The Shore Daily, 1/13/15
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The Shore Conference boys basketball season continues to get more head-scratching by the minute after another night of surprising wins on Monday.
No. 8 Colts Neck has a big week to make its case to be a top-five team in the Shore and kicked it off by putting the clamps on No. 3 Red Bank Catholic in a 54-39 win that kept the Cougars alone in first place in Class B North as guards Chris O'Reilly and Lloyd Daniels continue to lead the way.
The key stat from Matt's game story is that Colts Neck has held all five of its divisional opponents this season to under 40 points per game. Next up is No. 4 Red Bank Regional in a big game on Thursday as the Cougars look to continue to open eyes around the Shore. The Top 10 is becoming more difficult to figure out by the day, but it appears Matt has a solution.
Speaking of B North, there were two other scores of note on Monday night. One game after upsetting previously undefeated Lakewood, No. 9 Neptune was stunned 50-47 at the buzzer by an Ocean team that entered the game 1-6. Taj Shomo drained a 3-pointer at the horn for the win for the Spartans, dropping Neptune to 0-5 in the division, which is hard to believe.
A surging Wall team beat defending B North champion Matawan 60-52 for the Huskies' fourth straight loss and Wall's fifth straight win. The senior guard trio of Trent Mitchell, Ryan Janeczek and Brendan Barcas have the Crimson Knights off to a 6-2 start after winning 10 games all of last season. New coach Matt Kukoda has done a great job thus far, and the atmosphere at Wall's home games has made it a tough place to play thanks to the "Crimson Crazies" student section, which was ready for battle on Monday night.
The other big score of the night was Shore Regional taking down No. 6 Manasquan, 47-40, to shake up the Class A Central race. The Blue Devils took home the win thanks to 16 points by senior Kevin Bloodgood, who is closing in on 1,000 for his career, and a stifling defensive effort that allowed Shore to outscore Manasquan 18-4 in the fourth quarter. The Warriors were still without starting forwards Aidan McMenaman and Kyle Bradshaw, but will get Bradshaw back on Thursday against Holmdel. Meanwhile, Shore's win sent the division into a three-way tie for first in the loss column between the Blue Devils, Warriors and Rumson-Fair Haven.
Raritan also picked up a thrilling win in Class A Central over rival St. John Vianney as senior Chris Nicholl scored on a lay-up with 2.8 seconds left for a 65-64 victory to finish with 17 points and complement a 23-point afternoon by junior teammate Joe Strand. The win put the Rockets at 6-4, tying their win total from all of last season. In the other Class A Central game, reigning Shore Sports Network Player of the Week Brendan Barry continues to light it up for Rumson, as he had 25 points in a rout of winless Monmouth.
More on Tuesday:
- Former New Jersey Devil/Brick graduate Jim Dowd, who is now the coach of the Manasquan/Point Pleasant team, has been accused of assault for allegedly kicking a player and was scheduled to appear in court in Wall on Tuesday morning. Do yourself a favor and read the comments section on that story. Let's just say the public appears to be skeptical of the accusation.
- St. Anselm senior guard Roy Mabrey (CBA) was named to the Northeast-10 Conference Honor Roll after averaging 19 points per game in two games last week.
- Any Shore team that wants to unseat Ewing as Central Jersey Group III champions is again going to have to deal with senior guard Trey Lowe, a Temple recruit who was a big reason Ewing beat Red Bank Regional in last year's championship game. Lowe dropped 35 in a blowout of Hamilton West last night in a match-up of undefeated teams.
- We're not even close to the 2015 high school football season yet, but Paterson Eastside has already forfeited its game against Don Bosco Prep citing safety concerns. Paterson Eastside's head coach, by the way, is former Asbury Park head coach Joe Stinson, who coached the Blue Bishops in the early 2000s.
- Paulsboro wrestling coach Paul Morina picked up his 600th career win last night.
- Not only did Ohio State take home the national championship last night, at halftime it got a verbal commitment from DePaul star running back Kareem Walker. He is still a junior, so you figure Ezekiel Elliott has one more year before splitting to go to the NFL, and then Walker can compete for the tailback spot as a true freshman in 2016. I saw Walker in DePaul's state final demolition of Holy Spirit, and he is the real deal.
- Soon I won't even have to bother standing in freezing cold for football games or sweating at a baseball game. I can just put my feet up at home and use a drone to do my newsgathering. I can already imagine a kid hitting a deep fly ball in the bottom of a tie game in the seventh inning before it pings off my drone and ruins the outcome of the game.
On tap for tonight:
There are some games to watch in Ocean County tonight, mainly a Brick Memorial team that has been playing well heading on the road for a 6:30 p.m. game against Toms River North, the No. 2 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and the only unbeaten team left in the Shore Conference.
Manchester at Donovan Catholic at 6:30 is another game to keep an eye on in Class B South as teams jockey for top contender status behind defending champion Lakewood.
And I'll end with a salute from the Crimson Crazies.