Mustangs win A North title; are set for Shore Conference Tournament action

Marlboro High School boys basketball player Jonathan Spatola secures the defensive rebound and throws a pass up the court to a teammate for a layup during a game against Freehold Township on Feb. 10 in Freehold. Marlboro defeated Freehold Township 77-56.

There is no team hotter than the Marlboro High School boys basketball team heading into the 2022 Shore Conference Tournament and Coach Michael Nausedas would be the first person to acknowledge that.

Nausedas watched the Mustangs rack up 12 straight victories to end regular season play and head into the conference tournament with a 19-2 record. The first round is scheduled to begin on Feb. 15.

The Mustangs will be trying to win the program’s first Shore Conference Tournament championship.

Regular season wins over Red Bank Catholic, Saint John Vianney, Brick Memorial and Christian Brothers Academy will give the Mustangs confidence heading into the event.

“We are the hottest team going in right now,” Nausedas said. “These guys are hungry. They are locked in. We are a tough out.”

Marlboro completed the 2021-22 regular season on Feb. 10 against Shore Conference A North Division rival Freehold Township High School in Freehold Township.

The Mustangs  rolled to a 77-56 victory to state their case for one of the top seeds in the conference tournament.

“We treated (Freehold Township) as a first round SCT game,” Nausedas said. “We were poised in the second half and did a good job taking care of the ball. When we take care of the ball, our defense can ignite our offense.”

Four Marlboro starters finished in double figures, with senior Zack Molod leading the way with 24 points. Molod scored 13 points in the first half, including eight points in the second quarter.

Marlboro outscored Freehold Township 25-14 in the second quarter to lead 45-29 at halftime.

Molod sparked the Mustangs with seven points on a 10-6 run to begin the third quarter, including his third three-point field goal of the night.

Marlboro tallied nine three-point field goals against Freehold Township.

Molod is averaging more than 13 points per game and leads the team with 35 three-point field goals.

“It feels great,” he said. “Every game, I get to play (alongside) my best friends and I love playing basketball with them.”

After being held scoreless in the first quarter, senior Jack Seidler scored 10 points in the second quarter.

On one play in the third quarter, Seidler dribbled past two defenders and scored on a layup to extend the lead to 65-45 with 5:20 left in the quarter.

Seidler finished the game with 19 points and lifted his season total to 457 points.


Seidler is averaging 21.8 points per game in 2021-22. In 64 games played over the past three seasons, Seidler has averaged 20 points per game. This season the Mustangs are 11-0 when he has scored more than 20 points.

“I wanted to come back and make a huge impact this year and put Marlboro on the map,” Seidler said. “I feel like we all have done a good job with that and hopefully we can finish it off with a championship.”

Seniors Vincent Spatola and Jay Ratner each scored 11 points against Freehold Township.

Senior Jonathan Spatola rounded out the starting five with nine points. Spatola is averaging more than 14 points per game and he leads the Mustangs in steals and assists.

Marlboro’s victory over Freehold Township capped an historic regular season for the Mustangs, who won the program’s first A North title since 1971 by beating Long Branch High School on Feb. 8.

“This is definitely the best team in school history,” Nausedas said. “There is no other team that comes close to these guys. They are a great group of guys to be around. They love each other. It has been special to watch.”

The Mustangs are hoping that winning the A North crown is the start of a championship run. After coming up short of winning championships the last two seasons in heartbreaking fashion, the Mustangs are locked in on the task at hand.

“We feel that when we play at our best that we are at the top of the top,” Seidler said. “We feel like we can beat anybody. Hopefully we can get some redemption from the last two years.”

In addition to competing in the Shore Conference Tournament, the Mustangs are also preparing to play in the Central Jersey Group IV state sectional tournament.