A lot of people would term Ranney’s 63-61 loss to Roselle Catholic in the Non-Public “B” state championship game as heartbreaking, but it’s easy for the Panthers to put into perspective. Just days before the state finals, Ranney head coach Tahj Holden learned that his 16-month-old son Max as diagnosed with pediatric neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. With his son having surgery the day before Ranney’s biggest game in school history, the Panthers showed that they are a tight-knit group on and off the court. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the story in Toms River of how the Panthers are without a doubt “Max Strong” not just in Saturday’ state final, but throughout young Max’s battle against cancer:
Coach Holden played high school basketball at Red Bank Regional before going on to the University of Maryland where he was a key contributor on the Terps 2002 national championship team. Holden was an assistant boys basketball coach at CBA before leading the Ranney program over the past three years. Over $130,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe page to help the Holden family with the medical expenses on the horizon.