By Tim Morris
With a trio of wins last week, the Colts Neck High School boys basketball team moved into first place of the Shore Conference B North Division.
The Cougars topped Long Branch High School, 46-42, Jan. 30 to move ahead of the Green Wave in the division standings.
The steady Lloyd Daniels scored a game-high 17 points and was backed by Jordan DeGroot’s 10 points and Tom O’Reilly’s eight for the Cougars, who were playing on their home floor.
Colts Neck is 11-3 overall and 8-2 in division play. Long Branch slipped to 8-3 in division play and 11-4 overall.
The victory reversed a 57-54 Colts Neck loss at Long Branch at the start of the season.
With three games in five days, the schedule could make or break the Cougars’ season.
The week started with a 47-32 road victory Jan. 26 against Ocean Township High School. Daniels (18) and O’Reilly (10) paced the Cougars’ attack.
Next up was always dangerous Neptune High School Jan. 28 in Colts Neck. With Daniels’ netting 26 points and O’Reilly scoring 10, Colts Neck rolled to a 58-40 triumph.
That win set up the Jan. 30 tilt in Colts Neck for first place.
Showing no signs of fatigue and playing their patented defense, Colts Neck took charge in the division.
Colts Neck’s defense has allowed just three teams to score more than 50 points in a game this winter.
Now that they are in first by themselves, the Cougars will look to hold on to that lead this week. On Feb. 2, Colts Neck played at Matawan Regional High School and on Feb. 4, Red Bank Catholic High School makes a call in Colts Neck.
The Cougars close out the B North Division schedule with a Feb. 8 game at Red Bank Regional High School and a Feb. 11 game at Wall High School.
Only then will it be time to think of the postseason.