In the first home game in 35 years without Southern coach Kathy Snyder at the helm, the Rams honored their coach one final time with a 54-31 win over Toms River North on Thursday night.
Toms River North players showed a kind gesture of sportsmanship, each giving a Southern player a yellow rose in memory of Snyder before the game. After a first quarter of nerves, the Rams went on a 25-12 run in the second quarter, taking a 34-17 lead into the half.
Southern head coach Tom Bucci knew it was important for his players to go out and compete as hard as they could.
“Tonight we really wanted to do everything that Kathy taught us,” Bucci said. “I told them that playing is part of the healing process, and I think we were trying to do a little to much at first.”
Tough defense, something that Snyder always preached according to Bucci was something that helped the Rams break through in that key second quarter.
“Our pressure allowed us to get some easy buckets in the second,” Bucci said.
When asked about the win, Bucci admitted it was a bittersweet feeling.
“It would have been nice to share it with her, she wasn’t just a coach for me she was a best friend,” Bucci said.
“Kathy always wanted to teach life through competition, and we will always miss her.”
Junior Tierney Goetz scored 12 of her game-high 23 points for the Rams in the second half, and senior Allison Spaschak scored all 14 of her points in the first half for the Rams.
Nicole Gardner finished with a team-high 10 points for the Mariners and Keely Petrick added 9 more.
HOLMDEL 47, MONMOUTH 23: Mia Ehling finished with a team-high 12 points leading the Hornets over the Falcons in a Class A Central game. Ehling scored 10 of her 12 in the first half, and Liz Zelina added 8 points and 5 assists for the Hornets.
MANCHESTER 64, JACKSON LIBERTY 36: Anissia Fucci finished with 11 points 14 rebounds, and 11 steals leading the Hawks (7-6, 5-3) over the Lions (1-12, 1-8) in a Class B South game.
It was the second triple double of the season for Fucci, who also added 8 assists for the Hawks.
CENTRAL 58, POINT BORO 28: Brianne Allender scored 7 of her game high 23 points in the third quarter leading the Golden Eagles (9-5) over the Panthers (8-5) in a Class B South game.
Lindsey Mahnken also pulled down 10 rebounds and had 5 steals for the Golden Eagles.
MATAWAN 40, LONG BRANCH 37: Senior forward Austen Planes scored 10 points to lead the Huskies (14-2, 7-1) past the Green Wave (10-4, 6-3) in Class B North.
Senior guard Terrel Cox led the Green Wave with 14 points, including eight in the first half.
Matawan junior guard Joe Piscopo netted nine, including six in the Huskies’ 10-6 fourth-quarter output. The teams were tied at 31 entering the final eight minutes.
KEYPORT 57, MATER DEI 54: Senior forward Alex Thomson’s 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists powered the Red Raiders (10-3, 8-2) past the Seraphs (6-6, 5-5) in Class B Central. Thomson scored nine in the third quarter in which Keyport went ahead 45-41.The Red Raiders sped to a 26-21 first-half lead as senior guard Ezra Hill scored each of his eight points. Hill scrapped for four steals in the game.
Senior guard Kevin Walsh added six points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Tysaun White and freshman guard Eddie Lewis keyed the Seraphs with 13 points each.
COLTS NECK 55, MANALAPAN 48: Junior guard Chris O’Reilly’s 18 points and senior guard Jake Mullaney’s 14 led the Cougars (7-5, 6-3) past the Braves (5-8, 2-6) in Class A North.
Senior guard Joe Pisciotti paced the Braves with 16 points. Junior forwards Kyle Mullin added 10.
LAKEWOOD 61, PINELANDS 53: Senior center Ben Watson scored 15 points, sophomore guard-forward Sean Barksdale netted 14–all in the first half–and sophomore guard Hassan Diawara added 11 to lead the Piners (12-3, 9-0) past the Wildcats (4-10, 2-6) in Class B South.
Watson netted nine in the first half, including five in the second quarter, as Lakewood took a 41-30 lead. He put home six in the third quarter in which the Piners went ahead 54-46.
Barksdale scored nine in the first quarter on three treys. Diawara hit for seven in the first half.
SOUTHERN 58, TR NORTH
54: Powered by senior Mike Gesicki’s 18 points, the Rams (7-5, 5-3) trimmed the Mariners (7-8, 5-4) in Class A South.
Gesicki scored nine in the second half, including eight in the third quarter. The Rams led 43-40 through three quarters. Eric Ray added 13, including seven in the second half. Ethan Dubois contributed 10, including seven in the first half, five in the second quarter.
The Rams buried 13 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter. Ray was 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final session.
Junior guard Evan Martin led the Mariners with 16 points, 10 in the first half. He scored six in the second quarter.
TR SOUTH 70, BRICK MEM. 59: Marquis Davis’ game-high 20 points paced the Indians (10-4, 6-3) past the Mustangs (6-5, 4-4) in Class A South.
Davis scored 12 second-half points, all in the fourth quarter. He buried six of eight free throws in the final quarter. Kahleel Green added 13, including 10 in the first half, in which the Indians sped to a 32-20 lead.
Tyler Fall contributed 11, nine in the second half, including seven in the third quarter.
LACEY 53, TR EAST 32: Led by junior center Chris Iappico’s 20 points and 18 rebounds, the Lions (6-7, 5-4) downed the Raiders (6-7, 2-6) in Class A South.
JACKSON MEM. 57, BR
ICK 33: Jesse Hill netted a game-high 23 points, including 12 in the first half, for the Jaguars (11-4, 7-1) in their Class A South win over the Green Dragons (0-14, 0-10).
Hill paced the Jaguars to a 29-16 halftime lead.
KEANSBURG 75, RAN
NEY SCHOOL 70: Senior point guard Kason Preston exploded for a game-high 37 points to propel the Titans (1-11, 1-7) past the Panthers (6-8, 2-8) in a Class B Central overtime win.
Preston netted five in overtime. He scored 20 in the first half, including 11 in the opening quarter. He bombed home five treys in the first half. He hit for 12 in the second half, including seven in the third quarter. And he was 13-for-17 from the foul line.
Shore Conference players were named to the U.S. Under-17 Red National Team, assembled by USA Football.
Selected were St. John Vianney quarterback Anthony Brown, Brick Memorial defensive linemen Anthony Nobile and Michael Nobile, Freehold Township tight end Tyler Von Nessen and Red Bank outside linebacker Ricky Wild.
The team will go against Team Canada in the 2014 International Bowl 4 p.m. Feb. 8 in Maverick Stadium at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Red Bank Catholic wide receiver Dan Lukawski was selected to the U.S. Under-17 Blue National team, assembled by USA Football. The team will oppose Team Canada 1 p.m. Feb. 8 in Maverick Stadium.
Ranney School sophomore Nicole Vaiani won a bronze trophy out of 105 athletes for Team USA at the Cadet World Cup in Pisa, Italy.