It seems fitting that the 2015 Shore Conference Tournament has been trimmed down to four divisional champions from the regular season. Shore Conference Class A North champion CBA will take on Class A South champion Toms River South in the first SCT semifinal of the night at Summerfield School in Neptune.
The final SCT semifinal of the night will be top-seeded Class B Central champion Shore against Class B North champion Ocean.
Here is a preview of the two SCT semifinals games, and the Asbury Park Press’ picks of which teams will advance to the SCT final:
Game 1: (6) Toms River South vs. (2) CBA, 5 p.m.
The Indians proved they could hang with one of the best that Class A North had to offer by defeating Freehold Township 2-1 in a quarterfinal game. Toms River South’s Cameron Geerinck was voted the Asbury Park Press breakout player of the regular season, scoring 20 goals along with eight assists so far this season. Geernick also netted the game-winning goal against the Patriots in the SCT quarterfinal win.
As far as game plans go, look for the Indians to do more of what was successful against Freehold Township. They will allow CBA to hold possession of the ball, while looking to execute an efficient counterattack. The Indians showcase speed up top, and with Tyler Egnatuk navigating the midfield, Toms River South should be able to create scoring chances on Thursday night.
The Colts are coming off a quarterfinal win over division rival Manalapan. CBA’s Matt Thorsheim finished a cross from teammate Matt Mawson for the only goal of the game. CBA can be just as dangerous on set pieces as Freehold Township, so the Indians will need to try to limit those chances throughout the game. Despite the good showing from Toms River South in the quarterfinals, expect CBA to have a bit more firepower in this semifinal matchup.
APP Pick: CBA 2-1
Game 2: (4) Ocean vs (1) Shore, 7 p.m.
These two teams met in a regular-season showdown on Sept. 19, with Shore getting a 3-1 result. This game will showcase arguably the best offensive threats in the Shore Conference. Led by J.T. Kessler and Dante Montesinos, the Blue Devils have blazed through the regular season scoring 91 goals. They defeated Long Branch (3-1) and Middletown North (4-0) so far in this tournament.
On the other side, the Spartans are led by Monmouth University-bound Wadneson Alexis and Marlhens Nasanes. Expect Alexis to be roaming around the midfield to start, looking for combination play with Nasanes, who scored two goals in the SCT quarterfinal victory over Wall.
Both teams are established on the offensive third, so this game will most likely come down to the defense and goalies on Thursday night.
APP Pick: Shore 4-2
Staff Writer Chris Parker: email@example.com