Decked: Decker steers Red Bank into WOBM semis
TOMS RIVER - Within a mind that houses an abundance of information that must be decimated and executed in an instant resides a unique valve that refuses to allow Caitlyn Decker to conceptualize the idea of fatigue. She can sense it, but refuse to fully acknowledge its existence, allowing her energy to override the mere thought.
The 5-7 junior is a ceaseless blur of productive motion for Red Bank, complementing denying lateral movement and heady anticipation on the defensive end with exploratory drives - some more prolonged than others - in a constant hunt to find the Bucs’ best scoring option from one possession to the next. Her engine knows just one speed, the throttle stuck in the highest gear possible, setting a desired pace for the Bucs to follow.
“Pretty much the entire game I’m exhausted,” said Decker. “The adrenaline pushes me to the point I’m not even thinking about it. Even when I’m huffing and puffing, I’m still concentrating on not letting anyone get by me on defense. I’ll do whatever I can to make a stop.”
Decker was more in go mode on Friday, engineering an offense that did a good deal of damage from perimeter shots hatched from her drives and dishes. Her unmistakable fingerprints were evident in various forms as third-seeded Red Bank stormed past sixth-seeded Toms River East, 75-49, in the quarterfinal round of the WOBM Christmas Classic at the RWJ Barnabas Health Arena.
Decker contributed nary a point in the first half yet dictated the terms that steered the Bucs (3-0) to a 35-27 halftime lead, picking her poison from a band of perimeter shooters who rose to the occasion to bury five of the 11 3-pointers Red Bank totaled. She set up seven buckets before intermission before joining in the scoring frenzy in the second half, finishing with nine points to balance her 10 assists and five rebounds.
No play may better have exemplified her persistence for quality than a curling drive in the third quarter that cut across the foul line, veered along the baseline and culminated with a slick kick to senior guard Taylor Crystian out high for a wide-open triple that gave Red Bank a 60-35 cushion with 1:19 showing in the stanza.
"I thought that in past years," Decker admitted to the idea that scoring was the best way to draw some attention. "Then, I realized it was more effective for us to get assists."
Decker is a key ingredient in the formula that has Red Bank off to a fast start and set to face second-seeded Marlboro, a 64-51 winner over 10th-seeded Toms River North, in the semifinals on Sunday. The Bucs space the floor in a fashion that makes all five players a threat to strike, a point emphasized by the contributors to this triumph. Junior shooting guard Chloe Teter netted a team-high 15, junior guard Amelia Medolla, who canned four 3-pointers, was responsible for 14 and Crystian and junior wing Emma Moriarty clicked for 13 apiece.
Senior point guard Jordyn Madigan led all scorers with 17 for Toms River East and sophomore guard Lizzie Gillen finished with 11.
Toms River East (1-2) 14 13 12 10 - 49
Red Bank (3-0) 13 22 27 13 - 75
Toms River East: Lorentzen 0-0-0-0; J. Madigan 6-0-5-17; Goodall 1-0-1-3; Sullivan 1-0-1-3; Dudad 1-1-0-5; Gillen 3-1-2-11; Platten 0-1-2-5; M. Madigan 0-0-1-1; Maire 2-0-0-4; Wardell 0-0-0-0. Totals: 14-3-12-49.
Red Bank: Teter 3-1-6-15; Sauer 0-1-0-3; Crystian 5-1-0-13; Medolla 0-4-2-14; Decker 1-0-7-9; Moriarty 2-2-3-13; Strand 0-2-0-6; Attia 1-0-0-2; Morris 0-0-0-0; Dawson-Daily 0-0-0-0. Totals: 12-11-18-75.