Colts, Rockets, Lions capture holiday hardware

first_imgRaritan, CBA look like Shore BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer PHOTO BY MIGUEL JUAREZ staff Above, Middletown North’s Matt Holly (#2) can only stand and watch as Woodbridge’s Shamar Graves draws the foul from the Lions’ Chris Mislazek during the finals of the Bayshore Holiday Tournament on Thursday in Holmdel. At left, North’s Theo Fujita hits an open man with a pass during North’s win. Local high school boys basketball teams had plenty to celebrate last week as they made their respective holiday tournaments festive ones with championships. Middletown North, CBA and Raritan all collected some holiday hardware on Thursday, winning three of the state’s most prestigious tournaments. The CBA Colts made their return to the Holiday Jubilee a triumphant one, routing host Neptune in the final on Thursday, 60-38. The Colts won their 10th Jubilee title after a long hiatus on the heels of excellent play from Dan Werner and Dan Gallagher. Werner, a 6-foot-5 forward, put together a brilliant offensive effort, as he was 8-for-14 from the floor for 22 points, along with 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals; while Gallagher, a senior point guard, added 15 points and controlled the tempo of the game to lead the Colts (6-1). The Colts jumped on Neptune early, building the lead to 16 points before the Scarlet Fliers managed to shave the lead to just eight points at the half. The lead shrank to six with just over five minutes left in the third quarter when Werner reeled off seven straight points in the midst of an 11-0 CBA run that effectively ended the game. In the fourth quarter, the young Neptune team began hoisting errant three-pointers, which led to numerous fast-break baskets for the Colts, and the rather lopsided final score. With the win, the Colts collected the first of what they hope will be several tournament championships this season. They looked every bit like a force to be reckon with against Neptune and hope the Holiday Jubilee crown will act as a springboard for the rest of the season. One of the teams that is certain to challenge the Colts for the Shore Conference crown is the Raritan Rockets, the WOBM Classic winner. The top-ranked Rockets showed the heart of a champion in the final, coming back from a 15-point deficit to beat an upstart Manchester team, 60-56. Raritan, last year’s Group II state champions and a Tournament of Champions semifinalist, needed every bit of the experience it gained last season to come back on Thursday, as senior point guard Marques Johnson led an inspired comeback effort. Johnson, who is headed to Boston University, scored five of his 14 points in the final period en route to the tournament’s MVP honors, while junior guard Dave Lonnay was just as clutch down the stretch, scoring eight of his 11 points in the final stanza. Facing a double-digit deficit, the Rockets (7-0) turned up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter, forcing 10 Manchester turnovers, which allowed Raritan to get back in the game. Senior forward Qa’raan Calhoun was a force in the paint with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks, while the entire team did a good job neutralizing Manchester’s 6-5 swingman Jaron Griffin down the stretch. The Rutgers-bound Griffin finished with 26 points, but was slowed down by the Raritan defense when it counted most. With the win, the Rockets earned their first WOBM title, and held onto the distinction as the “team to beat” in the Shore Conference this year. The Middletown North Lions captured the Bayshore Holiday Tournament for the first time ever, beating a solid Woodbridge team, 46-35, in the final. Theo Fujita had eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the 6-0 Lions to the title, while Matt Holly drained four clutch three-pointers. Holly finished with 13 points, and was named the tournament’s MVP. But it was the Middletown North defense that did the trick against Woodbridge, holding the high-scoring Barrons to just 35 points. Woodbridge (4-2) routinely scores 60-plus points, but was unable to find its rhythm against the scrappy Lions. That defensive effort, plus some clutch foul-shooting down the stretch, when the Lions went 7-for-8, was the difference in this one. With the win, the Lions continued to exceed expectations early on. Picked to finish as low as sixth in their own division, head coach Will Mayer’s squad has proven to be a better team than most people anticipated. They face a daunting schedule to say the least, with a pair of games with CBA, and contests with Kuhnert Holiday Tournament champion Marlboro, a solid Manalapan team and an improved Ocean Township squad looming on the horizon. Ocean was scheduled to come to Middletown yesterday, while the Lions will get their first shot at CBA on Friday. Game time is 5:30 p.m. in Lincroft.A pair of local boys teams made the best of their consolation games in the Bayshore Holiday Tournaments, ending their tournament play with wins. The St. John Vianney Lancers, who lost to Middletown North in the quarterfinals, 41-34, came back to beat Middletown South in their consolation game Thursday, 52-41. Senior guard Pat Dineen scored 17 points as the Lancers (1-4) came back from a four-point deficit after the first quarter to knock off the Eagles, and get their first win of the year. Junior Devin Farrell had 18 points for the 0-5 Eagles. Mater Dei bounced back from their seminal loss to Woodbridge with a 37-32 win over Shore in their consolation game on Thursday, led by the 17-point effort of senior guard Jeff Wedick. The Seraphs improved to 5-1 with the win. The Matawan Huskies dropped their consolation game, 57-53, to Rumson-Fair Haven despite 15 points from sophomore Chris MacCutcheon and 14 points from junior Phil Kellerman. Matawan is 2-3 early on. The girls teams … The Holmdel High School Hornets were the only local girls team to play for a championship last week, but not to the results they were hoping for. The Hornets ran into a buzz saw in the finals of the Bayshore Holiday Tournament, losing to top-seeded Monmouth Regional, 49-30. The Golden Falcons jumped ahead early, building a 16-9 lead after one, then essentially put the game out of reach with a 14-2 second-quarter outburst. Holmdel was unable to keep pace with the Monmouth attack, despite 11 points from Cristina Martorelli, who was named to the All-Tournament team. With the loss, the Hornets fell to 4-1 on the young season, but remain one of the top teams in the area. The Middletown North girls won their consolation game over Red Bank, 45-42, as senior Laura Depko scored 16 points and sophomore Danielle Beam added 14. The Lions improved to 2-3 with the win. Mater Dei’s girls were not as fortunate, losing their consolation game, 52-46, to Shore Regional. Freshman Lauren Florio dropped 17 points to lead the Seraphs (3-3), while sophomore Maria Locicero added nine. The Middletown South girls lost their Point Beach Tournament semifinal to host Point Beach, 43-38, but then came back on Thursday to win their consolation game with Neptune, 64-56. The Eagles used a balanced offensive attack to knock off the Scarlet Fliers, getting 14 points from sophomore Christina Longo, 10 points from freshman Lauren Sorrentino and nine from junior Michele Whalen. With the win, the Eagles improved to 4-2 on the season. The Matawan Huskies won a consolation game in the Joseph Pep Tournament on Thursday, beating St. Patrick’s 54-25, on the heels of an 18-point outburst from junior LaShae Lester. Junior Zaykeyah Pitts added nine as the Huskies got to 3-3 on the young season. The Shore’s top-ranked team, the St. John Vianney Lancers, bounced back from their first loss of the year with a 62-45 win over Marist in the Marist Holiday Tournament. SJV was led by sophomore Alisa Apo and junior Kristine Perez, who scored 12 points each, as well as senior Shantel Brown and junior Courtney Calderone, who each added 11. The Lancers were in control of this one throughout, building a 31-15 halftime lead, and improved to 3-2 with the win. BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *