Player of the Week

Dan Pillari, Sr., Shore

This week’s honor goes to the hottest shooting hand on one of the Shore’s hottest teams at the moment. The Blue Devils have won six straight games, all by a margin of at least 18 points, and Pillari has led the team in scoring in each of its last two wins. In three games last week, Pillari averaged 24.3 points per game, highlighted by a 34-point outburst in a win over Holmdel on Saturday.

Senior Dan Pillari scored 34 points in a win over Holmdel on Feb. 1 and averaged 24.3 points in three games last week. (Photo by Doug Bostwick)

The weekend scoring barrage gave Pillari his second 30-plus point game of the season, the other coming in December when he scored 41 in a loss to last year’s NJSIAA Tournament of Champions runner-up, St. Joseph-Metuchen. Pillari also scored 25 points in a win over St. John Vianney on Friday and poured in 14 points in a key win over Red Bank Catholic on Jan. 28.


Honorable Mention

Class A North

Pat Andree, CBA – The Colts sophomore posted two 20-plus point games during the week and led the Colts in scoring in each of their three wins. Andree averaged 19.7 points during the three games, highlighted by a 23-point effort in an 81-58 win over Freehold Township, the second-place team in Class A North.

Class A South

Jordan Craig, Toms River North – One of many breakout juniors on the Mariners, Craig had another strong week while the Mariners went 2-2 with two narrow losses to Brick Memorial and Southern. Craig scored 13 points in the loss to Brick Memorial and 16 in the loss to Southern, while his 25-point, 11-rebound performance against Freehold highlighted his week.

Class B North

Elijah Barnes, Freehold – The Colonials freshman continued to impress this past week, when he averaged 14 points, 9.3 rebounds and five blocks in three games. Barnes had a career-night in a win over Wall on Jan. 28, posting a career-high 24 points to go with six rebounds and six blocks.

Class B Central

Kason Preston, Keansburg – Prior to the start of last week, the Titans did not have a win this season. After losing the first 11 games of his senior season, Preston put an end to the misery nearly single-handedly by scoring 36 points in consecutive wins over Henry Hudson and Ranney. That marked the second time this season that Preston scored at least 30 points in consecutive games.

Class B South

Darius Barlow, Manchester – Barlow is sometimes overlooked because of the three sophomore starters and Matawan transfer KaShaun Barnes, but the senior made his presence felt this past week. He scored a season-high 24 points in a win over Pinelands, then had 12 points and seven assists in a win over Jackson Liberty later in the week.