By  Doug Brustman SSN Contributor 

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#5 Jackson wins CJG4 Championship 53-45 over #4 Monroe

This is the time of year that Jackson Memorial coach Rachel Goodale lives for.  Long days of running on the beach in the summer, double sessions at 6am.  Early morning shooting and conditioning.  Everything Goodale does points her team to these moments- and the Jags responded with a 53-45 win over Monroe to capture the Central Jersey Group 4 Championship.  This is the second in two years, and 3rd sectional championship for Goodale.

“I’ve got tough kids- we focus on the grind” Goodale said after celebrating with her team and family, as well as the large amount of students who took a bus trip out to Monroe to support the Jags.

Kamile Makselyte, one of 3 seniors on the squad, would not be denied another championship.  Makselyte finished with 15 points and 20 rebounds for Jackson Memorial. “That’s her effort all year” said Goodale. “Kamile is a beast.  She loves to the do the HARD things to win.”

Photo by Jamie Lohman
Photo by Jamie Lohman

Monroe hung around all game thanks to their 3 point shooting.  They never let the game get out of reach, but Jackson freshman Avery Brooks made sure they didn’t get too close.  Brooks matched 2 big Monroe 3’s with two 3’s of her own in the 2nd quarter.  Brooks has really come of age in the State playoffs, scoring 17 in a quarterfinal win over East Brunswick and adding 13 points and 7 rebounds in tonight’s final.  When asked about Brooks’ development, Goodale said “Avery Brooks comes in 6am and shoots with assistant coaches.  Teammates have confidence in her . She’s very smart . High Basketball IQ.  Played jv all year . Firm believer in reps . Got ready for these moments.

When asked what this championship and this group of seniors means to her program, Goodale remarked, “Means everything . This group was a totally different team than in November . I told them let’s gel for February . This senior class has played together since they were 3. Grew up mid monmouth and all though jackson schools.  I could not be more proud of this team!”

Jackson Memorial moves on to the Group 4 semi-final Wednesday night. The Jags will take on South Jersey Group 4 Champions Cherokee at Central Regional at 7pm.

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