TOMS RIVER - Last season's 15-win campaign was the best at Middletown South in seven years and despite losing most of the members from that senior-laden squad from a year ago, it doesn't appear there will be a very long wait for the Eagles to again compete with some of the best teams in the Shore Conference.

In Thursday's WOBM Christmas Classic quarterfinals, Middletown South and its inexperienced roster looked like a well-oiled machine in dissecting second-seeded Toms River North, 73-56, to reach the semifinals as a No. 7 seed.

Junior James Anderson scored a game-high 18 points and sophomore Luke Albrecht added 16 points and six assists to lead the Eagles, which have won three straight since opening the season with a loss at Manalapan.

Middletown South's Luke Albrecht and Mike Dabas surround Toms River North junior Jakari Spence. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Albrecht scored 11 points during a 30-15 Middletown South run over the duration of the third quarter after taking a 30-29 lead into halftime. The sophomore guard capped the quarter by stealing the ball near midcourt and firing up a 28-foot three-pointer that he buried as time expired, making the score 60-44 in favor of the Eagles.

Junior Jack Sheridan added 15 points, 5 rebounds and four assists for Middletown South and junior Mike Dabas chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the win.

Junior Najae Hallenbeck led Toms River North with 18 points and 12 rebounds and classmate Mike Vansprang added 11 in the loss.

Middletown South will play No. 6 Red Bank Catholic in the WOBM semifinals on Saturday at 6 p.m.


In other WOBM Quarterfinal Action:

(6) Red Bank Catholic 72, (3) Freehold Twp. 66

Junior Charlie Gordinier scored all of his team-high 19 points in the second half and the Caseys (4-1) handed the Patriots (4-1) their first loss of the season while advancing to the WOBM semifinals on Saturday night.

Senior Steve Lubischer poured in 18 points for Red Bank Catholic, which took control of the game with a 20-7 run to open the third quarter after trailing, 28-24, at halftime. Gordinier shot 5-for-6 from beyond the arc in the second half, including four three-pointers in the third quarter.

Red Bank Catholic senior M.J. Wright. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Junior Kevin Bauman scored 12 points before fouling out with 2:32 left to play and senior M.J. Wright added 11 for Red Bank Catholic.

Senior Greg Billups led Freehold Township with a game-high 24 points, with 16 coming in the second half. Senior Cristian Corcione poured in 14 points and senior Seth Meisner pitched in 11 for the Patriots.

(5) Marlboro 54, (4) Central 36

Senior Dylan Kaufman scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter and junior Alex Ratner scored 11 of his 19 in the fourth to lead a second-half surge that lifted the Mustangs (4-1) over the Golden Eagles (1-4).

Marlboro hit Central with a 9-0 run in the second quarter to turn a 19-17 deficit into a 26-19 lead and took a 26-22 advantage to the half before outscoring the Eagles 28-14 in the second half.

Sophomore Kyle Rhoden led Central with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and freshman Justin Soranno also scored 12 points in the loss.


(1) Manasquan 75, (9) Toms River East 51

Junior Alex Galvan scored a game-high 20 points to go with 17 rebounds as the Warriors (6-0) rolled to a win over the Raiders (3-2). Manasquan will play Marlboro in the WOBM semifinals on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Senior Xander Korolik added 12 points and eight rebounds and senior Brad McCabe posted 12 points and seven boards for Manasquan.

Manasquan junior Alex Galvan. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Galvan scored 10 of his points during an 18-7 first-quarter run, which included two dunks and a buzzer-beating layup from the 6-foot-7 junior forward. Freshman Ben Roy also scored just before time expired in the second quarter to send Manasquan to halftime with a 37-17.

Junior Ryan Goodall led Toms River East with 19 points and junior Mike Goodall added 11 in the loss.

(Photo by Paula Lopez)