Playoff Fever Grips NJSIAA
The winter sports season is winding down and believe it or not the spring season officially begins tomorrow which is the first day of practice for baseball, lacrosse, softball and other sports.
Ironically the weather for most of February has been just fine for the outdoor sports but this weekend will be very much winter-like and I’m sure many practices will be held indoors.
The NJSIAA Basketball Tournaments are well underway and most Ocean County teams made early departures and had their seasons come to an end. On the boys side Toms River North and Barnegat won their second state tournament games Wednesday and have advanced to their respective sectional semifinals.
North, the top seed in South Jersey Group 4, got some revenge on Millville last night by rolling to an easy 21-point victory led by Jaden Rhoden’s 24 point effort. It was the Thunderbolts who denied the Mariners of a perfect football season back in early December but there was little question who the better basketball team is. The Mariners will now host Cherokee on Friday with a win sending them to the sectional finals.
It was a record-breaking night in Barnegat where the Bengals beat Lower Cape May for their 18th win of the seasonm a school record. Junior Mike Revello had another strong game for Coach Mike Puorro’s Bengals who now have to travel to top-seed and 3-time defending champion Camden on Friday. By the way the complete video of last night’s Barnegat game is available on shoresportsnetwork.com courtesy of our sister station 97.3 ESPN.
Central Regional & Point Beach are still very much alive and have second round games tonight.
On the girls side Toms River North and Manchester have reached the sectional semifinals following wins last night. Like their boys team the Mariners are the top seed in South Jersey Group 4 and topped Washington Township to set up a Friday night matchup with Kingsway which will be part of a girls/boys doubleheader.
Manchester rolled past Cedar Creek and will next travel to Haddonfield in the South Jersey Group 2 semifinals while the girls’ teams from Toms River South, Toms River East and Point Beach play their second round games tonight.