By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer JERRY WOLKOWITZ Middletown North’s Mike Niesz drives past Freehold Township’s John Kambon during the Lions’ overtime loss at home on Friday. On the heels of a solid 56-45 win at St. John Vianney in Holmdel on Saturday, the Matawan High School boys’ basketball team is looking forward to the second half of the campaign. Freshman Jason Simmons put up 12 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked five shots, as Lucas Castell contributed 14 points and A.J. Roque added 13 points for the Huskies. “That was a big win for us,” Matawan coach Jack George said. “This is a relatively young team, so it will give us some confidence. The guys really came out with purpose against St. John’s, and they played well from start to finish.” The Huskies are indeed a young team, and to make matters more difficult, a scheduling snafu resulted in just seven home games this season. At this point, Matawan has played more games at St. John Vianney’s (four) than it has at home (three). “These things happen, so we’re just trying to work hard and get better,” George said. “We have an up-and-coming team. We have only two seniors, so most of our guys will be back next year, the jayvee and freshman teams are doing well and the Matawan Avenue Middle School team is undefeated. There’s talent in the program, and more is coming.” Senior Troy Robin, a 6-4 forward, leads the Huskies in scoring with an average of 13 points and also contributes seven rebounds. Simmons, who stands at 6-5, is right behind with averages of 12 points and seven boards, and Castell, a junior, is also averaging in double figures, with 10.5 points and 2.5 assists. Point guard Chris Coachman and Roque are averaging six points apiece, and 6-5 forward Carl Howard, usually the first man off the bench, is averaging two points and three rebounds. Other members of the team include senior swingman Mike Abromowitz and sophomores Rasheed Edwards and Eric Fertig, both guards, and Kevin Edwards and Sandy Perry, two forwards. The 6-5 Perry, a recent transfer student, becomes eligible on Friday when the Huskies host Rumson-Fair Haven. At 4-8, it seems a long shot for the Huskies to earn a state playoff berth this season. However, the young team is overcoming adversity and is getting better as the season progresses, which is all a coach can ask for. With a solid nucleus of players at Matawan now, George has plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the program. “We have a lot of potential, and I see a bright future for our team,” he said. “We have talent and height; the only thing we lack is experience. But that’s coming.” By Warren RappleyeaStaff Writer Scheduling mistake leaves team with just seven home games
1 Manchester United defender Guillermo Varela Napoli are hoping to lure Guillermo Varela away from Manchester United in the January transfer window.The Uruguyan defender has made just three appearances for United this season and has yet to convince Louis van Gaal that he can be a regular fixture at Old Trafford.And now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli are ready to capitalise on the uncertainty surrounding Varela’s future by making a January offer.Due to the number of injuries to defenders, United are likely to rebuff any approach for Varela until next summer, although that is unlikely to prevent Napoli from halting their pursuit.The 22-year-old joined United from Penarol in 2013 before spending a season-long loan at Real Madrid Castilla last term.
AdvertisementElina Svitolina (born 12 September 1994) is a Ukrainian tennis player.Having turned professional in 2010, she reached her career-high ranking of world No. 3 on 11 September 2017.Svitolina has won 13 WTA singles titles, her most significant coming at the 2018 WTA Finals, whilst winning three of five Premier 5-level tournaments in 2017, namely the Dubai Tennis Championships, the Italian Open, and the Canadian Open.At the 2015 French Open, she reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal where she was defeated by former champion Ana Ivanovic.In February 2017, after winning the title in Dubai, Svitolina made history by becoming the first Ukrainian woman to break into the top 10 rankings.In her career, Svitolina has scored victories over the likes of Grand Slam champions Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza, Caroline Wozniacki, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitová, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta and Sloane Stephens.Her first top-10 win came over Kvitová in 2014 at the Cincinnati Open, where she would go on to reach her first semifinal at a Premier-5 tournament.She also has six wins over a world No. 1 to her name, three over Kerber, two over Simona Halep and one over Serena Williams.In doubles, Svitolina has won two titles, both at the İstanbul Cup, in 2014 and 2015.Her career-high ranking in doubles play is world No. 108, which she reached on 4 May 2015.Svitolina was born in Odessa to parents Mikhaylo Svitolin (a former wrestler) and Olena Svitolina (a former competitive rower).She has an older brother named Yulian.As a child, Elina noticed that her brother was getting a lot of attention because he was playing tennis.This inspired her to take up the sport to regain some of the attention of her father.She started playing tennis at the age of five.Image Courtesy – Elina Svitolina (Instagram)Advertisement