The weekend before the Super Bowl allows us to turn our attention to local sports.

The Shore Conference Wrestling Tournament has been in existence since 1975 and from the beginning has been dominated by Ocean County schools as Toms River South won the first four events. Led by Brick Memorial’s 15 titles Ocean County schools account for 32 of the 40 team champions but that domination has ended.

As a matter of fact for the first time ever the semifinals will feature four Monmouth County schools as Howell, Raritan, Middletown North & Long Branch prevailed last night to advance to tomorrow’s final four at Jackson Liberty High School. Complete details are available at This could be the final tournament under the current format as officials consider switching from a team to individual tournament as early as next year for a variety of reasons.

While there is no championship on the line tonight features one of the shore’s best wrestling rivalries with bragging rights at stake in the battle of Point Pleasant. The Beach visits The Boro and one thing is guaranteed: a packed house.

If your idea of a good day is one featuring plenty of high school basketball then the Pine Belt Arena is the place to be tomorrow. The Toms River Regional Schools is presenting its second Winter Showtime Hoops Classic in which five Ocean County schools (including all three from Toms River) will play teams from out of the area.

The schedule begins at 11am when Manchester takes on South Brunswick and following that Central will play Ridge. After that the three schools from the Toms River district take the court. The South Indians meet North Brunswick, the East Raiders battle Atlantic County Institute of Technology and in the final game at 6pm the streaking North Mariners play Wildwood Catholic.

The all-day admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. There will be an MVP award for each game courtesy of Ocean Trophies in Lanoka Harbor.

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