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When Madison St. Rose started her high-school basketball career as a freshman at St. John Vianney, the Lancers were three years removed from winning their only Shore Conference Tournament championship since 2005.

It's easy to look at the success St. John Vianney has had as a girls basketball program and assume the Lancers have cornered the market on championship trophies in recent years, but in a grueling Shore Conference, that has not necessarily been the case.

Since coach Dawn Karpell took over the program and before St. Rose joined the team in 2018-19, St. John Vianney had won two Tournament of Champions titles and been to the Shore Conference Tournament title game five times, but had only one the one conference title in 2016.

St. John Vianney senior Madison St. Rose with her Player of the Week gear, courtesy of Seaview Orthopaedics. (Photo by Steve Meyer)
St. John Vianney senior Madison St. Rose with her Player of the Week gear, courtesy of Seaview Orthopaedics. (Photo by Steve Meyer)
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As St. Rose has emerged as the best player in the Shore Conference, so too has St. John Vianney emerged as the dominant force in New Jersey high school girls basketball. Last week, St. Rose led the Lancers in scoring in both the SCT semifinal win over Rumson-Fair Haven and the championship win over St. John Vianney, giving SJV its third straight conference championship and earning the Seaview Orthopaedics Player of the Week award.

St. John Vianney has now been to the Shore Conference championship game -- including last year's unofficial final vs. Red Bank Catholic -- in seven straight years, with St. Rose and her senior teammates making it in each of their four high school seasons. While the 2021 championship does not count as an official SCT championship, the Lancers became the first team to win three straight Shore Conference championships of any iteration since Neptune in 2009-11 and the first SJV team to do so since the Lancers strung together six straight titles from 1994-99.

To help finish off the 2022 title, St. Ros poured in 15 points in a win over Rumson-Fair Haven on Feb. 22, then scored 16 of her game-high 21 points in the second half to help the Lancers pull away with a 62-46 win over Manasquan in Sunday's Shore Conference Tournament championship game.

Before heading to Princeton next season, St. Rose is looking to lead St. John Vianney to its second NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title in the last three years to close out her Lancers career. It would be a fitting end to her accomplished four-year varsity career, as well as a fitting ending for the Tournament of Champions, which will end after this season and has been won by the St. John Vianney girls a record seven times.