High School basketball in the Shore Conference has been dominated by two teams thus far, St. Rose and Manasquan. Both teams have cruised through their conference schedule, St. Rose coming into the meeting with a perfect 14-0 record and Manasquan at 12-3. The two teams previously faced each other earlier this season where St. Rose came out on top 56-48.
Both teams had something to prove coming into the matchup. St. Rose had their perfect record to keep intact, and a win over Manasquan would continue to build their resume as one of the best teams in the state. For Manasquan, they seeked revenge. Their only loss inside the Shore Conference came in their first meeting against St. Rose. This was a test of who the real No. 1 team in the Shore Conference is.
The hype that had been built up to this game was real. There was not an open seat available in Manasquan, with hundreds in attendance and even more watching at home. Manasquan sophomore Darius Adams would set the tone drilling a three-pointer, giving Manasquan an early lead. Adams would add seven points in the first quarter for Manasquan. However, St. Rose's Bryan Ebeling came out of the gates hot adding six of his own. Ebeling would finish his night with eight points. St. Rose led Manasquan 10-9 after one.
Manasquan would heat up from beyond the arc in the second quarter. Ryan Frauenheim knocked down a pair of triples in the second quarter to get the Warriors offense going. The Warriors big men dominated the boards the entire half, leading to many second-chance points for Manasquan. The half concluded with a contested finish by Darius Adams to put Manasquan up 23-18.
Adams led the Warriors in scoring with fourteen, to go along with his four rebounds and two assists on the night.
The Warriors first half success came from shutting down St. Rose's Matt Hodge, holding him scoreless. Credit goes to Jack Dettlinger who was assigned the difficult task of guarding Hodge to entire game. Dettlinger finished the night with ten points, six rebounds, and a pair of steals.
St. Rose's defense led to early transition points for the Purple Roses in the third. Junior Gio Panzini heated up in the second half as he finished the game with six to go along with his two steals. Sophomore Evan Romano added five points in the third to add to his total of twelve on the night, leading the Purple Roses in scoring. However, The Warriors still held a 33-32 lead going into the final eight minutes of regulation.
Manasquan put up three quick points to start the fourth quarter, which was quickly responded to by a three-pointer from St. Roses Evan Romano to make it a 36-35 game with just over five minutes to play.
A Jayden Hodge layup in traffic would give St. Rose their first lead of the half, with 3:50 left to play. Hodge finished his night with six points and three assists.
The St. Rose lead did not last long after Ryan Frauenheim drained a triple to put Manasquan up 39-37 with just over three minutes to play. Frauenheim finished his night with eleven points and three assists.
With 2:39 to play, Matt Hodge had the opportunity to tie the game up at 39 at the free throw line but ended up missing both, giving the ball back to Manasquan with a two-point lead.
St. Rose chose not to foul and play for the steal as Manasquan continued to move the ball around, taking time off the clock. Their attempts were unsuccessful as the Warriors offense were able to run the clock down to 10.3 seconds before St. Rose decided to foul and send them Manasquan to the line.
Alex Konov was able to knock down both of his one-and-one free throws to give Manasquan the 41-37 win and handing St. Rose their first loss of the season. This win over St. Rose gives the Warriors a strong case for why they should be the No. 1 team in the Shore Conference.