Manasquan falls to Camden in State Semis, ends remarkable season for Warriors

Manasquan falls to Camden in State Semis, ends remarkable season for Warriors

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Manasquan falls to Camden in State Semis, ends remarkable season for Warriors

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NJSIAA Boys Basketball Manasquan vs Camden held at Perth Amboy High School on Wednesday March 11,2015.

The Manasquan boys basketball team played Camden, a very difficult opponent, in a tough environment on Wednesday night and fell behind early and ultimately lost 64-49 in an NJSIAA Group II state semifinal at Perth Amboy High School.

“This team hung a banner. Won a (Class A Central) conference championship again, our fifth in seven years. We made our fifth Brookdale Community College appearance (for the SCT quarterfinals) in seven years and got our second sectional title in seven years,” Manasquan coach Andrew Bilodeau said. “We just told them there is nothing to hang your head about because we couldn’t be prouder of you.”

The Warriors (22-7) gave a valiant effort against Camden (25-6) but a 29-14 deficit after the first quarter was just too much to recover from on Wednesday night.

Camden’s Brad Hawkins scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in that first quarter and Will McCants added nine of his 12 points in that first quarter surge for the Panthers. Conversely, Manasquan’s Kyle Bradshaw came off the bench and recorded another solid performance. Bradshaw had eight of his team-high 21 points in that first quarter.

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“We cut their lead to five points (at one point). But we had to expend so much energy to cut it to five points and the difference was they were able to get the second and third shot,” Bilodeau said. “They were a little bit bigger, a little bit more athletic, we didn’t get the second and third shot, they did. Give credit to them because that is what they do.”

The Warriors did give themselves a chance in the second quarter with superior defense that held Camden to only six points in that quarter.

Hawkins had two points, Rasool Hinson had three points and Jamal Halloway had one point to account for Camden’s only single-digit scoring quarter. While the defense slowed Camden down in the second quarter, Manasquan’s Bradshaw and Ryan Jensen carried the offense in the second quarter. Jensen and Bradshaw each had four points in the second quarter to spark a 12-point quarter for the Warriors.

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“They defended the three-point line extremely well first of all. Then their interior defenders are so long and athletic, we weren’t able to finish the first shot,” Bilodeau said. “Then we didn’t get the second and third shot, which is what we’ve done to teams all year and pummeled them inside.”

The Warriors started Jensen, a junior forward, Jack Sheehan (eight points), a junior guard, Matt Paturzo, a senior guard, Aidan McMenaman, a senior forward, and Luke O’Shaughnessy, a senior guard, on Wednesday night. So with two of the five starters back next season, the Warriors could very well be back in the Group II state semifinals again next year with a chance to get to their first state final since 2004.

NJSIAA Tournament

Group II State Semifinal

Camden 64, Manasquan 49

Manasquan (49): Jensen 8 0-2 16, J. Sheehan 2 4-8 8, Paturzo 0 0-1 0, McMenaman 1 0-0 2, O’Shaughnessy 0 2-3 2, Bradshaw 9 3-6 21, T. Sheehan 0 0-0 0, Flangan 0 0-0 0, McAllister 0 0-0 0, Mopsick 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 9-20 49.

Camden (64): Hawkins 8 7-10 25, McCants 4 2-3 12, Whiting 0 0-1 0, Hinson 3 1-3 8, Halloway 6 1-4 13, Thompson 3 0-0 6, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 11-21 64.

Manasquan

14

12

8

15

49

Camden

29

6

11

18

64

3-point goals: (C) Hawkins 2, McCants 2, Hinson. Records: Manasquan (22-7), Camden (25-6).

Sherlon Christie: schristie@app.com

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