Boys Basketball – Week 8 Jersey Mike’s Team of the Week: Manchester
Heading into the season, the seniors on the Manchester boys basketball team were hopeful that they would be part of the best Manchester team in more than a decade.
Winning championships, however, would be a challenge. The Hawks started the year in a loaded WOBM Christmas Classic field, then were the No. 8 seed in an even deeper Shore Conference Tournament and will soon tip off in an NJSIAA South Jersey Group II section that is headlined by the No. 1 team in New Jersey, Camden.
It might not end with a postseason tournament banner, but this Hawks has indeed done things at Manchester not seen in more than a decade. It started with winning the Shore Conference Class B South championship and last week, Manchester reached the SCT quarterfinals for just the second time in program history and first since 2003-04.
With its first trip to the SCT final eight in 18 years on the way to reaching 20 wins during the current week, Manchester is the Week 8 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week.
Following an undefeated season in Class B South divisional play and a 16-4 regular season, Manchester opened the Shore Conference Tournament by trouncing a battle-tested Shore Regional squad, 65-27. That set up a big Ocean County showdown with Brick Memorial, the Class A South champion to Manchester's Class B South champion.
The Hawks struggled to score in a 19-19 first half, but broke loose in the second half and without surrendering their defensive edge. Behind a balanced attack spearheaded by D'Maari Brown (14 points, seven assists), Savon Myers (12 points, 17 rebounds, three assists), Amari Petty (12 points, six rebounds, six assists) and Evan Weiner (12 points and seven rebounds), Manchester pulled away for a 56-39 win over the Mustangs to each the trip to Middletown South for the SCT quarterfinals on Sunday.
Manchester's SCT run ended at the hands of top-seeded Red Bank Catholic, but not without a scare for the No. 1 Caseys. Manchester pulled within one point thanks to a block by Weiner that led to a layup on the other end, but Weiner was quickly whistled for his fifth foul with more than five minutes still on the clock.
With its 6-foot-7 junior center nailed to the bench, Manchester could not keep up with RBC down the stretch and fell, 50-41, after hanging tough most of the way.
Manchester will be the No. 5 seed in next week's South Jersey Group II Tournament and if the Hawks can win two games, they would earn a likely matchup against Camden on the road.
2022 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week Winners
Week 1: CBA
Week 2: Manasquan
Week 3: Red Bank Catholic
Week 4: Jackson Memorial
Week 5: Manalapan
Week 6: Rumson-Fair Haven/Holmdel
Week 7: Brick Memorial