Boys Basketball – VOTE: Week 3 OC Sports Medicine Player of the Week
For the remainder of the 2022-23 season, Shore Sports Network will recognize the top boys basketball players in the Shore Conference each week. We will recognize the top player in each of the eight Shore Conference divisions, as well as two wild cards for 10 contestants per week.
This week's group is nominated for their performances during the week of Jan. 9 through Jan. 15. Read about this week's nominees and vote for the one that strikes you as the best pick for overall Player of the Week.
Vote in the poll at the end of the post once per hour until the poll closes on Thursday at 10 p.m.
Ocean County Sports Medicine Week 3 Players of the Week
Class A North Player of the Week
Alex Frank, Marlboro
On a team with five new starters compared to last season’s 28-win team, Frank has been Marlboro’s top scorer and carried that torch last week. He scored 18 points in a win over Howell, went or a career-high 29 in an overtime loss at Robbinsville, then poured in 12 in a road win over No. 7 Freehold Township – the latter of which is Marlboro’s biggest win of the season to date.
Class A North Honorable Mention: D.J. Orloff, Howell; Daniel Emasri, Marlboro; Jayden Holmes-Cotter, Freehold Twp.; Malachi Harris, Freehold Twp.; Justin Fuerbacher, CBA; Peter Noble, CBA; Will Bradley, CBA; Anthony Leger, Manalapan; Jake Buchman, Manalapan
Class A Central Player of the Week
Ben Kipnis, Holmdel
Last week, Kipnis played the role of scorer and distributor to each extreme. The junior opened his week with 16 points and 11 assists in a Holmdel win over St. John Vianney, then went off for 31 points on 10 three-pointers in a win over Long Branch, with both wins giving the Hornets season sweeps over two divisional opponents. Kipnis capped the week with 16 more points in a loss to Freehold Township.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: Jack O’Leary, Raritan; Bruce Gooding, Long Branch; Connor Howard, St. John Vianney; Chauncey Brown, Matawan; Brian Tassey, Freehold Boro; Christian DiGiso, Freehold Boro; Amari Menter, Long Branch; Jayden Elijah, Matawan; Mike Bisaha, Freehold Boro
Class A South Player of the Week
Pat Gaffney, Southern
For most of last week, Gaffney was an integral role player for a Southern team heavy on role players – a formula that has gotten the Rams off to an 11-3 start this season and first-place position in Class A South. Gaffney delivered 10 points and four assists in a come-from-behind win over Toms River North on Saturday, but then turned up the scoring in a Saturday win over Cumberland in which the senior guard erupted for a career-high 30 points.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Owen Baker, Toms River North; Tom Menegus, Southern; Delani Hyde, Toms River North; Jeremiah Crispin, Brick Memorial; Dylan Russell, Toms River East; Jacob Mathus, Toms River East; Respect Tyleek, Jackson Memorial; Dorian Alston, Brick Memorial; Micah Ford, Toms River North; Mazaiah Brown-Height, Toms River South
Class B North Player of the Week
Pat Brown, Middletown South
Middletown South is one of the Shore’s hottest teams, rattling off eight straight wins after beginning the season 0-4. Last week, the Eagles continued their surge and it was Brown who shined in the three victories. In those three wins over Red Bank, Colts Neck and Howell, Brown averaged 19 points and 7.7 rebounds, including a double-double (17 points and 11 rebounds) in the win over Colts Neck and a career-high 25 points against Howell.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Luke Mikolajczyk, Rumson-Fair Haven; Vova Trotsko, Colts Neck; Will Surdez, Colts Neck; Brady Hahn, Middletown South; Ryan Prior, Red Bank Catholic; Nick Valentino, Red Bank; Collin Teter, Red Bank
Class B Central Player of the Week
Kevin Burns, Point Beach
Burns continued to be a double-double factory last week, producing three more of them during a 2-1 week for the Garnet Gulls. The senior averaged 19 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the three games, topping out at 24 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Henry Hudson and posting a solid 14 and 12 in a loss to No. 9 Colts Neck.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Max Judson, Keyport; Jack Fitzpatrick, Henry Hudson; Jax Ross, Henry Hudson; Terrek Mimes, Keyport; Davon Foster, Asbury Park; John Coakley, Point Beach; Mike Nichols, Keyport
Class B South Player of the Week
Jaycen Santucci, Central
The sophomore has found his groove for the Golden Eagles and last week saw him produce the best four-game stretch of his young career. Santucci scored 22 points to go with 10 rebounds in a big Class B South win over Lacey, which set the tone for a four-game week in which he averaged 20.5, nine rebounds and two steals.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Evan Weiner, Manchester; Miles Chevalier, Central; Ryan Fitzgerald, Lacey; Jamari Smith, Barnegat; Shawn Javines, Barnegat; Cole Toddings, Barnegat; John Truhan, Central; Chris Venturoso, Lacey
Class C Central Player of the Week
Anthony Banks, Neptune
Neptune endured a rough start to its season, but made two statements last week – one of which did not even culminate with a win. The Scarlet Fliers pushed No. 2 Manasquan to the limit in a 51-45 loss in Manasquan, with Banks scoring a game-high 17 points for Neptune. Three nights later, Banks went for 18 points, including 11 in overtime to spark a 64-59 win over a Ranney team that had also been surging after a 0-4 start to its season.
Class C North Honorable Mention: Bryan Ebeling, St. Rose; Matt Hodge, St. Rose; Isaac Hester, Southern; Shane Ryan, Point Boro; Jake Venturoso, Point Boro; Darius Adams, Manasquan; Quinn Peters, Manasquan; C.J. Argilagos, Neptune
Class C South Player of the Week
Derrick Marsh, Lakewood
The record doesn’t scream it, but Lakewood has made strides this season and last week’s two-game showing vs. Ocean and Jackson Liberty was one of the Piners’ better two-game stretches this season. They took a lead on Ocean through one half before letting the game get away in the second, with Marsh leading the team with 21 points. Lakewood then finished the job against Jackson Liberty, with Marsh pumping in 22 to lead the Piners.
Class C South Honorable Mention: Zayier Dean, Ocean; Pete Farlekas, Donovan Catholic; Alex George, Shore; Liam Gajewsi, Shore; Ron Richardson, Ocean
Bryan Ebeling, St. Rose
Matt and Jayden Hodge have been the headliners, but Ebeling’s contributions have been crucial to St. Rose’s hot start, which now stands at 13-0 with the other three transfers now in the fold. Ebeling – who came to St. Rose from Italy – scored in double-figures and provided some memorable highlights in St. Rose’s two big division wins over Ranney and Point Boro. He put up 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists – including an 11-point second quarter – vs. Ranney and scoring the tiebreaking layup with 1:05 left in a 30-28 win at Point Boro.
Luke Mikolajczyk, Rumson-Fair Haven
Rumson’s senior leader doesn’t always do it with his stats, but last week, Mikolajczyk brough the energy and some numbers to boot. In a huge home win over Red Bank Catholic, he led a defensive effort that held RBC big man Tyler Burnham to five points while also pouring in a team-high 18 points on the other end. Mikolajczyk also contributed nine points in a hard-fought, 47-45 win at Middletown North.