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NJSIAA Tournament

Opening Round

Central Jersey Group IV

(7) Marlboro 56, (10) Hightstown 48

Senior Alex Frank scored 14 of his 26 points in the third quarter and came up with a key steal-and-score with 1:15 to play as the Mustangs (14-9) held off a fourth-quarter rally by the Rams (13-15) to advance to Thursday's sectional quarterfinal at No. 2 Freehold Twp.

Frank went 7-for-7 from the field during the third quarter, when Marlboro outscored Hightstown, 19-7. The run started out at 19-4 and stretched Marlboro's lead to 46-30 late in the third quarter.

The Mustangs led, 48-34, with seven minutes left, when Hightstown hit Marlboro with a 14-1 run that pulled the Rams within 49-48. With Hightstown trailing, 50-48, and looking to tie or take the lead, Frank picked off a cross-court pass and took it in for the score and a 52-48 lead with a little more than a minute left.

Junior Brave Haugh led a balanced supporting effort by Marlboro with seven points, including a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter that helped the Mustangs take a 27-26 lead into the half.

Keenan Reiss, Robert Eaves and Yasin Elhossieni each scored 13 points for Hightstown.

(2) Freehold Twp. 61, (15) Howell 48

Senior Malachi Harris poured in 23 points while grabbing five rebounds, dishing four assists and picking off three steals to help pace the Patriots (20-4) to a third win of the season over the rival Rebels (9-16).

Junior Andrew Silverman added 13 points and senior Jayden Holmes-Cotter chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for Freehold Township, which will host another Shore Conference Class A North rival -- No. 7 Marlboro -- in Thursday's sectional quarterfinal after the two divisional foes split the regular-season series.

Junior D.J. Orloff matched Harris with 23 points to lead Howell and junior Zach Padilla threw in eight in defeat.

(5) Middletown South 92, (12) Manalapan 65

Senior Pat Brown scored 24 points to go with nine rebounds and four steals, while classmate Dylan Csik posted 22 points and eight assists as the Eagles (17-6) steamrolled the Braves (12-13) to earn a quarterfinal trip to No. 4 Jackson Memorial.

Junior Will Nugent added 11 points, while senior Matt Sliva and sophomore Brady Hahn chipped in nine apiece for Middletown South, which outscored Manalapan, 24-12, over the last six-plus minutes of the second quarter to take a commanding, 49-30, lead into the halftime locker room.

Csik scored 14 of his points in Middletown South's 28-point second quarter, while Brown scored 14 of his game-high total in the first half.

Junior Anthony Leger led Manalapan with 18 points and senior Jake Buchman added 12 on fourth three-pointers, including three in the first quarter. Seniors Kassan Scott and Jake Heitzner also added 10 points apiece for Manalapan.

(4) Jackson Memorial 67, (13) East Brunswick 59

Senior Respect Tyleek scored 18 points to go with eight assists and three steals and the Jaguars (20-6) rode a balanced offensive effort to a hard-earned win over the Bears (11-16).

Junior Mehki Cherry added 15 points and six rebounds, while classmate Shaun Hubbard posted 13 points and seven rebounds for Jackson Memorial, which played without injured senior Charlie Meglio (ankle).

Seniors Samir Padilla and Keith Adame each added nine points, with Padilla also contributing three steals for Jackson Memorial, which will host No. 5 Middletown South in Thursday's sectional quarterfinals.

 

Central Jersey Group II

(3) Raritan 66, (14) A.L. Johnson 37

Seniors Jack Coleman, Jack O'Leary and Billy Tigar each scored 14 points and the Rockets (20-2) rolled to a win over the Crusaders (10-16) to touch down in the sectional quarterfinals Thursday against No. 6 Delaware Valley.

Senior Matt Agar added 12 points and classmate Mike Diller pitched in eight points for Raritan, which did most of its heavy lifting during the first half in building a 39-16 lead at the break.

(9) Point Boro 51, (8) Spotswood 42

Senior Stephen Mellett returned from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two weeks and showed no ill-effects, scoring a game-high 26 points to help lead the Panthers (16-9) past the Chargers (18-8) and into the sectional quarterfinals against top-seeded South River.

Point Boro took the lead late in the second quarter and never gave it up, with Mellett scoring 12 of Point Boro's 18 points in the third quarter. Senior Shane Ryan scored the other six Panthers points in the third and finished with 17 points.

Spotswood had a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer with 25 seconds to go, but elected to play for the quick two and came up empty. Point Boro hit six consecutive free throws in a matter of seconds thanks to a technical foul mixed in with two personals.

(5) Rumson-Fair Haven 90, (12) Roselle Park 54 

Sophomore Luke Schorr hit seven of Rumson's 18 three-pointers on the way to a game-high 27 points and the Bulldogs (18-7) blew out the Panthers (11-14) to reach a quarterfinal round game against No. 4 Bound Brook -- the team Rumson beat to win last year's Central Jersey Group II championship.

Ten different Rumson players hit at least one three-pointer and other than Schorr, none made more than two. Senior Mason Yablonski scored 12 points with a pair of threes and junior Sean Trinder also hit two in scoring eight points for the Bulldogs, which led, 22-3, after the first quarter and 47-12 at halftime.

(4) Bound Brook 57, (13) Holmdel 53 (OT)

Juniors Ben Kipnis and Nick Seeloch combined for 43 of Holmdel's 53 points and the Hornets (10-13) pushed the Crusaders (21-4) to the brink before falling in overtime.

Seeloch hit a game-tying fadeaway with under 1:30 to play in regulation and came up with a steal on the other end to give Holmdel a chance to win it. Bound Brook, however, forced a turnover and senior Matt Baker kept Holmdel alive by chasing down the play and blocking the potential game-winning layup attempt.

Bound Brook scored the first seven points of overtime before Holmdel clawed back behind the effort of Kipnis, who scored inside, found a cutting Seeloch for a layup and converted a three-point play to pull Holmdel within 53-51.

Jordan Robinson hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to ice the game for Bound Brook. Robinson finished with 12 points and four assists, while teammates Jordan Summers (22 points and 13 rebounds) and Jackson Morrison (15 and 10) each led the way with double-doubles.

Bound Brook moves on to host No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven in Thursday's sectional quarterfinal -- a rematch of last year's one-sided sectional final won by Rumson on its home floor.

(2) Manasquan 65, (15) Monmouth 27

Sophomore Darius Adams outscored Monmouth's entire team, finishing with a game-high 29 points in a Warriors (23-4) win over the Falcons (11-13).

Senior Jack Dettlinger scored eight of his 10 points in the first quarter and junior Alex Konov pitched in 10 off the bench for Manasquan.

Senior Ta'haj Wiggins closed out his career at Monmouth with a team-high 10 points against the Shore's No. 1 team.

 

South Jersey Group IV

(7) Cherry Hill East 73, (10) Southern 51

Ian Gross hit six three-pointers en route to a game-high 26 points and the Cougars (17-11) pulled away to beat the Rams (14-12) in round one, setting up a quarterfinal clash at No. 2 Toms River North.

Senior Tom Menegus scored 15 points and junior Caden Schubiger added 14 to lead Southern.

(2) Toms River North 61, (15) Shawnee 46

Junior Micah Ford scored a game-high 21 points and the Mariners (20-7) rode a strong first quarter to a round-one win over the Renegades (12-16), earning them a quarterfinal home game against No. 7 Cherry Hill East.

Sophomore Sherrod Nelson poured in 14 points and senior Delani Hyde and junior Garrett Dusheck each chipped in eight for Toms River North, which stormed out to a 16-8 lead after one and never gave it up.

(5) Central 49, (12) Rancocas Valley 34

Junior Jaycen Santucci erupted for 30 points and 12 rebounds to carry the Central offense and the Golden Eagles (20-6) locked up the Red Devils (14-11) on the other end to advance to the sectional quarterfinals Thursday at No. 4 Eastern.

Junior Miles Chevalier also posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Central, which held Rancocas Valley to 12 points in the first half, but scored only 16 in the same stretch. The Golden Eagles then opened up a 32-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

 

 

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