On Feb. 6 at the Ranney School, Bryan Antoine glided down the lane, rose high in the air and dunked the basketball.
Antoine chest bumped teammate Ahmadu Sarnor as the crowd roared in the gym at the school in Tinton Falls.
Antoine’s boys’ basketball teammates came out to hug him on the court.
The 6-5 senior guard then held up a blue banner that said, “Shore Conference All Time Leading Scorer.”
Antoine posed for pictures as the crowd continued to clap, roar and take iPhone videos.
With that historic basket in the third quarter, Antoine became the Shore Conference’s all-time leading scorer in boys’ basketball.
He entered the game against Mater Dei Prep with 2,283 career points. Norm Caldwell, a 1973 Croydon Hall graduate, held the previous record with 2,302 points. Croydon Hall, a private academy in Middletown, closed its doors in 1975.
Moments before the dunk, Antoine tied the mark by drilling a three pointer from the right wing. Then, literally seconds later, after the Panthers stole the ball from the Seraphs, Antoine broke the record with his 2,303rd and 2,304th career points.
He finished the evening with 30 points in the game and 2,313 in his career. The Ranney School also beat Mater Dei Prep, 103-43, improving to 19-2 with the postseason looming.
But Feb. 7 was not about what lies ahead for the Panthers. It was about the player most responsible for building the program into a state and national power.
“I’m going to be honest, I really wasn’t aware of how many points I had. But then after I got to the three point line, Ahmadu and (teammate) Scottie (Lewis) started hugging me, and that’s when I knew,” Antoine said. “I had no idea. I didn’t even know until they had the banner out there. I thought it was a timeout or something like that.”
“To be a part of this team the last four years, and to have a teammate like Bryan, we’ve had a chance to build this legacy and build our accolades up,” Lewis said. “Bryan getting an award like this, it’s an amazing thing.”
Antoine and Lewis, the pillars of Ranney’s program, are both McDonald’s All-Americans, an honor earned by just 24 players across the United States. But they still have one big thing left to accomplish in their high school careers: an NJSIAA Non-Public B Tournament championship.
Ranney lost to Roselle Catholic High School, 63-61, in last year’s Non-Public B title game.
Once Ranney is able to gain the Non-Public B crown, the Panthers will focus on winning the Tournament of Champions state title.
And if they make a run, Antoine will get a lot more games to keep scoring and setting a new standard down the shore.
“I grew up in this area and I grew up following Shore Conference basketball. I’ve never seen a scorer like Bryan,” said Ranney coach Tahj Holden, who starred at Red Bank Regional High School. “That’s a credit to him and the team.”
“Coach just talked to me about attacking the basket. And that’s what I kind of did,” Antoine said. “I was just focused on the win and trying to help the team in any way I can.”