Championships are the expectation for the Manasquan girls basketball program, but that doesn't mean winning them comes easy - particularly when winning a Shore Conference championship requires beating two of the six best teams in N.J.

While winning the Shore Conference Tournament is never easy, the Warriors sure made it look that way in dismantling Toms River North, Red Bank Catholic and St. John Vianney to win the program's third SCT title in five years and first since 2015.

For ending its rather brief two-year drought without a conference title, Manasquan is the Jersey Mike's Girls Basketball Team of the Week.

While Manasquan was impressive throughout its run to the SCT championship, its championship performance against St. John Vianney - which entered the game as the No. 1 team in the state and had not lost to an N.J. team all season - revealed the Warriors to be a team that could potentially steamroll the rest of the state as the scene shifts to the NJSIAA Tournament and, eventually, the Tournament of Champions.

In the 70-52 win over top-seeded St. John Vianney, senior guard and Virginia Tech commit Dara Mabrey scored 33 points on 11-for-16 shooting and keyed a havoc-inducing defensive effort by her team with four steals. It was another memorable performance in a career littered with them and Mabrey did it all with a brace on her sprained left hand.

Junior forward and Maryland commit Faith Masonius turned in a standout performance as well, posting 21 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and handing out five assists.

Manasquan now assumes the No. 1 spot in the Shore Conference and in the state heading into the thick of the NJSIAA Tournament, which began for the Warriors with a win over Bordentown in the Central Jersey Group II bracket on Tuesday.

Under sixth-year coach Lisa Kukoda, Manasquan has reached the final of the Tournament of Champions in each of the past four seasons and will look to add to that record streak by making it for a fifth straight time. Manasquan has lost the last two championship games - to Vianney in overtime two years ago and to Franklin at the buzzer last year - and is out to finish off the program's third T of C title in the last seven years.


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