Tag: Manasquan

INSTANT REPLAY: Boys’ Central Jersey Group 2 Final – #2 Manasquan 60, #1 South River 52

The top-seeded South River Rams fell just a win short in their quest for their first state title since 1991, falling 60-52 to second-seed Manasquan in South River. Senior Laz Rodriguez led the Rams with 15 points, while sophomore Alex Grospe had 13 – 10 of which came in the fourth quarter – including three treys.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action on February 28, 2023 on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Rams fall short in CJ2 title game as Frauenheim threes keep South River at bay

Every time South River threw a punch, many of them from the touch and moves of senior Laz Rodriguez around the rim, Manasquan punched right back, sometimes and then some.

The second-seeded Warriors took the Central Jersey Group 2 title Tuesday night with a 60-52 win in South River over the top-seeded Rams, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The Rams were down one with under a minute to go in the first when ‘Squan junior point guard Ryan Frauenheim hit back-to-back threes, the second longer than the first – which was long to begin with – to leave his team up five at the break.

To say they were backbreakers would not quite be true, given that there was still a full second half to play, but they sure took the air out of South River’s sails. Frauenheim finished with 20, including three from beyond the arc, and led all scorers in the game. Sophomore Darius Adams added 15 for Manasquan, which is now 26-4 and will move on to play South 2 champ Middle Township Thursday at Central Regional High School.

South River (26-4) was led by Laz Rodriguez, who had 15 points on some nifty moves around the bucket. Alex Grospe – in foul trouble most of the night with his brother Jeremy, scored 13, ten in the fourth quarter, including a pair of triples in the final eight minutes.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

Click below for postgame reaction sponsored by Sportsplex at Metuchen with South River head coach Brandon Walsh:

South River and ‘Squan set to scrap for Central Jersey Group 2 title tonight

For the South River boys’ basketball team, it has been a magical season, to be sure. But it has been one years in the making.

Once in a while, a group of kids grow up together, play basketball together, and end up doing something special together. Will this be the year?

The last time the Rams were state sectional champions, the first Bush was president, Operation: Desert Storm began, and the Chicago Bulls won their very first NBA Championship.

Yes, that’s a long time ago, but if any group of Rams since then could do it, this is it.

Top-seeded South River (26-3) will face second-seed Manasquan (25-4) Tuesday night at 7:00, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning with pregame at 6:45. Click here to listen to the broadcast live.

Their work will be cut out for them. While they have gotten amazing play all season long from the brothers Grospe – Jeremy the senior, and Alex the sophomore – as well as Laz Rodriguez, Roman Santos, and more, they will face perhaps the most highly-recruited player they’ve seen all year.

And it’s believed to be the first time South River’s tiny gym has hosted a sectional title game; they used to be played at neutral sites.

Manasquan’s sophomore guard Darius Adams is already on Steve Pikiell’s radar at Rutgers, as he is for Shaheen Holloway at Seton Hall, plus St. John’s, Syracuse and Fordham. And the list will grow bigger as he continues.

In just his second scholastic season, Adams blew right by the 1,000-point mark, and is averaging 20.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for the Warriors. And they have balanced scoring throughout the rest of the lineup, which can shoot the ball well from everywhere.

They’ve also had a long run of success. Now in his 15th season, Andrew Bilodeau’s program is 320-83 under his tenure, with eleven 20-plus win seasons, including 31-1 in the 2020 season that was abruptly ended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their final game was a win over Holmdel for the Central Jersey Group 2 title.

Click below from previews from both head coaches of the Central Jersey Group 1 title game:

South River head coach Brandon Walsh
Manasquan head coach Andrew Bilodeau

INSTANT REPLAY-Girls’ TOC Semifinals: (3) Rutgers Prep 64, (2) Manasquan 48

Click the ad above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

The 3rd-seeded Rutgers Prep Lady Argonauts beat the 2nd-seeded Manasquan Warriors 64-48, behind 17 points Rutgers-bound senior Antonia Bates, and nine team treys. Rutgers Prep moves on to the TOC Finals for the first time ever, and will face top-seed St. John Vianney, which beat 4-seeed Sparta in the other semifinal Friday night, 75-54.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Toms River North’s RWJBarnabas Health Arena on Friday, March 18, 2022:

Argonauts come out hot, lead wire-to-wire in 64-48 TOC semifinal win over Manasquan

Rutgers Prep came into its Tournament of Champions semifinal game with Manasquan as the lower seed, the Warriors also ranked above them in the statewide Top 20.

The Argonauts had something to say about that.

Click the ad above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

With only one tie, at 2-2, the third-seeded Lady Argonauts led virtually wire-to-wire, coming strong out of the gates, and beat 2nd-seed Manasquan 64-48 in the Tournament of Champions semifinals, to give them their first-ever birth in the TOC title game, in the event’s last season.

They will play top-seed St. John Vianney at 4 pm Sunday at Rutgers for the Tournament of Champions title. The Lady Lancers were 87-48 winners over the Argonauts back on Super Bowl Sunday as part of a girls’/boys’ doubleheader at Kean University in Union.

While the whole team came up big offensively, finding open threes and hitting them to the tune of seven in the first half – and nine in the game – Rutgers-bound senior Antonia Bates hit three of them and led all scorers in the game with 17 points. It was her fourth time leading the team in scoring this season, her second time in the postseason, also scoring 17 to lead the Argos’ in a Somerset County Tournament semifinal win over Bound Brook.

Now, Bates will get to play her last scholastic game on the same court she’ll call home in college, at Rutgers University’s Jersey Mike’s Arena. Central Jersey Sports Radio will have the game at 4:00, with pregame set for approximately 3:40 pm.

Rutgers Prep (29-2) never put together a huge, blitzing run as they have often done. Instead, they slowly, steadily built a lead: as big as eight in the first quarter, 12 in the second quarter and at intermission, and 17 in the third quarter before winning it by 16.

Prep’s scoring also was nearly perfectly balanced.

After Bates’ 17, fellow senior Leyla Castro had 13 (including two treys), Katie Ledden had 12, Mikayla Blakes had 12 (including a triple) and Morgan Ryan had nine, all from downtown.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Rutgers Prep’s TOC semifinal win over Manasquan:

Rutgers Prep senior Antonia Bates
Head Coach Mary Klinger

Mirror images Rutgers Prep, Manasquan face off tonight for a trip to the last TOC title game

When Rutgers Prep coach Mary Klinger looks at her team, then looks at Manasquan, she sees a lot of similarities.

Both play good defense, can score, and can rebound.

Click the ad above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

And neither has any players who’ve ever been one of the last four teams standing in the State of New Jersey.

But that’s the case when third-seed Rutgers Prep (28-2) and second-seed Manasquan (30-4) meet up tonight at Toms River North High School’s RWJBarnabas Health Arena for the opening semifinal game of the last-ever Tournament of Champions in the Garden State.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have LIVE play-by-play beginning with the pregame show at 4:45 and tip-off at 5:00. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action; click here to listen for free, with no paywall.


Rutgers Prep

  • Non-Public South B First Round: bye
  • Non-Public South B Quarterfinals: def. 8-Holy Spirit, 75-15
  • Non-Public South B Semifinals: def. 5-St. Rose, 64-34
  • Non-Public South B Final: def. 2-Wildwood Catholic, 67-36
  • Non-Public Group B Final: def. North B champ Saddle River Day, 62-51
  • Tournament of Champions Quarterfinals: def. 6-Univeristy, 58-56


  • Central Jersey Group 2 First Round: def. 16-Nottingham, 61-15
  • Central Jersey Group 2 Quarterfinals: def. 9-Johnson, 69-20
  • Central Jersey Group 2 Semifinals: def. 2-Holmdel, 62-59
  • Central Jersey Group 2 Final: def. 2-New Providence, 52-35
  • Group 2 Semifinals: def. South champ Haddon Heights, 60-38
  • Group 2 Finals: def. North 1 champ Jefferson, 65-36
  • Tournament of Champions Quarterfinals: bye


Rutgers Prep is led by sophomore Mikayla Blakes. The 5′ 8″ guard is averaging nearly 18.5 points per game, and leads the team with 55 treys, and gets to the line when she attacks the basket; she’s hit a team-leading 100 free throws this season. She can also dish it and swipe it, averaging a team-leading 3.6 assists per game, and 3.4 steals.

Junior guard Katie Ledden has had a great postseason. She’s a veteran who’s really come into her own, and is leading the team in the state tournament, averaging 17.6 points per game. She had a double-double against Saddle River Day, with 16 points and 14 rebounds, then followed it up in the TOC quarterfinals with 23 points against Unversity, all coming in the first three quarters.

For the Argonauts, though, as big as Blakes and Ledden have been, it’s about the supporting cast, too. Chloe Escanillas had a big seven-point fourth quarter off the bench against Saddle River Day. Zahra Alexander saw key time – even if she didn’t fill the stat column – against gritty University. All that adds up. And the defense has clamped down since that 39-point loss to St. John Vianney back on Super Bowl Sunday.

For Manasquan, Brooke Hollawell leads a balanced attack, as she has all season long. She’s averaging 10.4 points a game over the season, but has upped that in the state tournament to a team-best 14 ppg. She injured her ACL in the final week of last season; despite that, the fourth-year varsity player has racked up 1,039 points in her career, the most of anyone on the current team.

Mary Elizabeth Donnelly has had a great state tournament, too, averaging 9.5 points per contest, and scoring in double figures in three of her last four games. Going back to the Central Jersey Group 2 semis against Holmdel, she’s scoring at an 11.5 clip. What makes that all the more impressive is she’s drawn the top defensive assignment in many games this year, and she’ll no doubt also be challenged to go up against either Mikayla Blakes or Katie Ledden – or both – depending on what defensive looks the Warriors show.


Rutgers Prep is a bit on the young side, even if Blakes and Ledden are veterans. So are Morgan Ryan and Layla Castro, both seniors, as well as Antonia Bates, who’s headed to Rutgers next year. But none have been in the Tournament of Champions before, with the Lady Argos’ last berth coming in 2017.

The same, though, can surprisingly be said for Manasquan. Though this is their seventh trip to the TOC, all under current head coach Lisa Kukoda, they haven’t been since 2018. Granted, there was no Tournament of Champions in 2020 or 2021. But the point is, while Kokoda has been at this stage before – and they’ve won the TOC three of the six years they’ve been in it – no one playing tonight, for either team, has ever been among the state’s final four.

Click below to hear an audio preview with both head coaches of tonight’s Tournament of Champions Semifinal game between Rutgers Prep and Manasquan:

Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Klinger
Manasquan head coach Lisa Kukoda