Bayshore and Thorne win basketball titles

By Warren Rappleyea

Staff Writer

I

t was a championship season for both the Bayshore boys and the Thorne girls in the Bayshore Middle School Basketball League.

Both teams won titles with impressive playoff performances.

The Bayshore boys won the league championship for the first time since 1991.

Coach Jerry Pflug’s team went 10-6 during the regular season before taking three straight playoff games to win the league title.

After losing twice to Sandburg Middle School, Old Bridge, Bayshore scored a first-round victory over their rivals 42-41. In the semifinal contest Bayshore upended the Beers Street School, Hazlet, and went on to down Union Avenue, also Hazlet, 48-39 in the championship game.

"We had a lot of close games this season and the playoffs were no different," said Pflug, whose team lost twice in overtime during the regular campaign. "We have the kind of team that sticks together and finds a way to get the job done."

Co-captains John Cino and Peter Milano, both eighth-graders, led the way.

Cino, a guard, led the team in scoring with an average of 12.6 points per game and he excelled defensively. Milano, the center, averaged 12 points and was a force on the boards.

Guard Paul Russo, a strong defender, and forwards Matt Ashe and Dominic Fone, a pair of solid rebounders, rounded out the starting five. Guard Kevin Sidoti and forward Andrew Novak were the first players off the bench.

Other members of the team are eighth-graders Matt Arnella, Shane Frick, Roy Gremminger, Stephen Lopez and David Thompson, as well as seventh-graders Donald Federico, Stephen Sansone and Mike Morris.

"It was tough for us meeting Sandburg in the first round because they had beaten us twice," said Pflug, who teaches physical education, health and computer science and coaches the boys soccer and baseball teams at the school as well. "But we were able to stay right with them and it was an exciting game to watch. Fortunately, we were able to get the win and things kind of took off from there."

The Thorne girls concluded an outstanding 17-2 campaign by winning the Bayshore title for the first time in school history.

In the title game the Middletown school met up with the Satz Middle School of Holmdel, the team that had handed the Thorne girls both of their losses.

With center Erica Gaudios pumping in 13 points, visiting Thorne reeled off a 25-18 victory. Forward Michelle Dean added five points, point guard Bryana O’Reilly contributed three points and Lauren Holzheimer and Lori Krol chipped in with two points apiece.

Previously Thorne had opened the playoffs with a 37-29 triumph over cross-town rival Thompson Middle School.

In the semifinals, Thorne edged Keyport 35-30. The team’s success resulted from balanced scoring, an ability to press and a gritty man-to-man defense.

"The girls deserve all the credit; they picked up our defensive schemes quickly and put them to use," veteran Coach Ken Farland said. "This is a great group of kids and they learned a lot this season."

Dean led the team in scoring with 160 points, and along with O’Reilly served as co-captain.

Other members of the team are: Taryn Connor, Danielle Keeter, Ashleigh Pecherski, Moira Stanley, Holly Clickner, Kristine Fearow, Kristine Meyer, Jessica Ricker, Melissa Scragg and Melissa Trezza.