Tomorrow night is a big game for two teams. There is a lot at stake tomorrow night. The loser of this game will fall two games behind Manasquan in B North. More importantly each team will be facing different questions moving forward.
A win tomorrow night and RBC stays on track for their showdown with Manasquan on Jan 24th. A lost and a lot of luster comes off their epic showdown with Manasquan in game one. A win for Middletown South and they gain back, instant creditability, and prove they indeed can play with the big girls. A lost and they will be looking at more questions.
TOM BRENNAN is a master and he officially will need to call upon all his knowledge tomorrow night. He will need first to get his team to believe. Then he will need to come up with something to give his team a edge. He never got that chance against Manasquan. He may have one already in his back pocket. Last season his team beat this very same RBC in the WOBM Semi- Final. The problem is Stephanie Karcz is gone and he will need to find a way to make up for her rebounds, points, steals and leadership skills.
JOE MONTANO is for my money one of the the best on the sidelines on game night, college or high school. He will always give his team a edge. More importantly he will never panic and just important, his teams are always going to be prepared and play defense. Right now Joe Montano crew is playing as well as anyone. Tomorrow night he will need his team not to assume anything. He knows that Tom Brennan will have something up his sleeve.
THERE ARE PLAYERS WHO CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
ISLA BRENNAN got a real taste of what big time guards look like against Manasquan. What most may have not noticed was this. In the 4th quarter of a blow out lost. She had settled down in a big way. She went from a wide eyed baby in shock, to looking very comfortable by the time the final whistle blew. She will need to use that experience tomorrow night, because she is facing another group of elite guards. There is no question that Stephanie Mayerhofer will need to give Brennan some help. Here is a little secret, she has played against and with just about every player on the RBC roster. The freshman will need to do two things. One take care of the ball and join Isla Brennan and knock down some three’s to off set the certain large number of three’s RBC no doubt will take.
Rose Caverly is showing right now, why she is the apple of just about every college coach. The Jr has been on a roll lately and filling up box scores. Caverly is not just a point guard, but an elite point guard. She will be major handful for Middletown South. But a even bigger problem is the shooting firm know as Larkin’s, Montagne and Moore. Nobody can roll out three D1 shooters like RBC. Josie Larkin’s (Vermont), Tia Montagne (LIU) and Hayley Moore (Binghamton U). They are lighting in a bottle and can shoot an opponent out of the gym…and early too. If these three get on a roll, RBC becomes almost unbeatable.
Kayla Richardson is not a ordinary Freshman. She has seen and competed against just about every player on the RBC roster. More importantly, she has the type size, strength, quickness and mental toughness that presents a serious matchup issue for RBC. Richardson just may be the most gifted player on the court tonight. Alex Balsamo will get other chance to prove she can get it done against elite competition. She is very capable of a big night. Haley Dolonzo looked ready to go against Manasquan. She got to the rim, and made aggressive plays all night. She will most certainly need to carry her team, when they hit the dry spots. If these three play well and that means scoring and rebounding. Middletown South can get back to elite status.
Sam Kennan and Eve Pirie got there first taste of what big time speed and athleticism looks like vs. Manasquan. The pace of play is something they clearly were not prepared for. But that was two weeks ago and there is nothing like experience. Both have that now and should be more prepared for round two of playing the big girls. Kennan looked thin and much more mobile than a year ago. Tonight could be her coming out party. Pirie has the ability and size, tonight she needs to show some of the flashes we saw last year. If these two grow up tonight. Middletown South could be smiling at the end of the night.
RBC’s Katie Rice is right now as good as it gets. She is knocking down three’s and that is a bad sign for opponents. She is the most versatile defender and may find herself guarding every player on the Middletown team tonight. Maureen Coakley’s is rounding into shape, and her experience and strength could play a real be role in the paint this evening. If she gets the South front line in foul trouble; South could be in real deep trouble. Freshman Fabienne Eggenschwiler will give the frontline some rest tonight. But it wouldn’t hurt if she could give RBC some scoring off the bench…same goes for always dangerous Amanda Hart and Annetta Panayides.
WHAT TO EXPECT
RBC will try and jump on Middletown South early. No question they are going to go after the young Middletown South guards. Haley Dolonzo and Kayla Richardson could move to the backcourt to help against the RBC pressure. If Middletown South stays cool and takes care of the ball it could get interesting. Remember Tom Brennan teams take leaps in bounds each week of the season. If there offense is clicking, watch out. Because hard nosed defense, back door cuts and shot selection become hall marks of his teams AROUND THIS TIME OF YEAR. Isla Brennan, Stephanie Mayerhofer and Kayla Richardson will need to knock down some three’s.
RBC will try to get out of run. There are loaded with speed, shooters and multiple ball handlers who can push the ball in transition. They are a defensive juggernaut and contest every shot. They also gang rebound. They also shoot a lot of three and a rarely turn the ball over. They also have real senior leadership and multiple scorers at each position. They are playing with real swag and confidence right now and believe they can beat anyone.
WHAT’S AT STAKE AND WHO IS GOING TO WIN..
I believe two teams are playing tomorrow with different mindsets to start. One with lots of confidence and the other whose foundation was shook a week ago. Middletown South must get off to a good start Friday. They need to know they can play with RBC. They should not expect to see the team they played last year. These players are all a year older, bigger, stronger and more confident. Middletown South must come ready for the pace of play. RBC needs to know that a wounded animal is very dangerous. They be wise to expect a battle to the end. If this goes down to the wire, remember this, Hayley Dolonzo just may be the one player RBC does not have a answer for. This game is about ego and pride. If we have good game, Middletown South is a winner regardless of the outcome. Middletown gets a level of respect back and gets to see RBC and Manasquan on their home court in round two. If RBC blows out Middletown South, then South becomes officially overrated, and will have a uphill battle the rest of the season If RBC loses at home, some will say, hold on maybe they are not a contender. Either way somebody is leaving two games behind in B North….it won’t be RBC….they win 58-49
GYM RATS….PAY ATTENTION
***BALL HANDLING/ SHOOTING STARTS TONIGHT AND EVERY THURSDAY….6.30PM-7.30PM