Boys Basketball – VOTE: Week 5 Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Player of the Week
Welcome to Week 5 of the Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Player of the Week voting. As usual, the ballot consists of six divisional players of the week and two wild cards with a quick recap of the week that each of the candidates had, as well as some honorable mentions.
Review the accomplishments of the eight candidates from this past week and vote at the bottom of the post for the best one. Vote every hour until the voting closes on Wednesday at 10 p.m.
Class A North Player of the Week
Marc Dennis, Long Branch
Dennis entered the week averaging a little more than 14 points per game and 87 points away from 1,000 for his career, which meant he was probably more than four games away from reaching the milestone. Dennis is still not at 1,000 but he got mighty close thanks to a big week. The Green Wave senior scored 86 points in four games last week, including 30 in an overtime loss to Lincoln of Jersey City at Marist High School. He also put up 24 in a seven-point loss to CBA and 20 in a loss to Freehold Township.
Class A North Honorable Mention: James Anderson, Middletown South; Luke Albrecht, Middletown South; Mike Dabas, Middletown South; Matt Ganter, Howell; Josh Cohen, CBA; Dylan Kaufman, Marlboro; Jonathan Spatola, Marlboro; Ryan Knorr, Manalapan; Greg Billups, Freehold Twp.; Zach Barilka, Freehold Twp.
Class A Central Player of the Week
Alex Galvan, Manasquan
Galvan continued his breakout season this past week with two more 20-point performances, including 22 points and 12 rebounds in a big road win over Rumson-Fair Haven and 25 and eight against an Old Bridge squad that entered its game against Manasquan with only one loss. Galvan took a back seat to teammate Brad McCabe on Thursday, when McCabe scored 23 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Class A Central Honorable Mention: A.J. Po, Monmouth; Brad McCabe, Manasquan; Chris Panduri, Shore; Aidan Flanagan, Holmdel; Doug Chan, Holmdel; Dan Forsman, Monmouth; Tim Hayes, Raritan
Class A South Player of the Week
Justin Soranno, Central
Soranno’s freshman year got off to a rough start, both for him and his team. After averaging a little more than five points per game during Central’s 1-5 start, the freshman has figured things out and really took off last week. Soranno outscored the entire Toms River South team by posting 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 56-14 Central win and enjoyed his best game of the season with 33 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Jackson Memorial. The 6-5 rookie capped the week with 15 points – including eight in the fourth quarter – in a hard-fought win over Ridge.
Class A South Honorable Mention: Jakari Spence, Toms River North; Najae Hallenbeck, Toms River North; Nick Duncsak, Toms River North; Mike Goodall, Toms River East; Cole Markley, Southern; Jayson Lee, Jackson Memorial; Shane Williams, Brick
Class B North Player of the Week
Rob Higgins, Middletown North
Middletown North lost all three of its games this week despite a history-making performance by its star senior guard. Higgins averaged 35 points in the three losses and became just the eighth member of the Shore Conference 2,000-point club when he hit the milestone number in a loss to Neptune. Higgins scored 37 points in that game and hit his last five shots, only to watch Dwain Jones hit a buzzer-beating three to break the Lions’ hearts. Higgins also scored a season-high 39 and held leading scorer Quinn Calabrese to two points in a 65-62 loss to Wall and put up 29 in a loss at Freehold Township.
Class B North Honorable Mention: Drew Valentino, Red Bank; Dwaine Jones, Neptune; Sadiq Armstead, Neptune; Pat Lacey, Wall; Justyn Coleman, Matawan; Kevin Greene, St. John Vianney; James Rapley, St. John Vianney; Jack Miller, Ocean; Andrew Abujawdeh, Colts Neck; Tom Palluzzi, Wall
Class B Central Player of the Week
Scottie Lewis, Ranney
Not many high school basketball players in the country had a better week than Lewis. The Ranney star shut down Jaden McDaniels – the projected No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by some – and put up 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win over nationally-ranked Federal Way that was televised on ESPNU. Lewis and teammate Bryan Antoine were then named McDonald’s All-Americans on Thursday – the first Shore boys players to receive the honor since 1987. Lewis closed out the week with a solid showing in a loss to Gill St. Bernard in which he scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Class B Central Honorable Mention: Scottie Lewis, Ranney; Alexx Harbour, Asbury Park; Pete Gorman, Mater Dei Prep; Vernon Morris, Mater Dei Prep; Jay Anthony, Henry Hudson; Mike Dettro, Ranney
Class B South Player of the Week
Andrew Schulz, Pinelands
After Pinelands senior Luke Wiatrowski won the Player of the Week vote last week, Pinelands will get a chance at back-to-back winners. Schulz is the overwhelming choice for B South Player of the Week after averaging 25.3 points, seven rebounds and 5.7 assists during a 3-0 week for the Wildcats. Schulz scored 29 points in a win over Manchester, put up 14 points and eight assists in a win over Lakewood and erupted for 33 points in a convincing Pinelands win over Brick Memorial to close out the week.
Class B South Honorable Mention: Sam Young, Point Boro; Daniel Sofield, Jackson Liberty; Anthony Diaz, Pinelands; Brady Kunzman, Donovan Catholic; Kevin O’Rourke, Lacey
Josh Cohen, CBA
Cohen was one of four Shore Conference players to score their 1,000th career point this week and he did it in one of CBA’s wildest, most memorable wins of the season. Cohen broke into the 1,000-point club early on in Thursday’s game at Middletown South and it turned out to be the second basket in a 31-point, 10-rebound performance that helped CBA turn back the Eagles, 74-72, on the road. Cohen also scored 24 points in a win over Long Branch on Tuesday.
D.J. Thomson, Keyport
Thomson was one of two freshman to score 33 points on Friday night, pumping in a career-high total to lead the Red Raiders to a win over Henry Hudson. Thomson began the week by scoring a team-high 17 points in Keyport’s loss to Ranney. Through the first 13 games of his high school career, Thomson is averaging 16.2 points per game, which ranks 25th in the Shore Conference as of Monday.