Make that two WOBM Christmas Classic championships for Manasquan high school! It was just a few hours after the Manasquan Girls Basketball team clinched their third straight title; that the boys basketball defeated the home Mariners. The Warriors were able to rally around Notre Dame-bound Jack Sheehan as well as Ryan and Dylan Jensen to secure them the title. It was an efficient second half of the game which included some key shots by Sheehan as well as Brian Paturzo and Shane Flanagan that clinched the 57-50 victory.
It was not an easy victory for the Warriors by all means. Toms River North would take a 17-12 first quarter lead behind 6 points from Hunter Petrick as well as 4 points from Anthony Storino and Darion Carrington. For Manasquan, it was Jack Sheehan, Ryan Jensen and Shane Flanagan who paced the Warriors in the first quarter. Flanagan was very reliable for the Warriors, especially when it came down to outside shooting. His nine points all came on three-pointers which occurred in the first and second quarter.
When shots weren’t falling for the Warriors early in the game, Flanagan used his outside presence to keep Manasquan in the game. Although Toms River North was able to take control of the glass early in the game, Manasquan was able to keep pace physically in order to open up key shots late in the game. Deven Jensen was a big contributor for the Warriors as he started what was a 20-4 run for Manasquan. However, no Warrior loomed larger for his late game heroics than number 20. Sheehan proved to be the game-changer, scoring 10 of his team-leading 14 points in the 4th quarter.
Flanagan’s two three-pointers paced Manasquan in the second quarter. However, the Warriors would still trial 32-28 going into the half, despite Ryan Jensen converting three free throw opportunities. Anthony Storino followed his 4 first quarter points with a big three in the second quarter as well. Patrick Marinaccio also contributed with 5 points in the second quarter.
Toms River North would continue to stretch their lead to 44-37 by the end of the third quarter. Jaden Roden was the leading scorer in the quarter with 8 points. Anthony Storino also added 4 points in the quarter as Toms River North seemed to be getting the best of the Warriors.
However, in the 4th quarter, the Manasquan Warriors would capitalize on key shot selection as Jack Sheehan along with Deven and Ryan Jensen, led the charge for the Warriors. Deven Jensen was a big contributor for the Warriors as he started what was a 20-4 run. Sheehan’s huge three-pointer was accompanied by 4 hard points in the paint which helped Manasquan in scoring 20 points in the 4th quarter. The game would end in a 57-50 win for the Warriors as they defeat the reigning champions in their own gym. Defensively, Sheehan also had three blocks in the victory as well.This victory over Toms River north came at just the right time for the Warriors who have proven to match up well against physical teams like the Mariners.
I was able to catch up with Jack Sheehan after the game who knew that it was going to be big to get his whole team involved, especially in the second half of the game. “We knew we had some great runs coming in the second half, we didn’t play great in the first half,” Sheehan said.
However, he said the resiliency of his team put them in the position to win the game. “Some guys stepped up. Ryan Jensen had a ton of rebounds and a bunch of points. Brian Paturzo had some big drives and Shane Flanagan had a couple big three-pointers and we played very well in the fourth quarter”, Sheehan Said. When talking with Ryan Jensen about his team’s momentum coming off of a WOBM championship, he said, ” It was a great victory and to play a team like Toms River North really tested our team.”
However, he also talked about some improvements his team can make moving forward saying ” There is always room to improve, we can always work on everything.” He also noted his team’s defensive performance as they held Junior Mike Nyisztor to 7 points as well as Senior Hunter Petrick.
The Warriors improved to 5-0 on the season as Toms River North dropped to 4-1. Sheehan was named tournament MVP for his performance. Ryan Jensen was also named a first team all-tournament selection.
Toms River North
Mike Husni 2 Points
Darrion Carrington 6 Points
Hunter Petrick 7 Points
Anthony Storino 11 Points
Mike Nyisztor 7 Points
Jaden Rhoden 12 Points
Pat Marrinaccio 5 Points
Tom Sheehan 7 Points
Brian Paturzo 9 Points
Shane Flanagan 9 Points
Dylan Jensen 7 Points
Jack Sheehan 14 Points (23 rebounds,3Blocks)
Ryan Jensen 11 Points