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BAYVILLE -- Two weekends ago, the Red Bank Catholic boys basketball team beat the undefeated, No. 1 team in the Shore Conference to overtake them as the top team in the Shore rankings.

Sunday at Central Regional in the Jimmy V Classic, it was a Top-10, state-ranked, unbeaten team from out of the area that Red Bank Catholic used to make its case as one of New Jersey's best.

Seniors Cyril Arvanitis and C.J. Ruoff each scored 19 points, classmate Alex Bauman put up 17 points, 16 rebounds and three assists and the Caseys engineered another all-around effort to post their best offensive game of the season and beat previously-unbeaten Rutgers Prep, 90-79.

The win was also a milestone for Caseys head coach Tyler Schmelz, who picked up his 100th career victory with the win.

The Caseys exploded for 45 points in the first half and then did it again in the second half, setting a new single-game high in 2021-22 with those 90 points. Ruoff and Bauman led the 45-40 first-half shootout with 11 points apiece and Arvanitis caught fire in the second half with 13 of his 19.

Red Bank Catholic's other two starters -- sophomores Gioacchino Panzini and Tyler Burnham -- each added nine points. Panzini also contributed 10 rebounds and five assists, while Burnham's production came while starting in place of injured 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Zach Meeks.

Even with one of its key pieces moved to the starting five to cover an injured starter, RBC's bench delivered once again with 17 points between senior Alex Brown (eight points), freshman Ryan Prior (six) and sophomore Colin Cavanaugh (three).

Juniors Cameron Piggie and Jadin Collins each scored 20 points to lead Rutgers Prep -- the No. 8 team in the state, according to NJ Advance Media. Senior Ryan Zan, who played at Ranney each of the past two seasons, added 18 points for the Argonauts.

Red Bank Catholic has now won 11 straight since a 61-58 defeat at the hands of Marlboro in the WOBM Christmas Classic final on Dec. 30. The winning streak includes victories over Shore-Sports-Network-ranked teams Marlboro (3), Christian Brothers Academy (2), Rumson-Fair Haven (6) and Ranney (7). Prior to those wins, RBC also beat No. 9 Jackson Memorial and No. 4 St. John Vianney.

The Caseys' quest to continue their climb in the state carries into this week, which includes a road rematch with Rumson-Fair Haven and another big Saturday matchup against Bergen Catholic -- the No. 9 team in the state.

Red Bank Catholic has not been ranked No. 1 in the Shore Conference prior to this season and has never won a Shore Conference Tournament.


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