Mendham’s Kenez, Montville’s Medina honored at luncheon

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

Mendham’s Brian Kenez was named Player of the Year and Montville’s Billy Medina was honored as Coach of the Year when the Morris County Boys Basketball Coaches Association held its annual luncheon at Zeris Inn in Parsippany on Wednesday.

Kenez, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward/guard was selected Most Valuable Player of the Morris County Tournament and the J.P. Flynn Holiday Tournament during the season. He averaged 12.4 points and nearly five rebounds for the Minutemen, a team that averaged 47 points a game. He was Mendham’s most dangerous offensive threat, showing scoring range from perimeter to post. He was also a versatile athlete who was lauded for his leadership qualities on the 21-6 Minutemen.

“It’s a great honor,” Kenez said. “It really reflects my hard work this summer, my teammates’ work this year and obviously coach (Kevin) Schmid and coach (Jim) Baglin. They have done so much for us in the gym over the summer. My teammates always push me in practice, the jayvee kids included. It’s just been a great year.”

Before the season began, Kenez was only concerned about playing a complete season. He was injured most of his freshman year and missed his sophomore season with injuries. A foot injury curtailed the last three weeks of his junior year. Despite his obstacles, he still wanted to perform for the Minutemen.

“Coming in to the this year I just wanted to stay healthy for the year,” Kenez said. “That was my main goal. Anytime someone brought up my health I was, ‘don’t say anything. We don’t want to jinx it’. I really haven’t gone healthy since sixth grade. My goal this year wasn’t winning an MVP or winning a county championship. It was just stay healthy.”

With his help, the Minutemen finished with the 10th Morris County Tournament title in school history.

“I played with Robert (Annen) in travel (teams) all through middle school,” Kenez said. “I knew he was a good player and I knew we could do good things this year. I didn’t think we could go 21-6 and win a county championship but coming in we were just going to play hard and we thought we would be alright. It didn’t come as a surprise. We knew we could do it.”

Montville coach Medina, praised his 13 seniors which helped the Mustangs to a 19-6 record, the school’s best season in nearly 30 years. He also was thankful to his wife, the administration at Montville High and several of his mentors including Schmid. He served on Schmid’s staff as an assistant at Parsippany High when Schmid was the varsity coach there.

“It’s a great honor,” Medina said. “Just looking around the room, we have so many great coaches. Some of them are so accomplished. I admire and respect all of them. It’s one of the greatest honors that I can have as a coach.”

First team All Morris County included: West Morris’ Conor Barron, Hanover Park Brad Daugherty, Chatham’s Sean McKenna, Mount Olive’s Donte Wise and Boonton’s Sammy Asani.

Second team All-Morris County is Montville’s Jacob Kaplan, Roxbury’s Doug Alexander, Morris Catholic’s Amir Allen, Morristown’s Jack Mongey and Hanover Park’s John Crown.

Third Team All-Morris County includes: Montville’s Erik Werheim, Morris Knolls’ Ryan Bornemann, Chatham’s Graham Delaney, Mendham’s Robert Annen and Whippany Park’s Ryan Gaynor.

All but McKenna, Allen, Asani, Crown and Gaynor, are expected to compete in this year’s Morris-Sussex Senior Classic All-Star Game which will be played at Mount Olive High School tonight. Although a senior, Asani is coming off knee surgery. He attended the luncheon on crutches. The rest of that group are underclassmen and will be eligible next year.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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