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During the 2022 Shore Conference Tournament, the Manasquan boys basketball team made it all the way to the championship game despite playing five starters who had not started before last season, including two sophomores and two freshmen.

It was a promising, eye-opening run for a young Warriors team, but after Manasquan won its first Shore Conference Tournament title in 2020 and repeated as Shore Conference champs the following year, the players want nothing less than a championship.

On Sunday at Monmouth University, the talented, young Warriors added to Manasquan's recent Shore Conference success by beating Ranney, 61-46, to win the program's third conference title in four years and, in turn, the Week 7 Jersey Mike's Team of the Week.

Photo by Steve Meyer
Photo by Steve Meyer
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Manasquan's run to the Shore Conference championship this season was an especially dominant one compared to the other champions of the last two decades. Manasquan's average margin of victory of 21.25 points is fourth during that time behind Ranney's back-to-back championship teams of 2018 and 2019 and Mater Dei Prep's 2017 squad. All of Manasquan's SCT wins were by at least 15 points, which only the 2018 Ranney team has done in the last 20 years.

During the last week of the tournament, the Warriors took down the team that entered the SCT with the best winning percentage before cooling off the tournament's hottest team.

Raritan entered the SCT semifinals 19-1, but ran into a buzz saw. Manasquan jumped out to a 21-point lead by late in the second quarter on the way to a 68-42 win over the Rockets -- Raritan's first loss to a Shore Conference team during the 2022-23 season. Sophomore Darius Adams led the way with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists -- one of four Manasquan players to cross into double-figure scoring.

Junior Ryan Frauenheim added 12 points and four assists, junior Alex Konov came off the bench to score 11 points and grab five rebounds, and sophomore Griffin Linstra scored all 10 of his points in the first half.

Adams, Frauenheim, Konov and Linstra are the four returning starters from the 2021-22 team, with Konov assuming the role as sixth man this season in favor of a pair of seniors, Quinn Peters and Jack Dettlinger.

Both Peters and Dettlinger made an impact in Sunday's championship win over Ranney, with Peters hitting a three-pointer to open the game and Dettlinger thriving in a supporting, defense-first role that still netted him six points and seven rebounds.

Adams, meanwhile, was the star of the championship game, pouring in 20 of his 26 points in the second half to help the Warriors blow the game open late in the third and early in the fourth quarter. Linstra provided 15 points and Frauenheim added 11 points and four assists, including a stretch in the fourth quarter in which he scored seven straight points for Manasquan to help the Warriors clinch the victory.

Manasquan is now in pursuit of its fourth straight NJSIAA sectional championship spanning back to 2018-19 (there was not NJSIAA Tournament during the 2021 season) and enters Saturday's Central Jersey Group II semifinal vs. Raritan one win away from clinching its fourth 25-win season in the last five years. The only year in the last five in which Manasquan failed to win 25 games was the COVID-shortened 2021 season, which saw Manasquan go 12-0 and win the Shore Conference championship.

During this historic stretch for the program, the Warriors are still in search of an overall NJSIAA group championship. Manasquan has not been to the Group II final since 2004 and has never in its history win an overall group championship -- a goal this Warriors group will be fixated on for the remainder of this season and beyond.

 

Week 1: Raritan

Week 2: Southern

Week 3: Middletown South

Week 4: Lacey

Week 5: Ocean

Week 6: Ranney

Week 7: Manasquan

 

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