Girls Basketball – RBC Throttles Bound Brook to Set Up T of C Showdown with Manasquan
TOMS RIVER – Red Bank Catholic junior Hayley Moore has embraced the role of first player off the bench, even though she could lead a lot of other teams in the Shore Conference in scoring, according to her head coach.
On Thursday at Pine Belt Arena against Bound Brook in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions quarterfinals, Moore did both.
The junior sharp-shooter poured in a game-high 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and picked off four steals as the Caseys cruised to a 62-39 win over the Crusaders to advance to the T of C semifinals for the second time in five years.
“She could start anywhere,” RBC coach Joe Montano said. “He needed her to come off the bench. Any other kid would have an ego and say why me. She said, ‘I’ll do what you need me to do.’ She plays two fewer minutes and she gives us twice as much as any other kid coming off the bench.”
“I told (Montano) I’ll do whatever I can to win,” Moore said. “If it means coming off the bench, getting steals, getting rebounds – I’ll do whatever I can.”
Thursday’s win sets up a third meeting between RBC and Shore Conference Class B North rival Manasquan. The Warriors edged RBC in both regular-season meetings, first in Red Bank, 66-62, and again in Manasquan, 44-42. The second win came on a shot at the buzzer.
“We know we have Manasquan coming up Sunday and that’s a game we really want to win,” Moore said. “We just keep looking ahead, looking ahead to the next thing because we don’t want our season to end.”
Bound Brook jumped out to a 10-5 lead behind eight quick points by senior forward and leading scorer Janeea’ Summers. RBC, however, answered with a 15-2 run that bled into the second quarter. At one point during the run, Moore scored eight straight points of her own with a pair of three-pointers and a fastbreak layup.
Moore’s three first-half three-pointers highlighted RBC’s hot shooting from beyond the arc. The Caseys shot 8-for-17 from behind the three-point line despite leading scorer Josie Larkins shooting 0-for-4. RBC finished 10-for-25 for the game.
“Once I get going, I think the rest of my team also gets going,” Moore said.
After Summers connected on putback and two threes to get Bound Brook started, the Caseys limited her to six for the remainder of the game. Senior Maureen Coakley and junior Katie Rice teamed up to limit Summers to 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting.
RBC’s defense forced a total of 21 turnovers in the game, with Moore (4), Larkins (4), Rice (3) and Tia Montagne all recording at least three steals.
“I was happy with our defense,” Montano said. “They came in averaging 74 points per game in the tournament and we held them under 40.”
Despite shooting 0-for-6 from three-point range, Larkins filled up the box scored with eight points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals. She was one of three players to score eight points for the Caseys, with Coakley and Montagne each adding eight. Rice finished with seven – all in the first half – and junior Rose Caverly netted six in the win.
The Caseys will now have two days to prepare for Manasquan, although based on the familiarity the two teams have with one another, there won’t be much new subject matter to learn.
“I don’t think you put anything new in,” Montano said. “You’re looking over everything to see if there is something you missed, to see if we can play it a different way.
“Our team changes over the course of the year, their team changes over the course of the year – not even from a schematic standpoint, but just as far as who is tired, who is playing well. Maybe you tinker with a matchup here and a matchup there, but both of the games were great games this year.”
Lola Mullaney’s long two pointer that bounced around the rim and dropped as time expired sank the Caseys in the more recent meeting and junior Dara Mabrey – the Gatorade Player of the Year in N.J. – scored a then-career-high 33 points to lead Manasquan to victory in the first meeting.
The matchup also pits a coach against his former player, as Manasquan is coached by former Red Bank Catholic point guard Lisa Kukoda, who also served as an assistant under Montano before taking the Manasquan job.
“If Lisa wants to leave Dara home, I really don’t have a problem with that,” Montano said.
Red Bank Catholic 62, Bound Brook 39
|Bound Brook (30-2)||12||11||8||8||39|
|RB Catholic (28-3)||19||21||11||11||62|
Bound Brook (39): Jordan Todaro 0 2-2 2, Olivia Nilsen 4 0-0 9, Janeea’ Summers 4 3-6 14, Diamond Tucker 1 0-0 2, Cameron Ward 1 3-4 5, Julia Nilsen 3 1-1 7, Vicki Triana 0 0-0 0, Lacey Meyer 0 0-0 0, Evelyn Nunez 0 0-0 0, Adelina Gullia 0 0-0 0, Emily Toy 0 0-0 0, Courtlyn Morris 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 9-13 39
Three-pointers: Summer 3, Ward
Red Bank Catholic (62): Tia Montagne 3 1-3 8, Josie Larkins 4 0-0 8, Maureen Coakley 3 0-2 8, Katie Rice 3 0-0 7, Rose Caverly 2 1-2 6, Hayley Moore 7 0-0 17, Amanda Hart 1 0-0 3, Fabien Eggenschwiler 1 0-0 2, Annetta Panayides 0 0-0 0, Eliza Srinivasan 0 0-0 0, Maddie Fagan 0 0-0 0, Julia Setaro 1 0-0 3, Sky DeRosa 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 2-7 62
Three-pointers: Montagne, Coakley 2, Rice, Caverly, Moore 3, Hart, Setaro