Bengals Drop Shore Conference Tournament Opener in Overtime
The Barnegat High School boys varsity basketball team nearly pulled off an upset, but ended up losing to Central Regional, 51-47, in overtime Feb. 14 in the opening round of the Shore Conference playoffs.
The visiting Bengals (14-9) were seeded 20th, while Central (19-4) was seeded fourth.
“We played an outstanding game,” said Barnegat head coach Mike Puorro. “The players left everything on the floor. The end of the day, Central’s seniors stepped up and made plays when plays needed to be made. I give them and their coaching staff a lot of credit.
“We will learn from this and be better because of it.”
Junior guard Mike Revello led the way for the Bengals with 16 points, while junior guard/forward Alex Grogan and sophomore forward Sean Morris had 10 points apiece.
Central was paced by senior Maks Gruszecki with 15 points.
On Feb. 11, the Bengals closed out the regular season on a high note with a 53-40 home win against Jackson Liberty. The Bengals won their 14th game, the most wins ever for the boys team. They trailed 24-23 at half, but outscored the visitors 30-16 in the second half to win.
Revello tied a season high in scoring with 27 points, 17 coming in the second half. Senior guard David Orozco added 10 points, hitting a trio of three-point shots. No Jackson Liberty player scored in double digits.
The Bengals open the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II playoffs by hosting Cape May Tech on Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. Barnegat is seeded fourth, while Cape May Tech is 13th. —E.E.