SOUTH JERSEY, NON-PUBLIC A FINAL PREVIEW: ST. ROSE VS. RBC
South Jersey, Non-Public A Championship
Thursday, March 8, 5 p.m.
At Long Branch
5-St. Rose (26-3) vs. 3-Red Bank Catholic (23-5)
St. Rose Road to the Final: Defeated 12-Immaculata, 78-28, 4-Bishop Ahr, 65-19 and 1-St. John Vianney, 47-43.
Red Bank Catholic Road to the Final: Defeated 6-Camden Catholic, 65-44 and 2-Gloucester Catholic, 56-39.
Projected starting lineup
4-Sam Mikos (Jr. G/F 5-10)
10-Mikayla Markham (Sr. G 5-8)
12-Lovin Marsicano (Sr. F 6-1)
13-Aria Dalia (Sr. F 5-9)
25-Lucy Thomas (Sr. F 6-1)
1-Abigail Antognoli (Fr. G 5-6)
3-Lauren Lithgow (Jr. G 5-8)
21-Maggie Stapleton (Jr. G 5-9)
Red Bank Catholic
Projected starting lineup
2-Sophia Sabino (Fr. G 5-8)
11-Fab Eggenschwiler (So. G/F 5-11)
13-Katie Rice (Sr. G/F 5-11)
23-Hayley Moore (Sr. G 5-6)
24-Rose Caverly (Sr. G 5-10)
15-Julia Setaro (Jr. G 5-6)
14-Maddie Fagan (So. G 5-5)
32-Amanda Hart (Sr. G 5-7)
Keys to Victory
- Problem solving: Considering both play exceptional defense (RBC yields 39.1 ppg. while St. Rose concedes a mere 28.5), critical thinking with the basketball while under duress is essential. Red Bank Catholic entrusts senior Rose Caverly to settle it into the halfcourt. Her vision and assertive off the dribble puts the Caseys in motion. St. Rose counters with senior playmaker Mikayla Markham, a shifty point guard who shifts gears on the fly and engineers sets with a brisk tempo.
- Avoid foul trouble: It can get physical inside and while both are relatively deep, neither can afford key components sitting on the bench for an extended period of time.
- Feed the post: Whether she's showing in the high post or anchoring on the blocks, senior forward Lucy Thomas (17.1 ppg.) is a handful to contain when she turns her attention to the rim.The Monmouth-bound forward has been the most consistent finisher for St. Rose and while a good portion of her work is conducted in the paint, Thomas has to be monitored along the arc, where she's drilled 14 3-pointers. Red Bank Catholic may be a bit undersized in the frontcourt, but it does a have a defensive bulldog in senior Katie Rice. The 5-11 Lehigh commit uses her length wisely and is no stranger to matching up against prominent post figures.
- Light a spark from the arc: Red Bank Catholic has no problem doing that. Senior guards Hayley Moore (50 3-pointers), Amanda Hart (28 3-pointers) and Caverly (21 3-pointers) headline an army of long-range snipers who've compiled 187 treys. Making matters more complicated is any St. Rose defender that flashes too quickly to close out can be vulnerable to the versatility within the Caseys' corps, all of whom are fully capable of putting on the floor and veering to the basket.
- Hammer the glass: St. Rose has a propensity for quietly dominating the boards because of how furiously all five crash. Thomas, Lovin Marsicano, Sam Mikos and Ariana Dalia are all willing to engage in the physicality underneath and Markham always finds ways to sneak inside to retrieve her share of caroms. It will be imperative for RBC to put bodies on each, position instantly and box out with firm bases to avoid the Purple Roses' wrath on the glass.
Prediction: St. Rose