Belated Happy New Year everyone.  It’s been some time since we’ve been together as I was tied up with the WOBM Christmas Classic and last week worked on a part-time basis.  I do have a couple of thoughts to pass along on our basketball tournament which ended last Sunday.

(L-R) Kevin Williams, Point Pleasant Boro's Kelly Hughes & Panther coach David Drew (Townsquare Media NJ)

While there were some upsets along the way, especially in the Boys division, both top-seeds won championships.  The Toms River North boys won their third championship while the Point Pleasant Boro girls captured their first-ever Christmas Classic title.

It was quite a tournament for Panthers standout Kelly Hughes, who scored her 2000th career point and capped the week by earning MVP honors after the Panthers beat Rumson in the final.  It was also a sweet holiday for Mariners standout Solly Stansbury, who collected the MVP award following North’s win over CBA in the championship game.

Point Pleasant Borough High School girls basketball team (Townsquare Media NJ)

On hand to watch was his father Terence, a former Temple star who played three seasons in the NBA before having a long career in Europe.

Many know the passion I have for the tournament which truly defines what a labor of love is all about.  However special thanks and recognition needs to go to the guys who pretty much give up their Christmas vacation to spend 7 long days at the Pine Belt Arena.

It starts with Joe Arminio, my assistant and the Athletic Director for the Toms River Regional School District who is often the glue that holds things together.  The rest of the inner circle is made up of Paul Barnoski, Jim Hibbs and Ed Sarluca who work long hours but do so gladly, at least most of the time.

Special thanks to Bob Czarniewski, who has operated the clock for what must be some 500 games over the years.  Without this core group running the WOBM Christmas Classic would be impossible.

Couple of Monday quickies:

Count me as among those happy there will be a hockey season after all.  In a couple of weeks most hockey fans will have forgotten the lockout.

The hype is finally about to end with tonight’s BCS National Title game in South Florida.  Expect the Notre Dame-Alabama game to put up great numbers when it comes to viewers and I expect a close game that won’t be decided until the 4th quarter.  I’ll pick Bama but would not be surprised by a Fighting Irish victory which would please many, including Community Medical Center executive Frank Gelormini.