SSN Girls Basketball Top 10 – Jan. 21
Shore Sports Network Girls Basketball Top 10
1-Red Bank Catholic (11-1, 6-0) Last week: 1
It’s getting to the point where opponents are rendered to pick their poison. Concentrate on collapsing around the post and a swarm of perimeter sharks lurk along the arc, led by 6-2 junior Justine Pissott (11.5 ppg., 29 3-pointers), who was locked in on Saturday. Her single-game, career-high seven 3-pointers accounted for her 21 points in a 70-43 thrashing of St. John’s Prep at the Say Yes to Success Showcase in New York. RBC has accumulated 78 3-pointers through the contributions of nine different sources. That outside activity creates room for 6-4 sophomore Ally Carman (13.5 ppg.) to exploit the interior.
2-St. John Vianney (10-0, 6-0) Last week: 2
Hard to argue about the importance of the Lady Lancers’ depth. Not only does it provide the luxury of spreading out the offensive wealth (65.5 ppg.), it assures SJV can stay defensively fresh, especially within the press. The fierce brand of resistance the Lancers are employing is virtually silencing all comers, yielding a mere 30.6 points per game. Vianney has compiled a whopping 177 steals, led by the dispossessing hands of sophomore Madison St. Rose (46), junior Katie Hill (29), sophomore Ashley O’Connor (22) and junior Emma Bruen (20).
3-Manchester (10-2, 6-0) Last week: 3
Manchester ran its win streak against B South competition to 26 with thorough victories over Barnegat and Lakewood. While 6-3 junior forward Destiny Adams (18.6 ppg., 11.9 rpg., 2.7 spg., 2.0 bpg., 1.5 apg.) remains the centerpiece, the Hawks keep a defense honest due to the carousel of guards who revolved around her. Seniors Kemari Reynolds, Nakaleigh Hayes-Jones and Serenity Anderson, sophomore Amyah Bray and freshmen Gabriella Ross and Angelica Velez encourage the Hawks move the basketball in the halfcourt, press at will and seek to convert in transition. Inclement weather on Saturday postponed a matchup with Bishop Ireton (Va.) at the Say Yes to Success Showcase in New York
4-St. Rose (8-4, 5-1) Last week: 4
After conceding a total of 146 points in back-to-back loss against No. 1 Red Bank Catholic and Sidwell Friends (Md.), the Purple Roses have shown notable signs of their defense resembling its signature form. Over the ensuing five games, St. Rose has yielded no more than 41 points, surrendered an average of 31.4 and showed those snarling teeth in a 45-29 victory against Manasquan. Seniors Makayla Andrews, Maria Tedesco and Brynn Farrell lead an assertive effort to control the boards while junior guard Abby Antognoli hounds opposing ballhandlers like a flea on dog.
5-Rumson-Fair Haven (9-2, 4-2) Last week: 5
The Bulldogs have rattled off five straight wins with the most impressive perhaps pocketed on Monday when they fashioned a second-half rally to upend St. Thomas Aquinas, ranked seventh in the state by NJ.com. RFH erased a 25-21 halftime deficit, keyed by a 14-4 outburst in the third. Senior guard Paige Slaven delivered 11 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter and senior forward Lucy Adams cleared 16 rebounds to complement nine points.
6-Red Bank (9-2, 5-1) Last week: 6
The Bucs built a 14-point lead early in the third quarter that Neptune trimmed to 42-41 by the midway point of the fourth, but junior guard Caitlyn Decker was the stablizer, scoring 12 of her career-high 22 over the closing eight minutes to secure a 51-44 victory. On Thursday, junior Chloe Teter flipped in 19 points, senior Taylor Crystian added 16, junior Amelia Medolla cleared 10 boards and Decker dished out 10 assists in a 64-33 triumph over Matawan that ran the Bucs’ win streak to three.
7-Manasquan (7-4, 3-3) Last week: 7
A string of three successive wins was halted as the Warriors absorbed back-to-back losses against No. 1 RBC and No. 4 St. Rose. However, there was a silver lining that accompanied the two setbacks. Manasquan revealed its defensive grit, limiting both to well below their season scoring average.
8-Jackson Memorial (8-2, 6-0) Last week: 8
The Jaguars are the frontrunners in A South, topping their first six divisional opponents by an average margin of 63.3 to 30.6. Yet, this group knows the importance of tonight’s showdown with defending A South champ Toms River North (7-2, 5-1) , which topped Jackson Memorial twice a year ago en route to the title and has won the last four encounters between the two programs. One key for the Jags will be imposing their will on the boards, which isn’t a problem for 5-7 senior Ally Vella, who cleared 19 rebounds to go with 10 points on Friday in a 57-30 victory over Southern.
9-Marlboro (9-2, 5-0) Last week: 9
Winners of six straight, the Mustangs have made it clear they have no intentions of releasing their grip on the A North. The defending champ stormed past Middletown South and Freehold Twp.by getting their perimeter game revved up: Marlboro sank 22 threes over the two-game span. Sophomore Dani Schlesinger and junior Jessica Riepe headlined the outside-shooting frenzy with five triples in the two contests while junior point guard Sammy Jay drilled three and totaled 17 points in the 69-46 victory over Freehold Twp.
10-Toms River North (7-2, 5-1) Last week: 10
A 54-49 loss to Southern snapped a string of four straight wins for the Mariners, who got back on track by downing Central, 44-30. North has received an inside boost from 5-10 sophomore forward Jackie Benvenuto. Her prowess on the glass is reaping 9.2 rebounds a game, a number that took an uptick on Friday when she backed 10 points with 14 boards against Central.
On the bubble: Middletown South (5-3, 4-1); Freehold Twp. (9-3, 3-2); Trinity Hall 8-4 (6-0); Colts Neck (5-4, 3-3); Neptune (7-4, 4-2); Holmdel (6-5, 3-3); Toms River East (6-4, 5-2); Donovan Catholic (7-5, 5-1).