Girls Basketball – Brown and Volpe Lead Cougars Second Half Surge
Colts Neck, NJ- Colts Neck entered the game as the #8th seed in the Shore Conference Tournament and a record of 15-6 overall and 10-4 and a 3rd place finish in a tough B-North division. Using their tough regular season schedule they showed from the opening tipoff that going up against A-South Champion Southern Regional, who entered with a record of 18-4 overall and 13-1 division, they were up to the task.
Colts Neck jumped out to a fast 6-0 start before the Rams settled down and got themselves into the game. Southern Regional showed they belonged among the top teams in the Shore Conference with their clutch shooting, ball movement and defense and held the lead of the Cougars at the end of the first and second quarter. But the Rams could not hold down the play of Elise Brown, Cara Volpe and Lola Mullaney who chipped away at the deficit early in the second half and pulled away late for a 53-46 victory and date with Saint John Vianney in the SCT Quarterfinals on Saturday at Brookdale College.
Trailing at the start of third quarter by one, Brown, Volpe and Mullaney came out on fire and chipped in for a combined 15 points and led the Cougars to a 41-39 lead heading into the final quarter. Colts Neck continued the second half pressure and increased their lead to nine points in the fourth quarter when Amanda Hunt nailed a jumper from the corner to put the Cougars up 50-41.
Southern Regional seemed to figure out their offense early on when they went to their bigs in Gabby Davis and Shauna McHale down low which gave them the early lead. Davis went to the locker room at half with 12 points and McHale with 4 points. The pair also combined for 7 rebounds, battling Colts Neck for every loose ball. But the success they found early disappeared in the second half. The defense of Hunt and Volpe shut down the dynamic duo and held Davis to zero second half points and McHale to just 4 points.
After missing time during the season with a hand injury, Hunt came back in and showed immediately the difference maker she is for the Cougars on both ends of the court. Amanda finished with 8 points and 5 rebounds and most importantly shutdown Gabby in the second half. Along with Amanda, Volpe chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds and held McHale to just 4 points all in the third and scoreless in the fourth.
The player of the game was Elise Brown, who lead all scorers with 15 points, 14 rebounds 5 assists and 4 steals. Brown's presence was not just the offensive scoring but her quick hands on defense that led to Southern turnovers and defensive pressure on Morgan Henderson and held her to just 10 points in the game.
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