MANASQUAN - The Marlboro boys basketball team began its week by making a bit of school history, but by the time Saturday afternoon's game at Manasquan rolled around, the Mustangs were feeling greedy.

Just days after beating Christian Brothers Academy for the first time in school history and less than 24 hours after narrowly losing to Neptune, Marlboro earned a 62-54 road win over the Warriors, another of the Shore's historically strong public school programs.

In his fifth game since returning from a broken hand, senior P.J. Ringel scored a season-high 25 points and added six rebounds, four assists and five steals to lead the Mustangs. He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, which began with the tail end of an 11-0 run that gave Marlboro a 53-43 lead over the host.

Marlboro senior P.J. Ringel. (Photo by Matt Manley)
Marlboro senior P.J. Ringel. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"This was like our turning point game," Ringel said. "This game had to be the start of what we really need to be doing for the rest of the year. We put everything that's happened behind us and we go forward from here."

That Marlboro surge turned a 42-41 late-third-quarter deficit into a 53-43 lead with under five minutes to play. The Mustangs went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch to put the game away.

Ringel injured his left hand during the preseason and missed his team's first eight games. He did not start in his return to action, but jumped back into the starting lineup a game later vs. Freehold Township. Marlboro is just 2-2 since Ringel returned to the starting lineup, but the Mustangs have played Freehold Township (14-0), CBA (9-5), Neptune (9-4) and Manasquan (10-4).

After averaging a shade under 10 points over his first four games back, Ringel broke out scoring a shooting the ball on Saturday. He shot 10-for-18 from the floor and banged two of his three three-point attempts.

"I think he's starting to get into the flow," Marlboro coach Mike Nausedas said. "He's been practicing better and better. He's exhausted himself, but he'll never admit that. He just goes to work."

Senior Devin Jensen scored 21 points to lead Manasquan, but did not score during the fourth quarter. Mustangs junior Dan Weiss spent most of the game matched up with Jensen and also managed eight points of his own.

Marlboro sophomore Dylan Kaufman, guarded by Manasquan's Devin Jensen (right) and Brad McCabe (left). (Photo by Matt Manley)
Marlboro sophomore Dylan Kaufman, guarded by Manasquan's Devin Jensen (right) and Brad McCabe (23). (Photo by Matt Manley)

Sophomore Dylan Kaufman also scored 15 points to help spark Marlboro, which played its five starters until the latter stages of the third quarter, when Weiss picked up his fourth foul. Not only did he hold Jensen scoreless in the fourth, but did so without picking up a fifth foul.

"Look what Weiss did today," Nausedas said. "I made him play with four fouls, almost the whole game guarding the number one scorer in the Shore. He stepped up big today."

"Dan's our guy," Ringel said. "You give him a task, he's going to do it. Whether it's offense or defense, he's going to do what you need him to do.

"That was our plan today. Stop Jensen. If you stop him, you stop Manasquan."

Manasquan senior Brian Paturzo returned from a left ankle injury that sidelined him since a Dec. 22 loss against Long Branch. He scored four points in his return, while senior Seamus Hogan gave the Warriors 15 points and nine rebounds.

Marlboro dropped a 48-47 game to Neptune on Friday and had little time to lament the loss.

"We said the best thing about (losing to Neptune) was we get to play a good team tomorrow," Ringel said.


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