Toms River North will look to defend its title at the 30th annual WOBM Christmas Classic on Dec. 21 at the Pine Belt Arena at Toms River North. The girls side of the tournament will start on Dec. 22.
The annual WOBM Christmas Classic brunch was held on Monday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Toms River featuring guest speaker former Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice. Tournament director and founder Kevin Williams was also honored by his fellow co-workers for his 30th consecutive year of running the tournament.
Jackson Memorial enters the tournament with the top-seed for the boys tournament and will take on 16th-seeded Brick at 6:45 p.m. Wall took the second-seed and will play No. 15 seed Toms River East at 6:15 p.m. and third-seeded Toms River South will play 14th-seeded Barnegat at 2:45 p.m.
The 10th-seeded Mariners will defend their title with a first round game against seventh-seeded Manchester at 4:30 p.m. Toms River North head coach Rory Caswell has been watching his young team get more and more excited every day for this holiday tournament.
“The kids really look forward to this,” Caswell said. “I have a young team this year, and it seems like they have been waiting since they were little kids to get to this WOBM breakfast and get going.”
The Mariners’ Evan Martin is the only returning starter this season, but according to the coach, the rest of the team is confident heading into the tournament.
“The kids that are coming up were really successful at the JV level for us last season,” Caswell said. “They watched the team last year win, they are ready to come out and do their thing now.”
The boys quarterfinal games are Dec. 26, the semifinals are Dec. 28 and the final is Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Red Bank Catholic is the top-seed for the girls tournament and will face 16th-seeded Barnegat at 6:45 p.m. Second-seeded Manasquan will take on 15th-seeded Ocean at 6:15 p.m and No. 3 seed Wall will face No. 14 seed Jackson Liberty at 2:45 p.m. Last year’s defending champion Point Boro enters the tournament with the eighth-seed and will meet ninth-seeded Toms River South at 5 p.m.
Point Boro head coach Dave Drew knows how much this tournament means to the community.
“This is a great tournament,” Drew said. “It’s first class all the way, from the seeding meeting, to this breakfast for the kids, to the tournament itself it’s just really great.”
After graduating some key players from last season, the Panthers will look to showcase some new talent in their first game against the Indians.
“We have some girls who are excited to show that they are capable of playing at a high level too,” Drew said. “We don’t want too set the bar low, we want to try and shoot for the championship.”
The girls quarterfinal games are Dec. 27, the semifinals are Dec. 29 and the final is Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.
CBA 3, HOWELL 2: Though Connor Tierney, Thomas Weil, and Travis Yawger each scored first period goals en route to a Colts (6-1-0) Class A North victory, it wasn’t before the Rebels (2-1-0) provided CBA a scare, as the Howell defense held their oppoent scoreless for the final two periods on the back of a 25-save performance by Bobby Dovenero.
The Rebels forged a third period charge that saw Kyle Hallbauer find the back of the net before assisting on another goal by Frankie Gerbasi to pull their club within one of the No. 4 team in the state, a Colts collective that outscored Shore Conference opponents 58-5 entering Monday night’s contest.