TINTON FALLS — 2021-2022 season. is off to a promising start for the Monmouth Regional High School boys basketball team, which has won five of its first eight games.

However, a stretch of inconsistent play midway through the season saw the Falcons finish the campaign with an 11-13 record.

Sixth-year coach Jeff Sfrago said consistency will be key for his players in 2022-23 as they challenge for the Shore Conference C South Division title.

“We have a chance to win the division championship if everything comes together,” Sfrago said. “It’s all about consistency. Last year had many peaks and valleys. I keep telling the guys that we need a straight climb to the top and that’s what we’re working on.”

Two key contributors are back for the 2021-22 season, starting with senior forward Tahaj Wiggins. As a junior, Wiggins averaged 12 points per game. He led the Falcons with 181 rebounds and 94 blocks.

Sophomore quarterback James Curley returns after starting as a freshman. Curley hit 21 3-pointers in 2021-22 and is a threat from outside for the Falcons.

“We have a nice one-two punch with Curley and Wiggins. Tahaja has the potential to be the player of the year in our division,” said Sfrago.

Junior Dan Kikta and seniors Jake Bauer and TJ Thomassen are expected to round out the starting five. Both players came off the bench in the 2021-22 season.

Bauer will serve as the point guard, while Thomassen will provide the Falcons with length at small forward and Kikta will play alongside Wiggins.

Freshman Jaylin Reaves and seniors Shane McCauley and Kyle Desai are expected to contribute valuable minutes off the bench.

The Falcons opened the 2022-2023 season with a road contest against Raritan High School in Hazlet on Dec. 15. The Falcons found themselves in a hole, committing 12 turnovers in the first half and trailing 19-8 at halftime.

Curley tried to help the Falcons come back in the second half, scoring 15 of his team-high 16 points, but it wasn’t enough as Raritan won 46-39.

After the loss, Sfrago said he was proud of the way his players fought back in the second half. He said they showed some “good things” against a very strong Raritan team.

Monmouth Regional returned home and bounced back from a loss at Raritan by defeating Freehold High School of Freehold Borough, 60-44, on Dec. 17.

Bauer led the way with 17 points, while Wiggins had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds in the Falcons’ win over the Colonials. Curley scored 13 points against Freehold, giving him 29 points in two games.

Monmouth Regional will take on Keyport High School on Dec. 19. The Falcons will begin C South play on Dec. 20 against Jackson Liberty High School of Jackson and finish the week at home on Dec. 22 against Lakewood High School.

“We play five games in seven days to start the season, so we have a lot of work to do. Long season. We just have to work hard every day,” Sfrago said.

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