B SOUTH has been a wrap the last 3 years before the season even started. Manchester has dominated Ocean County since the arrival Destiny Adams. But now that Destiny Adams is gone it has opened the door to other teams. This is season will be the first time in 4 years, that Manchester is not the favorite. It’s also the first time in 6 years that Manchester is not the #1 team in Ocean County to start the season. That honor belongs to another team. In fact the team who many believe is the best team in Ocean County is in there very division DONOVAN CATHOLIC
Overall– 12-1 (SCT champions)
Conference– POD B ( SCT champions)
Coach– Glenn Jansen (SCT Chip)
DONOVAN CATHOLIC will start the season in the Top 10 in the Shore Conference after winning a SCT chip last season. They have one of the best backcourts in the Shore Conference. Gabbie Ross is one of the best guards in the shore and new comer TANAIYAH DECKER is a special talent. Donovan Catholic also has a seasoned player in Kay Joseph who has a major talent and one of the best players on Ocean county. They return a battle tested crew who will be looking to take the next step this season. Last season they believed they were the best team in the division and Covid threw them a curve ball at the worst possible team. This year they hope to settle all questions and win “B” South and hopefully be a Top 20 team. Some of the pieces are in place to do exactly that.
Jordyn Keating, Olivia Conroy were mainstays and big producers for Donovan Catholic. They had been in wars and played in big games. There experience and talent will be hard to replace. Alexandra Gelosi was a smart talented player who did many little things that only coaches notice. Shelby Barksdale decided to transfer and will be missed because of her ability to play in the lane, score and defend. Replacing this core from last years Championship team will not be easy.
There is no question who the star of this team is…GABBY ROSS was All Shore 2nd team last season. This year she will make a run at First Team All. She is the most talented player in Ocean County. She is a former FIRST TEAM ALL FRESHMAN PLAYER. She is the ultimate scoring machine on game night. The junior is the all one of the most creative offensive scorers in the shore. She can score in the lane regardless of who is in front of her. She is one of the best passes in transition in the state of New Jersey. Not mention one of the best offensive rebounding guards in the state. A big time defender. Her versatility allows to play against every type of defensive opposing coaches throw at her. Her show stopping opening debut last season can not be forgotten and should have served as a warning as to what was come last season. She had 29 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals in her first game in a Donovan Catholic uniform. She could be in for another historic season. Gabbie Ross this year may move into superstar status. That’s because she plays with such passion and now wants to take things to another level. This no reason to believe she won’t do exactly that.
Kya Joseph– The senior is one of the leaders of the Donovan Catholic team. She put up historic numbers at Barnegat before transferring to Donovan Catholic. Last season she changed her entire game to benefit her team. It paid off with a SCT title. She is a warrior who competes every night. She pounds the boards and plays top flight defense. She can handle the ball and be a playmaker or scorer. The key is that she gives Donovan Catholic what they need every night. That’s because she is a total team player. She can do a little of everything. She is a jock of all trades. She plays versatile defense, can knock down threes or get to the rim. She can do it all in a team unselfish setting way. She is one of the 5 best players in the county because of her versatility. The fact of the matter is Donovan Catholic is going nowhere without Kya Joseph in the front of the train leading the way. She has spent her entire career being underrated and under appreciated. The senior has had a number of monster games. But more importantly has made a number of big shots in a career. She also showed she is more than just a scorer. She is a proven rebounder and excellent passing wing player. She will be even more dangerous this year with more shots availability. She has played in big B SOUTH games last year and is battled tested. She will not fall apart in a big spot, this is a player who can explode on any night.
TANAIYAH DECKER– is the best keep secret on this roster. She has a college type body and is insanely athletic and talented. How good do I believe this young lady is? I say she is a Division one player right now. She has paid the price this fall in the gym. She has developed her jump shot and her handle is about as dirty as it gets. She has the ability to score in traffic and can knock down three’s. She is a hard nose defender and rebounding guard. She can handle the ball against pressure and see’s teammates. She can play all three guards spots if asked because of her quickness and toughness. There is no question she will have a major impact on Donovan Catholic this season from day one. That’s because her ability to pass the ball is special. She is murder in pick and roll and a unstoppable force in transition. She could be the best point guard in the Shore Conference one day. She and Gabbie Ross are easily the best backcourt in Ocean County. Her IQ and unselfish style of play is a joy to watch and Donovan Catholic gets to reap the benefits. She had a big freshman year at Central last year and hopes to build on that success this season at her new home
Mackenzie Kopf– Senior- Now a senior this season, she was solid as a rock last season and at times sensation for Donovan Catholic. She was as reliable as a player can be over the course of a season. She will rebound every night. Play tough defense, make open layups and shots. She is a true competitor and loves doing the little things. Like running pick and roll and setting screens to set up teammates. She simply makes winning plays night after night. She wins her matchup and because of this. Donovan Catholic has great chemistry and execution and she is a big reason why. She is a seasoned vet and will not shy away from big moments. She will bring much needed experience and smart basketball. She slides under the radar with all the talent surrounding her. Making her very dangerous on game night. She is excellent passer and elite teammate.
Olivia Conroy– Senior– She will be ready whenever her number is called. She will embrace being a role player. She also will make big shots off the bench and do any dirty work. Olivia has committed to Westchester for soccer and understands what hard work looks like. Her sister was one of the best players in the county last season. She will never cheat her teammates with her effort. She will give 100% and more importantly run through a wall for the coaching staff. She’ll be a hound dog on defense and will make winning unselfish plays. She looked very confident and ready to go during Donovan’s scrimmage. Donovan has one of the best kids you could want on your roster. A player who is invested in her teammates and winning. She could be a sleeper on this roster.
Abigail Piotrowski – Sophomore- the 6ft forward will have to give the team a big lift off the bench. She will counted on to give them defense, rebounding and solid all around play. She looked all of that in the first scrimmage and it’s clear Coach Jansen has totally confidence in his young player. She played AAU basketball and won’t be intimidated by what’s ahead or expected from her this season
They will be much different this year. That because they lost a ton of experience. But they have three big pieces that return. They added a D1 stud and return 40 points a game. More importantly they have three of the best players in the division. They also have a great coach in Glenn Jansen who lets his team play. They will share the ball and allow Gabbie Ross the freedom to explore her scoring opportunities. They will pick their spots when to press and change up defenses. They are a group that never looks at each other sideways regardless of what is taking place during the game. Meaning they are a team and stick together. They will pick each other up and have a championship attitude which you could clearly see in their first scrimmage vs St. Rose. This is a battle tested crew and they bring a boat load of winning and experience to the table. This is a team that believes they can go big this season.
This is not a deep team. Losing Shelby Barksdale was a big lost. She may be replaceable but her lost shortens their bench. Three point shooting has to be a major concern. That’s because last season Jordyn Keating opened up lots of driving lanes with her shooting and she is gone. But the biggest concern of all has to be that in half their games last season, Donovan Catholic gave up 60 points or more. If they hope to be a Top 20 team and challenge that top teams in the Shore their defense must step up.
Coach Dave Beauchemin (SCT, State, WOBM chips)
Conference– Lost in First Round of SCT Pod “A”
While Donovan Catholic may be the favorites. Make no mistake Manchester is not giving away their title without a fight. They have more than enough firepower to hold on to the “B” South title and have every intention of doing just that.
The B SOUTH dominating force for a decade is about to get their biggest challenge this season. Times had changed with the arrival of the Adams sisters years ago for Manchester. But last season Donovan Catholic surprised people in a lot of ways. It was the first time that people questioned if Manchester was the best team in the county. But Manchester put all that to rest by winning “B” South yet again. But if you look deep, Donovan Catholic closed the gap. It was they that won a chip…meanwhile Manchester had a up and down season. Now they are trying to right the ship without one of the best players in Shore history.
Coach Dave Jansen (3rd year)
You can talk about anything you want. But losing one of the best players in Shore history you do not replace. Destiny Adams is a once in a lifetime player and this is an impossible task. Trying to replace her production and more importantly her presence is a pipe dream
Amay Bray had a break out season last year averaging 11.3 points a game. She had a number of explosive games including 24 points vs RBR. She carried that success into the summer and fall fall. She has had a outstanding lead up to the season. She is one of the most improved players in Ocean County. She is a tough had nose defender. But it’s her shooting that catches everyone eyes. She has range to 25 feet and some believe she is the best shooter in Ocean County. Her upgraded ball handling skills has allowed her to blow by defender and score buckets at the rim. Her ability to get in passing lanes will lead to much needed easy baskets for Manchester this season. The senior will be counted on to do just about everything from running the point, passing, rebounding and leading this team on and off the floor. The good news is that she has won everything a player can win in high school while playing a major role. She is up to the task. Look for Amaya Bray to have a dream season.
Devyn Quigley– Sophomore– This is a player with a massive upside. College coaches and fans have been waiting for her to explode. She is an elite passer and floor runner. Her upside as a 5’10″ do it all high skilled guard cannot be understated. She is physical defender and not afraid to mix it up. Last season at times, her talents went on full display and she was beastly and unstoppable. She was named to the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN FIRST TEAM She had 11 games of double figure scoring out of 15 games. She had three game with double figure rebounding stats. Including and 14 and 13 in her first two high school games from the point guard position. She is a deadly shooter with an elite handle. She is powerful and strong when getting below the foul line. This fall she was one of the best players in the fall league. In fact she was unstoppable. She is a future ALL SHORE AND ALL STATE PLAYER. She will be one of the most recruited players in all of New Jersey and already has D1 offers on the table. She is a special talent and Manchester is not defending its title without Devyn Quigley in the lineup
MYAH HOURIGAN– She is a wild card for this team. Last season she was sensational at times. She is the most underrated player in the county. She has a number of big double figure scoring nights and for some reason we won’t give her credit. She saves her best work for the biggest games. Like double figure scoring games vs Top 20 teams. RBC, Jackson Memorial, RBR and Manasquan. Get the picture? She delivers on the big stages and has been doing it for years. This season Manchester will need her to be at her very best every night. She is battle tested and has seen the bright lights. She has won every big game a kid can win. Now she will be asked to pass that knowledge along and lead a group of inexperienced players along with Amaya Bray. My guess is if anyone is up to the task it Myah Hourigan. That’s because she understands what is means to be dismissed and not appreciated. This season look for her to do her best work to date. She could end up easily being the most valuable player on the roster. She is a big time defender and grinder. She is competitive and may have hold the keys to the car this season.
Sadie Felipe– gives Manchester a player who has seen minutes in big games. She is long and athletic. She can run the floor and play defense. If she can provide some offense it will be a welcomed boost. She has played varsity for two years. So her expanded role may not be a shock to her system. Manchester will need her size and length to cause problems for opponents..
Alyssa Carino– On paper it looks like she will be the 5th starter. She is hard worker who can knock down shots and handle the ball. There is a case to be made she will be the starting point guard. She is tough and plays with an edge and strangely very confident. I watched her this fall and was impressed with her mental toughness and competitive edge. She could play a major role for Manchester all season.– no doubt will be fighting for a starting spot. She has played valuable mins in the past. She could be the answer to that 5th starter and give Manchester a player who will grind and compete.
SA’MII DUFFY-PURNELL …NAVEAH DOHERTY…ZIONNA SHORT all will be asked to be ready when called upon. They are inexperienced but are excited about the chance to show they belong. If one or all of them come though, it will give Manchester a big boost
They have three studs and big time scorers in the lineup. Bray, Quiley and Hourigan can flat out score against anyone. Look for the offensive to revolve around these three. That good news is all three can score in a variety of ways. They also all are top defenders and will pressure opponents. There quickness and speed will give even the best of the best problems. In the fall league Manasquan found this out first hand. The role players will play defense and take what the defense gives them. They will try to limit their mistakes and work hard.
The big thing is not scoring. It rebounding and depth. This team has zero experince after the big three. They are asking kids who never played in a big spot to play major mins. Next can three players carry a offense all year? At some point someone is going to have a off night. Who is picking that player up. Finally and this is big. Can they beat Donovan Catholic in a a run and gun type game or will they slow it down and try to grind out a win with such a thin bench. If they run it could wear them out … it they slow it down, it’s not playing to their strength.
NOT THIS SEASON….
Lacey…Barnegat…Lakewood…Pineland and Brick are all lacking in overall talent to make a run. But they can all compete with each other. Making the State or SCT tournament would be a major accomplishment for now. But this is a two horse race
There is a change in the guard in “B” SOUTH… DONOVAN CATHOLIC has bigger fish to fry but they will start with this... DONOVAN CATHOLIC WINS “B” SOUTH
“B” SOUTH FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR- TBA
AMAYA BRAY- DONOVAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
KYA JOSEPH-DONOVAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
MAYA HOURIGAN– MANCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
TANAIYAH DECKER – DONOVAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
CARA McCOY– BARNEGAT HIGH SCHOOL