major spark on both ends of the floor, while sophomore Darius Adams and junior Ryan Frauenheim delivered the big shots down the stretch in a 41-37 Manasquan win that dealt St. Rose its first loss of the season.
Video Credit: Two feature videos provided by Liam Abujawdeh | zzliam.com
Sophomore Darius Adams scored a game-high 14 points, sophomore Ryan Frauenheim added 11 that included a dagger of a three-pointer, and sophomore Griffin Linstra played lockdown defense against St. Rose junior standout Matt Hodge, holding him to three points.
"We were tougher this time," Adams said. "We locked in on defense really well. We were there with help all night. Offensive rebounds, every 50-50 ball -- we were on it. It's all part of being tough and usually, it's the tougher team that wins."
All three of those Manasquan regulars were on the floor for their team's 56-48 loss to St. Rose on Dec. 22, but Dettlinger was Thursday's x-factor. He contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and two steals and on Frauenheim's go-ahead three that gave Manasquan the lead for good, 39-37, with 3:08 left, it was Dettlinger that stole the ball, grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Frauenheim within a matter of seconds.
"I thought he made all the difference in the world today," Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau said of Dettlinger. "He had some huge offensive and defensive rebounds, he got some 50-50 balls, I thought he guarded really well -- I thought he was fantastic."
"I'm usually coming off the bench, but I got the pleasure of starting tonight," Dettlinger said. "My rule, whether it's coming off the bench or starting like tonight, is to get every rebound I can, allow my teammates to score, because their the scorers. If I can put the ball in the hoop, I'll do it."
Frauenheim's go-ahead three-pointer was the last made field goal of the game by either team, as Manasquan slowed the tempo down, while St. Rose failed to convert on its few opportunities in those final three minutes.
"It was just the way the game went," Bilodeau said of the pace. "There were a lot of out-of-bounds and a lot of side out-of-bounds plays. It was a weird flow to the game. We never try to slow it down, but that's just the way the game went."
Junior Alex Konov went to the free-throw line with 10.5 seconds left and buried both ends of a 1-and-1 to stretch the lead to 41-37. Those to foul shots were the only points of the game for Konov, who came off the bench Thursday while Dettlinger got the start.
"I was really proud of Alex for welcoming coming off the bench," Adams said. "He didn't get down about it and he came in, gave us great minutes like he always does and hit huge free throws at the end."
With Dettlinger and Linstra both in the starting lineup, Manasquan committed to hounding both Matt Hodge and his freshman younger brother, Jayden. Linstra held Matt Hodge to three points -- a far cry from the 20 he put up with 6-for-7 three-point shooting in the first meeting -- Dettlinger kept Jayden Hodge to eight.
"We're both defensive guys," Dettlinger said of himself and Linstra. "We love playing defense. It's one of our favorite things to do. That's one of my rules and I take pride in it: play super hard the entire time.
"(Matt Hodge) had a great first game, but he was six for seven from three and they couldn't make a three this time. There were a lot of mistakes we made and this time, we were super solid and focused on defense."
Even with its top two scoring threats struggling to get going, St. Rose stayed in the game and turned an eight-point third-quarter deficit into a lead by the middle of the fourth quarter. In the last minute-and-a-half of the third quarter, St. Rose went from down, 31-23, to down, 33-32, thanks to three-pointer by sophomore Evan Romano and a pair of buckets by junior Gioacchino Panzini.
Both Romano and Panzini were ineligible to play in the first game between the two rivals while sitting out the required 30 days for transfers who did not change their address from one school year to the next. St. Rose was without another transfer in sophomore Peter Mauro on Dec. 22 and Mauro was unavailable Thursday night as well due to illness.
"Anybody who is playing in the game doesn't want to hear about who is not there," Bilodeau said. "It's like the kids who choose not to play in the bowl games, which is a disgrace and subject for another time. Some kid who goes out there and lays his heart, blood, sweat and tears on the line doesn't want to hear about somebody who is sick, or hurt, or whatever. For us, Jack was hurt the last time but it is what it is. He's back now, he's healthy and he is playing well."
Romano led St. Rose with 12 points and his final basket was a three-pointer that cut Manasquan's lead to 36-35. Jayden Hodge then slithered into the lane for a layup that pushed St. Rose in front, 37-36 with just under 4:30 to play.
St. Rose actually earned a stop on Manasquan's next possession, but Dettingler swiped the ball away in the Purple Roses backcourt, then rebounded a three-point miss by Adams. Dettlinger fired it back out to a wide-open Fraunheim, who drilled the three for a 39-37 lead.
Adams carried Manasquan out of the gate with seven of its first nine points and nine points total in the first half. He close both the first and second quarters with hard, contested drives and finishes in the final seconds.
Sophomore Bryan Ebeling was St. Rose's offense spark in the first half, with the 6-2 guard scoring all eight of his points in the first half.
Manasquan is coming off a pair of close wins over Neptune and Saddle River Day, mixed in with a pair of double-digit wins over Hudson Catholic and Ranney. The close calls against Neptune and Saddle River Day gave the Warriors a chance to close out close games on the winning side, with Manasquan entering that win over Neptune 0-3 in games decided by fewer than 10 points.
Since losing to Roselle Catholic on Jan. 2, Manasquan has won eight straight.
"We probably overdid it with the schedule, not just with the quality of teams, but with the back-to-backs," Bilodeau said. "Blame me for that. Our guys are dragging a little bit, but tonight there was enough energy. The crowd was here, the student section was unreal. I think they fed off that and they got through it."
"Coach Bilodeau knows us and that's why he schedules those games," Dettlinger said. "It prepares us mentally and that's why we're ready for this.