Boys Basketball – VOTE: Week 9 Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey Player 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, Feb. 12 through Sunday, Feb. 18, with a heavy emphasis placed on performances in the Shore Conference Tournament.
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 to find out the Shore Sports Network Player of the Week from week nine of the 2017-18 season.
Class A North Player of the Week
Liam Kennedy, CBA
Kennedy injured his hip on a hard fall to the floor in a loss to Marlboro on Feb. 9 and since returning in the SCT, he has been at his best. He came off the bench to score 13 points in a win over Red Bank Catholic on Thursday and scored a game-high 17 in a quarterfinal win over Neptune. Kennedy returned to action with his shooting stroke, burying six of his seven three-point attempts over the two games while also handling the point guard responsibilities.
A North Honorable Mention: Dan Gaines, Colts Neck; Alex Ratner, Marlboro; Dylan Kaufman, Marlboro; Nasiem Brantley, Howell; Stephen Braunstein, CBA
Class A Central Player of the Week
Ian O’Connor, Rumson-Fair Haven
It took a significant second-half rally and a clutch three-point play from Devin Cooper for Rumson to escape Middletown North on Thursday, but the Bulldogs now find themselves in the SCT semifinals after a rout of Point Beach on Sunday. O’Connor led the comeback against the Lions with 16 of his 21 points in the second half and also poured in 14 in the win over Point Beach.
A Central Honorable Mention: Connor LaMountain, Holmdel; Jack Solano, Rumson-Fair Haven; Kyle Koob, Shore
Class A South Player of the Week
Shane Williams, Brick
The biggest first-round upset – and perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament – was Brick’s road win at No. 9 Matawan and while a Brick defense that held the Huskies to 31 points was the driving force in the win, Williams was outstanding as well. He scored 18 of his team’s 42 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to give the Green Dragons their first SCT win in a decade. Williams also scored a team-high 10 points in a round-of-16 loss at Toms River North.
A South Honorable Mention: Eliot Daks, Toms River North; Holden Petrick, Toms River North; Nick Manso, Brick Memorial; Jalen Folsom, Toms River South
Class B North Player Week
Ryan Flanagan, Manasquan
The Warriors reached the SCT quarterfinals for the fourth straight season and Flanagan led the team in scoring in its last two tournament games. He poured in 24 points to go with five assists to help Manasquan put up triple-digits in a 100-72 win over Asbury Park in the opening round, then scored a team-high 23 points to lead the Warriors past Marlboro in the round of 16. Flanagan dropped a team-high 14 points and added four assists in a 46-43 loss to Mater Dei on Sunday.
B North Honorable Mention: Kevin Bauman, Red Bank Catholic; Rob Higgins, Middletown North; Charlie Gordinier, Red Bank Catholic; Andrew Seager, Ocean; Jack Miller, Ocean; Sky Cherry, Middletown North; Steve Geis, Wall
Class B Central Player of the Week
Scottie Lewis, Ranney
After scoring 22 points in a win over Barnegat on Thursday, Lewis put on a show for fans in attendance in Toms River on Sunday, including Villanova head coach Jay Wright. In a 76-52 win over Toms River North, Lewis led Ranney with 23 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists while also unleashing four highlight-reel dunks.
B Central Honorable Mention: Mohamed Traore, Point Beach; Trevor Covey, Point Beach; Danny Frauenheim, Point Beach; Bryan Antoine, Ranney; Alexander Rice, Mater Dei; Jamir Watkins, Mater Dei
Class B South Player of the Week
Carson Francisco, Barnegat
The Bengals won a Shore Conference Tournament game for the first time in school history last Tuesday, Feb. 13, against Middletown South. Francisco led the way with 22 points in that game and also netted a team-high 16 in a 33-point road loss at No. 1 Ranney. On Thursday against Monmouth, Barnegat matched a school record for wins, with Francisco and classmate Mike Revello leading the way with 16 points apiece.
B South Honorable Mention: Andrew Schulz, Pinelands; Keigan Kelusak, Manchester; Carl Swensen, Lacey
Danny Frauenheim, Point Beach
Point Beach made it back to the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2015, a run highlighted by a round-of-16 road win at sixth-seeded Colts Neck. Frauenheim sparked that win with 18 points and eight assists after scoring 20 in the opening-round win over Pinelands. Frauenheim also led the Garnet Gulls with 10 points in their 67-47 loss to Rumson in the quarterfinals.
Jamir Watkins, Mater Dei Prep
Watkins did it all in Mater Dei’s win over Manasquan on Sunday, racking up 17 points, eight rebounds and six steals while starters Kenny Jones and Adam Afifi sat out for a second straight game. Watkins also stepped up for the short-handed Seraphs in a 51-47 win over Ocean on Thursday, a performance that included a pair of game-clinching free throws down the stretch.