Falcons edge Devils 48-43

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

It appears to be a down year for the boys basketball teams at Shore Regional and Monmouth Regional this season. Both schools are struggling in the win column even though they have talent and skills. On Saturday afternoon Shore hosted Monmouth in a nondivisional Shore Conference game.

During the first quarter of action the Blue Devils were aggressive in the run game and took an early 13-11 advantage over the visiting Falcons. However, the second quarter was all Monmouth as they held the Devils to eight points while they added 16 to their total.

Monmouth Regional applied a full court press during the second quarter which seemed to catch the Blue Devils flat footed as they committed a few turnovers. The Falcons had a definite size advantage over Shore and used it to their advantage to close out the first half.

The third quarter was dead even as both schools scored only eight points. The last eight minutes of the game for Shore was nearly identical to the opening quarter. They bested the Falcons 14-13, but lost the game 48-43.

Kyle Koob was the leading Blue Devils scorer with 13 points, while teammate Chris Panduri finished with 12. Ryan Jones had nine, and Ryan Flanagan scored six points. Shore Regional drops to 4-11 overall and are 2-6 in the A Central division. The standings in the A Central division has Rumson-Fair Haven 8-0 at the top followed by Holmdel 6-3, Matawan 5-4, Red Bank Regional 4-4, St. John Vianney 3-6, Shore Regional and then Raritan at 2-7.

Leading the Falcons in points was Myles Ownes with 16, Tyler Hawkins scored 11, and Nick Cirlincione finished with eight.

Monmouth Regional plays in the B North division of the Shore Conference and are 0-10. Overall the Falcons are now 3-13, but in last place out of the eight teams. Manasquan, 8-2, is in first, Long Branch 7-3, RBC 7-3, Middletown North 6-4, Ocean Township 5-5, Wall 4-6, Middletown South 3-7 and Monmouth Regional.


Morris gets 23 in Wave win

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

It was rematch time for Long Branch boys basketball as they hosted the Spartans of Ocean Township last week in a Shore Conference Class B North divisional game.


Both schools faced off back on December 20 in Ocean where Ocean pulled off a 58-57 victory. Long Branch was looking to even the score on their home floor in front of their fans and they didn’t disappoint!


Long Branch came out quick in the opening eight minutes using speed and strength they outscored the Spartans 15-8. When the first half had ended the Green Wave squad was out in front of Ocean 33-17 and appeared to be in complete control.


During the second half Long Branch continued with its dominance and aggressive play. The end of the third quarter the Wave had an 18 point advantage over Ocean going into the final eight minutes up 45-27.


Ocean had its best quarter of the game at the end, but it was not enough as Long Branch won 56-44 and improved to 7-3 in division play, which is good enough for second place out of the eight teams. Overall Long Branch has a 10-5 record. Leading the Wave in scoring was Tyree Morris, a junior, who finished with 23 points.


The Spartans drop to 5-5 in the B North and are 11-5 overall. However, Ocean is now in fifth place in the division. Manasquan is at the top, following Long Branch is Red Bank Catholic and Middletown North in front of the Spartans.


Leading Ocean in scoring was Jack Miller with 14 points. Andrew Seager was close behind with 12, Darius Brown and Luke Yates each scored seven points in the loss.


Precious Allah powers Falcons over Devils

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Monmouth Regional junior Precious Allah scored a game-high 12 points as the Falcons defeated the Blue Devils of Shore Regional 36-24 on Saturday afternoon


Allah transferred to Monmouth Regional this season from Neptune High School. Her ball handling, speed and shooting skills are definitely welcomed on the Falcons squad.


During the first quarter the Devils had a slight 8-6 lead on the Falcons. Allah, along with Marisa Santoro and Karley Trillhaase, had two points for Monmouth. Shore had two players hit three-point buckets; Breanna Jackson and Allie Reiser, who also made two foul shots.


The Falcons took control of the game in the second quarter where they outscored the Devils 16-7. Sabin was high girl with five points, Charlotte Gage had three and Madison Searight, Santoro, Trillhaase and Allah each had two points.


Shore had only one player make a basket in the second quarter and that was Jaclyn Shapiro. Emily Guo made two foul shots as did Reiser. Erin Rogers went one for two and Brittany Sawyer missed all four of her free throws. Going into the halftime break the Falcons were on top 22-15.


The first eight minutes of the second half was the worst quarter of the game for Shore Regional. Reiser made two foul shots for the only points in the third quarter for the Blue Devils. The Falcons scored eight points with Gage, Santoro, Trillhaase and Allah each getting two.


In the fourth quarter Shore Regional outscored Monmouth Regional just as they had to start the game. The final eight minutes the Devils scored seven points with Shapiro, Jackson, Guo each getting a basket and Reiser making one of two foul shots.

Monmouth Regional had only one player score in the fourth quarter. Allah scored six points, one basket and made four out of nine foul shots. She finished the game with 12 points. Sabin and Santoro each had six points.


The win improved the Falcons to 4-11 overall. They play in the B North division of the Shore Conference and are currently in seventh out of the eight teams with a 1-9 record.


Reiser led all Blue Devils with 10 points. The Blue Devils play in the A Central division of the Shore Conference are in sixth place out of the seven teams with a 1-7 record. Overall they are 5-12 on the seaso.


Squan beats Wave 70-53

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr


One of the best girls basketball teams in the state with one of the best players in New Jersey paid a visit to Long Branch High School on January 27, for a Class B North divisional game


The biggest buzz of the night was that Dara Mabrey of Manasquan needed only four points to reach that magical 1,000 career mark. Also in the stands were several college scouts, one from University of Louisville.


With 4:49 left in the first quarter Mabrey hit a jump shot giving her team a 6-5 edge over the Green Wave and getting her name secured in the record books at Squan with her 1,000 career point. The game was stopped and her family and teammates presented her with flowers and cards to a standing ovation by everyone in the gym.


When the first quarter ended the Green Wave was deadlocked at 15 with the undefeated Braves. “I’m very proud of how our players responded during that opening quarter,” said Shannon Coyle, head coach at Long Branch.


The Wave was missing Hydeinah Moore, one of its best players under the boards. It was just last week that she was honored with her 500th career rebound. However, the junior is no longer on the Green Wave squad, and the coach just wanted to talk about the players she has on the court. “Manasquan is one of the best teams in the state and we are playing them very tight, I just hope we have enough to keep up with them in the long run,” added Coyle.


Long Branch had a total of nine players while the top ranked visitors had 14 players. And near the end of the second quarter you could see that Squan was able to rotate players and keep the pace going fast. With only two minutes left in the first half Manasquan had a 27-24 lead on Long Branch. The Braves then went on an 11-0 run taking a 35-27 advantage into the halftime break.


That two minute run by Manasquan and their amount of players would eventually be the downfall for the Green Wave. During the third quarter Long Branch used what little gas they had left by outscoring Squan 17-13. However, the final eight minutes had the visitors adding 22 points to their total and only allowing Long Branch nine.


Manasquan won the game 70-53 and Mabrey finished with 24 points 1,020 career points. Faith Masonius scored 12, Stella Clark and Lola Mullaney finished with 10 points. Manasquan improved to 17-0 on the season.


Stepping into a starting role for the Green Wave was Angelique Gathers, a junior. She has the ball handling skills of a guard and the size and strength of a forward. Gathers was also the high scorer for the Wave finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block. Sol Margaret Navarro, the point guard for Long Branch finished with 13 points, hitting three consecutive three-point baskets in the second half. Quayniece Page also had a good game for the Wave scoring 10 points.


Under the boards for Long Branch was junior Keidy Mar Laureano, who had 10 rebounds. In her two years on varsity she now has pulled in 287 rebounds. Once she develops a more aggressive offensive profile she will be a force to deal with.


Long Branch is now 5-9 on the season and currently 3-7 in the B North division of the Shore Conference. Squan sits at the top followed by RBC 13-2, Middletown South 11-3, Middletown North 10-5, Wall 7-9, the Wave, Monmouth Regional 4-11 and in last is Ocean at 2-14.


On January 21, the Shore Regional wrestling team had a good afternoon going 2-1 during a quad meet with Holmdel, Matawan and Keyport.

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr, photos by SportShotsWLB

One of the closest matches of the year was the one-point victory for the Blue Devils over Matawan with Shore winning 37-36 The winning weight divisions Shore won, were Namir Stevens scored a pin at 285 pounds, Matt Klemser had a pin at 113 pounds, Brad Smuro scored a pin at 126 pounds, Dean Smolokoff took an 8-3 win at 145 pounds, at 152 pounds Jack McCrae scored a pin, Austin Cannon had a 12-4 major decision at 160 pounds and Michael Rosati had a pin at 195 pounds.


Of the 14 weight classes only half were contested during the Keyport match in which Shore won 48-41. The Devils had only two wins by actually wrestling opponents. Patrick O’Dwyer had a pin for the Shore at 220 pounds and Austin Cannon also scored a pin at 160 pounds.


Getting wins over Keyport by forfeit were Ross Dougherty, 106 pounds, Sterling Finch, 126 pounds, Ian Smith, 132 pounds, Louis Valerio, 145 pounds, Alexis Garcia, 182 pounds and Mike Rosati at 195 pounds. Neither school sent out wrestlers for 113 or 120 pounds.


The Blue Devils 43-25 loss came at the hands of the Holmdel Hornets. Getting wins for Shore were Klemser at 113 pounds with a pin, Smolokoff won 7-4 at 145 pounds, McCrae scored a 12-2 major decision at 152 pounds, and Rosati had a pin at 195 pounds. Getting a forfeit win at 126 pounds was Al Desantis.


Currently the Blue Devils are 9-5 overall and 3-1 in the Shore Conference Class B Central division.


Devils beat Spartans and remember Munoz

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

During his freshman year at Shore Regional High School Alex Munoz started experiencing daily headaches. In April, 2013 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent brain surgery and had six weeks of radiation and weekly chemo treatments.


One week before his final chemo treatment a routine MRI discovered a recurrence of his cancer. He was brave and positive and entered into a new protocol knowing the odds were against him.


November 11, 2014 this courageous young man lost his fight with cancer. However, the students at Shore Regional will never forget him as every year and every season sport teams at the school hold fundraising events for The Alexander Munoz Memorial Fund.


On Saturday, January 21 the young ladies on the Blue Devils basketball team honored Munoz by wearing yellow t-shirts before the game with his name spelled out on the shirts. T-shirts and other items were for sale in the lobby and even the Shore Regional Education Association was involved hosting a Community Wellness Fair in the cafeteria.


Shore hosted the Spartans of Ocean Township, and it was an exciting game right down to the final seconds of action. The first quarter had the Spartans taking an 11-10 lead with strong play under the boards by Morgan Bartlett, Madison Mastando and Sarah Dente.


However, the second quarter was all Shore as they dominated outscoring the Spartans 12-5. Senior Allie Reiser took command of the floor and directed the Blue Devils offense. Emily Guo, point guard, was also key for the Devils isnhandling and passing the ball.


Third quarter again belonged to Shore as they outscored Ocean 12-9. However, the fourth and final quarter had the Spartans besting Shore 15-10. It was not enough, however, as the Blue Devils beat Ocean 44-40.


Reiser finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Breanna Jackson also had a big game for the Blue Devils finishing with 16 points and two rebounds. With the win, Shore is now 5-9 overall and are 1-6 in the A Central division of the Shore Conference.


Ocean Township is struggling this season with a 1-12 overall record and winless at 0-8 in the B North.


Seager and Miller lead Spartans over Devils

By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

Their high schools are only separated by a few miles and yet Ocean Township and Shore Regional rarely faceoff in athletic competition.However, on Saturday, January 21, the Blue Devils hosted the Spartans of Ocean in a basketball double header. It was also a fundraising event for the late Alex Munoz, a student of Shore Regional who passed away from cancer.


The Spartans won the first game 52-37 as a result of a big surge in the second quarter. The Blue Devils had opened an 8-7 lead, but Ocean came out strong to close out the first half outscoring Shore 18-7, and taking a 25-15 advantage into the halftime break.


Starting the second half the Spartans outscored Shore 16-12 in the third quarter and 11-10 in the fourth. Andrew Seager was the leading scorer for Ocean with 15 points. Jack Miller was right behind him with 14, Darius Brown scored nine, David Yatcilla and Santieno Harding each had six points for the Spartans. With the win, Ocean improved to 10-4 overall and 4-4 in the B North.


Kyle Koob of Shore Regional led all Blue Devils is with 15 points. Ryan Flanagan scored seven, Leonardo Montesinos finished with five

. Shore is now 4-8 overall and 2-5 in the Shore Conference Class A Central division.


The best news of the afternoon was that after the doubleheader was over the basketball teams of Shore Regional High School raised over $7,000 for the Alex Munoz Memorial Scholarship. Charley’s Ocean Grill in Long Branch also hosted an after-game fundraiser event which was a delicious success.


Wave shoots past Al-Ghazaly 66-41 By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr

On January 16, the Greater Long Branch NAACP, the Martin Luther Ling Guild of Long Branch and theMartin Luther Ling Guild combined to sponsor the 1st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Basketball Classic.


Long Branch High School was the site of the event which featured four games. The first game was Arts High against Asbury Park followed by Bloomfield facing Neptune. The third game of the day had the Green Wave facing Al-Ghazaly and then Nutley taking on Matawan.


Al-Ghazaly High School is located in Wayne and is one of the oldest Islamic High Schools in the United States. It was founded in 1984, and has a strict dress code for its students. Curriculum at the school has the standard subjects; math, English, science and history, but also includes Arabic, memorization of the Quran, and Tafsir which is analyzing their holy book.


Only recently has the school added extracurricular activities; soccer teams for boys and girls, flag football and the newly formed basketball team, the Ghazaly Warriors.


Unfortunately for the Warriors they were not in the same league as the Green Wave.

At halftime Long Branch held a 50-15 advantage over the Ghazaly Warriors. Stanley Mooney, head coach of Long Branch, put the brakes on his squad during the second half of action. The final score of 66-41 didn’t truly reflect on how outmatched the Warriors were.


Leading the Wave in scoring was Tyree Morris with 16 points. Teammate Kaymar Mimes finished with 12. Currently Long Branch is 5-2 in the B North division of the Shore Conference, which is good for second out of the eight teams. Overall the Green Wave are 5-4 on the season.


Sterns Trailer is honored to recognize Allie Reiser as The Link News Athlete of the Week.

Reiser is a skilled and talented senior athlete at Shore Regional High School. She plays multiple sports as a Blue Devil and during the winter months she can be found on the basketball court.


One of her greatest skills is she maintains her composer and takes on a leadership role. Saturday the Blue Devils hosted Ocean Township when Reiser was a big part of Shore’s 44-40 win over the Spartans


Spartans undefeated so far in wrestling

By Walter J. O’Neill

Cippy Apicelli has his Spartan wrestling team at Ocean Township High School off to a great start this season, after racking up a total of 191 points and only allowing 43 during the quad meet they hosted on December 30.


A big part of the success of the program are the assistant coaches on the Spartan staff. Outstanding wrestlers during their high school and college careers are Jeff Sicilliano, Danny Lopes, Joe Falco, Brandon Sheenan, Garry Falco, Jeff Severino and Tom Rant. All these coaches have a wealth of knowledge and experience that is a tremendous benefit to Apicelli and the wrestlers.

During the quad match last Friday, Ocean started off against the Caseys of Red Bank Catholic, a divisional Class B North opponent. This was the closest match of the morning as the Spartans won 58-21.


113: William Tisony (OT) technical fall over Andrew Lennert 15-0


120: Adam Manzo (OT) technical fall over Mark Lurie 15-0, Jr126: Alex Poniros (OT) by forfeit


132: Thomas DiStefano (RBC) beat Dereck Benitez 5-1


138: Nicholas Villapiano (OT) pinned Ethan Byrne at 4:24


145: Jake Benner (OT) pinned Jace Fanelli at 1:45


152: Saif Ali (OT) pinned Aiden Meyler-McAuliffe at 1:00


160: Emerson Derose (OT) pinned Brendon Bennett at 1:03



170: Steven Cimielewski (RBC) pinned Muhammad Ali at 2:00


182: John Columbia (RBC) pinned Evan Romein at 3:12



95: Esteban Bernard (OT) pinned Geno Tartamella at 4:20


220: Clayton Oates (OT) pinned Brendan Larkin at 0:17


285: Michael Griggs (RBC) pinned Christian Wilson at 4:00


106: Jack Nies (OT) pinned Nicholas Mullaney at 0:13


Up next for the Spartans was another Class B North opponent, the Eagles of Middletown South. Ocean won this match 56-16. This match started at 120 pounds.


120: Adam Manzo (OT) by forfeit

126: Alex Poniros (OT) pinned AJ Vega at 1:37


132: Anthony Esposito (OT) pinned Anthony Dacunto at 1:14



138: Nicholas Villapiano (OT) major decision over Danny Ward 10-1


145: Jake Benner (OT) pinned William McCauley at 0:32



152: Saif Ali (OT) pinned John Vulpis at 1:29


160: Justin Weimer (MS) major decision over Emerson Derose 11-1


170: Steven Walling (MS) pinned Muhammad Ali at 3:56



182: Jack Hardzewicz (MS) pinned Evan Romein at 0:48



195: Esteban Bernard (OT) major decision over Jake Hetem 10-1


220: Clayton Oates (OT) pinned Brady Smith at 2:22



285: Christian Wilson (OT) defeated Chris Aveta 3-2

106: Jack Nies (OT) pinned James Piehler at 5:26

113: John Santos (OT) defeated Michael Holland 12-5


The final match of the morning was against Monmouth Regional High School, which only won one match. The Falcons are a nondivisional opponent for the Spartans who easily took a 77-6 victory.


126: Alex Poniros (OT) by forfeit


132: Anthony Esposito (OT) pinned Andrew Faccone


138: Nicholas Villapiano (OT) by forfeit


145: Jake Benner (OT) pinned Tyler Flynn at 1:15


152: Saif Ali (OT) inned. Dylan Pham at 2:24


160: Emerson Derose (OT) pinned Jake Hollander at 0:28


170: Muhammad Ali (OT) pinned Ryan Convery at 1:18


182: Evan Romein (OT) pinned Dean Kaplan at 1:04



195: Esteban Bernard (OT) by forfeit


220: Clayton Oates (OT) pinned Isaiah Moriniere at 0:58

285: Bradley Pietz (MR) pinned William Pintro at 1:43


106: Jack Nies (OT) by forfeit


113: John Santos (OT) pinned Devon Pham at 1:20



20: Adam Manzo (OT) pinned Luke Corso at 2:55


After the these matches the Spartans are 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the B North division of the Shore Conference.