Wild Finish Sets Up Jersey Shore Basketball League Championship Game With Extra-Local Flavor
2021 Jersey Shore Basketball League Championship Game
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m.
At Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Parish Center, Asbury Park
Orthopaedic Institute vs. Seaview Jeep
There will be both decorated Shore Conference alumni and key contributors on the Monmouth University men's basketball team playing in Wednesday night's Jersey Shore Basketball League championship game at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Parish Center in Asbury Park.
After a wild finish to Tuesday night's first of two semifinal games, however, Monmouth most prominent Shore Conference alumnus in more than two decades will not be on the court.
Shavar Reynolds - the Manchester graduate who worked his way into the Seton Hall starting lineup before transferring to Monmouth for the 2021-22 season - did his best to carry his Stern's Trailer squad to the JSBL final, but a miraculous shot by St. Peter's University alum Trevis Wyche to beat the buzzer sent Orthopaedic Institute to the championship game at the expense of Reynolds and Stern's.
Reynolds hit a fadeaway with 0.3 seconds left to give Stern's a 129-127 lead, prompting a timeout by Orthopaedic to advance the ball to midcourt. Out of the timeout, Hartford University guard and Matawan alum Mike Dunne handled the inbounding duties and passed the ball to a wide-open Wyche in the right corner.
Wyche did his best to catch and shoot in one motion and nailed the three-pointer from the corner to win the game for Orthopaedic in stunning fashion, 130-129.
Reynolds capped an impressive summer stretch at the JSBL with 33 points, but it was not enough for one of the newest Hawks to top an Orthopaedic team led by fellow Monmouth guard George Papas. Papas scored a game-high 36 points, including three free throws to tie the game at 127 with 12 seconds left.
Former Monmouth and Christian Brothers Academy guard Louie Pillari added 26 points and Wyche's buzzer-beater capped a 24-point night. Orthopaedic also rosters current Monmouth forward Jarvis Vaughan and former Monmouth guards Jesse Steele and Dan Pillari. Pillari also played locally in high school at Shore Regional, while Wyche is a Neptune native who played his high-school ball at St. Peter's Prep.
Former Manasquan All-Shore guard Brad McCabe (St. Francis) is also a key cog for Orthopaedic Institute.
Reynolds did not play a full JSBL season, but was a force when he appeared. In Stern's first-round win over Larson Ford on July 29, Reynolds posted a triple-double with 45 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists to spearhead a 118-109 win.
The Hawk-heavy Orthopaedic squad will take on a Seaview Jeep side loaded with former Shore Conference stars with the title on the line. The former CBA duo of Roy Mabrey (St. Anselm) and Matt McMullen (Colgate) has been a driving force for Seaview, but the team goes as former Monmouth star Justin Robinson goes. The two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year entered this week averaging 42.2 points per game during the summer - which would be good for the fourth-best mark of all time.
Seaview also rosters Princeton forward and former Mater Dei Prep star Elijah Barnes, as well as former St. John Vianney and Caldwell College standout Mike Balkovic. Pat Andree - CBA's all-time leading scorer and a key contributor at both Lehigh and North Carolina State during his college career - was a big part of Seaview's regular season but has since left to play overseas and will not be playing in the championship game.
Seaview Jeep also has Shore Conference influence on the bench, with Red Bank Catholic boys basketball head coach Tyler Schmelz doing the coaching.