Strong week gets Trojans closer to the .500 mark

Staff Writer

Strong week gets Trojans closer to the .500 mark


Staff Writer

EDISON—The Bishop Ahr High School boys basketball team enjoyed an undefeated week and are now within one victory of a .500 record that will qualify the team for the state tournament.

Friday night’s 46-36 win over Greater Middlesex Conference rival Metuchen was the team’s third in a row and came after wins over South River, 56-40, on Monday and Middlesex, 50-35, on Wednesday. With earlier wins over Midland Park, 63-46, and Highland Park, 54-48, the Trojans are currently 5-6.

In the win at Middlesex, senior guard Mario Campo led the Trojans with 24 points. Against Metuchen, Campo added eight points and teammates Steve Holmes and Corey Francisco scored 12 each.

"The leading scorer varies from game to game," head coach Dennis O’Keef said. "Some games it is Corey leading us and lately it has been Mario. We are going to need to score when we meet Cardinal McCarrick on Thursday and it doesn’t matter where it comes from."

A year ago, Campo was O’Keef’s shooting guard, but has been playing out of position this season as the team’s point guard.

"Mario is doing a real nice job handling the ball and his defense has improved tremendously," O’Keef said.

Alongside Campo in the backcourt is fellow senior Holmes. Holmes might be the team’s best defender and he can add some numbers to the scoreboard as well.

"Steve is an excellent defender and he can break down a defense when the ball is in his hands," O’Keef said. "He can penetrate and dish to the open man really well."

Francisco, a freshman forward, has certainly been a valuable addition to this year’s Trojan roster.

"A player’s grade doesn’t matter to me," O’Keef said. "He has skill and he’s a player that needs to play. He is young and he needs to work harder on defense, but he is coming along nicely."

Senior Keenan Thomas leads the team in rebounds this season and has shown the ability to score inside.

"Keenan has a nice inside shot and is a good offensive weapon down low," O’Keef said.Joining Thomas in the frontcourt is sophomore Ernst Ambroise. Ambroise provides defense on the interior and is steadily improving his post-play.

The Trojans will face GMC rivals Spotswood and Cardinal McCarrick this week and with the state tournament selection date rapidly approaching, each game becomes a must win.

"Cardinal McCarrick plays excellent team defense and we need to score," O’Keef said. "I’ve been telling the guys that we need to win and it is that simple. The team keeps getting better defensively, but we still have a hard time executing plays. We must do a better job on offense to continue to win."