Jenkoski, Ragland hand Brick rivalry series sweep

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Brick Township's Joaquin Ragland faces Brick Memorial's Jason Ellerbrock in the 44-41 Dragons win on Friday, Feb. 19. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

BRICK — Late 3-point shots from Joaquin Ragland and Alex Jenkoski handed Brick Township boys basketball the 44-41 win and the series sweep over Brick Memorial on Friday, Feb. 19.

The heated rivalry began earlier in the week with the Dragons coming out on top thanks to a late fastbreak layup from Ty Williams, 38-37.

On Friday, Williams toughed out the suffocating Mustangs press and eventually found Ragland behind-the arc-for the game-tying 3. But it was the daring dagger from Jenkoski that put the series to rest with 38.5 second left.

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“It just feel great to win. It doesn’t matter who it’s against, but it feels good when it’s against the crosstown rival,” Jenkoski said. “Coach just wants me to shoot when I’m open … and I go into every game with confidence and don’t doubt anything.”

Clutching the three-point lead, Brick still had to defend, with a foul to give, and committed the sixth of the second half with 11.7 seconds remaining.

Following the 27-second run off, the Mustangs’ Josh Michigan heaved a 3-point prayer that landed to the right of the rim and into Brick’s Rob Giovine’s hands. Playing the foul game, Memorial sent Giovine to the line, where the Dragon missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Holding for the last shot, the Mustangs turned to senior Jake Dombrowski but the game-tying 3 fell just shy of the net and was saved on a conscious play by Brick’s Giuseppi Johnson. Keeping the ball in bounds to expire the clock, Johnson deflected it to teammate Ryan Duffy for the Dragons second-straight win.

Brick not only escaped enemy territory with the road win, but the series sweep and bragging rights.

“I think we all knew what we had to do going into it. It was close the whole time. We didn’t want to lose and we knew we couldn’t lose,” Ragland said.

“I was just thinking get the ball and get the win for my team,” Johnson, a junior transfer, added. “These guys are everything to me and I know there’s a little bit of beef between these two schools and I just wanted to help them out, get the win and do whatever I could for my team.”

Leading Brick, Jenkoski, Jack Dougard and Johnson each dropped eight in the win, while Williams added seven, Ragland finished with five and Giovine and Duffy put up four apiece.

For Memorial, Dorian Alston and Brian Starrett finished with eight each, Blake Zammit had seven, TJ McArthur added six, Dombrowski had five, Hayden Guzenski put up four and Josh Michigan ended with three.

Brick’s next game will be on Monday, Feb. 22, at home against Ocean Township at 5:30 p.m. and Memorial heads to Toms River South, tomorrow Saturday, Feb. 20, for a 1 p.m. tip-off.

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.