The so-called dead of winter period is brightened by the sparking play of local scholastic athletes.
Here is a look at who recently has been lighting it up.
The spotlight on boys’ basketball has been these players …
With the game on the line, Jack Solano stood on the foul line. Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School was down by a point with 0.2 left in its game against Matawan Regional High School Jan. 24. That was no problem for Solano, who calmly sank two free throws to send his team to a 59-58 victory. He finished the game with 15 points, while his teammate, Ian O’Connor, ended with 17 points.
Xavier Townes delivered twice in carrying Sayreville War Memorial to a pair of victories last week. Townes dropped in 15 points while teammate Ryan O’Leary hit for 20 points in Sayreville’s 75-64 triumph over Colonia High School Jan. 24. Townes then produced 22 points Jan. 26 when Sayreville outscored Edison High School, 64-55.
Letrell West and Malachi Walker teamed up to guide Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen to a 63-51 victory over Monroe Township High School. West recorded 26 points and 10 rebounds and Walker contributed 11 rebounds and 10 points to help the Falcons improve to 15-0 on the season.
Daniel Sofield was a force inside when he collected 19 points, 16 rebounds and three blocked shots in Jackson Liberty High School’s 50-33 victory over Pinelands Regional High School.
Sean Kudelka was also active under the basket when he clicked on 23 points and ripped down 11 rebounds to steer Bishop George Ahr High School past Spotswood High School, 79-51.
Tyree Morris fired in 23 points to lead Long Branch High School past Ocean Township High School, 56-44.
Joe Simpson put in 21 points when he paced East Brunswick High School to a 58-50 triumph over Perth Amboy High School.
Michael Ugarte netted 21 points when he carried South Brunswick High School to an 80-70 decision against Piscataway Township High School. Two days earlier on Jan. 24, Ugarte knocked in 15 points in South Brunswick’s 49-47 verdict over John P. Stevens High School.
Kemari Persol dropped in 20 points and teammate Harry Rutkowski scored 15 when they guided Woodbridge High School past New Brunswick High School, 74-57.
Steve Staklinski clicked on 20 points when he led Freehold Township High School to a 58-49 triumph over Red Bank Regional High School.
On the girls’ basketball scene …
Ryan Weise reached a special plateau at Allentown High School. On Jan. 24, she achieved 1,000 points for her career when she connected on 26 points in a 57-52 loss to Ewing High School. Allentown rebounded from that loss two days later due to the scoring of Weise, who hit for 27 points on to carry the Redbirds past Trenton Central High School, 67-44.
Scoring 1,000 points for a career was the theme last week.
Isi Enahoro reached the 1,000-point milestone Jan. 26 when she scored 15 points to pace Sayreville to a 72-38 victory over South Plainfield High School.
Aleah Bass is now both a 1,000-point scorer to go with her 1,000 career rebounds at South River High School. On Jan. 25, Bass finished with 10 points to achieve the 1,000-point plateau in South River’s 50-41 loss to Metuchen High School. Bass had achieved 1,000 rebounds for her career Jan. 6 in a game against Middlesex High School.
In that same game when Bass achieved her milestone, Brynn Farrell scored 28 points to lead Metuchen to the victory. A day earlier, Farrell was too much for Mother Seton Regional High School to handle, as she registered 25 points, nine rebounds and seven steals in Metuchen’s 43-24 victory against the school from Clark.
Amanda Carney rung up 24 points when she led Old Bridge High School to a 47-42 victory over Piscataway.
Lourdes Marasigan scored 22 points in Edison’s 53-49 triumph over Monroe.
Shannon Tran pulled down 19 rebounds and also contributed 16 points when she powered South Amboy High School to a 49-46 victory over Middlesex County Vo-Tech at Piscataway.
A champion was crowned in wrestling….
Howell High School solidified itself as the premier wrestling team this winter in the Shore Conference.
On Jan. 28, the Rebels claimed their second Shore Conference Tournament championship with a 36-24 victory over Raritan High School in the title bout held at Jackson Liberty High School.
Howell’s championship effort was sparked by 113-pounder Luke Rada, who opened the title match with a 5-3 decision over previously undefeated Charles Barrale, and 120-pounder Darby Diedrich, 220-pounder Eric Keosseian and heavyweight Jacob Nash, who each registered a pin.
Howell advanced to the finals with a 41-19 triumph over Long Branch in the semifinals earlier that day. Raritan landed in its first Shore Conference Tournament title match when the Rockets eliminated Middletown High School North, 35-24, in the other semifinal wrestled Jan. 28.
On the ice …
Monroe received scoring and sparkling goaltending in its 4-0 triumph over Old Bridge Jan. 25.
In that victory, Anthony Lane recorded two goals and Brian Nichols pitched the shutout in goal when he turned back 36 shots.
Justin Guelph registered two goals and one assist when South Brunswick skated to a 5-2 victory over Colonia.