Girls Basketball Top 10 (Jan. 30)
Shore Conference Girls Basketball Top 10 (Jan. 30)
1-St. John Vianney (15-1, 11-0) Last week: 1
Sandwiched between B North wins over Wall and Red Bank, the Lady Lancers recorded arguably their most impressive decision to date. Senior forward and Quinnipiac commit Sajada Bonner poured in a season-best 26 points, sealed by clutch free throws in the fourth, to put away Saddle River Day, 67-59, at the Coaches Choice USA Challenge. While her offensive contributions were invaluable, so too, was taking a late-game charge. Despite conceding a season-high 59 points to the Rebels, SJV is still holding opponents a shade under 30 points an outing.
2-St. Rose (17-0, 11-0) Last week: 2
Credit the Purple Roses for emerging from a difficult three-game stretch unscathed. Senior guard Lauren Lithgow and junior swing Brynn Farrell scored 13 apiece as the Roses outlasted Lincoln in a defensive tussle, 45-36, on Friday night. Sunday, St. Rose overcame adversity when it lost Lithgow to an injury. Farrell responded with 27 points, junior forward Makayla Andrews scored 11 and sophomore guard Abby Antognoli supplied 11 more to score a 59-51 win against Albertus Magnus (NY) at the Coaches Choice USA Challenge. Andrews lit the spark Tuesday night, pumping in a season-high 22 as St. Rose topped No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven, 51-36.
3-Manchester (17-2, 11-0) Last week: 3
If there was any lingering doubt regarding just how good the Hawks are, they put it to rest on Sunday at the Coaches Choice USA Challenge, upending mighty Long Island Lutheran, 65-59. Senior guard Leilani Correa exploded for 30 points and 12 boards, senior forward Dakota Adams had eight points and 10 rebounds and her sophomore sister Destiny got involved with 11 points, nine boards, four assists and three blocks. On Monday, Destiny Adams backed up 17 points with 10 boards, junior point guard Kemari Reynolds netted 15 and Correa scored 14 as the Hawks tightened their grip atop B South by downing Point Boro, 77-32. The Hawks are scoring at a blinding 71.4 rate.
4-Manasquan (14-3, 10-1) Last week: 4
The Warriors have primed for Friday night’s rematch at No. 2 St. Rose by running off six straight wins. While senior leaders Faith Masonius and Lola Mullaney have established themselves as consistent scoring options by complementing each other from different spots on the court, don’t overlook what junior forward Kate Leturgez, gritty senior Annie Mako and freshmen Georgia Heine, Dorothy Loffredo and Brooke Hollawell bring to the table. All have elevated their games over the course of the campaign, allowing Manasquan to play fast while spacing the floor, two necessities if Squan plans to avenge a 52-36 loss to the Roses on Jan. 9.
5-Red Bank Catholic (11-6, 8-3) Last week: 5
The combination of staunch, signature defense and a 14-2 tear in the fourth quarter ignited the Caseys past No. 6 Rumson-Fair Haven, 42-28, on Thursday. Sophomore point guard Sophia Sabino was a central figure in the win, collecting 12 points and 14 rebounds to go with her pinpoint passing. After bowing to defending Group 4 champion Franklin on Sunday at the Coaches Choice USA Challenge, RBC got back on track Tuesday night, zipping past Raritan, 65-20, behind freshmen Justine Pissott (14) and Ally Carman (11 points).
6-Rumson-Fair Haven (10-7, 5-6) Last week: 7
The Bulldogs persevered through a difficult run of four meetings with Top 10 opponents. They gave No. 4 Manasquan all it could handle before succumbing, 48-44, and fell to No. 5 RBC before rebounding on Saturday. Sophomore guard Cortland McBarron capped a 23-point outburst with a driving layup with 3.5 seconds left in regulation to lift RFH over No. 7 Middletown South, 43-41. The Dawgs must test their resiliency once more after losing to No. 2 St. Rose, 51-36, on Tuesday despite 13 points from sophomore guard Grace Munt.
7-Middletown South (14-2, 9-0) Last week: 6
Their 10-game win streak snapped by Rumson on Saturday, the Eagles embarked on starting a new one Tuesday, soaring over Freehold, 59-22. Junior swing Kayla Richardson, who has scored in double digits in each of the last seven contests, led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds.
8-Marlboro (14-4, 8-1) Last week: 8
It’s been well-documented how much the Mustangs rely on their firepower from behind the 3-point line. But, just in case anyone was still unaware, they emphasized the point on Saturday, burying an astronomical 17 treys to take down Vineland, 93-67 at the 97.3 ESPN Shootout. Junior guard Sam Nocco drained five triples on course to 15 points and senior guard Gisella Romeo took advantage of the space inside to drop in 21. On Tuesday, it was sophomore forward Jessica Riepe flaunting the hot hand by scoring 15 on five threes in a 57-42 decision against Long Branch.
9-Toms River North (13-3, 10-1) Last week: 10
The Mariners pocketed three A South triumphs to maintain their slim lead atop the division. Senior forward Jenna Paul averaged 24.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks during wins over Brick, Toms River South and Brick Memorial.
10-Jackson Memorial (11-5, 8-2) Last week: NR
The Jaguars bear little resemblance to the team that sat at 5-5 on Jan. 14 after a 58-53 loss to No. 9 Toms River North. Since that point, Jackson Memorial has rattled off six successive wins. Key to the cause is the balance it strikes. Junior point guard Bianca Giordano, who has surpassed 100-assist plateau for a second straight year, creatively finds the best available option and senior forward Dani Evans, sophomore guard Rachel Capua, junior guard Kristina Donza and junior guard Mackenzie Dakin accept her feeds in the position to convert them into points.
On the bubble
Colts Neck (12-5, 9-2): A 44-43 loss to Middletown North knocked the Cougars out of the Top 10 for the time being, but, rest assured, they have every intention of re-entering.
Toms River East (10-5, 8-3): A 48-33 loss to No. 10 Jackson Memorial ended a five-game win streak for the Raiders and denied them the chance to hop into the poll this week.
Donovan Catholic (13-4, 9-2): The Griffins sandwiched wins over Barnegat and Lakewood around a loss to No. 3 Manchester. The victory against Lakewood marked the 100th in coach Glenn Jansen’s career.
Long Branch (7-6, 4-5): The Green Wave are putting together some of their best basketball of the season. They won four straight, including a 59-48 decision against Freehold Twp. before falling to No. 8 Marlboro, 57-42, on Tuesday.
Freehold Twp. (11-6, 6-4): The Patriots rebounded from that loss to Long Branch by picking up wins over Manalapan and Middletown North and have been victorious in four of the last five outings.
Red Bank (11-6, 7-4): The Bucs collected their second straight win on Sunday, downing Egg Harbor, 53-43, at the 97.3 ESPN Shootout and put up a respectable showing against No. 1 St. John Vianney on Tuesday, bowing, 55-33.