Girls Basketball – WOBM Christmas Classic Semifinal Preview and Predictions
WOBM Christmas Classic
@ RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HS North
Ray Cervino Bracket
No. 4 Wall vs No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven; 7 p.m.
Wall cruised to an opening round victory behind the play of seniors Shayne Eldridge and Emily Tvrdik. Eldridge scored 20 points and Tvrdik added 11, but they also did it on the defensive side of the floor having a total of 9 steals. Junior Marisa Amitie had a good game defensively ending with 3 blocks, but will need to have a bigger role on the offensive end against Rumson to help Eldridge and Tvrdik. Amitie finished with 3 points against Toms River North.
Rumson had a monster second half after playing a tight first half that saw them going into halftime only up 4 points. Rumson scored 20 of their 33 second half points in the 4th quarter behind strong play by senior Raquel Guidetti and junior Sylvie Notine. Sophomore Erin Reid had a great game on both sides of the floor. She finished with 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, but her 6 steals helped Rumson open the game up in the second half.
Prediction: Rumson 57-53
No. 3 Manchester vs No. 1 Red Bank Regional; 8:30 p.m.
After scoring only four points in the first quarter, Manchester outscored Middletown South 16-4 in the 2nd quarter by applying pressure with their full court press. Manchester had 17 steals in the game with senior Devyn Quigley having 6 and freshman Madeline Nolan having 4. Quigley, whose four 1st quarter points came from the foul-line, finished with 31 points. Quigley went 9 out of 10 from the foul-line and she will try to attack the basket in the semifinal round to put Red Bank Regional’s Camryn Gardner and Caroline Polloway in foul trouble.
Junior Caroline Polloway’s ability to score from the post helped RBR get by Toms RIver East in the opening round. Polloway finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds and blocked 5 shots. RBR had three players score 9 points in a balanced attack. Sophomore Zoe Gulley knocked down three 3-pointers and sophomore Synai Blychanton was able to get to the basket and draw the defense to give her teammates open looks. RBR is tough to defend with the height of Polloway and Camryn Gardner and the outside shooting of their guards.
Prediction: Red Bank Regional 48-40
Kathy Snyder Bracket
No. 16 Lacey vs No. 14 Central Regional; 4:00 p.m.
Lacey won a back-and-forth game against Brick Memorial in the opening round. The big “3” for Lacey led the team in scoring with senior Brooke Schmidt scoring 18 points and sophomore Ava Schmidt adding 13 points. Junior Reece Paget had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore Brooklyn Bell missed the first two games of the season with an injury and can be another weapon for Lacey.
Central was able to hold on to its 4th quarter lead to upset Donovan Catholic. Central disrupted the Donovan offense with 23 steals in the game, led by sophomore Emma Christensen with 8 steals, and 5 blocks. Central had a balanced attack on offense led by junior Vita Kelyman with 10 points. Central is a young team that will keep improving as the season progresses.
Prediction: Lacey 41-40
No. 15 Toms River South vs No. 13 Middletown North; 5:30 p.m.
TRS continued their good start to the season by advancing to the semifinals of the WOBM. TRS worked hard on the defensive end in the opening round and came up with 24 steals. Freshman Linsey Cribbin continues to make her mark in the Shore Conference scoring 12 points and coming up with 6 steals. Junior Madeline Krohn led TRS in scoring with 18 points in the opening round.
Another team to do it on the defensive end, Middletown North kept the top seed in the Kathy Snyder bracket, Brick Township, shut-out in the 1st quarter and to only 3 points in the first half. If the Lions continue to play that type of defense they will be in any game. Middletown North is a very young team whose leading scorer is only a sophomore. Danielle Gonzalez led the team with 9 points in the opening round. If the Lions can shoot more consistently they can be a dangerous team in the rest of the tournament.
Prediction: Toms River South 38-34 (OT)