Girls Basketball Top 10 (Feb. 13)
Shore Conference Girls Basketball Top 10 (Feb. 13)
1-St. John Vianney (18-1, 14-0) Last week: 1
The Lady Lancers, who have won 12 straight, earned the top seed for the Shore Conference Tournament as they begin pursuit of their unprecedented 14th title. Vianney, which awaits the winner of Howell-Jackson Memorial in the Round of 16, applied the finishing touches on a 14-0 run through the B North by storming past Ocean behind the offensive output of senior forward Sajada Bonner and freshman guard Madison St. Rose as well as a defense that has been nothing short of stifling all season (29.1 ppg.).
2-St. Rose (21-1, 14-0) Last week: 2
An undefeated march to the A Central crown locked up the second-seed for St. Rose in the Shore Conference Tournament. Sophomore point guard Abby Antognoli has blossomed into a shrewd and entertaining playmaker entrusted to spread the offensive wealth among a host of worthy options. Transfers Makayla Andrews and Brynn Farrell integrated into the system, joining forces with senior veterans Lauren Lithgow, Sam Mikos and Maggie Stapleton to form one of the Shore’s most prolific offenses (58.6 ppg.) as well as a staunch defense (36.1 ppg.). The Roses will host 15th-seeded Donovan Catholic on Thursday in the Round of 16.
3-Manchester (21-2, 14-0) Last week: 3
The Hawks are riding the crest of a 13-game win streak into the Shore Conference Tournament, where they earned the third seed. Against an elevated out-of-conference schedule, Manchester landed notable wins over Gloucester Catholic, Long Island Lutheran and, most recently, a 57-40 decision against Ocean City that featured 14 points and 12 rebounds from sophomore guard Destiny Adams, 13 points and six assists out of junior point guard Kemari Reynolds and 18 points, 10 steals and seven boards supplied by senior guard Leilani Correa. Manchester will host the winner of Trinity Hall-Middletown North in the Round of 16 on Thursday.
4-Manasquan (16-5, 12-2) Last week: 4
The reigning Shore Conference Tournament champion will be eager to commence defense of the crown to wash out the bitter taste of a 54-48 road loss to Bishop Ahr on Friday night. Seniors Faith Masonius, Lola Mullaney and Annie Mako are coy veterans armed with complete understanding of the necessities to navigate through a treacherous tournament field. It will be up to them to translate their wisdom upon junior forward Kate Leturgez and freshmen Georgia Heine, Brooke Hollawell and Dorothy Loffredo. The Warriors will entertain the winner of Toms River South-Freehold Twp. on Thursday in the Round of 16.
5-Red Bank Catholic (14-7, 10-4) Last week: 5
Abiding to the principles of the signature defense synonymous with the Caseys, a young cast has put itself in position to make a run in the Shore Conference Tournament as the fifth seed. Sophomore point guard Sophia Sabino, freshman guard Justine Pissott, senior guard Julie Setaro, junior swing Fab Eggenschwiler, freshman center Ally Carman, sophomore guard Antonia Panayides and junior forward Nicole Stanford form a dependable rotation that yields 42.0 points a game. RBC welcomes neighbor Red Bank on Thursday in the Round of 16.
6-Rumson-Fair Haven (14-8, 8-6) Last week: 6
The Bulldogs spent the regular season fine tuning a defense that’s done some of its best work over the last two weeks. They’ve also taken advantage of the growth of a core of underclassmen who improve each time they step on the floor. Sophomores Grace Munt, Chase Boyle and Cortland McBarron, along with freshmen Charlie Rosen, Grace Collucci and Kaila Scarpa, have been primed against the gauntlet of A Central and open play in the SCT as the sixth-seed, awaiting the survivor of Long Branch-Colts Neck.
7-Marlboro (18-4, 11-1) Last week: 7
The A North champs locked down the seventh-seed in the SCT and faced 26th-seeded Keyport on Wednesday in the preliminary round. While the influence the 3-pointer has on the Mustangs’ offense has been well documented, the long-range pyrotechnics tend to overshadow a defense that has made strides of late. Senior guard Gisella Romeo and sophomore backcourt partner Sammy Jay set the exhausting tempo Marlboro seeks and incorporates a pool of shooters who complied an astronomical 237 threes on the season.
8-Middletown South (17-4, 10-2) Last week: 8
Back in the Shore Conference Tournament after failing to qualify a year ago, the eighth-seeded Eagles opened play Tuesday night with a 56-30 victory against Barnegat in the preliminary round. Middletown South hopes to bottle the formula it utilized, shooting a sizzling 61.5 percent from the field in the first quarter to build a 20-2 lead. Senior point guard Isla Brennan went 3 for 3 from behind the arc and supplied nine of her 13 points to the opening tear while junior swing Kayla Richardson compiled 18 points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks. Up next, a meeting with ninth-seeded Toms River North on Thursday.
9-Toms River North (18-4, 13-1) Last week: 9
Senior forward Jenna Paul, a Colgate commit, erupted for a career-high 34 points on Tuesday as the ninth-seeded Mariners embarked on their Shore Conference Tournament journey with a 79-46 showing against Point Beach. Senior point guard Brielle Bisogno had 16 points to complement 10 assists and junior wing Kristina Johnson pumped in a season-high 18 points, fueled by four triples. The Mariners travel to eighth-seeded Middletown South on Thursday in the Round of 16.
10-Toms River East (14-6, 11-3) Last week: NR
The Raiders raised their offensive output in the final 10 days of the regular season, perfectly timed for the outset of the Shore Conference Tournament, where they landed the 10th seed. Senior guard Kamryn Lister (12.7 ppg.), East’s leading scorer, has gotten notable assistance from junior guard Jordyn Madigan, senior guard Adriana Hart, junior forward Emily Maire and junior guard Nicole Platten, forcing defenses to play the entire more straight up. The Raiders hosted 23rd-seeded Mater Dei in the preliminary round on Wednesday.
On the bubble
Donovan Catholic (18-5, 12-2): Runners-up to Manchester in B South, the 15th-seeded Griffins picked up a 48-34 victory over 18th-seeded Raritan on Tuesday in the SCT preliminary round. Donovan Catholic has won seven of its last nine contests.
Jackson Memorial (15-6, 11-3): The Jags rebounded from a 54-44 loss to Toms River North by downing Central, 49-38, on Monday and are the 16th seed for the SCT. They entertained 17th-seeded Howell on Wednesday in the preliminary round.
Colts Neck (15-6, 11-3): The 11th-seeded Cougars were set to face 22nd-seeded Long Branch in the SCT preliminary round on Wednesday. They take a three-game win streak into the encounter.
Middletown North (13-10, 9-5): The Lions earned the 14th-seed for the SCT, ending the regular season by winning four of their last five outings.
Freehold Twp. (13-8, 7-5): The Patriots pocketed their biggest win of the season on Thursday when they outlasted No. 8 Middletown South, 47-46, in overtime. The win went a long way to landing Township the 13th-seed in the SCT.
Red Bank (15-7): Senior guard Meghan Murray pumped in 18 points, including the 1,000th of her career as the 12th-seeded Bucs scored a measure of revenge, toppling 21st-seeded Southern, 51-44, in the opening round of the SCT. A year ago, the Rams eliminated Red Bank in the preliminary stage with a triple-overtime triumph.