Girls Basketball – WOBM Christmas Classic First Round Preview
WOBM Christmas Classic
@ RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HS North
Ray Cervino Bracket
No. 1 Red Bank Regional vs No. 5 Toms River East; 2:30 p.m.
The top seeded Bucs are led by their two front court stars, senior Camryn Gardner and junior Caroline Pollaway. Not only do these two players provide match-up problems with their height, they have the experience to help the young RBR team. RBR rotates several sophomores throughout their line-up led by Synai Blychanton, Zoe Gulley and Riley Wheeler.
Toms River East has a veteran squad with seniors Yana Shupak and Sydney Murphy leading the team. Shupak leads the team in scoring and can score from inside or outside of the arc. Seniors Kaleigh Fitzgibbons, Nikolette Lebright and junior Grace Crowley will need to work hard on the boards to counter the height of RBR. TRE is always prepared and well coached on the defensive end.
Prediction: RBR 42-36
No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven vs No. 6 Point Pleasant Boro; 11:30 a.m.
Rumson is the No. 2 seed and will be one of the favorites to make it to the WOBM Christmas Classic Final. Senior Ella Mason has had a great start to her season knocking down 12 3-pointers and averaging 15.3 points per game. Senior Raquel Guidetti can get to the basketball and shoot the ball from outside and junior Sylvie Notine made a name for herself her freshman year in the WOBM tournament with her 3-point shooting.
Point Boro has a strong junior class who all gained a ton of experience last year. Junior Vanessa Haas can take the ball to the basket and has a smooth mid-range jump shot. Katherine Henn can cause problems for defenses with her movement in the post and can knock down the mid-range jump shot.
Prediction: Rumson 55-42
No. 3 Manchester vs No. 7 Middletown South; 1:00 p.m.
Manchester is led by the reigning leading scorer in the Shore Conference, Devyn Quigley. Last year Quigley scored her 1,000 career point in the WOBM Christmas Classic and set the record for most points scored in a single tournament. Manchester has more experience than they did last year at this time and freshman Madeline Nolan has made an impact for the Lady Hawks in the starting line-up.
Middletown South has a deep team mixed with veterans and underclassmen. The Lady Eagles can score from the outside with the shooting ability of Erin Mayerhofer or on the inside with Elizabeth Tardy. Junior Caitlin Whyte has had a fast start to the season, knocking down 11 3-pointers.
Prediction: Manchester 48-42
No. 4 Wall vs No. 8 Toms River North; 10:00 a.m.
Wall is led by seniors Shayne Eldridge and Emily Tvrdik who can both take the ball to the basket or shoot from outside. Junior Marisa Amitie has taken her game to the next level to start the season and is difficult to stop in the post. Wall is well coached and plays hard defense inside the paint.
Senior Megan Sias returns for TRN after missing several games to an ankle injury. Sias causes problems for opposing defenses with her height and ability to shoot from outside. Sophomore Cara Sarluca has been the leading scorer for the Mariners with Sias being out and should see her numbers improve with Sias returning. Wall defeated TRN without Sias 62-24 in the first week of the season.
Prediction: Wall 58-40
@ Toms River North Gym
Kathy Snyder Bracket
No. 12 Brick Memorial VS No. 16 Lacey; 10:00 a.m.
Brick Memorial has veteran leadership with seniors Lexi Caruso, Kayla Herzer and Gianna Livio leading them on the floor. Sophomore Liana Lapeno leads the team in scoring with 9.25 points per game to start the season. Brick Memorial plays strong defense only giving up more than 31 points one time this season.
Lacey gets balanced scoring throughout their roster and with Brooklyn Bell returning after missing the opening two games gives Lacey another weapon. Brooke Schmidt, Reese Paget, Ava Schmidt and Bell all average 6 or more points per game.
Prediction: Lacey 34-30
No. 10 Donovan Catholic vs No. 14 Central Regional; 11:30 p.m.
Donovan Catholic is a young team that gets everyone involved on the offensive end. Coach Jansen only has two juniors in the rotation and uses a combination of six freshmen and sophomores who see significant minutes. The trio of freshmen, Sarah Franks, Audrey Ernst, and Isabella Cino will continue to grow as the season progresses.
Central graduated the majority of their offense from last season and are rotating different line-ups to develop the chemistry needed this season. Senior Makenna Leszczynski returns with the most experience and will be one of the leaders on the court.
Prediction: Donovan 52-40
No. 11 Point Pleasant Beach vs No. 15 Toms River South; 1:00 p.m.
Point Beach has veteran leadership with returning seniors Gina Umek, Lauryn Case and junior Erin Frauenheim. The trio finished in the top four in scoring for the Garnet Gulls last season and can carry the scoring load while the underclassmen gain more experience.
TRS started the season 3-1 with the combination of upperclassmen and freshman Linsey Cribbin. Cribbin is leading the Indians with 10 points per game to start the season. Senior Meghan Weatherstone and juniors Carly Helmstetter and Madeline Krohn are averaging 7 points per game for TRS.
Prediction: Point Beach 42-38
No. 9 Brick Township vs No. 13 Middletown North; 2:30 p.m.
Brick Township earned the top seed in the Kathy Snyder bracket and is led by juniors Riley Nausedas and Madelynn Dougherty. Nausedas can handle the ball and get to the basket while Dougherty is dangerous from outside the arc. Freshman AnnaClaire Staudt has dominated on the glass with 49 rebounds in her first four games.
Middletown North has a very young team with only one senior on the roster. Sophomore Danielle Gonzalez leads the team, averaging 10 points per game to start the season. Juniors Karleigh Aber and Emily McCarthy gained a lot of experience last season and will help lead Middletown North in the Christmas Classic.
Prediction: Brick Twp 34-26