Photo Credit: Kylie O'Sullivan (Unsplash)

Albert E. Martin Buc Classic Tournament Round 1 Recap

     Holiday hoops are back for the start of the annual Albert E. Martin Buc Classic Tournament. The Buc Classic Tournament is hosted by Red Bank Regional, bringing high school basketball teams from all over the state to compete for a tournament championship during the holiday season. The teams selected for this year's tournament include CBA, St. Rose, Ranney, Sayreville, Red Bank Regional, Notre Dame, Long Branch and Middletown North.

Ranney 50 vs. Notre Dame 58

Notre Dame kicked off the tournament with an upset over the runner ups of last year's tournament. Senior guard Isaac Hester's 28-point performance was not enough for the Panthers to advance to semifinals. Notre Dame's offense was run through John Merluse and Donovan Cottrell, both of whom added double-digit points. However, it was Notre Dame's 6'7 Stesher Mathelier who did the heavy lifting, as he finished the game with 21 points. The Army basketball commit towered over Ranney's forwards, which led to him dominating the boards all game, leading to Notre Dame's first round victory.

St. Rose 65 vs. Long Branch 39

Jayden and Matthew Hodge led St. Rose to a first-round win over Long Branch, combining for 31 points. St. Rose jumped to an early 21-5 lead in the first quarter. Long Branch was able to cut the lead to just seven right before the half ended, with the help of Bruce Gooding. The senior guard finished the day with 24 points for Long Branch. St. Rose came out hot in the second half, outscoring Long Branch 24-4 in the third quarter to expand their lead to 29. St. Rose was able to hold onto their lead in the fourth quarter, keeping their perfect season intact.

 Sayreville 50 vs. Red Bank Regional 81

The Buccaneers defended their home court with a first-round victory over Sayreville. At the end of the first quarter, Red Bank Regional led 18-14 after both teams went back-and-forth trading baskets. Red Bank caught fire in the second quarter outscoring Sayreville 26-14, to give the Bucs a 44-27 lead going into halftime. Red Bank Regional's Collin Teter did not waste any time coming out of the half, scoring 10 points in the third quarter alone. He finished the day with 20 points. Sayreville's defense was unable to stop the red-hot Bucs offense, resulting in a round one win for Red Bank Regional.

CBA 73 vs. Middletown North 40

CBA breezed through round one with a 73-40 win over Middletown North. The reigning champions of the Albert E. Martin Buc Classic Tournament wasted no time this year, as they went up 19-8 in the first quarter. The Colts' offense would catch fire from behind the arc the rest of the half, as they led 37-14 at the break. Will Bradley sank three triples, finishing the game with 19 points. However, it was the Colts' defense which resulted in the large margin victory. The aggressive Colts' perimeter defense constantly put pressure on Middletown North guards, which resulted in numerous turnovers and leading to fast break points. The Colts move onto the semifinals, in the hopes of recreating last year's result.

Round 2 Matchups (12/28)

Ranney vs Long Branch - 2:00 PM

Middletown North vs Sayreville - 3:30 PM

Notre Dame vs St. Rose 5:00 PM

Red Bank vs CBA - 6:30 PM

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