Boys Basketball – Vote: Week 5 Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Players of the Week
Each week, Shore Sports Network senior basketball editor Matt Manley picks the top boys basketball players in each of the six Shore Conference divisions and you, the reader, have a chance to vote for the top performer as the Seaview Orthopaedic Institute Shore Sports Network Player of the Week. In addition to the six divisional players of the week, there are also two “wild card” candidates, who can come from any of the six divisions.
This week’s candidates are nominated based on their play from Monday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 22.
Read about this week's candidates and vote at the bottom of the page. Voting will close on Thursday night at 10 p.m. Vote early, vote often and check back Friday morning to find out the Shore Sports Network Player of the Week from week five of the 2017-18 season.
Class A North Player of the Week
Josh Cohen, CBA
CBA stretched its winning streak to five with three wins last week, the first two of which came on the back of big outputs by Cohen. The 6-foot-9 junior posted double-doubles in all three Colts wins during the week and scored 24 points each in wins over Marlboro and Manalapan. He also grabbed 17 rebounds vs. Marlboro and later put up 13 points and 14 boards in a win over Eastern on Saturday.
A North Honorable Mention: Jared Kimbrough, Neptune; Greg Billups, Freehold Twp.; Nasiem Brantley, Howell; Alex Ratner, Marlboro; Stephen Braunstein, CBA; Colby Howard, Manalapan; Ashante Worthy, Freehold Boro; Ben Bosland, Colts Neck; Brandon Wilson, Howell
Class A Central Player of the Week
Doug Chan, Holmdel
Holmdel surged past the .500 mark with a 3-0 week and Chan reached double-figure scoring in all three Hornets wins. The sophomore posted 19 points in a win over Red Bank on Tuesday, then poured in 18 to help his team beat Shore on Thursday. He capped the week with a 10-point outing Saturday in a win over Manalapan.
A Central Honorable Mention: Mike Dunne, Matawan; Elijah McAllister, Rumson; Zach Moran, St. John Vianney; Tyrese Bryant, Raritan
Class A South Player of the Week
Tom Ruscitti, Central
After entering last week 2-10 overall, Central had a one of the better 2-2 weeks you will find. The week started with a double-figure loss to Toms River East, in which Ruscitti scored 18 points. He then put up 17 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Lacey, which included a three-quarter-court shot at the end of a quarter. Ruscitti capped his week with 11 points in a hard-fought overtime loss to Brick and a team-high 13 points in a huge win over Point Pleasant Beach at the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase on Saturday.
A South Honorable Mention: Kevin Starrett, Brick Memorial; Mike Goodall, Toms River East; Holden Petrick, Toms River North; Travis Holland, Toms River North; Thomas Foster, Southern; Darius Martorano, Central; Shane Williams, Brick; Jalen Jackson, Brick
Class B North Player of the Week
James Baldo, Middletown South
Every now and again, top-notch defensive performances need to get some love. Baldo did not standout in the Middletown South box score last week, but he did stand out twice in the opponent’s box score. He held Ocean second-leading scorer Jack Miller scoreless in an Eagles win over the Spartans, then limited Long Branch leading scorer Marc Dennis to seven. Both Miller and Dennis are averaging better than 15 points per game this season.
B North Honorable Mention: Tyree Morris, Long Branch; James Baldo, Middletown South; Ryan Purcell, Middletown South; Andy Lenneper, Wall; Steve Geis, Wall; Xander Korolik, Wall; Rob Higgins, Middletown North; John Kelly, Red Bank Catholic
Class B Central Player of the Week
Savior Akuwovo, Ranney
Even before an ankle injury knocked Scottie Lewis out of action, Akuwovo was beginning to make his mark as one of the Shore’s top players despite playing a supporting role on a team with two five-star recruits. Last week Akuwovo posted three more double-doubles to make it seven in his team’s last eight games and capped the week with 17 points and 14 rebounds in Ranney’s big win over Westtown, Pa. at the Empire Invitational with Lewis on the bench.
B Central Honorable Mention: Alexx Harbour, Asbury Park; C.J. Johnson, Keyport; Kenny Jones, Mater Dei; Bryan Antoine, Ranney
Class B South Player of the Week
Daniel Sofield, Jackson Liberty
Despite his team’s struggles – Jackson Liberty currently mired in a six-game losing streak – Sofield had himself a big week. He joined the 1,000-point club on his first shot of a 30-point game against Brick Memorial, one that the Lions lost in the final seconds. Sofield is only the second player in program history to reach 1,000, joining his older brother, James. He also scored 25 of his team’s 39 points in a loss to Barnegat earlier in the week.
B South Honorable Mention: Kevin Dent, Lakewood; Andrew Schultz, Pinelands; Ryan Savoy, Lakewood; Alex Grogan, Barnegat; Anthony Silvestrone, Donovan Catholic; Mike Revello, Barnegat; Carson Francisco, Barnegat
Jared Kimbrough, Neptune
Few players in the Shore Conference have been steadier than Kimbrough, a double-double machine who is averaging 15 points and 12.8 boards per game with double-doubles in all but three of his team’s 13 games. Last week, Kimbrough was at it again with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Arts Newark, 14 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in a win over Marlboro and 21 points and six rebounds against the big, athletic front line of Montclair Immaculate – the No. 13 team in N.J.
Steve Geis, Wall
Geis is nominated for the second time this year after a week that rivaled the one in which he scored a Shore season-high 47 points. The Wall senior scored at least 20 in each of Wall’s three games and scored 30 in a loss to Freehold Boro, during which he became the 11th Wall boys player to score 1,000 career points. He also scored 29 in a win over Monmouth and 20 in a win over Middletown North.