It’s the biggest game in the Shore this year. Two of the best teams in the state will lace them up tonight. The three leading Candidates for player of the year will do battle. This game has all the trapping for a magical evening. Finally after years, we see this game not at the end of the season, but early in conference play. Tonight one team will grab the early bragging rights. For Manasquan at home this is a big game. st. Rose gets some serious fire power back in a week. Tonight may be there best chance to knock off St. Rose. Coach Chambers team has made it look easy so far. But we have not seen how her team will react to real adversity. Tonight could be there first test. Right now everything has been good. But St. Rose has not been punched in the nose yet this season….tonight both teams are going to be tested.
MARY BETH CHAMBERS– This will not be her first time at the rodeo. Few have seen better competition on a bigger stages than Mary Beth Chambers. She knows what a St. Rose vs Manasquan game looks like and feels like. She has been brilliant to date in flipping the entire ST. ROSE culture. She has placed emphasis on defense, ball movement and team play. Her scouting and game preparation has been off the charts
LISA KUKODA– Some wondered if she could coach a team that was not loaded with talent. But some forget that’s exactly what she did her first year at Manasquan, when she turned the entire program around. She is the most successful Coach in the past 6 years. She has won EVERYTHING. Right now she just may be doing her best coaching job to date. She is brilliant out of time outs and a master at running sets late in games.
ABBY ANTOGNOLI- Point Guard-Soph
BRYNN FARRELL- Wing-Sr
MAGGIE STAPLETON- Forward-Sr
SAM MIKOS- Forward- Sr
LOLA MULLANEY- Guard/Point Guard/Forward/wing- sr
FAITH MASONIOUS- Guard/Point Guard/Forward/Wing- Sr
ANNIE MAKOS- Wing- Sr
KATE LETURGEZ-Forward- Jr
GEORGIA HEINE- Wing/Forward
1. Slow down Mullaney and Masonious. They can survive one going off but not both.
2. Attack Mullaney and Masonious off the dribble
3. They must give Brynn Farrell scoring support
4. Be ready for changing defenses
5. Dominate the 50/50 ball battle
1. Make Farrell a high volume shooter tonight getting her points
2. Force St. Rose to find scoring outside of Farrell
3. Run on missed shots when Antognoli becomes a rebounder( she is SR BEST REBOUNDER)
4. Find a third scorer to join Masonious and Mullaney …this is huge
5. LOLA MULLANEY AND FAITH MASONIOUS MUST NOT GET IN FOUL TROUBLE
WHAT TO EXPECT
Both teams are eerily similar on offense. Faith Masonious and Lola Mullaney in Manasquan’s real games played this season. They have scored 90% of there teams points. Like wise Brynn Farrell has scored around 55% of St. Rose’s points in there real games. There is no question if either team stops these players from getting there numbers…the other team is in deep trouble. Who plays the point for Manasquan will not matter because it will be Mullaney or Masonious. This will eliminate the ball pressure the Abby Antognoli puts on teams. If she guards either, no question Manasquan will post her up. A bigger question is who is guarding Antognoli? Manasquan best bet is Mullaney but do you really want Mullaney chasing Antognoli all night? The best bet is on the bench in BROOK HOLLOWELL. But can you ask a freshman to take on such responsibilities in such a big game? I say Makos gets her early and Mullaney moves to her late. I say MANASQUAN matches zone with man to man.
I expect St. Rose to try and get out and run. Brynn Farrell will not over power Faith Masonious as she has done other players. This will be the first time this season St. Rose will not have the most dominant player on paper. Farrell will need easy baskets to reach her numbers tonight. If she becomes a high volume shooter and scorer, St. Rose is in deep trouble. Lauren Lithgow could provide big scoring if things get rough. Her track record in big games speaks for itself. The benches tonight are a non factor unless foul trouble or one team gets real breathing room, allowing coaches to rest the starters. These teams are going 6/7 deep at most…it’s big girl night folks. Two things to look for…ST. ROSE 1-3-1 forcing Mullaney and Masonious into passers not scorers and BOX IN ONE ON BRYNN FARRELL.
THE MATCH UPS
This is a battle of talented players. Lauren Lithgow and Abby Antognoli have become a force on offense. Lithgow has found her stroke and is getting to the rim. But lost is her defense, which has been Stella this season. Abby Antognoli cannot be summed up by a box score. It does not show energy, on ball pressure and her leadership. She has handled 90% of the ball handling responsibilities. She has been off the charts this season.
Lola Mullaney and Faith Masonious play every position and that will not change tonight. Both are elite scorers and finishers at the rim. Both also post up smaller guards and are deadly from the three point line. They are the leaders of the team and have been in every major battle there is on the high school level. They will have the ball in their hands every single possession. Annie Makos, is a serious wild card for those who know her. She is very capable of making big shots. She could change this entire game
Brynn Farrell is the leading candidate for Player of the Year, right now. She has carried St. Rose on offense. She can score at all three levels. Sam Mikos is totally underrated. She has done all the dirty work and has been an anchor on defense. Maggie Stapleton has been a jock of all trades. Besides her timely shooting her passing, her unselfish play has gone unnoticed. She has been a huge part of St. Rose’s early sucess
While Masonious and Mullaney will play forward. Kate Leturgez and Freshman Georgia Heine will be the mainstays tonight. Leturgez is a warrior and big time rebounder and defender. She gets blood and gut points. Georgia Heine is just a baby but will be asked to grow up under the big lights. She has shown that she is ready. Tonight will be her biggest test. Both will need to play mistake free basketball
Advantage- St. Rose
There are real options on the bench if need be…Maureen Stapleton is a deadly shooter and a proven rebounder. She is capable of giving St. Rose a big lift off the bench. Mary Donnelly is a freshman and shown zero fear. She has shown she can defend and more importantly rebound in traffic. Kitty Murphy can be counted on if Coach Chambers wants to go deeper in her bench.
This is a serious issue for Manasquan. They will rely on Freshman Brook Hollowell and Dorothy Loffredo off the bench. Both have been solid to date. Hollowell has shown she can knock down threes and defend. Loffredo will not be intimidated tonight. She has played real minutes this season.
Advantage- St. Rose
Nobody runs down loose balls like Abby Antognoli. St. Rose has a lot of players who have seen real minutes on big stages. They also have real size and experience in the front court. Manasquan has the two best players on the court. They also have home court in a sold out building. This has to matter on such a big night. Foul trouble to either Masonious or Mullaney signals death for Manasquan. While St. Rose knows Lithgow can carry the offense if Brynn Farrell struggles for any reason
This is a tough call because both teams have the same strengths and weaknesses. I believe the team that gets to 45 first wins. Both teams have high scoring players, but there are not high flying scoring TEAMS. If Mullaney and Masonious both get off …this is a wrap. I think Abby Antognoli is the difference maker tonight. I see no match up to keep her under control without tiring Lola Mullaney out on defense. She also has matured and will control the game. But in the end the ST. ROSE has two things going for them. Mary Beth Chambers is a master at scouting and taking things away from great players. Next the St. Rose supporting case is older, stronger, more experienced and better….ST. ROSE WINS IN A THRILLER
CORE SKILLS IS STILL ACCEPTING SIGN UPS