NEPTUNE - Back on Jan. 15, Neptune beat Colts Neck in a seemingly-ordinary game, 57-42 - some relief for a Neptune squad that had lost three of four leading up to the game.

As fate would have it, that game marked the beginning of a stretch of dominance by the Scarlet Fliers against the other teams in their Shore Conference Class B North division.

That Colts Neck win began a run of nine straight win over B North opponents, which continued Thursday against Colts Neck in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III quarterfinals. The second-seeded Fliers turned in a dominant defensive effort in a 50-39 win over the No. 10 Cougars to advance to the sectional semifinals for the second straight season.

Neptune senior Mekhi Moore. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Neptune senior Mekhi Moore. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Neptune's winning ways against teams from its division bodes well for the Scarlet Fliers in a section that is home to seven of the eight teams from Class B North. They will, however, have to get past No. 6 Burlington Township on Saturday in order to get a shot at the storied program's first sectional championship since 2012.

Senior Dwaine Jones led Neptune with 15 points, six assists, three steals and two blocks. Senior Mekhi Moore added eight points and highlighted Neptune's defensive effort with 10 rebounds and seven of Neptune's 11 blocked shots as a team.

Senior Sadiq Armstead was Neptune's defensive star on the perimeter and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

Senior Andrew Abujawdeh led Colts Neck with a game-high 16 points and senior Sean Tice added 10 in the loss.

Thursday's win was Neptune's third this season against Colts Neck. After beating the Cougars the first time on Jan. 15, Neptune won each of its seven games during the second turn through the division.

The Fliers lost in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16 to Toms River North and lost a pair of tune-up games to Howell and Middletown South before opening up the NJSIAA Tournament with a win over Lawrence on Tuesday.


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