Coaches vs. Cancer Benefit at Raritan on Friday/Some quick hoops extras

Raritan will be hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer Fundraiser on Friday night as part of a boys-girls doubleheader at Raritan against Class A Central rival Holmdel. The boys game is at 5 p.m., followed by the girls game at 6:30 p.m. The admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children, a special 50-50 will be held and all proceeds from the admission and the 50-50 will be given to the American Cancer Society. Raritan also is selling cards for $1 to post in the gymnasium as a tribute to the fight vs. cancer.

It’s also always fun when Holmdel’s boys meet Raritan because Holmdel coach Sean Devaney led Raritan to its best season ever when the Rockets won the Group III title and the Shore Conference Tournament title on the Qa’rraan Calhoun-Marques Johnson teams a few years back, and his head assistant was current Rockets coach Denis Caruano, who is good friends with Devaney. Plus, the Rockets are looking to solidify a spot in the state playoffs and the SCT field, while Holmdel is hoping to keep pace in the Class A Central race to set up a showdown with Manasquan for the title.

As for Thursday, the big match-up is Freehold at Neptune (5:30 p.m.) on the boys side and Neptune at Freehold (3:30 p.m.) on the girls side. The Neptune boys are looking to spice up the Class B North race by handing Freehold just its second loss of the season, while Freehold is hoping that a win over Neptune on Thursday and then a Neptune win over Monmouth on Friday can set up a winner-take-all for the division title with Monmouth on Monday. Freehold’s Christian Garcia killed Neptune inside in their first meeting at the beginning of the season, so we’ll see how much Neptune has improved in the interior and in the outside shooting department since that first meeting. Freehold dared Neptune to beat it with jumpshots the last time against its zone, so we’ll see if any changes in strategy are made this time.

As for the girls, Freehold is looking to try and push undefeated Neptune a little bit as this is the Scarlet Fliers’ last real obstacle to the Class B North title. The real hope is that there are no ugly incidents after the game like in their first meeting, and that the focus is just on basketball. Freehold senior Shannon Mayrose has had some huge games against Neptune over the years, and the Colonials will need it again today against the fearsome foursome of Sehmonyeh Allen, Shakena Richardson, Marley Mauvais and Syessence Davis. Still, I think this really comes down to how guards like Alex Eagle and Ashley Lewis along with swing Simone Dixon play in this game. Of course, as we know from the first time, this rivalry has been dramatically ramped up since Allen transferred from Freehold to Neptune before the school year.

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