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January is here and for the rest of the 2023 season, Shore Sports Network will recognize the top boys basketball players in the Shore Conference each week. We will recognize the top player in each of the eight Shore Conference divisions, as well as two wild cards for 10 contestants per week.

This week's group is nominated for their performances during the week of holiday tournament games from Dec. 26 to 30. Read about this week's nominees and vote for the one that strikes you as the best pick for overall Player of the Week.

Vote in the poll at the end of the post once per hour until the poll closes on Thursday at 10 p.m.


Ocean County Sports Medicine Week 1 Players of the Week

Class A North Player of the Week

Jayden Holmes-Cotter, Freehold Twp.

Holmes-Cotter has been unstoppable while averaging comfortably over 20 points this season. The 6-foot-5 senior was third at the WOBM Christmas Classic in scoring (19.3 points) and first in rebounding (16.3) during the three-game week.

Class A North Honorable Mention: Chris Meehan, Howell; Will Bradley, CBA; Sohan Eleti, Marlboro; Malachi Harris, Freehold Twp.; Nick Cardone, Freehold Twp.; Jake Buchman, Manalapan; Dylan Csik, Middletown South; Owen Richter, Middletown South; Joe White, CBA; D.J. Orloff, Howell


Class A Central Player of the Week

Billy Tigar, Raritan

Raritan kept plugging along during its undefeated start to the season and Tigar’s electric scoring performance led a double-digit win over Trenton Catholic at the Bulldawg Classic. The senior poured in 29 points while draining six three-pointers.

Class A Central Honorable Mention: Chauncey Brown, Matawan; Bruce Gooding, Long Branch; Ben Kipnis, Holmdel; Nick Seeloch, Holmdel; Emanuel Domingo, St. John Vianney; Jayden Elijah, Matawan; Christian DeGiso, Freehold Boro


Class A South Player of the Week

Keith Adame, Jackson Memorial

Teammate Samir Padilla took home WOBM Classic MVP honors, but Adame was Jackson Memorial’s steadiest scorer during the tournament. His 20.7 points per game trailed only Darius Adams of Manasquan in scorers at the WOBM Classic and the senior scored at least 19 points in all three games – including seven three-pointers in his 22-point performance in a first-round win over Wall.

Class A South Honorable Mention: Dylan Russell, Toms River East; Brian Starrett, Brick Memorial; Samir Padilla, Jackson Memorial; Jacob Mathus, Toms River East; Tom Menegus, Southern; Sherrod Nelson, Toms River North; Kai Barckley, Toms River South; Josh Michigan, Brick Memorial


Class B North Player of the Week

Braydon Kirkpatrick, Red Bank

While Kirkpatrick’s numbers at the Buc Classic were not eye-popping, Red Bank squared off against two of the Shore’s best teams in the final two rounds and Kirkpatrick was the team’s standout performer in each game. He posted 12 points, five rebounds and four assists to lead the Bucs’ upset win over CBA, then scored a team-high eight in a loss to St. Rose while trying to will Red Bank back into the game in the third quarter.

Class B North Honorable Mention: Luke Schorr, Rumson-Fair Haven; Tyler Spencer, Colts Neck; Colin Cavanaugh, Red Bank Catholic; Collin Teter, Red Bank; Tyler Burnham, Red Bank Catholic; Nick Valentino, Red Bank; Volodymyr Trotsko, Colts Neck


Class B Central Player of the Week

Max Judson, Keyport

With a new nucleus, Keyport is off to a 5-1 start to the season and Judson has the best individual performance for the Red Raiders to date. The Junior went off for a career-high 31 points in a win over Roselle Park in the Holiday Hoopfest championship game hosted by the Panthers at Roselle Park High School.

Class B Central Honorable Mention: Mike Nichols, Keyport; Na’Sun Lee, Keansburg; Jack Fitzpatrick, Henry Hudson; Jax Ross, Henry Hudson


Class B South Player of the Week

Troy Buxton, Lacey

While Judson went for 31 points in his team’s win, Buxton did him one better. The senior poured in 32 points to carry Lacey to a win over Monmouth Regional in the first round of the Jack DuBois Memorial Tournament at Shore Regional, which ended with Shore defeating Lacey in the championship game.

Class B South Honorable Mention: Jaycen Santucci, Central; Evan Weiner, Manchester; Josh Love, Manchester; Ashsish Gainder, Pinelands


Class C North Player of the Week

Zayier Dean, Ocean

Dean has been one of the Shore’s top statistical performers during the early part of the season for a 5-2 Spartans team that fell just short of completing an improbable comeback against Jackson Memorial to open the current week. During Holiday Tournament week, Dean averaged 23 points in two Ocean wins at the Molinelli Classic in Hopewell, which the Spartans won for the first time with Dean collecting tournament MVP honors.

Class C North Honorable Mention: Darius Adams, Manasquan; Matt Hodge, St. Rose; Jayden Hodge, St. Rose; Isaac Hester, Ranney; Drew Buck, Ranney; Shane Ryan, Point Boro


Class C South Player of the Week

Alex George, Shore

The Blue Devils are off to a 5-0 start after winning their holiday tournament, the Jack DuBois Memorial. George jumpstarted the championship run by putting up 30 points in a win over Point Beach, then threw in 14 in the championship-game victory over Lacey.

Class C South Honorable Mention: Brian Farrell, Donovan Catholic; Liam Gajewski, Shore; Pete Farlekas, Donovan Catholic


Wild Cards

Matt Hodge, St. Rose

Hodge continues to impress in his U.S. debut and last week, he took home the MVP of the Buc Classic in leading St. Rose to a tournament championship. The 6-8 junior scored 23 points in a semifinal win over Notre Dame, then went for 18 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the championship victory over host Red Bank.

Dylan Russell, Toms River East

Russell and Toms River East were revelations during the WOBM Christmas Classic. The Raiders entered the tournament 0-4, but knocked off St. John Vianney and defending tournament champion Marlboro in consecutive rounds to earn a trip to the bracket championship game. During the tournament, Russell averaged 16.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in his team’s three games, including 20 and 18 in the win over Marlboro.

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