Leading all players in scoring during the game was Zayier Dean (3), who had 33 points for the Spartans. High man for Neptune was Dan Charles (1) wih18.
By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
The 2022-2023 varsity basketball season opened for the Spartans of Ocean Township on Friday night as the boys hosted longtime rival Neptune. It was a very exciting game as the Scarlet Fliers edged out the Spartans, 52-47.
Many in the gym thought Neptune had pulled out the victory in the final two minutes when they took the lead and held on for the win. However, Ocean started losing the game in the first quarter, even though they held a 16-8 advantage.
It was in the first quarter that Ocean made their only foul shot of the game. They had plenty of chances, in fact in those opening minutes they missed three shots from the line. In the second and third quarters they missed three shots in each. In the final quarter they had only one time at the line and missed that. They missed 10 foul shots.
Ocean’s bright spot was sophomore guard Zayier Dean, who scored nearly all of the Spartan points. He finished with 33 of the 47 scored points. Another issue Ocean had during the game was only three players scored points. Ron Richardson, 6’4” sophomore forward, had 13 and Ben Robinson, 5’11” guard, had the other two points. Dean also had 10 rebounds and three assists in the loss.
Dean is an amazing player who scored 405 points as a freshman, nearly half his way to the coveted 1,000-point club. In his first two games of this season, he had 60 points and if he keeps up with this average, he will have over 500 this season.
Game two for Ocean was a 78-72 win over Point Beach. In that game, Ocean had seven players getting points. Dean was high man with 27, Brandon Loughlin scored 16, and Richardson had another 12 points.
Another unique feature of the Spartan team this year is they only have one senior on their roster; Loughlin, 6’5”, is the Spartan big man and only graduate for 2023. They have six juniors, five sophomores and one freshman on the varsity roster.
Leading scorer for Neptune was Dan Charles with 18 points. The Fliers had 14 dressed for the game and eight of those players contributed with scoring. They play in the C North Division which has St. Rose on top at 3-0, Point Boro 2-0, Manasquan 2-1, Neptune 1-1, Ranney 0-2, and Wall Township 0-3.
Ocean is playing in the C South Division of the Shore Conference. Currently, Shore Regional is on top at 2-0 followed by Monmouth Regional 2-1, Ocean Township 1-1, Donovan Catholic 0-1, Lakewood 0-1, and Jackson Liberty 0-2.