1-St. John Vianney (3-0, 3-0) Last week: 1

Sarah Karpell of St. John Vianney (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Sarah Karpell of St. John Vianney (Photo by Paula Lopez)

A fierce defense that has yet to surrender more than 22 points in an outing is primed for SJV to host its second annual Lancers Joust this week. Fordham-bound senior point guard Sarah Karpell (11.0 ppg., 4.3 apg.) keeps everyone involved on offense, particularly 6-0 senior forward Sajada Bonner (14.0 ppg.) and 6-0 senior swing Brelynn Bellamy (12.0 ppg.) The Lady Lancers, who open their event opposite Staten Island Academy (NY) on Thursday, have gotten an additional boost from blooming freshman Madison St. Rose (11.0 ppg.)

2-Manasquan (4-0, 3-0) Last week: 2

Faith Masonius of Manasquan (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Faith Masonius of Manasquan (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Senior swing Faith Masonius has been downright dominating. The 6-1 Maryland-commit is averaging 23.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.3 steals per game and has posted three double-doubles, stamped by 22 points and 14 boards in a 68-26 triumph over Rancocas Valley. Senior guard Lola Mullaney is clicking for 20.3 points an outing. The Warriors face Maryland prep power McDonogh on Thursday at the Boardwalk Classic in Wildwood.

3-St. Rose (3-0, 3-0) Last week: 3

Sam Mikos of St. Rose (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Sam Mikos of St. Rose (Photo by Paula Lopez)

The Purple Roses are right in step with Manasquan for supremacy in the Shore Conference A Central. Junior swing Brynn Farrell has been a consistent finisher for St. Rose (24.0 ppg.) with ample support from senior guard Lauren Lithgow (11.6 ppg.) and sophomore guard Abby Antognoli (9.0 ppg.). The Roses will be at the Lancer Joust at St. John Vianney over the break, opening Thursday against state power Patrick School.

4-Manchester (4-0, 3-0) Last week: 4

Kemari Reynolds of Manchester (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Kemari Reynolds of Manchester (Photo by Paula Lopez)

The Hawks have cruised through their first four games and began defense of their WOBM Christmas Classic crown by drubbing Wall, 61-30. The galvanized starting five of senior forward Dakota Adams (13.2 ppg., 7.8 rpg.), senior guard Leilani Correa (17.0 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.2 apg., 2.0 spg.), senior guard Serenity Anderson (3.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg.), junior point guard Kemari Reynolds (9.8 ppg., 5.5 apg., 4.0 spg.) and sophomore swing Destiny Adams (16.5 ppg., 6.5 rpg., 3.0 apg.. 2.5 bpg.3.0 spg.) has blitzed its first five opponents by an average margin of 75.7 to 27.2.

5-Red Bank Catholic (2-1, 2-1) Last week: 5

The Caseys rebounded from a 55-42 setback at No. 3 St. Rose by outlasting No. 10 Rumson-Fair Haven, 52-38, on Thursday. A youthful core of sophomore point guard Sophia Sabino, freshman swing Justine Pissott and 6-4 freshman center Ally Carman has developed an instant bond with junior swing Fab Eggenschwiler and senior guard Julia Setaro. Red Bank Catholic heads north to Mount St. Dominic this week, opening against the host on Thursday.

6-Middletown South (3-0, 2-0) Last week: 6

The chemistry of the Eagles has been evident at both ends of the floor. Middletown South opened play in the WOBM Christmas Classic by blasting past Central, 62-24, behind 19 points and seven rebounds from junior swing Kayla Richardson. The Eagles are yielding 35.6 points a game and must maintain that level of stinginess on Thursday when they face unbeaten Marlboro in the quarterfinals.

7-Jackson Memorial (3-2, 2-0) Last week: 7

After a 3-0 start, the Jaguars dropped their final two games at the KSA Tournament in Orlando, but will resume play in the new year polished and prepared. Junior Kristina Donza is off to a sizzling start, collecting 20.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest while backcourt classmate Bianca Giordano has worked both ends of the court at a feverish rate (5.2 ppg., 6.8 apg., 2.0 spg., 1.4 bpg.).

8-Toms River North (4-0, 3-0) Last week: 8

The Mariners have conceded points sparingly (29.2 ppg.) and march into the quarterfinals of the WOBM Christmas Classic behind the senior combination of forward Jenna Paul and point guard Brielle Bisogno. Paul, who recently surpassed Melissa Fazio to become the program’s all-time leading scorer, is backing 16.2 points with 10.2 rebounds a game while Bisogno complements her equally impressive scoring rate (16.2 ppg.) with heady distribution (4.5 apg.) and staunch defense (4.7 spg.). Junior swing Kristina Johnson and freshman guard Sydney Howell demand defensive attention. North faces Colts Neck on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

9-Red Bank (3-0, 2-0) Last week: 9

A long and athletic defense hounds the basketball through suffocating traps and an eye for getting out in transition, key elements to the Bucs’ quick start. Senior Meghan Murray, a 5-10 guard, pumped in 27 points, grabbed eight rebounds, rejected three shots and made seven steals to lead Red Bank over Point Boro, 59-40, in the first round of the WOBM Christmas Classic. Up next for Red Bank, a date with Ewing in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

10-Rumson-Fair Haven (2-2, 1-2) Last week: 10

The Bulldogs fell to No. 5 RBC, 52-38, on Thursday but were valiant in defeat, particularly through their grit and hustle on the glass. Junior forward Lucy Adams epitomized the work rate with 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Dawgs bounced back from the loss to clip Chatham, 46-36, in overtime on Saturday, fueled by 19 points from sophomore guard Grace Munt.

On the bubble

Marlboro (4-0, 3-0): The Mustangs showed off their perimeter prowess on Saturday in the opening round of the WOBM Christmas Classic by sinking 12 3-pointers to put away Neptune, 73-51. Guards Gisella Romeo, Sam Nocco and Sammy Jay headline the army of shooters for the Marlboro, who face Middletown South on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Colts Neck (3-0, 2-0): Camryn Foltz, a 6-0 junior guard, is averaging 14.6 points a night for the Cougars, who reached the quarterfinals and face Toms River North on Thursday in the WOBM Christmas Classic.

Middletown North (3-1, 2-1): The Lions are riding a three-game winning streak since opening with a loss to No. 1 St. John Vianney, marked by a 36-20 decision over Neptune. Senior guard Melissa Golembieski, senior forward Gina Palladino and junior forward Hayley Stratton are integral parts of a balanced offense and quality defense.

Neptune (2-2, 2-1): The Scarlet Fliers fell to Marlboro in the opening round of the WOBM Christmas Classic but are gaining respect for their assertive style of play. Junior forward Macy Bracket and freshman guards Amaya Evans and Ahjanae Young will make Neptune only more dangerous as the season progresses.

Toms River South (2-2, 2-1): The Indians matched Colts Neck’s defensive intensity in the first round of the WOBM Christmas Classic before succumbing, 39-31. Toms River South has yet to concede more than 39 points in a contest.

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