Girls State Basketball Championship
This is a pretty good time for girl’s high school basketball in the shore area and it culminates this weekend when four local teams take the court in the six state finals that will be decided at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.
Shore Conference Tournament champion St. Rose is first up as the Purple Roses meet Immaculate Heart Academy tomorrow at 2pm in the Non-Public A Final.
That will be the second of two Girls games Saturday and two boys games will follow, including the Group 3 championship which finds Neptune meeting Plainfield at 7pm.
Sunday is when local fans get a treat as Jackson Memorial, Point Boro and Manasquan will all seek state titles and spots in next week’s Tournament of Champions. Coach Rachel Goodale’s Jaguars begin the day with a high noon matchup against North Hunterdon for the Group 4 title. The Class A South champs rallied from 16 points down to beat Rancocas Valley for their first ever sectional title on Monday and then dispatched Washington Township Wednesday in the state group semifinals. Led by Tiffany Montague, Steph Mason and Hannah Missry this team has gone further than any other basketball squad in school history and should feel at home playing in the Pine Belt Arena.
Point Boro will have a mighty task when they face the state’s top ranked team Shabazz in the Group 2 final at 2pm. Shabazz crushed Pequannock by 33 points last night to earn the date against the Boro Panthers.
Manasquan, who won the WOBM Christmas Classic at the Pine Belt Arena earlier in the season returns to that court at 4pm for a Group 3 championship matchup against Teaneck. The Big Blue Warriors improved to 28-2 with a 25-point rout of Seneca last night as sophomore Katelynn Flaherty poured in 29 points. Notre Dame-bound Michalea Mabry, who earlier in the day was named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, chipped in with 21 points. The matchup with Teaneck figures to be a good one as the teams are ranked 3rd and 4th in the state.
Manasquan, Point Boro and Jackson Memorial all took part in the WOBM Classic so they have a slight advantage in having played at the Pine Belt Arena.
You could clearly make the statement that the Shore Conference features the best Girls Basketball in New Jersey with four teams playing for state titles this weekend.