2024 Shore Conference Tournament Preview
The Shore Conference Tournament enters the second round bringing together the best high school teams from around the Shore area for one of New Jersey's most anticipated basketball showdowns. With teams ready to lay it all on the court, the Shore Conference Tournament promises thrilling matchups, unexpected heroes, and the kind of basketball magic that fans live for. This year's bracket is set to have a mix of great battles from teams all around as competition within the conference is fierce.
The favorite by far is St. Rose who is currently the #2 team in the NJ Athletics Top 20. The Purple Roses have been playing some of the best basketball in program history and even got to battle with national powerhouse Montverde. With 21 wins on the year, there is no question that St. Rose will look to dominate this tournament. As far as shore competition goes, there hasn't really been a true threat. Led by Villanova commit, Matt Hodge and younger brother Jayden Hodge, we have seen an offensive output of over 70 points per game. Contributions from other start like Gio Panzini, Bryan Ebeling, and Evan Romano make this team really difficult to beat.
However outside of St. Rose being the powerhouse outlier, the field is stacked with very tight competition. The #2 and #3 seeds go to Central Regional and Manasquan who both have had very impressive years. Central Regional currently sits at 18-3 with their only losses coming within 9 points total. The Eagles recently beat the remaining undefeated team in Haddonfield just last weekend proving to be a true force. Miles Chevalier and Jaycen Santucci lead the team with a combined 35 points a game and keep the offense in check. What has stuck out the most, has been their defense which has held opponents to under 40 points a game. On the other side, Manasquan is as tough as the come. Despite missing their best player in Ryan Frauenheim, the Warriors show no signs of stopping. They have some of the better wins in the conference with victories over College Achieve, East Orange, CBA and Red Bank Catholic. Despite some recent losses they have been productive on the season overall. Veterans Griffin Linstra and Alex Konov have lead the charge on the offensive side with contributions from freshman Rey Weinseimer. They are 16-5 on the year and look to make some noise during this run.
While the seedings at #2 and #3 prove to be challenging, there is plenty of opportunities for upsets from others in the bracket. Red Bank Regional comes in at #4 and has been lights out all year. Currently on a 9 game win streak, the Bucs look to make some noise this year as they recently clinched the B-North division. Zayier Dean has been an All Star caliber player and a main factor in the teams success. Another team to look out for is #7 seed Holmdel. The Hornets sit at 17-2 with their only losses coming from St. Rose and Manasquan. As good as their leading scorer James Vallillo has been, this team finds itself with a fast paced and balanced attack with 5 players putting near or more than 10 points a game. Another team that could make some noise is the #6 seed, Toms River North who has an early season win over Manasquan. With premier athletes like Ford, Pruitt, and Council paired with the ball skills of Owen Baker, the Mariners have the potential to make a good run in this tournament.
A deep sleeper in all of this could be Shore Regional who are currently 15-5 and have been in some tough battles all season. Lead by a group of seniors, the Blue Devils have all the opportunity to put the Shore on notice. With the #22 seed, not many expect them to make noise but have proven to be a solid team with 60 points a game and a balanced attack amongst 5 of their players.
Other teams and players to watch in this tournament include Kevin Pikell of CBA, Steven Scimone of Marlboro, Nick Rigby and Luke Cruz of Rumson, Colin Cavanaugh, Tyler Burnham, and Ryan Prior of Red Bank Catholic and, Anthony Leger and Aiden Sosinov of Manalapan.
The tournament picks back up this Thursday for round two as 16 teams remain. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to follow us on all channels for more coverage.
As many of you have been asking, we are bringing back the Shore Basketball Underclassmen Showcase for Year 2. Location and Dates are being finalized but we have been working diligently to bring this back. Stay tuned for more details and reach out to contact@njathletics if you'd like learn more.