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Few things test the strength of a team more than losing a top player to injury and when the Red Bank Catholic boys basketball team lost senior Charlie Gordinier for the season to a fractured bone in his shooting hand, it put the strength of their team to the test.

In their first test without Gordinier, the Caseys bombed. They lost at Monmouth Regional, 52-50, and were facing a fall out of the top-eight seeds in the Shore Conference Tournament with games against Manasquan, Holmdel and Christian Brothers Academy before the cutoff.

Slowly but surely, RBC adjusted to life without Gordinier on the floor and following a four-game winning streak, the Caseys are in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since 1994. They are also the eighth Jersey Mike's Team of the Week in 2020.

RBC stormed into the SCT on a high after hammering CBA in its final regular-season game, 67-54. In last week's tournament action, the Caseys did not let up for the first two-and-a-half games. They opened with a 59-45 win over Manchester in the opening round, then took care of Lakewood, 61-51 to reach the quarterfinal round for the second straight year.

In the quarterfinals against No. 15 Mater Dei Prep, Red Bank Catholic built a 32-19 lead in the first half before Mater Dei stormed back to grab a 45-44 lead with a minute to go. The Caseys, however, found a way to win thanks to a strong finish from senior Kevin Bauman, who hit four free throws to put away a 49-45 win over the Seraphs.

Bauman has been at the heart of RBC's four-game winning streak that both helped it land the No. 7 seed in the tournament and got the Caseys to the semifinals. In those four games, Bauman is averaging 22 points and 10.2 rebounds, including a career-high 31 points against CBA and team-high scoring outputs against both Lakewood (21 points and nine rebounds) and Mater Dei (17 points and 13 rebounds).

Sophomores C.J. Ruoff, Cyril Arvanitis and Alex Bauman have all been integral as well for RBC. Ruoff came out scorching hot against Manchester, scoring 17 of his 28 points in the first quarter, including five three-pointers. Arvanitis hit a combined nine three-pointers in the wins over Lakewood and Mater Dei and Alex Bauman hit double-figure scoring with standout defense in both games as well.

The Caseys will try to reach the SCT final for the first time ever by upsetting Toms River North on Thursday night.

 

2020 Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Barnegat

Week 2: Middletown South

Week 3: Manalapan

Week 4: Point Boro

Week 5: Lakewood

Week 6: Monmouth

Week 7: Holmdel

 

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