By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
The Blue Devils varsity basketball team started the 2012-2013 season with a bang. Last week, Shore Regional hosted longtime rival Rumson-Fair Haven in a Shore Conference Class A Central match-up. Basketball pundits had predicted that that Manasquan would win the division followed by Rumson-Fair Haven, Raritan, Shore Regional, St. John Vianney, Red Bank Catholic and Monmouth Regional in last place.
It’s a good thing that the players don’t read what the so called basketball experts forecast. Shore Regional has a new head coach this year, Dave Emery, who is entering his fourteenth overall season as a head coach. Last year the Blue Devils finished 12-14, and are looking to improve upon those numbers this season. Rumson-Fair Haven is coached by Chris Champeau, who is in his fourth season. Last year the Bulldogs finished 13-9. The Devils started red hot as they took a commanding 20-10 first quarter lead over the Bulldogs on Friday night. During the second quarter they cooled off a bit and were outscored by the Bulldogs 11-10, but still took a 30-21 advantage into the halftime break. The second half was very similar to the first, with Shore besting Rumson-Fair Haven 27-17 in the third quarter and 13-10 in the final quarter of action for the 68-48 victory. Dan Pillari, a junior guard, scored 16 points to lead the Devils. His teammate Brian DeBois, a senior forward, pumped in 14 points. Also having a big game for the Devils were Kevin Bloodgood, a sophomore guard, and Matt Costantino, a junior guard. Bloodgood finished with 12 points while Costantino was right behind him with 11 points. One of the strengths of the Blue Devils was the accurate shooting from outside the arch. During that monstrous first quarter for Shore Regional DuBois made all three of his 3-point shots. He finished the game shooting 4 of 5 from the three point area.