February 15, 2012

Bosch glad the chase to 1,000 points is finished

Sports Columnist

There wasn’t a lot of celebration when Matt Bosch scored his 1,000th point last week. In the 90 years or so that Ocean City High School has had a boys basketball team, only 11 players have reached that level.

But Matt was just glad it was over.

Actually, the significant crowd at the Dixie Howell Gymnasium gave Bosch a standing ovation when the game was stopped. His teammates crowded around and John Bruno presented him with the ball, the one he had just sent through the nets from about 20 feet away near the top of the key. After Bosch presented the ball to his parents, with no pauses for photos, the St. Augustine players lined up to shake his hand.

That was the way Matt wanted it – make the celebration short and lets get on with the game.

“Matt does not especially enjoy being the center of attention,” said Bruno. “He’s a team player, he wants to win. He knows he usually needs to score to help us win. But he’s not in it for himself.”

“I was really happy to get it over with,” Bosch said. “It is a great honor to be on such a small list but it was a little distracting sometimes. And besides, St. Augustine was beating us by double digits or something. We wanted to get on with the game.”

He feels more relaxed now. After the win over Cherry Hill East Saturday, Bruno pointed out to Bosch that he only scored eight points, his season low. “I told him it didn’t matter, now,” Bosch said. “The 1,000-point thing is over. Now I can just play and do what I can to help us win, even if its not scoring.”

Bosch has been in Ocean City’s lineup for three seasons. He experienced the great Cape-Atlantic League championship season, averaging 9.0 points and 6.1 rebounds playing on the baseline with Chris Curran and Tyler Reich. Last year he became the team’s leading scorer with 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.

This year, Bosch has moved away from the basket. He has a few less rebounds but he is shooting 40 percent from three-point range, leads the CAL in scoring and continues to shoot better than 50 percent from the field and 70 percent from the line, as he has for all three seasons.

The 6-3 senior is quicker and stronger this year.

“I’ve worked with John Porter as a trainer since middle school,” Bosch said. “We’ve gradually increased the intensity of the workouts and worked really hard before this season.”

Handling the ball more effectively and developing a strong perimeter shot have made Bosch an even better basketball player in his senior year. But those decisions were made for more far-reaching reasons.

“That was done just as much for college,” he said. “I have decent size to play inside in high school but when I go to college I’ll need to play away from the basket. I won’t be big enough to stay in the lane.”

And the colleges have shown their interest. There are almost always one or two college coaches waiting for Bosch to emerge from the locker room after a game.

“It has been interesting talking to the college coaches,” Matt said. “Right now I’m interested in Wheeling Jesuit in West Virginia. I spent a lot of time working with Scott Bittner, who went there. And Jose Gonzalez of The Prep has talked to me. He went there, too. I’m also interested in Cabrini, and Washington College, and quite a few in Pennsylvania. I haven’t made a decision yet.”

Bosch is satisfied with the season, so far.

“We don’t have a bunch of all stars on this team,” he said. “What we have is a group of guys who love basketball. We play like people who love the game. There is pressure and intensity but we’re always having fun. It’s great to win, and we’ve had some great wins, but basketball is not only about winning.

“This is also a sad time of year. We’ve got the state tournament ahead of us and we are all looking forward to getting maybe two tournament games at home. But we may only have four or five games left. Maybe a few more. But it is all going to end very soon. I’ve been playing basketball with these guys forever and it is sad that it is almost over. We are all determined to make it last as long as we can.”

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