Girls Basketball – Lancers Complete Magical Season
Trenton, NJ- It took two overtimes but the Saint John Vianney Lady Lancers finished off their magical season with a 65-58 double overtime Tournament of Champions win over Manasquan Monday night.
With the win the Lady Lancers completed a remarkable season where they beat Manasquan four times and finished their season with a record of 31-1, A Central Champions, Shore Conference Tournament Champions, Non Public A South Champions, Non Public A Champions and Tournament of Champions title.
It did not come easy this time around for the Lancers who had to regroup quickly late in the fourth quarter and double overtime to top #3 team in New Jersey in Manasquan. After being up by 10 points twice, the #1 team in New Jersey needed clutch, late free throws from senior Kelly Campbell. Campbell struggled early in the game with her free throws going 5-for-9 from the line before finishing off Manasquan in the second overtime down the stretch going 9-for-9 (14-for-18 for the night from the line).
Afterwards Campbell when asked about how she was able to shake off the early struggles on the line and come up big in overtime added "I was really beating myself up over those misses and told myself that if we are going to win I need to do a better job and focus on the line."
Campbell who finished with 23 points to lead Saint John Vianney was not the games leading scorer as that was Manasquan's freshman Faith Masonius who drained 27 points in her first Tournament of Champions action. During her TOC run she posted an average of 17 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Afterwards when asked about the play of Faith, coach Lisa Kukoda added "Faith stepped up big tonight on the biggest stage when we needed her and put us in a great position late, she really came into her own this season and has a big future ahead of her."
It was the freshman's huge layup and one after the foul on assist from junior Stella Clark that got the game tied at 43-43 for the first time since a minute to go in the first quarter. After a Kimi Evans field goal on assist from Campbell with just over two minutes to play gave the Lancers a 43-40 lead, Clark found an open Masonius down low with a minute and a half left in the game.
The Lancers got right back to work as Vanessa Pinho was fouled in the corner by Addie Masonius and went to the line and hit both free throws and gave St. John Vianney a 45-43 lead with just over a minute to play. After a Manasquan turnover, Julie Ramos was fouled immediately and converted 1-0f-2 to give the Lancers a three point lead with :57 seconds to play.
The in suing Manasquan possession was capped off when Dara Mabrey found an open lane and drove for and uncontested layup to cut the lead to 46-45. After Campbell was fouled trying to dribble out the clock, the senior wen to the line and converted both free throws for a 48-45 lead with :44 seconds left. There was no quit in this Warriors squad who once again battled back and the freshman Masonius hit another tough layup and pulled Manasquan to within one at 48-47. After Campbell hit one of two from the line, the Warriors looked in trouble after Gigi Caponegro blocked Mabrey's shot attempt but Faith was in the right place for the rebound and put back to tie the game with three seconds remaining.
After a back and fourth first overtime the two teams would play four more minutes in a second overtime. It would take long for the Lancers to take hold of this one and never let go of the lead again. Just thirty seconds into the period Caponegro hit her first and only basket of the game to put the Lancers up 55-53. St, John Vianney would jump out to a 58-53 lead on three straight free throws from Campbell before Nikki Stevens stopped the Lancers scoring.
The Lancers would allowed just one more scoring chance for Manasquan as Faith nailed a three pointer with :43 seconds left to cut the lead to 60-58. St. John Vianney leaned on their senior Kelly Campbell to seal the game and she did just that by finishing off the Warriors with four straight free throws to increase the Lancers lead to 64-58 and the celebration was on. Tina Lebron would add one more free throw to finish off the TOC scoring and the Lancers would capture a 65-58 win.
Afterwards Kelly Campbell added "our freshman year we had 11 losses, and we always joked about starting from the bottom, but it’s kind of true...we have spent almost every day together, three to four hours a day, hanging out on the weekends, we are more like a family."
Coach Karpell was emotional at times when talking about this group and their accomplishments and quickly shutdown any talks about recruiting top talent to Vianney “a lot of people like to say that we recruit, and I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that all these kids sitting up here chose to come to St. John Vianney to play for me and to play in that uniform, for me as a coach, to have kids that want to be here and want to be a part of this program and to accomplish what they did, that’s what makes them so special.”
Saint John Vianney now holds the record for most Tournament of Champions titles on the girls side with 7, breaking the tie with Shabazz.
|SAINT JOHN VIANNEY||FGS||3PTS||RBDS||FT||PTS|
|KIMI EVANS||5 FOR 13||6||1 FOR 2||11|
|KELLY CAMPBELL||4 FOR 9||1 FOR 4||11||14 FOR 18||23|
|GIGI CAPONEGRO||1 FOR 7||5||2|
|TINA LEBRON||2 FOR 6||2 FOR 6||2||1 FOR 2||7|
|VANESSA PINHO||3 FOR 7||0 FOR 1||4||4 FOR 4||10|
|JULIE RAMOS||1 FOR 2||1 FOR 2||1 FOR 3||4|
|SARAH KARPELL||0 FOR 1||0 FOR 1||1||0|
|ZOE PERO||1 FOR 4||3||6 FOR 6||8|
|TOTALS||17 FOR 49||4 FOR 14||32||27 FOR 35||65|
|ADDIE MASONIUS||2 FOR 7||0 FOR 3||3||0 FOR 2||4|
|DARA MABREY||4 FOR 11||1 FOR 3||6||1 FOR 2||10|
|STELLA CLARK||5 FOR 13||O FOR 4||6||3 FOR 4||13|
|CARLY GEISSLER||0 FOR 2||0 FOR 1||2||0|
|FAITH MASONIUS||10 FOR 17||2 FOR 3||9||5 FOR 5||27|
|NIKKI STEVENS||2 FOR 3||1||4|
|MAGGIE KELLY||0 FOR 1||0||0|
|TOTALS||23 FOR 54||3 FOR 14||27||9 FOR 13||58|