Championship Basketball Back in Ocean County
A little of this and a little of that on Friday the 13th:
The Pine Belt Arena in Toms River will host eight NJSIAA Group basketball championship games this weekend, and the Shore will be well represented. In the first of four non-public games tomorrow, the St. Rose girls will face Lodi Immaculate at noon followed by another girls game as St. John Vianney takes on Immaculate Heart.
The boys take the court at 5 p.m. when Christian Brothers Academy meets Pope John XXIII, and then it's what can only be called a heavyweight battle as Roselle Catholic will collide with perennial state and national power St. Anthony, coached by the legendary Bob Hurley Sr., at 7 p.m.
Sunday features all four girls public school championship games with both Manasquan and Middletown South playing for titles in Group II and Group III. Ironically those two teams met on the same court in the finals of the WOBM Christmas Classic back in December.
Another honor for Manasquan’s Marina Mabrey, who Thursday was named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, joining her older sister Michaela who won the award three years ago. Marina is averaging a state-best 26 points per game and has led the Warriors to a second straight Shore Conference Tournament title and a spot in Sunday’s Group II final against Westwood. She will be heading to Notre Dame in the fall, where again she’ll get to play with her older sister.
Ocean Gate native Ken Masuhr was hired this week as the assistant women’s soccer coach at Vanderbilt University, where he’ll join forces once again with new Commodores head coach Darren Ambrose. The pair worked together for the last four seasons at the University of Pennsylvania, and Masuhr’s role at Vandy will find him coaching the defenders and serving as recruiting coordinator.
A former standout player at both Rutgers and Richard Stockton, Masuhr coached at Kean, Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth before coming to Penn. He and his wife Megan will live in Nashville. A longtime lifeguard with the Berkeley Township Beach Patrol like his father and sister, he’ll have to adjust to life away from the beach, although my guess is Kenny will find his way back this summer even if it’s just for a vacation.