GIRLS BASKETBALL – SSN TOP 10, Feb. 28
1-Manasquan (25-2) Last Week: 2
The Warriors ascend to the top of the poll and left no room for doubt on Saturday. Senior guard Dara Mabrey was an economical 11 of 16 from the field and 9 of 10 at the line en route to 33 points while junior swing Faith Masonius had 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists to fuel a thorough 70-52 victory over St. John Vianney in the Shore Conference Tournament final. It marked the fifth crown for the Warriors and third in five years.
Manasquan began its defense of the Group 2 state crown on Tuesday by blitzing Bordentown, 79-26, behind a triple-double from Masonius (17 points, 10 rebounds) and 21 points from Mabrey. The top-seeded Warriors, who’ve won 14 straight, host eighth-seeded Matawan on Thursday in the quarterfinals of Central Jersey, Group 2.
2-St. John Vianney (24-2) Last Week: 1
The top seed in South Jersey, Non-Public A, St. John Vianney moves on from its loss to Manasquan and redirects its attention toward winning a 19th sectional title. Senior guard Madison Doring and junior swing Sajada Bonner combined for 32 points but a defense that was yielding 40.5 points a game conceded a season-high 70 in the 18-point loss to the top-ranked Warriors. Anticipate the Lady Lancers finding their defensive form when they commence play on Friday in the quarterfinals against the winner of Bishop Eustace against Paul VI.
3-St. Rose (22-3) Last Week: 3
The Purple Roses move up from Non-Public B to Non-Public A and the fifth seed entertains 12th-seeded Immaculata in the first round on Wednesdasy. The senior nucleus of guard Mikayla Markham and forwards Lucy Thomas and Lovin Marsicano is tournament tested. Fixtures in the rotation since they were freshmen, Markham and Marsicano are 11-3 in the state tournament over their previous three years, including a Non-Public B state title and trip to the Tournament of Champions final as freshmen, where St. Rose bowed to Manasquan, 59-55.
4-Red Bank Catholic (21-5) Last Week: 4
The defending Non-Public A state champion begins defense of its crown as the three seed in South Jersey and hosts the survivor of Notre Dame and Camden Catholic on Friday in the quarterfinals. Point guard Rose Caverly and swing Katie Rice, both starters a year ago, along with Hayley Moore and Amanda Hart, vital reserves last season, give Red Bank Catholic senior poise and proven production under the hot glare of the post-season spotlight.
5-Manchester (23-4) Last Week: 5
The top-seeded Hawks opened defense of their South Jersey, Group 2 title by toppling B Central foe Point Pleasant Boro, 70-21, in the opening round. Freshman Destiny Adams dropped in a game-high 15 points to lead five players in double figures, senior Asha Harper backed 12 points with seven rebounds and sophomore guard Kemari Reynolds complemented 11 points with five assists. The win provided coach Dave Beauchemin with the 100th of his career and sent Manchester into the quarterfinals on Thursday against eighth-seeded Collingswood.
6-Toms River North (24-3) Last Week: 6
A year ago, the Mariners reached the South Jersey, Group 4 final only to suffer a heartbreaking 37-35 loss to Cherokee. The core of the cast is back…and hungry. Junior guard Brielle Bisogno drilled four 3-pointers and struck for a game-high 25 points, junior swing Jenna Paul flipped in 19 and senior forward Amanda Johnson had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks on Tuesday when third-seeded Toms River North downed Atlantic City, 64-49, in the first round. It hosts Millville on Thursday in the sectional quarterfinals.
7-Rumson-Fair Haven (16-10) Last Week: 7
Playing without senior guard Tori Hyduke, who is still recovering from an ankle injury, the third-seeded Bulldogs bared their teeth Tuesday night, pinning Robbinsville with a 68-35 loss in the first round of Central Jersey, Group 2. Senior guard Mikaela McGarvey, who committed to Muhlenberg and in only her fifth game back from a torn ACL, struck for a team-high 15 points, fueled by four 3-pointers, and 6-1 emerging sophomore Lucy Adams collected 10 points, five boards and four blocks. Up next for RFH, a date with sixth-seeded Delaware Valley on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
8-Donovan Catholic (20-5) Last Week: 8
The Griffins seek to rediscover the groove they rode to 18 consecutive wins after dropping their final two outings prior to the state tournament. Essential to the cause is adhering to a defense that limits opponents to 42.2 points a contest and utilizing the offensive balance offered by Molly Collins, Alyssa Hirschy, Paige Slaven, Jayda Kearney and Melissa Buxton. Seventh-seeded Donovan Catholic hosts 10th-seeded Mount St. Mary on Wednesday in the first round of South Jersey, Non-Public A.
9-Jackson Memorial (20-3) Last Week: 9
What a turnaround season it’s been for the Jaguars. After finishing 8-14 a year ago, Jackson Memorial recorded its first 20-win season since winning the Group 4 state title and finishing 27-6 in 2012. Sophomore Kristina Donza netted 15, freshman Rachel Capua scored 12 and ripped down seven boards and junior Dani Evans deposited 10 on Tuesday when the fourth-seeded Jags defeated 13th-seeded Atlantic Tech, 54-27, in the opening round of South Jersey, Group 4. They host fifth-seeded Rancocas Valley on Thursday.
10-Colts Neck (19-7) Last Week: 10
The third seed in Central Jersey, Group 4, Colts Neck stormed past 14th-seeded Long Branch, 58-39, in the first round on Tuesday. Sophomore Camryn Foltz accounted for 13 points and senior Cara Volpe was responsible for 12 in the triumph. The Cougars brace for a quarterfinal encounter with sixth-seeded Middletown South on Thursday.
ON THE BUBBLE
Holmdel (16-9): After roaring past Carteret, 62-41, in the first round of Central Jersey, Group 2, the Hornets move on to the quarterfinals Thursday night, where they will host 12th-seeded South River. Sophomore Leah Nolan ended with 13 points and classmate Carson Fontana scored 11 within a balanced showing against Carteret.
Marlboro (17-8): An overpowering start that saw the fourth-seeded Mustangs build a 49-17 cushion by halftime gave way to a 76-42 verdict against 13th-seeded Freehold Twp. on Tuesday in the first round of Central Jersey, Group 4. Jess Broad (17 points) and Samantha Nocco (14 points) each hit four 3-pointers and Sammy Jay (15 points) nailed three as Marlboro struck for 12 triples in the triumph. The Mustangs entertain 12th-seeded Princeton in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Middletown North (15-10): Seniors Caliegh McAnuff (21 points) and Kiera Williams (14 points) were the offensive catalysts on Monday when the fifth-seeded Lions upended 12th-seeded Gov. Livingston, 53-40, in the first round of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3. Middletown North heads north on Wednesday to tackle fourth-seeded West Morris.
Red Bank (16-11): The Bucs are peaking at the ideal time. Winners of four straight, they used 17 points from Meghan Murray, 14 out of Caitlyn Decker and staunch defense to score a 52-31 win against 10th-seeded Cranford on Monday in the first round of North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3. They travel to take on reigning Morris County Tournament champion Chatham on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
Toms River East (17-9): Kamryn Lister scored 15 and Jordyn Madigan totaled 14 on Monday to send the fourth-seeded Raiders past 13th-seeded Timber Creek, 46-44, in the opening round of South Jersey, Group 3. East hosts fifth-seeded Hammonton on Wednesday.