Local scholastic athletes are lighting it up as the month of January moves on.
The stars were shining on the boys’ basketball courts …
South Brunswick High School called on its standout, Michael Ugarte, twice to ring up victories last week.
On Jan. 9, Ugarte popped in 26 points when South Brunswick posted a 72-64 victory over the Pennington School. Two days later, Ugarte collected 16 points and six rebounds when South Brunswick clicked on 72 points again in a 72-60 triumph over Perth Amboy High School.
Bishop George Ahr High School also leaned on its star player, Deonte Crawford, to ring up two victories.
Crawford recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds to steer Bishop Ahr past East Brunswick High School, 38-35, Jan. 9. Crawford was at it again Jan. 11 when he scored 17 points in a 55-42 victory over Middlesex High School.
Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen used a three-player punch to knock out Westfield High School, 60-36.
Letrell West sank 21 points, while Tyree Taganeca-Ford registered 12 points and 10 rebounds. Malacki Walker finished with 10 blocked shots and 11 rebounds to spark Saint Joseph to the triumph.
The Ranney School fell just short of upsetting legendary Saint Anthony High School, the national power from Jersey City that is coached by Hall of Famer Bob Hurley.
Ranney lost by a 51-48 score in the Boardwalk Hoop Group Showcase that was played at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft Jan. 10, which was three days after the game was postponed due to snow.
Ranney’s solid effort was led by Scottie Lewis, who ended with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.
Kyle Koub has been a productive offensive force this winter at Shore Regional High School. He once again provide the scoring when he hit for 29 points in Shore Regional’s 56-51 victory over Red Bank Regional High School Jan. 10.
Terrence Callandrillo dropped in 24 points when he guided Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School to a 56-43 verdict over Ocean Township High School.
In the showdown of Middletown, Rob Higgins banged home 22 points to steer Middletown High School North past Middletown High School South.
Ryan Purcell scored 21 points and teammate Dave Gervise put in 19 when Middletown South earned a 74-69 victory over Howell High School.
Stephen Staklinski delivered 21 points when he led Freehold Township High School to a 62-53 decision over Howell.
Old Bridge High School defeated John. F Kennedy Memorial High School of Iselin behind the play of Brandon Millings, who sank 19 points.
North Brunswick Township High School teammates Avery Claggert and Jordan Salisbury each hit for 16 points in a 68-64 victory over Nottingham High School.
Michael Dunne ended with 16 points when he guided Matawan Regional High School past Saint John Vianney High School, 54-43.
The girls’ basketball stars were bright as well …
Josie Larkins served as the catalyst in RBC’s two victories last week.
She connected on 16 points when RBC knocked off Allentown, 64-30, Jan. 9, which was two days after that game was snowed out. On Jan. 10, she scored 14 points, as her team beat Ocean Township, 58-21.
Jordan Vazquez hit for 21 points when she led Woodbridge High School to a 68-54 victory over John P. Stevens High School.
Hannah Scanlan was on target for 21 points when she guided Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School past Holmdel High School, 64-38.
Cara Volpe scored 19 points when Colts Neck High School posted a 52-38 victory over Freehold Township.
Middletown South received a one-two punch from Haley Dalonzo, who scored 19 points, and Alexandria Balsamo, who sank 18, in a 59-40 victory over Middletown North.
Saint John Vianney, the defending state Tournament of Champions winner, continued to roll when the Lancers defeated Matawan, 57-14. Kim Evans led the surge with 18 points.
Emma Boslet collected 17 points and 12 rebounds when she led Bishop Ahr past Monroe Township High School, 44-29.
Giana Piccini registered 17 points and nine rebounds to spark Keyport High School in its 46-26 victory over Middlesex County Technical High School in Perth Amboy.
Jessica Broad connected on 16 points to lead Marlboro High School to a 40-31 victory over Freehold High School.
Meghan Murray registered 16 points when she led Red Bank Regional to a 57-50 victory against Shore Regional.
Sarah Hughes sank 14 point when she led Freehold Township past Howell, 39-36.
Maddie Hellerich recorded 14 rebounds and 13 points when she paced Spotswood High School to a 52-44 victory over Dunellen High School.
Jackson Liberty High School used the scoring combo of Lauren Bingay and Ambee McGee, who each scored 12 points, in the team’s 41-30 triumph over Lakewood High School.
Turning to the wrestling mats …
Troy Gallo breezed past the 100-victory plateau for the Holmdel wrestling team.
Gallo had achieved his 100th victory a week earlier Jan. 7 during his team’s victory over Wayne Hills High School, and then he chalked up victory No. 101 Jan. 9. against Donovan Catholic High School.
In Holmdel’s 42-24 victory, Gallo, who placed third in District 21 last year in the 120-pound weight class, scored a pin at 132 pounds against Donovan Catholic.
Another milestone was gained last week when Dave Porta became the all-time winningest coach at Shore Regional.
He rung up his 109th victory when his Blue Devils wrestlers defeated Asbury Park High School, 60-15, Jan. 11. Porta is in his eighth season at the West Long Branch high school.
Howell’s splendid freshman, Shane Reitsma, continued to impress in his first season on the varsity team when he pinned Liam McDermott of Allentown High School at 170 pounds in Howell’s 48-18 victory Jan. 11. McDermott was a District 25 champion a year ago.
In the featured match of the night, Matt McGowan of Jackson Memorial High School posted a 6-1 decision over Nick Gallicchio of Toms River High School South at 132 pounds Jan. 11.
McGowan won a Region 6 title last year, and Gallicchio is a two-time District 25 winner.
Skating away on the ice …
Brian Coelho recorded two goals and one assist when Saint Joseph turned back Colonia High School, 6-1.
Robert Distefano registered the hat trick with three goals and also dished out two assists in leading Edison High School past Morris Hills High School, 6-5.