Boys Basketball – Tymere Berry Erupts for 42 in TR South win over Brick Memorial
BRICK TWP. – Toms River South senior Tymere Berry was not especially interested in how many points he had at halftime of his team’s game at Brick Memorial Friday night, but a classmate shouted out to him that through 16 minutes, he had already reached his robust season average.
Berry turned his attention toward helping his team win a crucial Class A South road game and in successfully doing so, he also authored an individual performance that will go down in Toms River South and even Ocean County and Shore Conference lore.
Toms River South escaped Brick Memorial by beating the Mustangs, 68-65, in a back-and-forth game, but just as Berry put his stat-line on the backburner to pursue a win, the Indians' win took a back seat to Berry’s monster game. The senior guard scored a career-high 42 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out six assists while shooting 14-for-22 from the field and 5-for-7 from three-point range.
“They jumped out to an early lead and I was just trying to stay composed,” Berry said. “The shots were falling, but I wasn’t thinking about it. I knew I was putting up points, but I was just trying to keep my team in the game and it turned out to be a great team victory. We were hustling and scrapping to the last whistle and we came out with a huge win against a very good team in their gym.”
Berry’s 42 points is the highest single-game total at Toms River South since Corey Albano scored 50 against St. Joseph’s of Toms River in 1993, according to longtime Indians assistant Rich Malek. The 42 points is also the most in one game by a Shore Conference player since Manasquan’s J.R. Hobbie scored 49 in December of 2012.
“His focus and his ability to make everybody else around him better are what make him special and that was on full display tonight,” first-year Toms River South coach Curt DeFillippo said. “You can go on and on with the things he does well. He is just unbelievable.
“If he’s hitting his shot like he was tonight, you have to go out and guard him and then, he’s just going to go around you. He’s quick, he can stretch the defense with his shot, he sees the court, he gets everybody involved, he makes unbelievable passes when he does drive - he just does everything, and I don’t know how you stop that when it’s all working.”
By halftime Friday, Berry reached his season average of 23 points, which helped Toms River South cut a 12-point deficit early in the second quarter to two by halftime. Berry scored 17 of Toms River South’s 23 points in the second quarter, including a stretch in which he hit five three-point attempts in a row. The last of those threes was a contested shot from 23 feet out on the left wing in the final seconds of the second quarter to pull Toms River South within 35-33 at halftime.
After Brick Memorial took a 42-36 lead, Toms River South took over the game with an 18-0 run, sparked by Berry and junior forward Tyler Fall. Berry drove for two and hit two free throws on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to two, then assisted baskets by Fall on consecutive possessions. The second of the two was a baseline jumper that bounced in to put Toms River South ahead 44-42, a lead the Indians would not surrender.
“The answer to stopping him would have been to play a little bit better defense, but when he’s making shots five feet behind the three-point line, it’s tough,” Brick Memorial coach Ed Sarluca said. “The plan was to not let him kill us, maybe keep him around 20. Let’s not have him go for 30, and then he goes for 40.
“But hats off to (Berry). If you have seen a better player at the guard position at the Shore, I’d like to see him play, because that kid is as dynamic as they come as an athlete and a basketball player.”
Fall followed his go-ahead jumper with a three, then Berry tipped in a miss by senior Khaleel Greene to push the lead to 49-42 heading to the fourth quarter. Fall and Berry then capped the run, with Fall knocking down a jumper and Berry converting a three-point play on an acrobatic lay-up in transition. In total, Fall scored nine of his 14 points during the 18-0 surge and Berry accounted for the other nine.
“I was really disappointed with my first half,” Fall said. “That’s not the way I wanted to play. Right before the second half, I went over to Ty, patted him on the chest and said, ‘I got you this half. Just look for me and I’ll knock them down.’”
Brick Memorial made a push to pull even, starting with a 9-0 run to cut Toms River South’s lead to 56-53 with 3:16 left. Berry responded with driving bank shots on consecutive possessions to push the lead back to seven and hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to help close out the game.
The Mustangs hit four threes in the final 1:40 – two by junior Darius Richards and one each by seniors Aaron Scheiderman and Scott White – and got the ball back with 24 seconds left, trailing by three with a chance to tie the game. White missed an open look from the corner, but Scheiderman ran down the offensive rebound and Brick Memorial took a timeout with 9.6 seconds left.
Scheiderman got the ball in the corner with time running out and his contested, fadeaway three hit the side of the backboard, securing the win for Toms River South.
White scored 26 points to lead Brick Memorial, including 19 in the first half to help the Mustangs build a 22-10 lead early in the second quarter. Scheiderman added 10 of his 16 in the second half.
“They are a fast team, they like to get up the floor fast, so when you make a shot, they are up the floor before you even realize it,” Berry said. “We kept the same game plan the entire week and throughout the game. We knew they were going to fly down the court and you have to pick up your man, no matter who it is – just find the first man you see down the court and stay with him.”
Berry primarily guarded Scheiderman in the first half and White in the second half. Scheiderman scored six points in the first half, while White scored seven in the second half.
“I’ve been doing this since my freshman year, so I just try to lead by example: pass the ball, try to rebound, hustle,” Berry said. “You’ve got to try to do a little bit of everything to keep the defense on their toes, so that’s what I try to do.”
Toms River South handed Brick Memorial its first loss in three games, which included Mustangs' wins over Lacey, Southern and previously unbeaten Toms River North. The Indians have won two straight after a 23-point loss at Southern, the most lopsided loss the Indians have suffered this season.
While many standout football players often need an adjustment period between seasons, Berry – who has football offers from Monmouth University and Army – has required no such grace period. He played all 32 minutes of an up-and-down game Friday and dominated the glass while also shooting 5-for-10 from the field and 9-for-12 from the line in the second half.
“In the first half, I was really gassed, but I tried not to show that,” Berry said. “I tried not to get caught up in the fans and just stay focused on the game, which is pretty much the game plan for me every night.”
“He shows up every day in practice,” Fall said of Berry. “That’s not even an exaggeration. He really does. Tonight, he just brought that to the court.”
Toms River South 68, Brick Memorial 65
|Toms River South (5-4, 3-2)|
|Brick Memorial (5-4, 4-2)|
Toms River South (68): Khaleel Greene 1 1-3 3, Tymere Berry 14 9-12 42, Tyler Fall 6 1-2 14, R.J. Laing 3 0-1 6, Ryan Schwartz 1 0-0 3, Francis Hearne 0 0-0 0, Malcolm Gillespie 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 11-18 68
Three-pointers: Berry 5, Fall, Schwartz
Fouled Out: Hearne
Brick Memorial (65): Mike Manso 2 0-0 5, Aaron Scheiderman 5 3-5 16, R.J. Hernandez 2 3-4 7, Joe Hans 2 1-2 5, Scott White 10 3-4 26, Zack Tighe 0 0-0 0, Kevin Swider 0 0-0 0, Darius Richards 2 0-0 6, Elie Lavarin 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 10-15 65
Three-pointers: Manso, Scheiderman 3, White 3, Richards 2