Nobody knows when Ocean County has had a game of the magnitude of the one that will take place tonight. This evening two unbeaten teams MANCHESTER AND TRN will do battle. It will do more than decide who is the best team in Ocean County, there is much more at stake.
The best 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the State the next few years are from Ocean County. The two best 8th graders already have power 5 offers on the table. Ocean County has cornered the market on talent in the Shore Conference. But more importantly that talent is staying home. This year the best Freshman in 20 years decided to stay in Ocean. Last year the best Freshman decided to stay in Ocean. But it was two years ago that two of the 5 best Freshman in the state, started it all at TRN and made it ok to stay at home. That is how we got to the biggest game in Ocean County since the type writer was invented.
TOM RIVER NORTH last year was ranked #10 in the state. I thought and said it was silly. They finished the year outside the Top 10. This year they started the year unranked and that my friends is silly as well. TRN is one of best teams in NJ with the return of Brielle Bisogno. Last night they smacked around the #13 team in the state EWING. They jumped on Ewing from the tip and never looked back. Some called it a upset, which is kinda hard to understand when they beat Ewing without Bisogno last year.
MANCHESTER is unbeaten and have the best young talent in the state. Karmeri Reynolds was the freshman of the year last year. Destiny Adams is the best Freshman since Macdonald’s started making burgers. Last night they played the team that many thought would be the team Manchester is now. Middletown fought hard yesterday and even took a lead in the 3rd quarter. But then Manchester’s mental toughness and talent smothered South the rest of the way. Now they will have a chance to do something special tonight.
Big games, college coaches recruiting, media turnout, superstar players, big crowds and teams are reserved for Monmouth County, when it comes to Shore basketball. Tonight that all changes, when all these side props will be reserved for tonight’s WOBM FINAL between TRN AND MANCHESTER. Tonight Brielle Bisogno and Karmeri Reynolds will match up. It will be no different than Rose Caverly vs Dara Mabrey. The matchup will be pit two players who could be the two best on ball defenders in the state. Both are future D1 locks. Both are from Ocean County and STAYED HOME. Tonight we get to to see Jenna Paul a Top 8 player in the Shore and future D1 lock do battle with Destiny Adams a once in a lifetime. Both decided to stay at home. It’s Katie Rice vs Lola Mullaney except in Ocean. We get to to see the insanely talented Johnson sisters take on the Adams sisters. This will be a night unlike we have seen in Ocean. Kids will pack the stands as will players from other schools just on hand to watch. There will be parents staring at college coaches. There will be a energy and buzz in the POLAND SPRINGS ARENA that are usually reserved for Monmouth County teams. The power shift in the Shore will be seen tonight, but it started years ago..
Dennis Adams is the principle of Manchester High School. But he also is one of the reasons Ocean basketball is now bleeding with talent. It was Mr. Adams who got kids in the area training and playing high level basketball. Joe Bisogno ran the TomRiver Starz and it he who put together the best and most talented AAU team in NJ. His team was a virtual whose who of high school basketball stars today. It was Jim Pissiott who watched Kelly Hughes become a star and said why can’t our kids be like that. He told kids it’s OK to play and train year round and not settle. It was he who told kids shoot for the stars, get a good education and PLAY HIGH LEVEL BASKETBALL…. ITS POSSIBLE TO DO BOTH. These are just some of the people who helped make tonight special.
Tonight is the night Ocean County has been waiting for. Tonight Ocean County owns the big stage, it will be lights, camera, action for Ocean. Tonight’s game will be an event and have serious consequences for both schools and the country. The winner of tonight will have a serious case for a Top 20 ranking. Both teams know there currently are 5 Shore team ranked in the Top 20.. so there’s no margin for error. Adding a 6th and 7th shore team to the Top 20 would be a tall order. Tonight is also a test for the Ocean County crowd. A poor showing and all that young talent in those grammar schools, start thinking does anyone care? College coaches will be watching to see if this will be a high level game or will the pressure of the moment crush the teams. There is much at stake and TONIGHT OCEAN COUNTY has a chance to deliver the best Holiday gift ever…we will all be watching..at least I WILL
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