Lions gathering steam as state playoffs approach

first_img Slew of local teams playing for playoff berths this week By warren rappleyea Staff Writer CHRIS KELLY Middletown North’s Jackie Matthew shoots over a Red Bank Regional defender during the Lions’ win in Red Bank on Saturday. An outstanding defense that has held opponents to 31 points or less in eight games has propelled the Middletown High School North girls’ basketball team to an 11-4 mark. The Lions are coming off an uncharacteristic 49-46 victory over Red Bank Regional on Saturday. Down early 12-2, Middletown South scraped its way back into the game led by senior guard Jackie Matthew, who scored 19 points, including 12 of them in the final quarter. Coach Ed Jones said his team is in good shape to qualify for both the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV and Shore Conference tournaments, but noted that Middletown North would like to ensure opening both events on its home court. That means the next six games will be particularly important. The Lions were scheduled to host Howell on Monday and will entertain Ocean tomorrow, before visiting Bayonne on Saturday, the cutoff for the state tourney. Next week Middletown North will face Marlboro, Long Branch and Old Bridge before the Shore’s Feb. 14 cutoff. CHRIS KELLY Middletown North’s Jessie Chalmers pulls down a rebound during the Lions’ win over Red Bank Regional on Saturday. “These are very important games for us,” Jones said. “We can’t just sit back and think that 11 wins is enough to get a couple of home games. We have to keep working hard to make sure.” So far the Lions have worked plenty hard. Middletown North’s defense has been solid throughout, allowing opponents an average of just 35 points. While Jones said his offense “is not where I’d like it to be,” the attack has, nevertheless, produced results. Senior forward Jesse Chalmers leads the team with a 12-point average, followed by Matthew, who averages 9 points. Junior center Michelle Dean has come on after a slow start to average eight points and six rebounds, and senior point guard Kim Campo is averaging six points and 2.5 assists despite playing with a sprained knee. Sophomore guard Laura Depko rounds out the starting lineup and has proved to be an excellent defender who leads the Lions in steals. Senior Kasey Killeen and her sister Jesse, a sophomore, are the first forwards off the bench. Kasey Killeen has been slowed in recent weeks by a sprained ankle but is close to 100 percent, Jones said. Bryanna O’Reilly, a junior, is the top backcourt reserve. “Championship teams are built on defense, and that’s our strength,” Jones said. “That’s what we’ll be counting on for the tourneys.” Only two other local teams entered the week assured of a state playoff berth, while a handful of locals needed big weeks to extend their seasons. Both St. John Vianney, ranked No. 3 in the Shore, and Holmdel, ranked 10th, are in, regardless of this week’s results. The Lady Lancers are 11-2, having lost their second game of the season on Saturday against Elizabeth, 44-40. Head coach Bob Ward’s team may not have the firepower of years past, but they are led by a pair of gutsy seniors in Shannon Coyle and Jaime Komar. Add to the mix sophomore point guard Shantel Brown, a dangerous offensive force despite playing on a bad ankle all year, and a trio of promising freshmen, Courtney Calderon, Jessica Nimbley and Kristine Perez, and Vianney is certainly a contender in both the state and Shore tournaments. Holmdel entered Monday’s game against Raritan at 10-5 and has quietly established itself as a postseason threat. The Hornets are led by the scoring duo of senior Dana Hoffman (13 ppg) and junior Julian Vikse (12 ppg), while senior Ashley Folchetti has shown a knack for spreading the ball around, averaging almost four assists a game. Holmdel looks to gain momentum this week as it looks ahead to the postseason. A win over Raritan on Monday would do quite a bit to boost the team’s confidence. Raritan is among the handful of teams looking to clinch a postseason berth this week. The Rockets entered Monday’s game at 8-7 and in desperate need of a win. After making it to the Central Jersey Group II final last year, the Rockets have struggled with consistency this year despite having one of the Shore’s premier players in senior Kelly Robinson (17 ppg), and solid backcourt of seniors Adriana Velez (three ppg) and Amanda Harmata (11 ppg). Raritan needs a win this week to qualify for the state tournament, where they were expected to be one of the teams to beat when the season began. The Mater Dei Seraphs are another team in need of some wins this week at 6-8 entering Monday’s game with Asbury Park. The Seraphs also need to beat Keansburg tomorrow to get a berth. The Seraphs have played well this year under head coach Darren Ault, and are led by the scoring duo of senior Dana Page (12 ppg) and senior Sarah McCarthy (11 ppg). Keyport’s girls are also on the bubble, and entered Monday’s game at Point Beach at 7-7. The Red Raiders are looking to make the postseason for the first time since 1995, when they won the Group I championship. Senior Jamie Boyce (18 ppg) leads this season’s contingent, which needs just two wins this week to achieve their goal of making the state playoffs. Middletown South’s girls entered Monday’s game against Manalapan at 6-9 and in need of three wins this week to make the playoffs. The Eagles will host Red Bank Regional tomorrow and Ocean on Saturday. Going three-for-three this week is a tough proposition, but the Eagles have performed well this year with their backs to the wall. — Doug McKenzie contributed to this story Slew of local teamsplaying for playoffberths this week By warren rappleyeaStaff Writer last_img read more

Hazlet swim team ready for a successful summer

first_imgWith more than 100 competitors on board, the Hazlet Swim & Tennis Club swimming team is looking forward to a successful summer. Although Hazlet lost its first two meets, to Candlewood and Holmdel, respectively, coach Jean Marie Gillen said her swimmers improved their times and were competitive in both meets. “The team is coming along really well, and they all work hard and they’re having fun,” said Gillen. “I think our times will continue to improve as the season progresses.” Among Hazlet’s top swimmers on the girls side are: (8 and under) Tara Andersen, Megan Lunney and Makayla Miller; 9-10: Samantha Miara and Alexis Sullivan; 11-12: Allyssa Miara, Cherie Schulek, Sam Miller and Briann Lentine; 13-14: twins Heather and Holly Miara, Helen McDonald and Kim Renna; and 15-19: Maryellen Conway, Lorraine Costello, Katie Miller and Monique Zuffanti. Costello also serves as an assistant coach. Joe Davis is the other assistant coach. The boys squad includes: (8 and under) Daniel Knox, Joseph McCarthy and Colin McHarg; 9-10: Michael Ali, Brendan Costello, Freddie McDonald and Mario Ferrigano; 11-12: Richie DeMarco, Conor Monaghan, Joe Pannullo and Matt Rooney; 13-14: Chris Coccaro, Dan Dunphy and Sean Walsh; and 15-18: Adam Bachmann and John Renna. Gillen, a graduate of St. Peter’s College who just completed her first year as a teacher at PS 28 (Christa McAuliffe Elementary School in Jersey City), is now in her sixth summer at the Hazlet helm. “I really enjoy working with the kids and helping them improve,” Gillen said. “They’re so enthusiastic and they want to learn. The rest is easy.”last_img read more

Sports Shorts

first_imgThe Central Jersey Devils, a 13-year-old AAU boys basketball team, is looking for players. Boys born 9/01/91 or later or in the seventh grade and interested in playing on the Central Jersey Devils, should call Mario Sapienza at (732) 778-5855. The Central Jersey Hawks AAU basketball will hold tryouts for a U14 girls team. Girls need to be born in the year 1990. The Hawks are the four-time New Jersey State Champs 2001-2004, twice ranked in the top 20 nationally. Tryouts will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, at 12:30 p.m. at the Satz School, Holmdel. Please contact Tom Moreno at (212) 675-7555 or cjhawkcoach@aol.com, or Jimmy Danella at (732) 577-1972 or edud yelrah@aol.com for the further information. The Middletown Youth Athletic Association will hold sign-ups for its recreation basketball program, which is open to boys and girls ages 8-16 years old. Registration will be held at Thorne Middle School Nov. 8-10, and on Nov. 12, from 6-9 p.m. If you have any questions, please call (732) 747-2410 or e-mail myaabball@aol.com. The Battle of Monmouth Jersey Kickers U17 girls team seeks players to complete its roster. Professionally trained team will compete in college showcase tournaments, play indoors in the winter and JAGS/MAPS League in the spring. Call Jeff at (732) 972-3075 or check www.eteamz.com/jerseykickers for more information.last_img read more

Sports Shorts

first_imgHazlet Wrecking Crew Boys U16 soccer team is looking for one or two players for the spring season. The team is playing in the top flight in the Mid Jersey league. No town residency is required. Call Bill at (732) 888-1550 or e-mail wwntz@comcast.net for additional information. MSM Adult Baseball League of New Jersey is currently forming and admitting new teams for the 2006 summer season. Individual players and/or teams over the age of 18 of any skill level are welcome. For more information, call (908) 370-9194, e-mail kvoss09@comcast.net or visit www.amateurbaseballnj.com. Middletown Eagles Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading signups will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday, April 7, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Croydon Hall Administrative Building. Signup fees for football and cheerleading are $100 for the first child, $90 for the second child, and $190 maximum per family. Flag football and cheerleading is $50 per child. The work bond fee is $75 ($50 for flag). This will be returned at the end of the year, providing all of the mandatory volunteer work is completed. Super 50/50 is a mandatory fundraiser ($50 required, maximum of $100 per family). Please note that you will be unable to sign up if any member of your family has not returned their equipment and/or uniforms from last season. For more information, contact the following: football – Mike Enny (732) 706-3393; cheerleading – Jacque Gamache (732) 787-0848; or flag football – Dawn Vetterl (732) 471-0013. Please note that the volunteer signups will be available at the time of registration. Please bring a calendar (date book). Visit our Web site at www.middletowneagles.com for more information.last_img read more

South girls bowling places third in division

first_img The Middletown High School South girls bowling team ended the campaign with a 14-28 record, but coach TomRomano noted that several girlswill return next year. The Eagles struggled a bit this season after posting a 28-14 ledger a year ago.Nevertheless, Middletown South ended up third in the Shore Conference’s Northern Monmouth BDivision behindMiddletownNorth and Long Branch. “Basically, we won the matches that we should have won,” coach Tom Romano said. “Wewere hoping to pick up a fewmorewins, but we weren’t able tomake it happen. Still, we got better as the season went along.” Maureen Shaughnessy ended her fouryear career at South by being named the team’s most valuable player. The senior averaged 156 pins and her 234 was the third highest game in the division. She also rolled a series of 496 and 494, respectively. Ashley Belke andKacey Tintel, both seniors, averaged 147 and 122 pins respectively. Meanwhile juniors Taylor Corbett and Jenny Caruso both averagedmore than 130 pins apiece. The coach noted that junior Angelica Rosaperez and sophomore Noelle D’Accuzzi both showed potential this season. In addition, several freshman had solid junior varsity campaigns.” “All of our freshmen saw some varsity time and that experience will help them,” Romano said. “We’re going to need them next season.” BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img read more

sport shorts 

first_imgThe Central Jersey Hawks basketball team will be holding tryouts for its third-, fifth- and sixth-grade boys teams, which have two teams, and their fourth-grade team, which may have a second team.The tryout schedule is as follows: Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. — Fifth-grade boys (2010 NJ State Champs, finished top four in the country, 2011 NJ State Finalists, 2011 National Championship Division I Pool Advancers); blue coaches, Fred Klatsky, Brian Klatsky (732-904-0950) and Tahj Holden; yellow coach Bryce Stanhope. Oct. 16 at 5:45 p.m.— Sixth -grade boys (2011 NJ State Bronze Medalist); blue coaches: Fred Klatsky (732-671-7887) and Nick Dipillo; yellow coach Rob Hill. Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.— Fourth-grade boys (2011 NJ State Champs); Coach Tahj Holden.  Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m. — Third-grade boys; blue coach Justin Chiera and yellow coach Bryce Stanhope.For more info contact, brian klatsky at bnkgator@mac.com or 732-904-0950.The Central Jersey Hawks basketball organization has won three National AAU Championships and 49 N.J. State Championships and has made 23 National AAU Sweet Sixteen appearances. More than 100 former players have gone on to play NCAA basketball. Rutgers University-Newark will run a two-day basketball clinic for boys and girls from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11. (Public schools will be closed). The cost is $65 for both days or $40 for one day. Call Joe Loughran at 973-353-1483 for details.last_img read more

RFH swimmer Jaeger headed to London Olympics

first_img Connor Yaeger (left), a Rumson-Fair Haven High School graduate who now swims for the University of Michigan, and Peter Vanderkaay congratulate each other following the 1,500-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials held in Omaha, Neb. Yaeger finished second in the race and made the U.S. Olympic Team that is headed to the Olympic Games in London. Vanderkaay, a three-time Olympian, finished fourth in the race. PHOTOS BY GREGORY SREENAN Connor Jaeger, a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate and current University of Michigan student, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team in the 1,500-meter freestyle. With a time of 14:52.51, Jaeger placed second at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials held on July 2 in Omaha, Neb., and he holds the fifth-fastest time in the world heading into the 2012 Summer Olympics in London that begin on July 27.Jaeger recently traveled to Tennessee to meet up with the other athletes on the American team, which will train in France to become better acclimated to the time zone. No matter where he is these next few weeks, it will be a long distance away from his hometown of Fair Haven. Jaeger accepting his medal at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials. He finished second in the 1,500-meter freestyle final and made the USA Team that is headed for London. Jaeger, 21, began swimming at eight years old with the Central Jersey Aquatic Club (CJAC), which trains at Monmouth University and in Ocean Township. Swimming with CJAC through high school, Jaeger was coached by Corrina Weinkofsky and Cathy Corcione, who was a swimmer for the United States in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.Jaeger is the fourth CJAC swimmer to qualify for the Olympics, following in the footsteps of Wendy Bogliolo, Kathy Heddy and Judy Melick. Boglioli won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal as a member of the women’s 4×100-meter relay team. She also won a bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly.Even at an early age, Jaeger thrived in competitive situations. If anything can be learned from speaking to people who know him, one thing is certain—he loves to race.Jaeger’s older sister, Dana, swam at CJAC with her brother. When she would ask him to get something from her room when they were younger, he would refuse initially. However, when Dana would say, “I’ll time you,” he would run off.“Swimming was our common ground,” Dana said. “Because we were doing it together, it was easier for us to try something new. Success came very quickly for Connor. After he reached 15:07 [in the 1,500- meter freestyle], I talked with him about the Olympics being a possibility.”“When Connor was here, no one was nearly as fast as him,” Weinkofsky said of Jaeger’s times with CJAC. “In the right training environment with faster swimmers, he’s matured. His confidence level has gone up. You really have to train with people who will challenge you. In that environment, you’re going to get results.” Success came early for Jaeger. He swam in the Junior Olympics and made the New Jersey All-Star squad all before his teen years. Jaeger, who has worked as a lifeguard in Long Branch, never missed practice, according to Corcione.“He has a good head on his shoulders,” Corcione said. “He’s a cool customer. He’s a gamer who doesn’t seem to take things too seriously. He’s always been a terrific kid.”Corcione first trained Jaeger when he was around 12 years old. Weinkofsky coached him during high school.Jaeger’s family, friends and swimming mentors will be closely following the Summer Olympics in London. His rise to Team USA is a source of pride for CJAC and the local swimming community.“For us, it’s a beautiful thing to see,” Corcione said. “We’ll see what happens. I can’t remember being this excited.”Although it might seem difficult to imagine a young swimmer having the potential to compete in the Olympics, Jaeger’s sister and his two former coaches each said they are not surprised that he is now an Olympian.After all, Jaeger loves to race. BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent Qualifies for USA Team in 1,500 freestyle last_img read more

Monmouth Park hosting Mini Golf Festival

first_imgMonmouth Park will host the firstever Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival, sponsored by Monmouth Medical Center’s “Roll Out the Ribbons” campaign, on July 26 at the new Bluegrass Mini Golf course. The event will serve as the kickoff to William Hill Haskell Weekend and help raise money and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.Taking place from 6-10 p.m. after the races, the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival will feature mini golf, food trucks, a live band and much more.As part of the festival, 36 foursomes will have the opportunity to play 18 holes of mini golf with members of the Monmouth Park jockey colony, as well as other racing personalities. Each foursome costs $100 and also includes unlimited mini golf the rest of the night, a VIP gift bag, commemorative scorecard, souvenir ball and prizes to the top finishers.“On behalf of the Monmouth Park jockey colony, I’m very excited to be a part of this first-time event,” said 13-time leading Monmouth Park jockey Joe Bravo. “I look forward to helping kick off Haskell weekend and being able to play golf with some of the great Monmouth Park fans. It’s nice to see Monmouth Park come up with such an exciting new event for such a great cause.”For “walk-up” golfers, wristbands for unlimited mini golf with family and friends will be sold for $20 for adults, and $15 for children 12 and under.Three food trucks will be in attendance for the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival: Jersey Shore staple Max’s Hot Dogs, Pizza Vita — home of award-winning Neapolitan pizza — and Kona Ice Italian Ice. The festival’s music will be performed live by the Rachel Allan Band, courtesy of Rockin’ Country Thunder 106.3-FM. Thunder 106 will also broadcast live from the event with multiple games and giveaways throughout the night.Title sponsor Monmouth Medical Center will also be on-site at the event raising money and awareness for their summerlong “Roll Out the Ribbons” campaign. More information on that cause can be found at www.rollouttheribbons.com.Those interested in purchasing one of the 36 foursomes to play 18 holes of mini golf with Monmouth Park jockeys and other racing personalities can find the entry form at www.monmouthpark.com. For more information, call Brian Skirka at 732-571-6595 or email at bskirka@monmouthpark.com.last_img read more

Murray sets up Djokovic showdown at Roland Garros

first_imgBy Pritha SarkarAndy Murray preserved his 100 per cent claycourt record in 2015 to reach the French Open semi-finals with a 7-6(4) 6-2 5-7 6-1 win over Spanish warrior David Ferrer on Wednesday.While the rest of tennis world was transfixed with the Novak Djokovic-Rafa Nadal blockbuster that was simultaneously being played out on the main Philippe Chatrier stage, Murray went about his task in a businesslike manner to reach the last four in Paris for the third time.A backhand volley winner gave him the first set, and after squandering a match point in the third set, the British third seed sealed his 15th successive win on red dirt with an unreturnable serve.He will next face world number one Djokovic for a place in the final.last_img

Spieth wins US Open after late drama

first_imgBy Mark Lamport-StokesMasters champion Jordan Spieth added another chapter to golf’s record books with a nerve-jangling, one-shot victory at the US Open on Sunday after Dustin Johnson blew his chance to force a playoff by three-putting the last.American young gun Spieth sank a curling 28-footer to birdie the 16th and forge three ahead, then shrugged off a double-bogey at the 17th before becoming just the sixth player to slip into a green jacket and hoist the US Open trophy in the same year.Though Spieth birdied the par-five 18th to end a wildly fluctuating final round of high drama with a one-under-par 69, he then had to watch as fellow American Johnson, in the last pairing, had a 12-foot eagle putt to win it at the 18th.Johnson’s putt slid past the cup and he then missed a four-foot birdie putt coming back to squander the chance of forcing an 18-hole playoff on Monday at Chambers Bay.The 21-year-old Spieth posted a five-under total of 275 on a challenging links-style layout that firmed up under a baking sun as he became the youngest winner of the US Open since Bobby Jones in 1923.“I’m still amazed that I won, let alone that we weren’t playing tomorrow,” Spieth told reporters. “So for that turnaround right there, to watch that happen, I feel for Dustin.“But I haven’t been able to put anything in perspective yet. When I finished, I was just hoping to be playing tomorrow. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the finish of today.”The victory saw Spieth join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Craig Wood as the only players to have won the Masters and US Open in the same year.“It’s cool to be able to have two legs of the grand slam now, and to conquer golf’s hardest test,” said Spieth. “The US Open is conquering the hardest layout in all of golf.“The fact that we did it is amazing. We really grinded this week. Didn’t have my best stuff ball-striking at all and we really grinded over those four or five-footers … that was the difference.”Spieth, who stunned the golf world with a wire-to-wire victory by four shots at the Masters in April, became the youngest player to win back-to-back majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922 (US Open and PGA Championship).Johnson, seeking his first major crown, had to settle for a share of second place with South African Louis Oosthuizen, who sensationally birdied six of the last seven holes, including five in a row from the 12th, for a 67.It was further major heartbreak for the big-hitting Johnson, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour who came desperately close in his title runs at the US Open and PGA Championship in 2010.South African Branden Grace, who’s hopes evaporated with a double-bogey at the 16th where his tee shot ended up on railroad tracks out-of-bounds, carded a 71 to share fourth place with Australians Adam Scott (64) and Cameron Smith (68).Johnson, one of four players tied for the lead overnight in the year’s second major, appeared to have the title within his grasp when he moved two strokes clear at the turn on a picture-postcard afternoon in the Pacific Northwest.However, he lost his way with bogeys at the 10th, 11th and 13th, leaving Spieth and Grace effectively duelling for the lead.Spieth then benefited from a three-shot swing at the 16th after he sank a left-to-right breaking birdie putt from 28 feet and Grace ran up his double, before further drama unfolded over the last two holes.World number one Rory McIlroy had earlier sent a tremor of excitement across the course as he racked up six birdies in his first 13 holes to reach two under for the tournament, just two off the lead.The Northern Irishman drained a 70-footer at the par-four 13th to spark thunderous roars from the grandstands but bogeyed the 15th and 17th on the way to 66 and a tie for ninth at level-par.“I hit some good shots early on, made some nice putts and just got a little bit of momentum going there,” McIlroy, who won the 2011 US Open at Congressional by eight shots, told reporters.“I feel like it’s sort of one that got away, especially the way I putted this week. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball as well in a major championship.”Low scoring was plentiful, especially for the early starters, on a par-70 layout made more receptive by overnight watering and a set-up at its shortest yardage of the week.The links-style venue became the longest course to stage a US Open when it measured 7,695 yards for the second round, but was cut back to 7,384 yards for the final round.last_img read more