Local hoops stars earn Shore coaches’ recognition Wittlieb, Kenny among leading vote-getters FARRAH MAFFAI St. John Vianney senior Cheri Wittlieb enjoyed a stellar season for the Lancers this year, helping lead the team to the Shore Conference championship, and earning several votes for Shore Conference Player of the Year. To the surprise of no one, Rumson-Fair Haven’s Chrissy Fisher was the Shore Coaches Association’s Player of the Year for girls’ basketball. The 6-1 Fisher, who is headed to the University of Maryland, led the Bulldogs to their first Group II state championship and into the Final Four at the Tournament of Champions. She averaged 18 points and 12 boards a game in leading the Bulldogs to the Shore Conference B Central Division and Central Jersey Group II titles, in addition to the state group title. Fisher saved her best basketball of the season for the state playoffs. She almost single-handedly carried RFH to its third straight sectional championship, scoring 24 points in the Central Jersey Group II title game while playing the second half with four fouls. In the Group II championship game, she was superb once again. St. John Vianney’s Cheri Wittlieb, who led the Holmdel Lancers to the Shore Conference Tournament crown and B North Division title, was the runner-up. JERRY WOLKOWITZ Christian Brothers Academy senior Chris Kenny, who will be playing at Monmouth University next year, was one of the Shore’s top players once again this season, earning himself All-Shore recognition. Rounding out the top vote-getters were Toms River South’s Becky Zak; Marlboro’s formidable duo of Chakhia Cole and Sharnee Zoll, who sparked Marlboro to a second straight A North title, and to the SCT and Central Jersey Group IV finals; and Raritan’s high-scoring Kelly Robinson, who helped the Rockets get to the Central Jersey Group II final, where they fell to Fisher’s Bulldogs. The top vote-getters made up the All-Shore Team. Wall’s Tom Ridoux, whose Crimson Knights’ shared the A Central Division championship with Manasquan, was named the Shore’s Coach of the Year. The Shore Coaches also announced their All-Division Teams for the 2001-02 season: Cole, Zoll and Brina Pollack of Marlboro led the A North First Team. Freehold Township’s Missy Elsbree and Middletown North’s Jessie Chalmers rounded out the First Team. Freehold Township’s Kelly Higgins and Amanda Frost, Howell’s Kristin Hein, Marlboro’s Christie Kastner, and Middletown South’s Nicole Baldessari constituted the Second Team. Colts Neck’s Meighan Kelly and Freehold Borough’s Jen Towers were First Team A Central selections. Suzanne Murphy of Colts Neck, Monmouth’s Kelly Miller and Lisa Ott, and Holmdel’s Dana Hoffman made up the Second Team. Wittlieb and Robinson led the B North First Team. They were joined by Raritan’s Amanda Harmata, Matawan’s Amy Gibbons and Red Bank Catholic’s Alisa Kresge and Lindsay Woodfield. SJV’s Marybeth Kuenne and Shantel Brown were named to the Second Team, along with RBC’s Heather Westro and Raritan’s Adriana Velez. Fisher and teammate Amanda DeMartino head the B Central First Team. Shore’s Melissa Lehman also made the First Team. Keyport’s Jaime Boyce and Nadine Kemp, and Mater Dei’s Dana Page were Second Team members. The division coaches of the year were Middletown South’s Tom Brennan for A North; Ridoux, A Central; Matawan’s Robert Carnovsky, SJV’s Nick Russo and Ocean’s Jim Maliff in B North; Rumson’s George Sourlis and St. Rose’s Dick McCallum in B Central. It was the year of the Scarlet Fliers in boys’ basketball as versatile Taquan Dean was selected Player of the Year and Coach Ken O’Donnell was named Coach of the Year. Neptune swept everything, A North, SCT and Central Jersey Group III titles, on the way to the state Group III championship. Dean is headed for the University of Louisville, Kentucky. The Shore Coaches All-Division Teams were as follows: Christian Brothers Academy’s Chris Kenny and Middletown North’s Jay Krol were joined by Freehold Township’s Andrew Impastato on the A North First Team. Second Team A North members included Freehold Township’s Ryan Brown, Middletown North’s Joe Leone and CBA’s Billy Smith. A Central co-champion Monmouth Regional was represented by David Whitehurst and Carlos Lee on the First Team, and Pat Barnette and Jim Dalton on the Second Team. Colts Neck’s Michael DeCorso was also selected to the Second Team. Raritan’s Nick Torres and Red Bank Regional’s Brian McEvily were on First Team B North while John Kirby of Red Bank Regional, David Pearson of Matawan, Tyler Schmelz and Josh Grgas of SJV were on the division’s Second Team. B Central First Team honors went to Cy Galvin of Shore and Rob Parilla of Mater Dei. Rumson-Fair Haven’s duo of Dwayne Reevey and Dan Wong, and Mater Dei’s Matt O’Connor were members of the Second Team. Coaches of the year included Middletown North’s Will Mayer, A North; Scott Martin, RBR, B North; Tom Stead, Holmdel, A Central; and Bob Klatt, Mater Dei, B Central. The senior girls and boys all-star games were played last night at Wall High School. The games match the best seniors from the North division of the S.C. against the best from the South division. The local girls on the North squad were Elsbree, Higgins, Frost, Woodfield, Miller, Wittlieb, Kuenne, Fisher, DeMartino, Brown, and Vanessa Healy of Howell, Jamie Fumando and Kelly Goodbody of Middletown North, and Megan Villane of Shore. Township’s John Sciarappa, Sourlis and Petrone coached the North girls. The North boys were McEvily, Impastato, Brown, Torres, Lee, O’Connor, Ryan Sheridan of Manalapan, Krol, Leone, Kenny and Smith. Brian Golub of Freehold Township and Middletown North’s Will Mayer were coaching the North boys. By tim morris Staff Writer
VERONICA YANKOWSKI St. John Vianney’s Tarik Zunic returns the ball during his NJSIAA State Individual Tournament first-round match with Holmdel’s Paul Buyanovich at Mercer County Park on Saturday. Buyanovich won the match, 6-1, 6-2.
Eagles playing .500 ball as state playoff deadline approaches By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer Prior to the season, Middletown High School South girls’ basketball coach Tom Brennan was hoping his young team would be at the .500 mark after 10 games. With Saturday’s 31-28 win over Freehold Township, the Eagles are 5-5, and Brennan was optimistic that his team will have a strong second half. “We’re where I wanted them to be,” the coach said. “We could have maybe been 7-3, but this is a very young team, and you have to keep things in perspective. They’re learning and gaining experience with each game, and they’re getting better and better.” The Eagles’ .500 record is a result of “gutting out” several games, he acknowledged. Middletown South has, at times, had trouble scoring, as evidenced by a 25 percent shooting percentage from the floor. While that has hurt, Brennan is confident that number will improve. Middletown South also plays in the Shore Conference’s tough Class B North division, which includes St. John Vianney (7-1 overall), Monmouth Regional (6-3), Holmdel (8-4), and a Raritan (4-6) team that is better than its record indicates. “Our girls are really being put to the test in the division,” Brennan said. “I think it’s one of the best divisions in the entire Shore, and the teams are beating up on each other. They all play tough, tenacious styles, and that’s helped us play better.” Although young as a team, South’s seniors have led the way. Point guard Allison Oliver has been solid throughout the campaign, leading the team in scoring with a 14-point average, despite playing with tendonitis in one knee. Nicole Baldessari is averaging 12 points, while playing with a should injury. “Allison and Nicole have been outstanding for us,” Brennan said. “Allison is so consistent, she moves the ball well and has a nice shot, while Nicole brings so much to our team, even when she’s not scoring, because she does all the little things like boxing out and setting picks.” The Eagles have also received solid play from another senior, forward Lindsay Moran, an excellent defensive player who averages seven rebounds and two points. Brennan’s younger players have responded well. Sophomore forward Brianne Moran, Lindsay’s sister, has become a presence under the hoop and is averaging four points. Freshman guards Caitlin Kenah and Michelle Whalen have been getting more minutes as the season progresses, and are playing well, the coach noted. Sophomores Kaitlyn Maloney and Cara DeCicco also see action up front. With the Feb. 8 deadline for qualifying for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tourney looming (teams must be at or above .500 at the end of play that day), the Eagles face a difficult week. Middletown South was slated to host Holmdel yesterday and will travel to St. John Vianney tomorrow before playing Raritan on Monday. “The next two weeks are critical for us,” Brennan said. “The good thing is that we’ve played well enough to be in contention. It’s up to us to keep it going.” By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer Eagles playing .500 ball as state playoff deadline approaches
BESR, or Ball Exit Speed Ratio, is a rule that applies to all nonwood bats used by all teams affiliated with the NCAA and by all high schools who are members of the National Federation High School Associations (NFHS). All nonwood bats used must bear the BESR certification mark. The BESR certification process, which has been conducted at the Baseball Research Center at UMass-Lowell Department of Mechanical Engineering, ensures a nonwood bat meets four criteria: 1. The maximum exit speed is similar to the performance of the best northern white ash wood bat – 97 mph. 2. The bat’s length to weight differential is no greater than minus-3 (for instance a 34-inch bat must weigh 31 ounces). 3. The barrel diameter may not exceed a maximum of 2 5/8 inches, while bats in the past were 2 3/4 inches, thus the barrel is smaller. 4. The balance point of the bat meets the moment-of-inertia requirement.
By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent The NJSIAA Tournament of Champions (TOC) in girls’ tennis was a case of déjà vu. Holmdel High School and Millburn High School, two undefeated teams, squared off for the ultimate piece of hardware a year after the same matchup went in favor of Millburn.The Hornets again came up short in their bid for a TOC crown. Despite taking two of three singles matches, Holmdel dropped the final to Millburn, 3-2, with a doubles sweep proving to be the deciding factor.Millburn grabbed the early lead when Stephanie Schrage, the state singles champion, posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over fellow junior Brianna Gibbs of the Hornets. In second doubles, Millburn’s Anna Mandel and Elizabeth Gray beat Jaimee Ratkoski and Natalie Cipriano, 6-4, 7-5.Millburn, which now has gone three seasons without a loss, secured the decisive point at first doubles. Sydney Zirlin and Isabella Waung, who won the state title in doubles, endured a tight second set against Holmdel’s Emily Kong and Vicky Vought to win, 6-1, 7-6 (5). Kong and Vought had a set point with a 5-4 lead, but Millburn’s pair rallied from behind to force the tiebreaker.“It always comes down to doubles,” head coach Chuck Chelednik often says. The TOC finals was a case in point.“My doubles got better as the year went on, and they played together only about half the year,” Chelednik said of Holmdel’s pairings for the final round of the TOC. “They made strides. They definitely improved. But Millburn, especially in doubles, is very good.”In fact, Chelednik thought both of his doubles teams played better against Millburn than they did in Holmdel’s TOC semifinal opposite Newark Academy.“I think overall we got to see in Millburn some good doubles players,” Chelednik said.The Hornets had better luck in singles play. Sophomore Alexandra Wojciak put a point on the board for Holmdel by toppling Alexandra Pritsker, 6-4, 6-2, at second singles. Rita Vought, also a sophomore at Holmdel, won the third singles match vs. Joanna Atwater, 2-6, 6-3, 10-6. Holmdel advanced to the TOC with wins over Manasquan High School in the Central Jersey Group II finals and Ramapo High School in the last leg of Group II.Following the loss to Millburn, Holmdel shut out Monmouth Regional High School and finished the season with a record of 22-1.With another successful year for the Hornets in the books, the team, which perennially competes for postseason titles, should be in the mix next season.Holmdel’s second consecutive appearance in the TOC finals is a testament to the girls, Chelednik said.“We’ve been consistent over the last several years, and that has really helped us in the Monmouth County Tournament and Shore Conference Tournament, and subsequently in states,” the coach said.Chelednik noted that Holmdel will bring more experience to the court in a year.All of the Hornets who competed in the TOC finals will be back, and a couple promising freshmen are coming into the program.
By Andreas VouAEL held a shock lead over Tottenham Hotspur for exactly an hour on Thursday night before two goals in just seven minutes crushed their Europa League hopes as they lost 1-2 in Larnaca. Meanwhile, Omonia earned a more than impressive 2-2 draw away to Dynamo Moscow, while Apollon drew 1-1 against Lokomotiv in Nicosia.Few gave AEL any hope going into their match against Spurs but Ivaylo Petev’s men were the ones who took the lead over the Premier League side. Spanish striker Adrian Sardinero scored his first goal since joining the club, running beyond the Spurs defence before slotting the ball past Hugo Lloris.Despite being heavy favourites, Spurs were far from their best and failed to create any significant chances. AEL more than held their own against Mauricio Pochettino’s side and deserved their goal advantage.The turning came on 71 minutes as Erik Lamela replaced half-Cypriot Andros Townsend. Within just seven minutes of entering the field, the Argentine made assists for Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane to turn the game on its head and end AEL’s realistic hopes of progression to the group stages.Omonia, who started their European campaign from the second qualifying round, have looked impressive in their previous four matches, and Costas Kaiafas’ team started the play-off in ideal fashion. It took less than two minutes for the Nicosia side to make the breakthrough and earn a crucial away goal through summer recruit Ucha Lobjanidze.Former Queens Park Rangers defender Christopher Samba was a constant goal threat in the Premier League and the 1.93m centre-back proved why with a header to equalise on 33 minutes. Samba’s goal was the first that Omonia had conceded in Europe this season.Another new recruit, Gaossou Fofana, shocked the home crowd once again as he put Omonia 1-2 up on the hour-mark with an unstoppable left-footed shot after capitalising on a mistake from William Vainqueur.Just three minutes after Dynamo’s Alexander Kokorin was shown a second yellow card for diving, Alexander Buttner, signed from Manchester United this summer, levelled the tie after an excellent run and a powerful shot into the right-hand corner of the net from which Jose Moreira could hardly do anything about.A draw and two away goals puts Omonia in an excellent position to progress to the group stages of the European competition for the first time in the club’s history.In Nicosia, Apollon also took on a side from the Russian capital – the Limassol club failed to get going and it was Lokomotiv who went ahead six minutes before the break through Alan Kasaev.Apollon levelled the game on 79 minutes with an excellently taken finish from Abraham Guie Gneki who dinked the ball over the oncoming goalkeeper.Lokomotiv had players sent off either side of the equalising goal, but the 1-1 scoreline remained, leaving Apollon with a tough task to reverse proceedings next week in Moscow.
By Zoran MilosavljevicThe politically-sensitive Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania was abandoned on Tuesday following a brawl between players from both sides after a flag stunt.The Group I game, with no away fans permitted, was interrupted when a flag depicting so-called Greater Albania, an area covering all parts of the Balkans where ethnic Albanians live, was flown over the terraces and pitch by what appeared to be a remote controlled mini drone near the end of the first half.A Serbian player eventually grabbed the flag at the Partizan stadium, prompting an angry reaction from Albanian players and an unsightly melee ensued.Riot police then moved in when around a dozen fans invaded the pitch and attacked the Albanian players, forcing them to retreat into the tunnel as flares were thrown from the terraces.After a delay of around half an hour, English referee Martin Atkinson abandoned the game, which stood at 0-0.“What happened is something we can’t comprehend at the moment,” Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic told reporters.“On behalf of my team, all I can say is that we wanted to carry on and that we shielded the Albanian players every step of the way to the tunnel (after the riot broke out).“The Albanian team said they were unfit physically and mentally to carry on after talking to the officials and they will now decide the fate of this match. We can only regret that football took a back seat but it is difficult to draw any conclusions or make any comments now.”Albanian captain Lorik Cana told Albanian television: “I saw my players being attacked and hit even inside the tunnel, and even by the stewards. We were not in the right psychological or physical state to continue playing.”“POLITICAL PROVOCATION”Serbian state television reported that Olsi Rama, the brother of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, was arrested in the VIP section on suspicion of instigating the flag stunt.Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri said that to the best of his knowledge Olsi Rama had left the stadium for the airport, according to information he had from Serbia’s interior ministry and Albanian officials in Belgrade.Asked if he had been arrested on suspicion of organising the drone stunt, Tahiri told Reuters: “Not to my knowledge. It’s speculation.”Security was tight for a game at which no away fans were present and held against a backdrop of long-running Serb-Albanian tensions over Kosovo, a majority-Albanian former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008.NATO waged a 78-day air war in 1999 to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo by Serbian forces fighting a two-year counter-insurgency war. Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as independent.Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic was quoted on the website of Serbian daily Blic as saying: “This was a political provocation.“The main question for me is how will the European Union and UEFA react, because if someone from Serbia had unveiled a flag of Greater Serbia in Tirana or Pristina (capital of Kosovo) it would already be on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council.”UEFA match delegate Harry Been said: “It is a regretful situation on which we will report; the referee, myself and the security advisor. The circumstances were such that we couldn’t continue the match.“You all saw what happened and I cannot comment on who is to blame or what to blame. I will submit a report with my colleagues to UEFA and UEFA will decide what will happen further.”
By Andreas VouAPOEL suffered their third 1-0 defeat in Group F of the Champions League on Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain, ruling out any possibility of reaching the knockout stage of the competition. The Cypriot champions were left to rue their lack of concentration in the opening minute of the match which allowed Edinson Cavani to score what would prove to be the winner.APOEL have proven to be a tough nut to crack, surprising many in this season’s competition by conceding just once in each game against some of Europe’s biggest names. However, manager Giorgos Donis felt his side played their worst game so far this European campaign.“When a game starts, it does not matter when you concede a goal. On Wednesday, we were a side with problems. We had our worst game and it showed on the pitch.”Barcelona’s win over Ajax in the group’s other game leaves APOEL just one point behind the Dutch champions who occupy third place which earns a spot in the Europa League, meaning that the final group game between the two could have a lot at stake.“However, even on our worst day, we were dignified and we will go, it seems, to Holland for a big game,” said the Greek boss.As they tend to be at home, PSG were the superior team and the stats reflected that: Laurent Blanc’s side had 68 per cent of the possession as well as 18 shots on goal. The French manager believed the narrow scoreline did not fairly depict the match.“The result does not reflect the image of the game. We missed a lot of chances and we could have scored more goals. We take the win and that we managed the game better,” said Blanc.Cillian Sheridan, who came on as a second-half substitute, was hoping APOEL would add points to the board but feels the team’s inability to convert chances is an issue. “We came here wanting to get a result this time rather than settle just for a good performance but again we leave empty-handed. We create some good chances but we don’t manage to make the most of them and that’s something we have to improve.”APOEL are not used to conceding goals quickly, and the Irish forward admits that it had a negative impact on the team.“The French team’s early goal affected us. We’re not used to being behind so early,” he concluded.Meanwhile, PSG captain Thiago Silva was content with his team’s win and alluded to the fact that APOEL were always going to be tough to get in behind.“It was better. I think we played a good match. APOEL played behind the ball and it’s hard to find space but it is a match of the Champions League, it’s never easy.” APOEL forward Gustavo Manduca was largely disappointed with the team’s performance, saying that they “did not play a good game” and that they “made several unforced errors and just had one chance,” yet the Brazilian did not rule out the possibility of a surprise in the next group game.“First, we need to look to the next game against Barcelona. Who is to say we can’t have a good game and take all three points?”APOEL take on Lionel Messi and co. on November 25 at the GSP stadium before travelling to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the final group match on December 10.
Northern Territory lost the toss and were all bowled out after 51 overs for a measly 155.Barra’s Norman Vanua and Chad Soper had outstanding performances with the ball. Vanua took 3/32 off 8.3 overs while Soper finished with 2/29 off 14 overs.The Barras responded with the bat belting 367 runs after 99.1 overs. Hiri Hiri top scored with 101 runs finishing not out. His ton included 15 fours.In their second innings, Northern Territory lost wickets quickly and were left at 8/117 after 37 overs before time ran out.This time it was Nosaina Pokana who did the damage for the Barras taking 4/24 from just 7 overs.
Melonas, Meros and Kaks are for the men and POM Gold, POM Black and POM White for women.They are:MELONAS; Ansolom Bunbun, Tony Williams, Danny Tovia, Bobby Bais, Silas Daruis, Isikel Tovia Jr, John Pulu Jr, Dick Bart Jr, Colin Mangot, Arian Chan, Sammy Malum, Paul Bogan, Sammy Sogai, Mika Zale, Jonty Malum, Gerald Pokanau, Andrew Karai , Consie Bais , Nerius Kua B, Glen Niggins and John Kuwoh.MEROS; Mosley Obed, Saga Gime, Cliford Kouse, Michael Parom, Mark Tomangana, Chris Paak, Davis Keleu, Joel Josephs, Consie Lumaris, Eddie Simba, David Upaupa, Misiel Puipui ,Tony Karani,Julius Tatai,Aiden Kipma,Gabby Pamel,Martin Toalbert,Danny Paon,Kepas Mormor and Emil Lucas.KAKS; Clement Okole, Kolish Pagal, Paul Tabete, Francis Tony,Graham Kinavai,Joel Kua,Goodwill Baiai, Joe Kuwoh, Gire Bunbun, Demas Tovia, Darius Kero, Bernard Toalbert, Demas Totil Junior, Charlie Pomahun, Venon Wam, Eugene Tovue, Mila Kuwoh, Fraser Kudada,Thomas Kuwoh and Bernard Pamel.For the women’s side;POM GOLD; Jenny Pilak ,Tessa Karai, Selina Karai, Talitha Pondriket, Kate Uvia, Nadia Bais, Florence Daple, Addie Tamti, Antonia Kinit,Nicky Simba, Dianne Gideon, Lisa Polum, Quandalyn Vinim, Mathilda Pondriket, Priscilla Mocke,Donna Misikaram,Sulianna Tongia, Priscilla Samuel, Carol Apelis and Navasha Pilak.POM BLACK; Basemath Xkenjik, Farapo Sevese, Julie Naime,Dulcie Simba, Sandra Sawaraba,Esther Xkenjik,Rosalia Apelis, Claire Wutt, Anisa Markis,Jaura Dambui,Jessica Tonga,Florence Hapman, Francine Malum, Geraldine Lukere, Rosemary Mohe, Hazel Schulz, Mais Totil,Sabet Chan, Margaret Tobolton And Trudy Simba.POM WHITE; Nancy Maradi, Anita Kisokau, Georgina Mautu, Dessie Loniu, Alice Ono, Niatang Pokanau, Miriam Dapal ,Natasha Pilak, Andrewlar Moe, Mathilda Moe, Natalie Bart, Eva Sariman, Aivi Robinson, Encie Simitab Helen Tata, Joycelyn Paon, Angie Girana, Nicole Mamia, Milcha Xkenjik and Vinnie Parom.The current male champions, the Port Moresby Mellonas have made a good team to defend their title.Port Moresby will host the championship set to start on the 25 of this month till the 28 at the Bisini softball grounds.