Last year Victoria Galvan was out all season recovering from a ACL injury, after helping Manasquan win the SCT AND TOC, the previous year. Lola Mullaney last year was busy showing she was one of the best Freshman in New Jersey. This year both would join forces to give Lisa Kukoda the most talented team in New Jersey. Last night Manasquan fans found out just how important these two players are.
In a battle of wills last night, where every basket was precious, Mullaney and Galvan proved to be the difference. In the first quarter Joe Montano turned up the heat on Manasquan. RBC jumped on the #1 team in the state. They led 10-2 and was threatening to run away early. But Victoria Galavan was having none of that. She simply put Manasquan on her back and said let’s go for a ride. First she got on the boards and limited RBC to one shot. Then she started her own block party. Every time it appeared RBC had a clear path to the basket. There she was blocking the shot, preventing RBC from extending its lead. As if all this was not enough, she then got to work on offense. Basically becoming the only offense Manasquan could muster in the first quarter. Her offensive rebound and score to close the first quarter was huge and became a theme all night.. If not for Victoria Galvan the 10-6 score after the first period could have been far worst. She prevented Manasquan from going deep into a hole, they just may not have been able to return from.
The second Quarter of last nights game was uneventful. Both teams went hardcore defensively mode. Three things happen that many may not have notice. First Manasquan pitched a shut out for about 7 minutes. But they couldn’t catch RBC for two reasons. First there shot selection went on vacation and RBC was in serious rebounding mode as well. But as the 2nd came to a close it was the so called bench players that finally got Manasquan over the Top. First Lola Mullaney went “BANG” and hit a three giving Manasquan it first lead of the day. Then when Jose Larkins matched her to tie it. Dara Maybrey found Victoria Galvan on a pick and roll at the buzzer. Again scoring to close a quarter for the second time, giving Manasquan the lead at half 17-15. The two shinney new weapons of Lisa Kukoda were god sent in the first half.
Dara Maybrey was not the dominating force she has been this year. She could not find the bottom of the net as often as she usually does. But last night whenever RBC tried to make a breakaway, there she was putting the breaks on RBC. When Tia Montange got rolling in the 3rd quarter, it was Dara Maybrey who answered her back. When Rose Caverly, who was off the charts last night, dropped a sweet dime or buried a three. It was Dara Mabrey that answered back. Dara Mabrey held RBC at bay. So when Lola Mullaney went. ..you got it …”BANG” again. Somehow Manasquan had there biggest lead of the game and Joe Montano took a time out. It was now RBC chasing Manasquan, who they did run down eventually. They had a 31-30 lead with the clock winding down in the third, when Dara Mabrey buried a 15 foot jumper to close the 3rd and give Manasquan a 32-30 lead. But more importantly it marked the third straight quarter Manasquan scored to end a quarter…a Omen to what would come next.
The name Lola Mullaney, may be one RBC would soon like to forget. In MANASQUAN’S first matchup with RBC. It was Lola Mullaney who broke their heart with a steal at half court late. It was Lola Mullaney who hit the back backing three to seal the deal. It was the biggest transfer in New Jersey making all the big plays. Lola Mullaney was suppose to ruin the chemistry of Manasquan. Lola Mullaney for sure would start complaining and pouting about playing time and not starting. But what most don’t know is this or as a Big Ten coach told me. “She makes it all look too easy”. In the 4th quarter last night, Lola Mullaney became a real Manasquan warrior. She like her teammates refused to die, she refused to lose. This has been a Manasquan trademark. She now had adopted it.
Amanda Hart right out the gate buried a three to start the 4th giving RBC a two point lead. It didn’t last long, because? ..you guessed it, Lola Mullaney was not letting RBC get away and just like in game one ….went “BANG” when Manasquan needed it most. This gave Manasquan the lead. Marking the 2nd time of the night a Mullaney bucket gave Manasquan a lead. But it was the final 2 minutes that Mullaney turned up the heat. When on a missed free throw she somehow was able to get a offense rebound. Then she got physical and got on the defensive glass and rebounded in traffic and drew fouls. She buried a deep three from straight away as if to say….you better recognize. She refused to let RBC make a get away. Then finally she saved her best for last.
It’s in the details when two giant programs meet. It’s that concentration level by all the makes the difference. In the final minute the concentration of the players and even the officials broke down at times. But Lola Mullaney’s concentration is elite and that my friends was the difference. RBC had two real chances to kill off Manasquan. But we all know roaches are hard to kill. First Rose Caverly who proved all night, she is one of the best point guards in New Jersey and why college coaches are lined up around the block. Some how threw a pass to Maureen Coakley who either did not see it or lost her concentration. Next Jose Larkins drove to the basket and 3 aweful things happened, if your a RBC fan. First she left too much time on the clock as in 7.8 seconds. Next she was clearly fouled, as I had the best view in the house, in fact my angle was better than the officials. But worst of all the ref too lost his concentration as well, there human being too folks. Because rather than call a foul in that situation and most refs wouldn’t…. he decided to call travel and hopefully let the players decide the outcome.. Manasquan took full advantage of the gift and would only need one chance to kill off RBC. NO TEAM in Shore history plays to the final buzzer like Manasquan and yesterday was no different.
Last nightt the details caught RBC napping in the final 7 .8 seconds. Katie Rice, guarding Lola Mullaney got caught up in traffic and nobody talked for RBC..NOBODY YELLED SWITCH or I got her. It was a small mistake and yet was the difference from living or dying….Because the original roach Stella Clark found Lola Mullaney in transition. It was she that allowed the “Songbird” LOLA MULLANEY to go “BANG” again. It was the 3rd time a Mullaney bucket would give Manasquan a lead In the game. For the 4th time in the game, MANASQUAN scored to close a quarter at the buzzer…But this shot by Mullaney would be the last one of the evening…as the ROACHES CELEBRATED victory, I thought I heard someone yell over the crowd…BANG BANG LOLA MULLANEY DOES IT AGAIN the most efficient player in New Jersey.