Stealing part of a famous line from the movie “Field of Dreams,” I will lead off today’s segment by saying “if the temperature hits 70 on a holiday weekend in February they will come.”

They surely did come this weekend as unusually mild temperatures and a Monday off for most combined to make some shore towns resemble July more than February.  Traffic on Route 37 in Toms River was backed up for miles Sunday with only one lane open on the bridge over to Seaside and parking spots near the beach and boardwalk were hard to find.  Similar scenes took place in Point Pleasant Beach as day-trippers flocked to the Jersey Shore.

Restaurants like the Crab’s Claw in Lavallette, Klee’s in Seaside Heights and Bum Rogers in South Seaside Park has unusually long waits for this time of year and it was a welcome sight and hopefully a sign of things to come.

I was not able to get outside on Saturday and Sunday as I spent both days inside the Pine Belt Arena handling the public address announcing chores for the Shore Conference Basketball Tournament.  However Monday morning my wife and I took a nice long walk on the Seaside boardwalk and stopped at Lava Java in Lavallette for coffee and later spent some time walking and relaxing on both sides of the Manasquan Inlet.  It truly seems Punxsutawney Phil was way off with his prediction of a long winter.

Speaking of the Shore Conference Basketball Tournament it will be St. Rose and defending champion St. John Vianney meeting for the girl’s championship after both won hard-fought semifinal games last night against bitter rivals.

The Purple Roses outlasted Manasquan in overtime after the Lady Lancers knocked off Red Bank Catholic.  The boy’s semifinals are tonight at the Pine Belt Arena with defending champion Mater Dei Prep facing Toms River North at 6pm followed by Ranney battling Marlboro.