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MANASQUAN -- Even the best high school programs in New Jersey are prone to a down year and given the adversity and inexperience interwoven into the 2021-22 Manasquan boys basketball season, this year had all the characteristics of a rebuilding year for the Warriors.

Instead, Manasquan -- the No. 5 seed in the Shore Conference Tournaments and one of the youngest starting fives in the conference -- is again a championship contender and just extended one of the Shore's most impressive streaks Thursday night.

The Warriors stormed out of the gate against No. 12 Ranney and never let the Panthers off the mat in a 52-38 win that sends Manasquan to the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals for the 10th straight season.

Manasquan also won the makeshift Shore Conference Playoff championship in a perfect 12-0 2021 season, which makes it 11 straight seasons that the Warriors have been among the final eight teams in the Shore Conference postseason.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Manasquan by Ray Rich Photography

Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau with sophomore guard Ryan Frauenheim. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau with sophomore guard Ryan Frauenheim. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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"We came in confident because we know we belong," sophomore Ryan Frauenheim said. "We still have a lot of work to do over the next couple weeks and we hope to gain even more confidence."

"I would hope their confidence is growing," Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau said. "There are starting to see the fruits of their labor. They're doing a nice job of developing."

There have been better, more imposing Manasquan teams during this 11-year run and even more surprising ones. This year's Warriors team has been defined by its youth -- Manasquan starts two freshmen and two sophomores along with senior forward Matt Solomon -- and refusal to change its expectations after star guard and Boston University commit Ben Roy went down with a torn ACL during the fall.

"The rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated," Bilodeau said. "I think we have good talent and phenomenal kids. That's a good combination and I think we're starting to round into form. We're probably ahead of schedule."

Frauenheim and Solomon were again key contributors in a Manasquan win Thursday night, with Frauenheim scoring a game-high 13 points to go with four assists and Solomon putting up 12 points and eight rebounds while battling against Ranney center Charles Anyichie.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Manasquan by Ray Rich Photography

Manasquan senior Matt Solomon guarded by Ranney senior Charles Anyichie. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Manasquan senior Matt Solomon guarded by Ranney senior Charles Anyichie. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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Freshman Darius Adams added 12 points and spent most of the game locked up against Ranney senior T.J. Braswell-Brown, who finished with a team-high 11 points.

Adams occasionally matched up with Ranney leading scorer Isaac Hester, but the bulk of that assignment went to Adams's classmate, Griffin Linstra. The 6-foot-4 Linstra hounded Ranney's junior standout into 4-for-13 shooting, with Hester settling for 10 points on the night. Linstra finished with seven points of his own.

"Hester's a great player and we knew they had guys who were going to make shots," Adams said. "We just knew we had to make those shots difficult."

Manasquan buried Ranney early by unleashing a 13-0 run that spanned the end of the first and early second quarter and put the Warriors ahead, 24-5. By the end of the first half, Manasquan held a commanding, 31-9 lead over the Panthers.

Ranney showed signs of life by scoring the first seven points of the second half but the Warriors eventually ran their lead back to 48-26 by the early part of the fourth quarter.

Manasquan has looked sharp in its first two SCT wins -- the first a 78-29 rout of Pinelands -- which can be traced back to the Warriors' challenging out-of-area schedule. Manasquan's four losses this season are to Rutgers Prep, St. John Vianney, Roselle Catholic and the Patrick School and Manasquan also has wins over St. Joseph Metuchen, Immaculata and Union Catholic.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ranney at Manasquan by Ray Rich Photography

Manasquan freshman Darius Adams looks for teammate Griffin Linstra (14) in the corner. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
Manasquan freshman Darius Adams looks for teammate Griffin Linstra (14) in the corner. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
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"Our team has great chemistry," Adams said. "We all move without the ball very well and we have learned to play under pressure. We've also really learned how to prepare for games. Our practices are high-intensity and we can see every time out, we're getting better."

The Warriors players walked off the floor Thursday hoping to get another shot at St. John Vianney on Sunday at Middletown South for the SCT quarterfinals, but instead, it will be Donovan Catholic opposing Manasquan Sunday at 4:15 p.m. Donovan Catholic went into St. John Vianney and upset the Lancers in overtime Thursday night to earn a shot at Manasquan.

Regardless of Sunday's opponent, Manasquan's mission remains the same and with the Warriors one win away from a 20-win season -- hard to imagine shortly after Roy was diagnosed with a season-ending injury -- this is both a team built to win this season and even more in the years to come.

"We feel good, but the job's not finished," Frauenheim said. "We think we can win, but the job's not done and we have to keep getting better."