Barnegat’s Cara McCoy drives to the basket during a game earlier this season. McCoy and the Bengals ended the regular season with a triple-overtime win on Feb. 26. (Photo by David Biggy)
There’s nothing like a triple-overtime barn-burner to close out the regular season. Fortunately, the home team was the winning bunch on Feb. 26.
The Barnegat High School girls basketball team erased a 19-13, halftime deficit and later outscored Brick Township, 9-4, during a third OT period, as the Bengals edged the Green Dragons, 56-52, to capture their second victory of the season, which moved into the final week with Shore Conference postseason “pod” games, starting Tuesday, March 2. None of the local girls’ teams qualified for Shore Conference Tournament pods.
Nonetheless, the Bengals at least finished the regular season with a bang, going on a 7-2 spurt during the third quarter to trim the margin to a point, before knotting the contest at 35-35 by the end of regulation. The Bengals (2-8) and Green Dragons each scored five points during the first overtime, followed by seven points in the second OT.
Cara McCoy led the way for Barnegat, scoring 17 points, grabbing 18 rebounds, swiping six steals and doling out five assists, while Ashley Pringle led all scorers with 18 points, and Isabel Guiro delivered 13 points, eight boards and six thefts. Patria Moreno, Erin Breyta and Adrianna Kappmeier each contributed three points.
A day earlier, the Bengals had their hands full with Jackson Liberty, dropping a 56-31 decision. McCoy tallied 13 points and six boards, while Guiro managed 11 points and four rebounds. Pringle and Robbiann Erskine also snatched four rebounds apiece.
Barnegat started the week against the Lions, who cruised to a 42-19 victory on Feb. 23. McCoy finished with 11 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bengals.
Grab Third Victory
Pinelands Regional’s Bridget Dudas. (Photo by David Biggy)
After not playing for more than two weeks, the Pinelands Regional girls hoops squad finally made it back to the court to close out its regular season, playing four times last week and snagging its third victory of the season – a 37-33 win over Raritan on Feb. 26.
The Rockets jumped out to an 11-8, first-quarter lead, but the Wildcats (3-6) used an 8-3 spurt to take a 16-14 lead into halftime, then held on from there by outscoring Raritan, 11-10 and 10-9, during the last two quarters. Sunni DiElmo and Bridget Dudas each scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats, while Emily Fence added three points.
A day later, Pinelands started off great, outscoring Point Pleasant Borough, 10-8, in the first quarter, but the Panthers quickly erased the deficit with a 10-3, second-quarter run before holding the Wildcats to seven second-half points for a 50-20 victory. DiElmo managed 10 points, while Dudas hit for seven.
On Feb. 24, Dudas led the way with 13 points and DiElmo contributed seven, but the Wildcats didn’t have enough offense to knock off Point Pleasant Beach during a 48-36 contest. To start the week, Pinelands stayed with Point Borough until the fourth quarter before the Panthers used a 20-10 outburst to win, 56-48. Dudas tallied 22 points, while DiElmo delivered 12 and Tamar Beaubom added eight points.
Fall in Three Straight
Unfortunately, the Southern Regional girls basketball squad couldn’t keep up with its three-game winning streak of the previous week and lost all three of its contests last week – the last being a 37-17 loss to Toms River East on Feb. 25.
The Rams started off well, outscoring the Raiders, 7-5, during the first quarter. But things quickly fell apart for the Rams (3-8), as TRE went on a 15-2 run in the second quarter to take the lead for good and Southern managed just eight points during the second half. Molly Ciliberto scored seven points, while Sarah Lally contributed five points and 14 rebounds.
Two days earlier, the Rams were down by a 12-6 margin after the first quarter and never recovered, ultimately falling to Toms River East, 49-30. Skylar Soltis scored 10 points and grabbed 15 boards to lead Southern, while Lally tossed in eight points and snatched eight boards, and Summer Davis added six points.
To start the week on Feb. 22, the Rams received 12 points and 14 boards from Soltis, as well as nine points and 13 rebounds from Lally, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped a 59-33 contest to Donovan Catholic, which outscored Southern, 34-13, in the first half.
Keep on Winning
Following a double-overtime victory against Manchester to start the week, the next two games weren’t nearly as close, as the Southern boys hoops team won twice more to push its winning streak to 10 games and conclude the regular season with a 10-1 record.
In a 57-36 win over Toms River East on Feb. 25, the Rams ran out to an 11-3, first-quarter lead and later pushed the gas even harder, going on a 21-13 third-quarter run. Jay Silva led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Jake Barbierri added 12 points, and Jaden Anthony ended with eight points and seven assists. Luke Infurna contributed seven points and five boards.
Two days earlier, Southern took a 25-12 lead into halftime, then buried the Raiders under a 25-7 barrage during the third quarter on the way to a 62-38 victory. Nick DeVane scored 13 points, which included a trio of three-point field goals, while Silva also tallied 13 points, and Barbierri grabbed 10 boards. Anthony delivered nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Against the Hawks on Feb. 22, the Rams were down by two, 21-19, at the half, but used a 12-10 run in the third to tie the contest, which is how it stayed through two more periods before Southern eventually won in a second OT period, 55-53. Silva tallied 18 points and six rebounds, while Infurna scored 14 points, and Barbierri managed 10 points. Anthony had seven points, six boards and nine assists, and DeVane snagged seven rebounds as well.
Southern this week was slated to play in the Shore Conference Tournament “Pod A,” with its first contest against Ranney on March 1.
Barnegat Boys Squad
Scores Two More Wins
The Barnegat boys hoops team had a bit of a hiccup early last week but rebounded to capture a pair of wins later in the week, as the Bengals closed out their regular season with a 9-3 record.
During a 68-61 win over Brick on Feb. 26, the Bengals used a 23-15 outburst in the fourth quarter to overcome a 46-45 deficit heading into the final eight minutes. Barnegat started the game with a 22-13, first-quarter run and took a 36-33 lead into the half. Andrew Vernieri paced the Bengals with 18 points, while Jaxon Baker delivered 17 points, and Tyler Quinn added 11 points.
In a 41-37 win over Jackson Liberty a day earlier, the Bengals had to come back from seven points down at halftime, 21-14, using a 14-9 spurt in the third quarter, followed by a 13-7 run in the fourth. Jared Krey scored 14 points and grabbed five boards to lead the way, while Quinn hit for nine points and snagged five boards, and Logan Armstrong contributed seven points and five rebounds.
On Feb. 23, Barnegat and Liberty had an overtime slugfest, scoring more combined points than either team had in each half, but the Lions managed to win, 56-52. Liberty outscored the Bengals, 16-12, in the overtime for the victory. It was a 24-23 contest in favor of the Lions at the half, before the Bengals edged Liberty, 17-16, in the second half. Baker led Barnegat with 19 points, while Quinn added 11.
Barnegat, too, was slated to play in a Shore Conference Tournament pod game on March 1, taking on Toms River North.
Pinelands’ Regular Season
Ends With an L
Exactly a week after coming up short against neighboring Southern, the Pinelands Regional boys team played its last regular-season contest and ended up dropping a 49-40 decision against Raritan.
The Wildcats (2-9) began with a 14-10 run in the first quarter, but the Rockets closed the gap and went into the half tied at 22-22. Raritan outscored Pinelands, 27-18, during the second half to grab the victory. Rian O’Rourke led the Wildcats with 13 points, while Josh Kline registered 12 points, Andrew Jenkins scored seven points, and Aiden Skeie added six points.
Pinelands was scheduled to conclude its season with postseason pod games this week.
— David Biggy