Colts Neck senior Brandon Federici ended his high school career on a positive note in the 2013 Shore Conference Senior All-Star game. Federici led the West to a 109-105 win, finishing the game with 29 points off nine 3-point field goals.
Federici suffered a groin injury on Feb. 23 which required surgery the same night, and wasn’t even sure if he would be able to play in the all-star game on Wednesday night.
“The first time I played from being injured was actually on Monday when we had practice for this game,” Federici said.
“I think it was more in my head, but once I got playing I just sort of let the game come to me.”
It was important for the senior to try and make it out one last time, and help contribute to his team’s win. Federici took home the MVP award and also won the 3-point contest after getting the best of Long Branch’s Dwight Clark.
“It’s definitely a nice thing to be able to go out like this,” Federici said.
“I wanted my career to go out with a little more than being out with an injury, but it was fun tonight.”
The intensity picked up in the last four minutes of the game with both teams exchanging buckets down the stretch. After one final stop from the West, Federicci ended the game with a layup, giving his team the four point victory. It was competitive for most of the game with several players from the same high school on different teams.
“That made things interesting and definitely more competitive,” Federici said.
“The worst feeling for me was sitting on the sidelines, I’m just glad I was able to go out and just play this game.”
In the girls all-star game, Middletown South senior Jackie Dluhi led the East to a 70-64 win. Dluhi took home the MVP award after finishing the game with 15 points, and enjoyed the experience of being able to play with some of the other girls that she played against all season.
“It was fun to be able to go out and work together as a team,” Dluhi said.
“We are all really great players, its good we can just go out pick up the ball and be able to play together.”
For Dluhi and her team the strategy was similar to most teams in these types of games.
“We wanted to go out and push the ball,” Dluhi said.
“Not just one person is shooting the ball, we were all sharing the shots tonight.”
The East trailed by nine after halftime, but were able to storm back for the six point win. According to Dluhi it was never a concern for her and her teammates, who just stuck to their game plan.
“We just went out and tried to play a little better defensive,” Dluhi said.
“We pushed the ball and our shots started to fall.”
The all-star game is something that most of these seniors will never forget, after having such success on the high school level.
“It was a great way to end it, we went out there and just had fun,” Dluhi said.