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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    Complete guide to this weekend's county finals.

    This weekend is loaded with county tournament finals with fantastic matchups, and is your one stop shop for everything you need heading into the action.

    Click the links below to see full previews for every county final this weekend. 

    Friday, Feb. 23
     Bergen County Tournament 
    No. 5 Don Bosco Prep vs. No. 6 Bergen Catholic, at FDU, 7

     Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament 
    Pope John vs. North Hunterdon, at Sparta, 7

    RELATED: LIVE webcasts of 2 Saturday county finals

    Saturday, Feb. 24
    Cape-Atlantic League Tournament 
    No. 17 Wildwood Catholic vs. No. 15 Atlantic City, at Stockton U., 2

    Essex County Tournament (LIVE webcast available, 12:55)
    No. 7 East Side vs. No. 12 Montclair Immaculate, at Essex College, 1

    Hudson County Tournament 
    No. 2 Hudson Catholic vs. St. Peter's Prep, St. Peter's University, 7

    Morris County Tournament
    Delbarton vs. Chatham, County College of Morris, 7

     Passaic County Tournament 
    Paterson Kennedy vs. Wayne Hills, at Wayne Valley, noon

     Shore Conference Tournament 
    No. 4 Ranney vs. No. 13 Mater Dei, A Monmouth U., 8

     Somerset County Tournament 
    No. 3 Gill St. Bernard's vs. Rutgers Prep, at Franklin, 3

    Union County Tournament (LIVE webcast available, 6:55)
    No. 1 Roselle Catholic vs. No. 10 Patrick School, Kean U., 7

    Richard Greco may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Mike Kinney may be reached at Follow him on twitter @MikeKinneyHS. Kevin Minnick may be reached at Follow him on twitter @kminnicksportsLike HS sports on Facebook.

    0 0's complete coverage from the quarterfinal round of the region wrestling tournament.


    We are one step closer. The road to Atlantic City continues with the Region quarterfinals Friday night. Winners will advance to the semifinal round on Saturday morning. Wrestlers losing in the quarterfinal round still have a chance to make it to Atlantic City, battling through the wrestleback rounds on Saturday.   

    MORE: Wednesday night's coverage will be your place to follow all of the action. We'll have live updates, results, stories, photos and more from around the state. Check back all night on Friday. 

    R-1 | R-2 | R-3 | R-4
    R-5 | R-6 | R-7 | R-8

    NOTE: All brackets will be updated as results come in. Click on a weight within each region to see the brackets.

    Region 1
    •  Live updates
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
      Continually updated R-1 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 2
    Live updates
      Photo gallery
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-2 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285 

    RELATED: 'Most hated player in Jersey' still kneeling for anthem

    Region 3
    • Live updates
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-3 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 4
    • Live updates
     Undefeated Zach DelVecchio of S. Plainfield withdraws
      Photo gallery
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-4 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 5
    Live updates
      Photo gallery
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-5 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 6
    Live updates
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-6 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 7
    Live updates
      Photo gallery
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-7 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

    Region 8
    Live updates
      Photo gallery
     Quarterfinal results
     Semifinals pairings
    •  Continually updated R-8 brackets
    106 | 113 | 120 | 126 | 132 | 138 | 145
    152 | 160 | 170 | 182 | 195 | 220 | 285

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    The average New Jersey residential property tax bill hit $8,690 in 2017.

    New Jersey's already-sky high residential property taxes set a new record in 2017, with the average tax bill ringing up at $8,690.

    That tax bill is $141 -- or 1.6 percent -- over the $8,549 homeowners paid, on average, in 2016

    The burden falls hardest in Bergen, Essex and Union counties, where the average bill exceeded $11,000. Counties with the highest property taxes tend to be concentrated in the northern and central parts of the state.

    The new figures released Friday by the Department of Community Affairs closes the books on property taxes during former Gov. Chris Christie's eight years in office.

    Click to see the latest property tax numbers for your town

    The average tax bill was $7,281 when Christie came into office. During the two terms of his administration they rose a total of just over 19 percent, representing a significant slowdown in the rate of property tax growth from previous governors. 

    The Department of Community Affairs releases town-by-town property tax data each winter, each year's average predictably setting a new record for a state with the highest property taxes in the nation.

    But this year, homeowners are facing uncertainty in their property tax bills on several fronts, prompting worry that they could grow at a faster rate.

    Murphy says Jersey will sue to stop Trump tax law

    Officials from counties and municipalities warn they may be forced to raise property taxes in the aftermath of the expiration of a 2 percent cap on the raises police and firefighters can win in arbitration.

    While the number of contract disputes that land in interest arbitration are few, local government officials say those raises inform contract negotiations across the state.

    In the decades before the cap was installed, arbitration awards ranged from 2 percent to nearly 6 percent.

    While they're still hemmed in by a 2 percent cap on annual increases in government spending, officials say higher arbitration awards would force them to cut programs or take advantage of the exceptions to the 2 percent cap for things like employee retirement benefit costs and debt service.

    An analysis of the cap released this fall found it saved taxpayers $530 million on police and firefighter salaries and more broadly found the duo of caps saved taxpayers $2.9 billion.

    In his final State of the State address, Christie urged lawmakers to renew the cap he signed into law, saying New Jerseyans can't afford big jumps in their bills each year.

    "Seven days, I'm just another property taxpayer," he said last month. "And as another property taxpayer, I am begging you. Stand up to these interests. Pass the arbitration cap like you've done twice before. And do not return the citizens of our state to 7 percent annual property tax increases."

    Gov. Phil Murphy notably has not released a specific plan to lower property taxes, but he's said he wants to put an additional $1 billion a year into education funding that could relieve the burden on local school districts to raise more revenue. 

    And Republicans in Washington installed a $10,000 cap on the state and local taxes that will hit hard homeowners in such high-tax states as New Jersey, where property tax bills alone can easily exceed $10,000.

    The property tax break took the edge off the state's notoriously high property taxes, but the truncated version will leave New Jersey homeowners feeling every dollar of their tax bill.

    Murphy announced last month he's joining with New York and Connecticut in a federal action against the GOP tax law that caps the deduction and raises taxes on wealthy blue state residents.

    He's spoken in support of allowing local governments to construct support funds that would allow taxpayers to classify their property tax payments as donations that are fully deductible, and he said he's taken interest in a proposal made by Cuomo to shift from personal income taxes to payroll taxes, which can be deducted fully.

    Lawmakers introduced a charitable bill fund in the Senate, which would allow municipalities, counties and school districts to offer property tax credits worth 90 percent of donations made to these accounts.

    Tax experts, however, are skeptical these schemes will stand up to IRS scrutiny.


    Samantha Marcus may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @samanthamarcus. Find Politics on Facebook.

    Carla Astudillo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @carla_astudi. Find her on Facebook.

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    Yovanni Banos-Merino, 10, was shot and killed at a home in Asbury Park on Wednesday.

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    One home is listed for $5.5 million, and the other is on the market for $2.5 million.

    A former Wall Street trailblazer, whose firm rode the wave of the Internet to controlling almost one-fifth of the trading in the Nasdaq and OTC markets by 1999, is offloading two multi-million dollar homes in New Jersey.

    Kenneth Pasternak, who told Fortune in 1999 he was already "a very wealthy man" before he founded Jersey City-based Knight Capital Group in 1995, has had a roller coaster journey since: "retiring" in 2002, being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 for improper trading during the tech boom (he was cleared of all charges in 2008) and now chairing the Ridgefield Park-based KABR Group, a real estate investment firm he founded in 2008 that manages more than $1 billion in assets.

    Apparently, next on the agenda is selling his New Jersey real estate, which includes a 11,782-square-foot Saddle River estate listed for $5.5 million and a 5,041-square-foot Avon By The Sea home for $2.5 million.

    Both went on the market this week.

    The Saddle River mansion, which is located on nearly five acres of private Bergen County land, has seven bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. The listing describes the home as the "ultimate chateau" and that is completely updated and expanded.

    Highlights of the home include: a luxury kitchen, recent additions to the media room and master bedroom closet, a pool, a two-story cabana, tennis courts and a "rolling manicured" lawn throughout the five acres.

    Pasternak purchased the home for $5 million in 2002, according to property records. This isn't the first time the home has been put on the market. In November 2016, it was listed for $7.9 million and continually priced down until it was taken of the market in December 2017.

    Property taxes for the home were $50,533 in 2017.

    Close to 75 miles down the coast from Saddle River in Avon By The Sea is Pasternak's second New Jersey home, which like the Saddle River home, he owns with his wife, Dorothy. Located a few blocks from the beach, the home has nine bedrooms and four bathrooms.

    The home is described as being ideal for entertaining, whether it be on the home's massive wraparound front porch or the backyard lounge and pool area or in nearby communities like Asbury Park and Belmar.

    The Pasternaks bought the home for $2.1 million in 2012, according to property records. This is the first time it has been on the market.

    Property taxes for the home were $20,028 in 2017.

    Joe Atmonavage may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jatmonavageNJFind on Facebook

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    Todd Ritter, 54, of Millstone, has been charged in the Feb. 12 encounter and suspended without pay. Watch video

    A Piscataway cop punched a handcuffed man in the back of his cruiser and, when the man tried to tell another officer about the assault, claimed the man had kicked him "in the nuts," a police video shows. 

    The officer in the video, Todd Ritter, 54, of Millstone (Monmouth County), has been charged in the Feb. 12 altercation and suspended without pay. 

    The handcuffed man also claims in the video from inside the police car, which was released Saturday by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, that he was assaulted by another officer during his arrest. 

    No other officers have been charged with wrongdoing in the incident. 

    (The full video, edited by NJ Advance Media only for language, appears at the bottom of this story.)

    "I didn't resist. ... I ain't resist at all," the man, whose name has not been released, says in the video to the other officer about his arrest. "This [expletive] just slammed me on my head and put his knee, kneed me in my face."

    "You think it's funny?" the man asks. "... He got mad because I said something, and he gone and slammed me. ... I said I can't breathe, then he threatened and said he was going to [expletive] me up and everything."

    The video shows the man kick the glass separating the front and back seats multiple times and threaten to kill the officers. 

    "I'm gonna break it," the man yells. "... Why you gotta lie? ... I'm gonna kill all you all [expletive], watch!"

    Ritter stops the cruiser about 10 seconds later, opens the back door, grabs the cuffed man and with his left hand near the man's throat, punches the man with his right hand, the video shows. 

    "Stop kicking. Stop stressing. Stop kicking me in the balls," the officer says as he holds the man down in the back seat.  

    "Put me in a different car," the man yells to another officer. "Yo, this guy just punched me in my face."

    "This a--hole just kicked me in the nuts," Ritter says to the other officer in response. 

    "He's lying! I swear to God, he's lying! He punched me in my face!" the man yells.

    "Shut up," Ritter responds as he wrestles the man out of the cruiser.

    Prosecutors have also accused Ritter -- who joined the force in 1996 and earns $120,948 annually, according to state pension records -- of filing false records to try to cover up the incident. 

    He faces charges of tampering with public records, falsifying and tampering with records, and assault.

    Ritter is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New Brunswick on March 15. 

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find on Facebook 

    Craig McCarthy may be reached at 732-372-2078 or at Follow him on Twitter @createcraig and on Facebook here. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.


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    A 16-year-old has been charged in the Asbury Park killing of Yovanni Banos-Merino.

    Roses and candles marked a vigil Saturday in memory of a 10-year-old boy killed this week when someone shot at the Asbury Park home he shared with his family. 

    The ceremony outside the city's Boys & Girls Club was mostly silent, except for a few remarks from officials and the sister of the slain child, Yovanni Banos-Merino.

    "It was just a community coming together over a tragic incident that happens many times across America every day," Mayor John Moor said in a phone interview. "And the city of Asbury Park is joining hands and having a vigil, saying enough is enough." 

    Prosecutors said the target of the shooting on the 400 block of Ridge Avenue was likely a family friend who was in the home at the time, but was not hurt. They have not publicly identified a potential motive for the violence.  

    A 16-year-old boy was arrested at Neptune High School on Thursday and charged with murder in the shooting that also wounded Yovanni's mother, Lilia Merino.

    The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said they believe the boy was an accomplice of the shooter, who has not been found. 

    The 16-year-old, whom prosecutors did not identify because he is a juvenile, also faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

    Merino, 38, was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Jersey Shore University Medical Center after the shooting and has since been released. 

    Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call prosecutor's office Detective Brian Weisbrot at 800-533-7443 or Asbury Park police Detective Sean DeShader at 732-774-1300.

    Anonymous tips can be submitted through Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-671-4400, or by texting "MONMOUTH" and their tip to 274637. Tipsters can also submit information at

    Marisa Iati may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Iati or on Facebook here. Find on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us.

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    No one was injured in the fire at Bayshore Medical Center.

    Patients from the Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel were transferred to another facility early Sunday morning after a toaster in the building's break room caught on fire, a hospital spokesperson said. 

    The fire damage was limited, but sprinklers, which controlled the fire damage, caused water damage in certain areas of the hospital, spokeswoman April Dunic said Sunday. 

    Six patients were transferred to Riverview Medical Center, Dunic said. Others near the water damage were relocated to different parts of the Bayshore Medical Center. 

    "Clean up is underway and we expect normal operations very soon," Dunic said. 

    No patients, hospital workers or emergency personnel were harmed in the incident and several area fire and first aid services responded. 

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find on Facebook.


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    The complete list of 2018 NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships qualifiers heading to Atlantic City

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    Prosecutors said murder, assault, conspiracy and weapons charges were filed against the 18-year-old on Friday.

    Investigators are searching for a Neptune Township man who is now the second person charged in the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Asbury Park last week, prosecutors announced Sunday.

    Karon Council (mug)Karon Council. (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

    In a statement, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said Karon Council, 18, was charged Friday night with murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault and weapons offenses in the fatal shooting of Yovanni Banos-Merino on Wednesday.

    Prosecutors said local, state and federal law enforcement authorities are all involved in the search for Council, who was charged just a day after a 16-year-old boy from Neptune Township was arrested on the same charges in Banos-Merino's slaying.

    The teenager, who has not been publicly identified because of his age, is being held at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center and is next scheduled to appear before a judge in Freehold on Tuesday, according to the prosecutor's office.

    Banos-Merino's mother, Lilia Merino, also was injured in the shooting at their home in the 400 block of Ridge Avenue, where police received a report of shots fired around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday.

    Authorities said Merino, 38, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds she received, but has since been released.

    Investigators are urging anyone with information about Council's location or the homicide investigation to call prosecutor's office Detective Brian Weisbrot at 800-533-7443, or Asbury Park police Detective Sean DeShader at 732-774-1300.

    In its statement announcing the most recent charges, the prosecutor's office said police were prepared to charge anyone who helps Council hide from law enforcement or obstructs the investigation.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.

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    Survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. met Sunday with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez to rally around gun control in New Jersey. Watch video

    They've taken buses to their state capitol, flights to meet with the president and now they've come to New Jersey.

    Student survivors of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school brought their message of gun control to the Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston on Sunday. 

    "This is an issue of lives," said David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who has become a high-profile voice for survivors of the attack. "This is a non-partisan issue that we need to work together to solve," 

    The rally comes more than a week after a 19-year-old former student turned gunman mowed down 17 students and teachers at the campus on Valentine's Day. 

    Since the rampage, student survivors have mobilized to force a conversation and change around access to high-powered assault-style rifles, such as the AR-15 used in the massacre.

    Hogg said he was in his AP science class when he heard a pop that sounded like a gunshot. At first, students thought it was a drill but learned it was "life or death."

    "I'm here, I'm alive and and we have to change something about this," Hogg said.

    The students, as well as leaders from local religious and advocacy groups, met with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., as he led a rally for gun reform legislation.

    Officials at the temple where they rallied had to repeatedly fold back temporary walls to make the room bigger. Even still, it was standing room only and the rally started late to make sure all the people who were standing outside in the rain were able to come in.

    "How high must the body count climb before Congress puts the safety of our families ahead of the gun industry," Menendez remarked.

    The senator called for universal background checks to be completed before guns are sold. He spoke highly of the Parkland students, who sat behind him, saying they had turned their grief "into a movement." 

    Those students have made national news, appearing on nightly cable news shows, marching to Florida's state capital to demand change and posting online using the hashtag, "#neveragain."

    "They have seen the blood of their classmates and they are not standing still," said Rabbi Avi Friedman, of the Temple Ohr Shalom.

    The actions of the Parkland students have inspired their contemporaries across the country, including in New Jersey, as the shootings became a flashpoint in the nation's long-simmering gun control debate.

    Last week, hundreds of students walked out of school in solidarity with their Parkland peers.

    Expo preview

    Two New Jersey high school students were among those who came to Sunday's rally to be a part of the conversation. They said they are both planning walkouts at their schools as part of a larger, national walkout set for March 14. 

    "We want our government to see that we're more than just teenagers," said Darcy Schleifstein, a sophomore at Randolph High School. "We want change and we mean business."

    Schleifstein said she and other high school students have banded together in light of the shooting earlier this month, checking in to make sure everyone's ok and talking about what they can do to bring action.

    "It's been an enlightening process," said Samantha Levy, a sophomore at Columbia High School. "Some kids are kinda clueless about what's going on in the world. But, there's much-needed change."

    The Parkland students return to class on Wednesday, where they will be greeted by hand-painted hearts made by Newark students.

    Behind the microphone on Sunday, the students encouraged everyone in the room to stand up and join their efforts to continue the conversation about gun control and bring about change.

    "Stay woke and get out and vote," Hogg said.

    Sara Jerde may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SaraJerde.

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    The county prosecutor's office said he was arrested by personnel from two U.S. Marshals Service regional task forces.

    Karon Council (mug)Karon Council. (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

    Hours after authorities announced charges against him Sunday evening, a Neptune Township man was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in Florida in connection with the fatal shooting of a 10-year-old boy in Asbury Park last week.

    In a statement, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said Karon Council, 18, was arrested in Pompano Beach by personnel from the Marshal's Service's regional fugitive task forces from both Florida and New Jersey.

    Earlier Sunday, the prosecutor's office had announced murder, conspiracy, assault and weapons charges against Council in the death of Yovanni Banos-Merino, who was fatally shot at his home in the 400 block of Ridge Avenue on Wednesday night.

    Merino's 38-year-old mother, Lilia Merino, also was injured by gunfire but was released from a local hospital after treatment, authorities said.

    The prosecutor's office has not publicly alleged a specific motive for the shootings.

    A 16-year-old boy, also of Neptune Township, was arrested Thursday on the same charges and is being held at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center pending further court proceedings.

    The prosecutor's office said Council will be held at the Broward County, Florida, jail awaiting extradition to New Jersey.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.

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    New Jersey's average property tax bill climbed $141 to $8,690 last year. See how much your county's average bill increased here.

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    The Lakewood resident will pay $92 in fines and court fees Watch video

    A New Jersey man who was pulled over for speeding while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital will pay a fine to settle the ticket.

    The lawyer for Abraham Steinfeldm, of Lakweood, said Friday the man has pleaded guilty to a less severe traffic violation and will pay $92 in fines and court fees. The Asbury Park Press reports Steinfeld was pulled over for driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone while rushing his wife to the hospital on Nov. 14.

    Howell police released dashboard footage of the stop, showing Officer Anthony Marotto asking for the couple's license and registration and offering to call them an ambulance.

    The police department said they understand it was a stressful situation, but "the officer acted appropriately."


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey patiently await homes.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    We are now accepting dogs and cats to appear in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey.

    If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on, please contact Greg Hatala at or call 973-836-4922.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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    State's top teams maintain their presence in this week's Top 20.

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    See the latest links in girls basketball state tournament preview.

    Get your game face on. The tournament starts Monday.

    Here is our complete and extensive state tournament preview, with lots of serious basketball analysis and a little fun too. will, of course have extensive round-by-round coverage of the tournament, from now through the T of C final on March 18.

    All the brackets 
    Favorites, dark horses, players to watch & more - every bracket
    Sites & times for the state tournament

    FEATURES's predicts all 20 sectional champs
    Upset alerts: Our complete Round 1 picks

    X-Factors: Which players will excel in the state tournament?

    Players to watch in each section of 2018 state tourney
    • 17 lower-seeded teams that can make a run
    15 takeaways from the state tournament seeds 

    Brian Deakyne may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BrianDeakyne. Like High School Sports on Facebook.

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    Karon Council, 18, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshal's Service in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is currently at the Broward Sheriff's Office county jail.

    A Neptune man who was arrested Sunday in Florida and charged in connection with the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy in Asbury Park will have an extradition hearing in a Florida courtroom on Tuesday.

    Karon Council (mug)Karon Council. (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

    Karon Council, 18, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshal's Service in Pompano Beach, Florida, and is currently at the Broward Sheriff's Office county jail, according to a statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

    Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni had announced earlier on Sunday that authorities were seeking Council in connection with the death of Yovanni Banos-Merino.

    Council was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses.  

    Yovanni's 38-year-old mother, Lilia Merino, was also wounded in the shooting but has since been released from the hospital, authorities said.

    Council's alleged accomplice, a 16-year-old Neptune teenager whose identity is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested Friday and charged with murder. He is being held at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center.

    Authorities have not stated a motive in the shooting, but have said the intended target was another man who was staying at the Ridge Avenue home with Yovanni and his mother.

    The shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. on Wednesday. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    The MOC provided some incredible performances. But who had the best day?

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    Complete guide to the 2018 state tournament.

    The boys basketball preview is essentially complete with the addition Thursday of the huge bracket-by-bracket breakdown. But be sure to keep coming back to this post - we have a piece or two to add before play starts on Monday - like Friday's addition of can't-miss Round 1 games.

    Every section's favorites, dark horses, players to watch & more
     All the brackets
     Sites and times for Group semis and finals

    23 can't-miss Round 1 games
     Predicting all 20 section champs
     From Antoine to Zona: A-to-Z guide to the state tourney

     High seeds poised to be tourney spoilers's superhero squad
     X-factors for the state tournament 
     Takeaways from the state tournament seeding meeting

    Richard Greco may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Mike Kinney may be reached at Follow him on twitter @MikeKinneyHS. Kevin Minnick may be reached at Follow him on twitter @kminnicksportsLike HS sports on Facebook.

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