Freehold bounces back to dominate in first win of season


By Jeff Appelblatt

In its first game of the season Oct. 16, Freehold High School’s boys’ basketball team was dominated by its crosstown rival, Freehold Township High School. But it was only one game, and the Colonials showed they could bounce back and do some dominating of their own.

In their second game Oct. 20 in Freehold, the Colonials beat up on one of its other top rivals, Manalapan High School, 61-46.

Ashante Worthy has made scoring a habit early in the season. He knocked down eight shots against the Braves en route to 17 points. He scored 12 to lead Freehold in scoring the first game.

As Freehold coach Jesse Ryan said — as many coaches would agree — it’s about team chemistry and not just one player. In the game against Manalapan, Worthy got a plethora of help on the offensive end. Chris Cassandra scored 11 points, Quincy Davis scored 10 and four others — Jashawn Butts, Markee Gill, Jermaine Moore and Justice Jubilee — combined for 20.

The defense also came up with important stops. The Colonials showed off their defense by taking the ball away from Manalapan. Overall, Freehold had 16 steals. Butts had six of them, Cassandra had four, Davis had two, Worthy had two, and Gill and Jubilee had one apiece.

Meanwhile, Matan Zucker was the only one who could find the net for Manalapan. He scored 24 points, while the rest of the Braves scored 22.

No matter how the Colonials got to it, though, Ryan was just happy to get into the win column.

“It’s always good when you get a win,” he said after the game. “Guys were sharing the ball and were playing a little more uptempo [than the first game].”

The coach also knows what he wants to see from the team going forward.

“We want our guys to stay connected, play for each other and work hard,” he said.

Ryan knows that his team will need to click on all cylinders to compete in the Shore Conference A North Division this season.

“We have a lot of work to do,” the coach said. “I think we’re all excited about the win, but it was only one win.”

The Colonials went for a second victory Dec. 22 at Neptune High School. They then had off until Dec. 27 at Mater Dei High School. Mater Dei (2-0) crushed its first two opponents, Keansburg High School and Keyport High School, by a total of 106 points (77-22 and 78-27).