Girls Basketball – Red Bank Upsets Rival RBC to Advance to SCT Quarters
RED BANK - Minutes after wrapping up a historic win over its crosstown rival Thursday night, Red Bank Regional senior Meghan Murray and her teammates were under the impression that their team had never beaten local powerhouse Red Bank Catholic.
While they were not technically correct on that fact, it might has well have been never to them because none of the current players were born the last time it happened.
For the first time in the 21st century, Red Bank Regional upended Red Bank Catholic and the Bucs did it as a No. 12 seed on the road in the Shore Conference Tournament round of 16, 65-62, to advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round at RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River.
Red Bank last defeated Red Bank Catholic, 38-37, in 1998 - a year that concluded with an overall Group III title for the Lady Bucs. RBC has won 23 straight against the Bucs heading into Thursday night.
PHOTO GALLERY: Red Bank at Red Bank Catholic by Paula Lopez
"We were really excited to play them because we didn't get to play them during the regular season," Murray said. "We were really excited at the chance to come here, get an upset and prove that we're just as good as them, if not better."
Murray scored 20 points and sophomore teammate Caitlyn Decker led the way with 26, including a 12-for-18 showing from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone and 17-for-25 for the game.
"This the first time in forever and we knew we had to do it tonight. This was our chance," Decker said. "I don't know how long it has been but our coach was crying."
The final score reflects and nip-and-tuck game that Red Bank pulled out at the end, but the reality was fifth-seeded Red Bank Catholic had to scrambled just to make the game close. The visiting Bucs entered the fourth quarter with a 44-31 lead and pushed their edge back to 11 points with under four minutes to play.
"We thought we were a little quicker," Red Bank coach John Truhan said. "If it was a slow-paced game, I thought (6-foot-4 freshman Ally) Carman would have eaten us alive inside. We wanted to go after her and tire them out and we made a couple more shots than they did. That's the bottom line."
It took a frantic effort from RBC to get the game within one score in the final seconds. After Decker made one of two foul shots to push the lead to 65-62 with six seconds left, Red Bank Catholic junior Fab Eggenschwiler dribbled up the floor and fired up a three-pointer that missed the mark and set off the Red Bank celebration.
Sophomore Chloe Teter added nine points and seven rebounds while sophomore Amelia Medolla added eight points for Red Bank.
Sophomore Sophia Sabino led Red Bank Catholic with 19 points and senior Julia Setaro scored 12 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Caseys in the game. Freshman Justine Pissott also chipped in 12 points in the loss.
Truhan has a history of success in the Shore Conference Tournament, having led Colts Neck to the tournament title in 2007-08. In that season, the Cougars knocked off Red Bank Catholic in the championship game.
"Joe (Montano) is one of the best coaches in the state and RBC is what it is because of Joe Montano," Truhan said. "Any time you can beat them, it's a big deal, no matter what team you are."
"We know he has been here, he knows what to do and he knows what it takes to get here," Murray said of Truhan. "So when he says we can do it, we know we can."
Red Bank's road through the SCT will not get any easier, with defending champion and No. 4 Manasquan awaiting the Bucs in the next round in Toms River.
"This is a turnaround win for us," Decker said. "This gives us the confidence to keep going. Manasquan is next and we have to do the same thing when we face them."