Hornets need to get some wins before it’s too late

first_imgThe Holmdel High School basketball team needs to win five of its seven contests remaining before the cut-off to qualify for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II playoffs. Coach Tom Stead’s team owns a disappointing 3-6 record, but the Hornets have played reasonably well, losing games to Middletown South and St. John Vianney by a combined three points, and dropping close games to Neptune and Red Bank Regional. That, however, provides little solace to the coach. “I know we can surprise a lot of people if we get into the playoffs,” he explained. “We can’t get in if we don’t start winning. Three-point losses are still losses. Right now our backs are against the wall.” Holmdel was slated to play at Middletown South last night. The Hornets host Monmouth Regional on Friday and visit St. John Vianney on Monday. Other opponents prior to the cut-off include Red Bank, Raritan, Neptune and Manalapan. “We control our own destiny and our guys know that,” Stead said. “If we do get into the tournament, we’ll be battle-tested.” Speaking of battle tested, Francis Anamaria has been doing his best to put points up on the board. The junior point guard is averaging 9.5 points, has 56 assists and just 26 turnovers, while usually playing the full 32 minutes. He also has canned 12 three-pointers and is shooting 91 percent from the foul line. Kyle Wiberg is averaging 12 points and Mike Fenimore is averaging eight points. Fenimore and fellow junior Brendan Dunne have received more playing time in recent games, and Stead has been pleased with their contributions. Their play has been a boost since the coach stressed the need for more scoring. The Hornets average just 44 points per game, and Stead would like to see that figure rise into the 50-point range. “As a team, we really haven’t found our shooting touch,” Stead said. “We very easily could be 6-3, but we play in a tough conference [Shore B North} and there’s just not a lot of room for error. Still, we have a lot of talent and I do think better days are ahead for our team. They need to come sooner rather than later, though.”last_img