Brendan Barry of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and Kelly Campbell of St. John Vianney High School have been selected as the 2016 Kerwin Award winners, symbolic of being the best male and female high school basketball players in the Shore
Since the 1973-74 season, the James J. and Margaret M. Kerwin Awards have been presented to the Outstanding Male and Female basketball players in the Shore area. This award chosen by the Kerwin family, all former players and coaches, recognizes the most outstanding basketball players the Shore has to offer each year.
Barry, a senior guard, broke the Rumson-Fair Haven scoring record for points in a career and set the single-game scoring record of 50 points this season. He leads the team in scoring, assists and steals.
“Brendan can really shoot; he has an excellent touch” family spokesperson John Kerwin said in a prepared statement. “What’s also great about his play is that he never forces his shot. He handles the ball very well and gets everyone involved in the offense with his great passing. You see that most coaches will set up defensive schemes to try to stop him, with little success.”
Barry has also picked up his defensive play this year. According to Kerwin, “Brendan always comes out and defends the other team’s best guard. He really works hard on the defensive end.”
Brendan becomes the first male basketball player from Rumson to receive the Kerwin Award.
Since Campbell, a senior point guard, rejoined the Lancers after an early-season injury, St. John Vianney has become the top-ranked team in the state. The Lancers recently captured the Shore Conference Tournament title.
Campbell is the Lancers’ playmaker who makes everyone better. She leads the team in assists and is one of the best defenders in the state.
“Kelly is such an unselfish player as she does everything on the court for the win; her stats do not indicate her importance on this team.” Kerwin said. “As a good point player should do, she handles the ball very well and distributes with great passing and if needed, she can lead the team in scoring.”
Campbell works very hard on the defensive side, Kerwin pointed out.
“She always takes the defensive assignment of the best guard on the opposing team and if someone else gets hot, you’ll see her coach switch her over to guard that player,” Kerwin said. “At [5 feet 10 inches tall], she can play shutdown defense on guards or forwards.”
Campbell joins an impressive list of St. John Vianney point guards who have won this prestigious award: Audrey and Erica Gomez, Alisa Apo and Shantel Brown.
The Kerwin Award will be presented to Barry and Campbell at the opening state game on their home court. For Barry, it was March 1 against Holmdel High School and for Campbell, it is March 4 against the winner of the first-round game between Donovan Catholic and Bishop Eustace Preparatory School.