For the most part we are at that point of the basketball and wrestling season where if you lose you go home.  I say most part because wrestling’s post-season individual tournaments still provide an opportunity for those who don’t win to advance.

However as the NJSIAA Basketball Tournament for both boys and girls begins this week it is a battle for survival…one loss and your season is over.  Every time you take the court you are aware that it could be your last practice or last game and if you’re a senior the sense of urgency is even greater because there is no next high school season.

For some just qualifying for the state tournament was a major sense of accomplishment and if they win a game or even two that would be an unexpected bonus.  Then there are those who believe they can advance deep into the sectional tournament and maybe go farther than that.  On the boys side the most likely candidate to make a deep run is Manasquan and on the girls side that distinction goes to St. John Vianney, the #1 team in the state.

However the one thing you can rely on is there will be upsets along the way because there always are.  Somebody who thought they would be holding a trophy at the end will instead leave the court with just their water bottle.

There is no Tournament of Champions any longer as that was done away by the state.  So the furthest you can go is to win a group championship in the first weekend of March and then fans, sportswriters and others can debate who is the best of the best.

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