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Gulls fly to Shore Conference quarterfinals with win over Colts Neck

February 18, 2011

It was the type of game you thought would come down to the final basket.

With 5 seconds remaining on the clock, the Gulls passed the ball to senior small forward Jarelle Reischel in the post, who was harassed by two defenders. Coach Nick Catania had his hands close together ready to call timeout, but opted to wait to see if his star could finish the game.

Reischel was hit on the arm under the basket bringing him to the foul line. The first shot was nothing but net to tie the game at 50, and the second rattled in for the 51-50 final result at Point Beach High School Thursday evening.

“I wasn’t trying to put pressure on myself,” said Reischel “I take foul shots everyday in practice so there was not going to be no difference — here or in practice.”

Coach Catania was clearly on the same page as Reischel.

“I [was] confident he was going to make it,” said coach Catania. “He is the best player in the shore and one of the best in the state. You have to feel that there is nobody else in the world you would rather have at the line than him.”

After sinking both foul shots, on Colts Neck’s final possession the ball was passed in to point guard Brian Kenny, who was forced to run up the left sideline and shot a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Jordan Kaufman blocked the shot attempt with time expiring on the clock, and the Gulls Nest rushed the court, celebrating the advancement to the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament.

Kaufman stepped up his game against Colts Neck on both offense and defense. He spread the floor, scoring four, 3-pointers for a total of twelve points.

“That is the way we know [Kaufman] is capable of playing,” said Catania. “In the game against St. Patrick’s [over the summer] he had 15 points in two quarters.”

Quinn Olsen also returned to the Point Beach lineup, after being ill in the Gulls’ previous game against Montgomery. He helped boost the Gulls to victory against Colts Neck with three, 3-pointers including a buzzer beater to end the third, two feet behind the arc to put the Gulls ahead 38-37.

Catania said he was proud with how the whole team stepped up throughout the game. Coach Catania adjusted his game plan early, when the Gulls were down 10-5 in the first quarter, with Colts Neck players hounding Reischel. Point Beach scored three, 3-pointers to propel a 9-2 run to end the first quarter for a 14-12 lead.

Point Beach continued to rally on the 3-point shot in the first half. The first twenty points consisted of six, 3-pointers and two foul shots by Reischel.

Reischel did not score for the remainder of the first half, but the Gulls were ahead 25-24. Catania said he made adjustments in the second half to help get Reischel the ball. Reischel scored 15 second-half points, totaling to 17 overall.

“[Colt Neck’s] whole game plan was to stop [Reischel] from the very beginning,” said coach Catania, about his top player with limited production in the first half. “You can’t force [the ball] into him. He was going to have two guys on him the whole night. We know we have other guys that can hit shots. If teams do what they did tonight, we can have other guys that can step up and score.”

Reischel was pleased to credit the whole team effort in coming up with the win.

“In the first half, if my team wasn’t [hitting shots] we would have been down by 20,” said Reischel, about the importance of his teammates stepping up. “I have to credit my teammates and the coaching staff in really coming prepared in this game.”

In the second half Colts Neck was kept in the game by Hunter Wysocki, who finished with 22 points, including an eye-opening step-back 3-pointer in Reischel’s face, to cut the lead to 45-44, Point Beach.

“The thing [that] was special about him is that he can create his own shots — his step back and his one dribble, pull hard to stop. He was hitting unbelievably tough shots. I was extremely impressed with [Wysocki],” said coach Catania.

“He was a great player,” said Reischel, about guarding Wysocki. “He was red hot. I had my hand in his face and tried to contest all of his shots, but he made them.”

Point Beach held on to the lead in the fourth on its way to victory, with a 49-47 lead with under one minute remaining on the clock. While Point Beach was trying to play a game of keep away from the Cougars, Kaufman tried to split between two defenders and fell to the floor.

In a call that could have resulted in either team’s favor, Kaufman was called for the traveling violation with 41 seconds remaining, turning the ball over to Colts Neck.

Colts Neck’s Brandon Federici, in his first game back after a broken foot, was the most popular student in Colts Neck High School for a minute with the clock ticking away under 30 seconds. He made the basket and foul to put the Cougars ahead 50-49, before Reischel closed the game converting both foul shots.

“We are playing really well together to close out games,” said Reischel, about the Gulls pulling out the victory with under one minute remaining. “We want to keep continuing to work hard and keep playing the way we have been playing.”

Point Beach played Christian Brothers Academy [CBA] on Saturday [see related story], defeating the Colts 56-55 at the Robert J. Collins Arena in Lincroft.

Prior to the game, Point Beach knew it had a chance to upset the number one team in the Shore Conference tournament.

“CBA is the best of the best and we want to take our shot at them like any good team would. It will be fun and we will see what happens,” said Catania, before the game against CBA. “They know us so there is not going to be many secrets.”

“We are definitely going to prepare and have the right mindset, and hopefully put out a win,” said Reischel, before playing CBA. “I think it is possible. In basketball any team can beat another on any given night. It does not matter if it’s the [Los Angeles] Lakers. If you have the right mindset and attitude you are on the track [to pull out a win].”

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