Boys Basketball – Vote: Week 9 Orthopaedic Institute Player of the Week
There are only two Player of the Week awards to give out in 2020 and in the penultimate version, we are going to recognize four of the unsung heroes who made their team’s Shore Conference Tournament runs possible.
Manasquan’s trio of Ben Roy, Alex Galvan and Kieran Flanagan have garnered plenty of attention this year; Jakari Spence and Najae Hallenbeck have driven Toms River North all season; Holmdel is a team of workmanlike players, with junior Alex Baker, the Chan twins and Jack Giamanco doing a lot of the scoring throughout most of the season; Kevin Bauman is one of the most heralded athletes at the Shore and his scoring, along with the shooting of Cyril Arvanitis and C.J. Ruoff.
As is always the case, a deep tournament run belongs to so many players who help shoulder the load and while there are even more than this post will recognize, this version of the Player of the Week belongs to the players whose efforts might not have won headlines in the tournament, but they helped give their teams a chance to win.
As always, vote once per hour at the bottom of the post until the voting closes Wednesday at 10 p.m. and keep scrolling to check out Shore Sports Network’s 10 selections for the All-SCT Team.
Alex Bauman, Red Bank Catholic
It hasn’t always come through in the box score, but the younger Bauman has been arguably RBC’s best all-around player this season. He can score both inside and outside, is adept at finding open teammates and is the team’s most versatile defender. During the Shore Conference Tournament, he guarded Manchester’s Savon Myers and Lakewood’s Ryan Savoy in two early-round wins and helped take Toms River North senior Colin Baker out of the semifinal game. Bauman reached double-figure scoring in each of RBC’s last three tournament games and was its best player in the loss to Toms River North with 10 points, eight rebounds and six blocks.
Pete Cannizzo, Holmdel
There are a number of Shore Conference teams that rely on a balanced distribution of offense and a group of versatile defenders, but no team does it better than Holmdel. That was on display in the SCT semifinals, when leading scorer Alex Baker was limited to six points but the Hornets still had a shot to win the game. Cannizzo came out on fire, scoring the team’s first six points – which eclipsed her per-game average for the season. The senior finished with 10 points and was a constant source of energy on both ends of the floor, as well as on the glass.
Jaiden Frasier, Toms River North
After putting up one of the quieter 19-point games you will see in a quarterfinal rout of Marlboro, Fraser came back with a huge 14 points in a semifinal win over Red Bank Catholic. In that Marlboro game, he was the team’s fourth-leading scorer in a 114-point effort, so his near-20 points and six assists flew under the radar. In the semifinals, however, the sophomore gave the Mariners a huge boost off the bench with 14 points on four three-pointers while also dishing out five assists. Fraser finished off his strong SCT showing with seven points in the championship loss to Manasquan, which was the second highest total on the Toms River North team for the game.
Connor Walsh, Manasquan
As is the case with most championship teams, Manasquan had a lot of heroes during its first SCT title run in 63 years. Ben Roy and Alex Galvan were at the forefront in the final two games and senior Kieran Flanagan made his usual impact throughout the tournament as well. Junior Casey Mulligan was a defensive stalwart who knocked down a big shot here and there. Senior Tim McEneny and junior Jack Collins came up huge in the championship game – McEneny in guarding Najae Hallenbeck and Collins in scoring eight points in the 24-7 first quarter.
Manasquan does not make it to the final, however, without Walsh rising to the occasion in the semifinals. The 6-5 junior scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter and every shot was huge. He give-and-go layup with Galvan tied the game at 36 after the Warriors had trailed 36-26 and Walsh put the game away by going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final 1:03. He was also a good fit defensively against Holmdel’s quick, athletic, versatile lineup.
Shore Sports Network All-SCT Team
Ben Roy, Manasquan
Jakari Spence, Toms River North
Alex Galvan, Manasquan
Najae Hallenbeck, Toms River North
Alex Baker, Holmdel
Kevin Bauman, Red Bank Catholic
Pete Gorman, Mater Dei Prep
Kieran Flanagan, Manasquan
Jaiden Fraser, Toms River North
Alex Ratner, Marlboro