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Thrive Fan Vote Shore Conference Player of the Week

Drew Buck, Ranney

Ranney came up a win shy of a championship at the Albert E. Martin Buc Classic and it was Buck that drove the Panthers to the championship games and nearly got them to the finish line at Red Bank Regional.

During three-game tournament, Buck averaged 21.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 assists as Ranney took down East Brunswick and Tottenville of Staten Island before losing a back-and-forth game to host Red Bank in the championship on Dec. 30.

Buck opened the tournament with 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in 75-60 win over East Brunswick. The 6-foot-3 senior followed that up with 30 points, 11 rebounds and five assists to help the Panthers take down top-seeded Tottenville in the Buc Classic semifinals.

Ranney fell behind Red Bank, 24-10, in the first quarter, but outscored the home team, 13-0, in the second quarter to set the stage for a wild second half. Buck led Ranney with 15 points and seven rebounds and hit a clutch, game-tying three during the fourth quarter, but Red Bank pulled through with a 63-57 win for its first Buc Classic championship since 2014.

Through Ranney's first seven games, Buck is averaging 20.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for a 5-2 squad. Ranney graduated two First-Team All-Shore guards in Isaac Hester and Jahlil Bethea from a team that reached the Shore Conference Tournament championship game and finished No. 3 in the Shore Sports Network rankings, but has stayed in the mix for a top-five ranking again thanks to Buck's early excellence and the solid performance of the Panthers supporting cast.

Buck won this week's vote by collecting 39 percent of the vote and finishing comfortably ahead of runners-up Ryan Jacobs of Donovan Catholic (17 percent) and Rob Peirson of Toms River South (15).

As the fan's choice for Player of the Week, Buck will receive a free recovery session courtesy of Thrive.


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