And then there were two …

first_imgCBA boys, Midd. South girls only local teams to advance in SCT play BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer SEAN DWYER Brookdale’s Derrick Truesdale shoots a jumper over a Salem defender during Saturday’s Blues’ win in Middletown. LINCROFT — Five local high school basketball teams entered Sunday’s Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) quarterfinal round chasing down a championship. By the end of the day, only the top-ranked CBA Colts and third-ranked Middletown South girls were still in pursuit. The Colts knocked off eighth-seeded Colts Neck, 35-11, as Dan Werner outscored the Cougars all by himself with 14 points. Facing a much larger and deeper CBA team, Colts Neck coach Lou Piccolla felt the only way his team could stay with the Colts was to slow the tempo of the game down to a snail’s pace. And that’s exactly what his team did, only it didn’t quite have the lasting affect the coach was hoping for. While the Cougars were able to build an 8-4 lead after one quarter of play, CBA was able to more than double its scoring output in the second stanza, ending the quarter on a 7-1 run to take a 13-11 lead at the half. The Cougars were putting on a stalling exhibition, holding the ball for up to three minutes at a time before launching a shot. In the first half, it kept them close. In the third quarter, it kept them within six, as CBA managed just four more points. Then, the Colts’ offense finally got on track, and CBA used a 18-0 run to end the game. Meanwhile, the CBA defense remained patient enough to keep the Cougars off the board for the entire second half. You would think that by holding the ball, Colts Neck would be able to work some open looks at the basket, however, for all of their patience, the Cougars shot zero-for-10 from the field in the second half, and five-for-22 overall, including zero-for-11 from three-point range. It was not the prettiest win for CBA, but it did get them to tonight’s semifinals, where they will face Manasquan. The fourth-seeded Warriors survived a triple-overtime thriller against fifth-seeded St. John Vianney, advancing when Jason Westrol hit an 8-footer with three seconds left to give his team the 64-62 win. Westrol led the Warriors with 34 points for the game, overshadowing a brilliant effort from SJV’s Matt Mullery, who scored 29 in the losing effort. Vianney had its chances to win the game, including a Mike Spinelli 3-pointer that bounced off the rim to end the first overtime period. Center Derrick Fetzer was able to score on the rebound, but it was ruled after the buzzer. Manasquan nearly won it at the end of the second overtime, but Westrol missed the front end of a one-and-one, sending the game into the third extra session. The loss marked the third time the Lancers fell to Manasquan this year, and leaves the Lancers (19-4) looking ahead to next week’s state tournament, where they will take on Camden Catholic in the second round of the South A Parochial tournament on March 2. Manasquan will look to advance to Saturday’s final with a win over the Colts tonight. In their only other meeting this year, CBA handed the Warriors a 57-41 loss. Tonight’s other quarterfinal will pit upstart Freehold Borough against a Monsignor Donovan team that escaped an upset bid from Middletown North on Sunday. The second-seeded Griffins came into Sunday’s game undefeated at 20-0 and anxious to prove their perfection is not simply the result of a soft schedule. The 10th-seeded Lions were certainly up to the challenge, at least for the first three quarters. North matched Mon Don through the first half, and actually had the 23-20 lead at the break. They maintained that lead through the third quarter, entering the final stanza up 31-28. However, the solid execution the Lions had exhibited through three quarters failed them down the stretch, as Mon Don forced six turnovers with its defensive pressure. North also hurt itself from the foul line, missing three of six free throws, and only managed to attempt two shots from the floor the entire fourth quarter. As a result, the Griffins were able to put the ball in Randall Stallworth’s hands in the game’s waning seconds, and the senior guard didn’t disappoint, scoring on a layup with six seconds remaining to give his team its first lead of the second half. North had one last shot to win it, but Chris Misiaszek’s buzzer-beating half-court shot banked off the backboard and rolled of the rim, sealing Mon Don’s 21st win of the year. Misiaszek led the Lions with 16 points on the night, and will look to put forward a similar effort on Monday when North takes on Hillsborough in the first round of the Central Jersey Group IV tournament. The Lions are the fifth seed, while Brick Memorial is the top seed. The Mustangs will enter the state tournament hungry for redemption after being upset in the SCT second round by Freehold Borough on Friday. The Colonials are the Cinderella team of the SCT, having followed up Friday’s win with a 53-46 win over neighboring rival Freehold Township on Sunday at Brookdale to advance to the semifinals, where they’ll face Mon Don tonight. Eagles advance to SCT semis with balance, depth The Middletown South girls basketball team just keeps winning. While the Eagles have rolled to a 21-1 mark this winter, they are were not considered one of the favorites to emerge with a SCT title, with most people pointing to either top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven of second-seeded Red Bank Catholic as the teams to beat. All the Eagles can do to answer their critics is win, one game a time. And that’s exactly what they’ve done, heading into last night’s SCT semifinal against RBC. On Sunday, South knocked off sixth-seeded Holmdel, 47-35, using a balanced offensive attack to hold off a Hornet team that fell into foul trouble and could not match the Eagles’ depth. South was led by Shawna Hagen’s 10 points, they received at least six points from six other players. Holmdel was led by Dana Graziano’s 17 points. The Hornes will now prepare for their state tournament opener against Cranford on Tuesday in the North II Group III first round. The winner gets top-seeded Shabazz on March 2. The Eagles were hoping to upset the Caseys last night to get a shot at Friday’s final. RBC had no problem in getting by Pinelands on Sunday, 70-40, led by Kristina Danella’s 23-point effort. In last night’s other semifinals, Rumson-Fair Haven took on a Howell team coming off a 54-48 upset of Monmouth Regional. Friday’s final is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Ritacco Center at Toms River North.last_img read more

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first_imgMiddletown U8 boys Next Generation soccer is looking for players born between Aug. 1, 2001, and July 31, 2002. Tryouts will be held at the upcoming season training and practices. For more information or tryout times, contact coach Karen Repmann at 732-275- 6762. Email items for Sport Shorts to sports at

The Stanley Cup made a visit to our area

first_imgThe Stanley Cup made a visit to our area on Monday. Middletown native Mark Haviland, an assistant coach on the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, brought the cup to Ice World in Howell Township where players from the Junior Titans Hockey Club got to see and touch the cup. Haviland was a co-founder of the Titans with his brother George. After the stop in Howell, it was on to the Middletown Performing Arts Center where it was Mike Haviland Day. The cup’s final stop was at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Monday where Haviland visited children.last_img

Keyport adjusting under new coach Paczkowski

first_img By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent Succeeding someone who has been a fixture as head football coach for 36 years is never easy, but John Paczkowski was already familiar with Keyport High School based on his time as assistant coach the past two seasons.He believes that eased the challenge, even though he will be doing things differently from legendary predecessor Mike Ciccotelli, who built a 231-131-3 record and won six NJSIAA sectional titles.“This is someone who had coached players’ grandparents, parents and sons, but they have accepted me with open arms,” Paczkowski said while preparing the Red Raiders for their opener against Shore Regional High School on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. “The support from the community has been amazing.“Once you’re around a Union Beach/Keyport high school student and you care for them and know they care for you, they’ll run through a brick wall for you.”It’s not without some adjustment on the part of the players, who are switching offensively from a Delaware wing-T to a multiple spread led by junior quarterback Desmond Underwood, a running back last season who succeeds Alex Thomson. Thomson now plays at Wagner College.Defensively, Keyport is shifting from a 4-2-5 defense to a 4-4 multiple set anchored by middle linebacker Ky’sun Pryor and Underwood at cornerback. Pryor will also run the ball again this fall after starting at fullback last season, when Keyport went 5-5.“It’s going very well,” Paczkowski said of the readjustment. “I’m very satisfied with the progress of Underwood at quarterback so far. There’s some excitement with the learning curve, but I’ve had a relationship with some of the players as an assistant coach the last two years.” Dan Williams, a tight end and linebacker, and Chase Bright, a wide receiver and strong safety, are the only seniors starting for the team.Although he was with the program last year, Paczkowski does not look at any of those stats. Instead, he focuses on a different set of numbers more noticeably than many other coaches — weight room data.“We have the weight program in place; it’s huge,” Paczkowski said. He knows there’s some speed with the team, but he wants the strength to go with it. He has learned the value in that as a well-traveled coach who has been with 10 different programs over the last 20 years, including as an assistant at the University of Maryland and Hofstra University before the latter university disbanded its program. He said junior 6-foot-1, 250-pound guard Kevin Keegan is “one of the strongest kids I’ve seen,” with his ability to squat 545 pounds and bench 315. Eric Nellis, only a sophomore measuring an impressive 6 feet 2 inches tall and 245 pounds for a Group II school lineman, is one of two new starters on the offensive line. Evan Smutz, a 5- foot-11, 205-pound junior, is back at tackle, while Zack Frick, another impressively sized sophomore at 6 feet 2 inches tall and 250 pounds, is the other tackle. Matt Acuna, a 5-foot-10, 225-pound junior, also started on the young line last season and is back at center. Junior Zack Ochs is the other wide receiver, and freshman Zack Walker is the backup. All of the offensive starters will play on the defensive side, although Keegan moved from defensive end to tackle for this season alongside Nellis. Travis Alvarez and Frick are the ends. Junior Kyle Lewis will rotate in at tackle, as will Acuna at end. Smutz, Williams and freshman Jay Hansen are the other linebackers. Ochs starts at free safety, while Walker backs up Underwood at cornerback. After this month, Keyport will play the rest of its games on the road while its home field gets resurfaced. KEYPORT last_img read more

Messi will be at Barca for many years, says Luis Enrique

first_imgBy Iain RogersBARCELONA coach Luis Enrique expects Lionel Messi to remain with the club “for many years” amid widespread reports of a rift between the pair.Messi was said to be unhappy with Enrique’s management style and tactics, prompting speculation he could seek an exit and reportedly sparking interest from English Premier League sides Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.The Argentina forward has said he is not planning to leave the club he joined as a 13-year-old but has not explicitly denied claims he has fallen out with the coach, who took over from Gerardo Martino at the end of last season.Given the four-time World Player of the Year’s influence at Barca, it is widely expected that Enrique will be the one to leave, particularly as the man who appointed him, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, was sacked this month.“We all think – and he has expressed the same thing several times – that Leo is going to stay at Barca for many years,” Enrique told a news conference ahead of Thursday’s King’s Cup last-16 second leg at Elche.“That is what all of us ‘cules’ (Barca fans) want,” added the former Barca and Spain midfielder.“I don’t see why – well, I do but I don’t understand why – there is so much talk about it when we are not even considering it.”Barca have a 5-0 lead over Elche from the first leg at the Nou Camp and are on course for a likely meeting with Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.Diego Simeone’s men beat Real 2-0 at the Calderon last week and play the return at the Bernabeu on Thursday.Enrique said Barca’s dressing room was united and everyone was focused on bouncing back from last season when the club failed to win major silverware for the first time in six years.“We are all together,” he told reporters. “We discuss things we can improve and how we can damage our opponents, as always. A normal and logical dynamic for any football team.”last_img read more

Top 10 most expensive teen transfer fees in football history

Real: United’s ‘lack of experience’ wrecked De Gea deal

first_imgBy Iain RogersReal Madrid president Florentino Perez has blamed Manchester United’s “lack of negotiating experience” for the failure of goalkeeper David De Gea’s move to the Spanish capital on Monday.The deal, which included Real’s Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas moving to United, broke down in surreal circumstances when the completed paperwork was not filed with the Spanish league (La Liga) until just after the midnight deadline.Real and United blamed each other for the debacle and Perez added more fuel to the fire late on Thursday when he suggested in an interview with Spanish radio broadcaster Cadena Ser the English club’s negotiating team had not been up to the job.The construction magnate noted that a similar situation had occurred last year when United wanted to buy Real’s Portugal full-back Fabio Coentrao and also when they were tying up a deal to sign midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.“As it’s a new (United) team, they lack experience,” Perez told Ser’s ‘El Larguero’ programme.“It’s a shame,” he added. “I don’t want to blame anyone but we do not understand why so much time was needed to look at the contracts.“I don’t think they (United) had bad intentions. They would have had a lot of work to do.”De Gea, whose United contract expires at the end of the season, could find himself in limbo, at least until the end of the year when the market opens again.While the transfer saga rumbled on, United coach Louis van Gaal left the 24-year-old former Atletico Madrid keeper out of the squad, with Argentina’s Sergio Romero playing instead.Perez said it was too early to say whether De Gea might still join Real, where he is seen as a long-term replacement for former captain Iker Casillas, who joined Porto in July.last_img read more

FA Cup will not impact Wenger’s future at Arsenal

first_imgArsenal’s fate in the FA Cup will play no part in manager Arsene Wenger’s decision on whether he stays or leaves the club at the end of the season, the Frenchman said ahead of Sunday’s semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.Wenger has come under pressure from some former players, supporters and the media after a poor run of results left the club in sixth spot in the Premier League and likely to miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time under the Frenchman.Wenger said the FA Cup semi-final was an important game but the result would have no impact on his decision.“It doesn’t play any part (in determining my future),” Wenger told reporters.“The FA Cup is a very important game for me because it’s the next game and because it’s an opportunity to win a trophy this season.“So of course we are all fully focused on that. My future is Sunday. My commitment is total and I am only focused on Arsenal.”Wenger conceded his team were not bursting with confidence after their recent woes but said they would be determined to land silverware.“It’s a special experience and for us, I think we are focused, highly motivated,” Wenger added.“Maybe not at the maximum of our confidence … but that is a good opportunity to show we are ready for a fight and how much we want to go to the final. Because it’s maybe our only opportunity to get a trophy this season.” City striker Gabriel Jesus meanwhile will travel to Wembley with the squad and could feature against Arsenal, manager Pep Guardiola has said.Brazil international Jesus, who made an instant impact after joining City in January with three goals in four league games, returned to training earlier this month after suffering a foot injury against Bournemouth in February.“He’s much, much better. Today he made part of the training with us,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.“He’s coming back with his happiness and we are so happy he is back again.“All the squad are going to travel as a group to Wembley so he will be part of that. After that we are going to see.”The Spanish manager ruled out defender John Stones for the weekend’s clash because of a muscular problem.A visit to Wembley has a special significance for Guardiola, who picked up two European Cups with Barcelona at the venue – one as a player and one as a manager.He won 21 trophies in seven years while in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.“Wembley is important part of my life,” Guardiola said. “I would like to win the FA Cup to prove to my players in their heads how good they are.“You realise you have lived that experience and when you win a title or a final it is a lot of stress and pressure. When you handle that and are able to win, the next time will be a little bit easier.”City have won the FA Cup five times, with the last victory coming against Stoke City in 2011 under Italian manager Roberto Mancini. (last_img read more

National Confederate championships set for Lae

first_imgPapua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka said the national championships will be held from Wednesday August 31 to Saturday September 3, at the Lae Rugby League ground and the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.Tsaka said the four  Confederates – Southern, Highlands, Islands and Northern – will have teams in the schoolboys Under 16 and Under 18, Under 20, women’s and seniors divisions.“The official opening of the National Championships will be on Wednesday and this will start the Championships with the Under 16 and Under 18 schoolboys competition kick off at 9am,” said Tsaka.He said the women’s and Under 20’s will play on Thursday.                                                     “The men’s competition kicks off on Friday and runs over 2 days. Reigning confederate champions Northern take on Southern in the second game on Friday at the Lae Rugby League grounds,” said Tsaka.Tsaka added that the men’s competition ends on Saturday with the finals and official closing and announcement of the respective national championships representative teams for the U16, U18, U20, women’s and senior men’s teams.“The selected teams will participate during the Prime Minister’s X111 weekend when the Australia PM X111 will play PNG PM X111 scheduled for the 24th of September in Port Moresby,” said Tsaka.Gate fees are K2 for adults while children under the age of 12 are free at both venues.Photo credit: PNGRFLlast_img read more

25 teams confirmed for ‘NovNetFest’

first_imgOrganised by the Port Moresby Netball National Association (POMNA), the mixed netball tournament has drawn a lot of interest from both the private and public sector since it started last year.Vice treasurer of the POMNA, Christabella  Amona said 25 teams are confirmed to take part in this year’s tournament.She said the deadline for registration was on Monday this week, but this has been pushed to tomorrow afternoon as there are a few more teams wanting to register and take part.The tournament will run for four weekends from November 5- 26.Games this Saturday will start at 9am and finish by 3pm.Prize money for the tournament:1st place- Shied plus K2, 500, 2nd place- K2, 000, 3rd place- K1, 500 and 4th place- K1, 000.last_img