One Win Away From A Vianney-Manasquan Rematch In The TOC Final
While spring practices are well underway the Girls basketball teams from St. John Vianney and Manasquan still have some unfinished winter business and a possible showdown in the final Tournament of Champions. After winning group titles last weekend the Lady Lancers and Warriors received the top two seeds in the six-team TOC and earned byes into Friday’s semifinals at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena.
SJV (30-1) will face #4 Sparta (27-3), a 55-47 winner over fifth-seeded Westfield in Wednesday’s quarterfinals in Toms River. The Spartans enter the game with a 19-game winning streak and this is their third appearance in the TOC. Meanwhile Vianney is not only the top seed but solid favorite to win their third title under head coach Dawn Karpell (2009, 2016). Ranked #1 in the state and boasting NJ Player of the Year Madison St. Rose, Zoe Brooks, Megan Cahalan and a stifling defense the Lady Lancers have been dominant all season long and capturing their 8th TOC crown in the final year of the event would be fitting.
Manasquan (30-4) is the second seed and #2 ranked team in the state and their Friday opponent will be #3 Rutgers Prep (28-2), a 68-56 winner over sixth-seeded University in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal. Lisa Kukoda is also a two-time winner of the TOC (2015, 2018) and her road to another showdown with SJV figures to be a bit more difficult. Rutgers Prep has won 11 in-a-row with their last loss more than a month ago when Vianney crushed them 87-48 and they would like nothing better than to get another crack at the Lancers. However Manasquan seniors Mary Beth Donnelly, Brooke Hollawell, Georgia Heine & Dorothy Loffredo are also motivated for another opportunity to face SJV after losing to them 62-46 in the SCT Final.
Friday’s schedule has Manasquan playing Rutgers Prep at 5pm with St. John Vianney to take on Sparta at 7pm.