The high school season really begins after the New Year. Now we know what teams weakness and strength appear to be. Now we find out which teams are built with a sound foundation and which teams and players were built on reputation and hype. So today I am going to tell you a few things that I have discovered going into the New Year.
1. Manchester is far and away the most talented team in the Shore Conference. But what everyone is missing is this…No team prepared in the pre season better. Manchester tired to play every Top team that would play them this fall. Then in the preseason they played possum during the scrimmage season. They have not played a competitive game to date. That all changes this weekend. But one thing is clear, this may be there first time at the rodeo, but they fear no one.
2. Brynn Farrell saves the day. While St. Rose it appears will be a handful in two weeks, with the addition of 3 impact transfers, none bigger that Makayla Andrews. Brynn Farrell has carried the St. Rose offense this season. She has been a one woman wrecking crew. If not for Farrell St. Rose could be in serious trouble. Farrell, has allowed St. Rose to survive offensively until the rest of the troops arrive. Why is this so important, think about what St. Rose would look like if they had lost a few games early. That’s a nightmare Mary Beth Chambers avoided thanks to Superwoman.. Brynn Farrell.
3. Marlboro some are calling a surprise, that’s because they did not know better. The real surprise is that their most talented player and D1 prospect Kathy Sanchez is not playing because of a ACL INJURY. But here are a few thing that everyone is finding out. There is a reason Brad Hagensen has won a TOC, he can flat out coach them up. But his real secret is despite never having equal talent. He plays a monster schdule every year. His kids fear nobody. But having the most underrated young player in the Shore in Sammy Jay certainly doesn’t help. Sammy Jay was named All WOBM 1st Team and folks that event was filled with D1 players. Jess Recipe introduced herself to the Shore Conference as well. Marlboro is no surprise, there just good as in good enough to beat two Top 20 teams in a week.
4. RBC babies are special. Justine Pissott there leading scorer has been as advertised. Ally Carman has been better than expected and Sophia Sabino is there best player. But RBC has a real problem. They have no upperclassmen to carry and lead them in tough times. There is no Jada Bonner, Brynn Farrell, Faith Masonious or Mullaney. Where is the Lilani Correa? This is a real issue for Coach Montano. I cannot think of one team in Shore history that had Freshman and Sophomores led a team to a title. While babies in the past have stole the spotlight. It was the upperclassmen who sealed the deal. RBC has a major void.
5. Jackson Memorial is talented and there Fab Four are just want the doctor ordered. But it’s been a tough call regarding the Jaguars because nobody knows much of who there really are. They played an uneventful scrimmage schedule and then was trapped into a non competitive in and out of conference schedule in state, no doing of there own mind you. Coach Goodale just plays the teams they give her. This year they gave her cream puffs early and then sent her to Florida. Jackson went 1-2 and both losses came by large margins. So what does it mean? Who knows and Jackson has to root for no other than there biggest rivial to keep winning. TRN is the only competitive team left on the schedule, that could vault them by winning, back into the Top 10. Here is the crazy part, Jackson may have Top 20 talent.
6. Howell High School …just read this. They are the story of the young season.
7. RBR is sitting and waiting on Amelia Mendolla, because when she returns they are going to be a handful. RBR only lost was gift wrraped to Ewing in overtime. They shot 11-24 from the free throw line. When Mendolla returns, RBR gets elite ball handling and scoring from the point guard position, that allows Megan “All Shore” Murray to return to her natural off guard position. RBR folks is going to become a real problem in two weeks.
8. Did you know that Layla Laws has not played a high school game, yet D1 coaches can’t stop anticipationing her return. Why? Her athleticism quickness and shooting have created interest in her potential. Did you know that Stephanie Mayerhofer now has college D1 coaches showing up to games to see her!? Who saw that coming 3 years ago? Did you know that Georgia Heine, is becoming one of the best babies in the state? Doesn’t hurt when you got Mullaney and Masonious to lean on.
9. TRN is surprising me, I felt they were overrated. But what I didn’t factor in was Jenna Paul looking like a Player of the Year Canidiate and Brielle Bisogno having her best season to date. Both have been off the charts this season. Kristina Johnson has clearly stepped up her game. It appears TRN is going to make another deep run in the state tourney.
10. Neptune has two future mega stars in babies Amiya Evans and Ahjanae Young. Both have gotten off to great starts. Both appear to be 1st Team All Freshman members right now. Evans is lighting quick and is a nightmare to guard straight up. She is averaging 9.3 points, 4 steals, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists. Those are Freshman of Year type numbers. Ahjanae Young already has a college ready body. She is going to be a scoring machine for years to come. She is averaging 10.3 points a game.
11. I have seen at least 15 teams in the Nj.com Top 20. This is by far the weakest year in the state in years. If you think the Shore has run though the state in the past, you haven’t seen anything yet. I believe the Shore has 12 Top 20 canidiates. But here is something else I know. I believe on paper SADDLE DAY RIVER is the favorite. You will have to go back to the Shabazz days to find a team other than a shore team that wasn’t the favorite to win it all.
12. SJV is finding out being everyone’s champion game is not easy. SJV played in two wars last weekend. Just the way Coach KARPELL likes it. Her seniors know when to turn it on and have been there and done that. But Madison St. Rose is averaging over 13 points and 4 rebounds in her quest for Freshman of the year. Katie Hill, showed what we can expect the rest of the year. She had a career high 13 points vs Top 10 TPS in the joust at SJV. Coach KARPELL must like her teams chances. But she also knows it’s going to take some special efforts this year..Madison St. Rose and Katie Hill are nice pieces to have laying around.
13. Camryn Foltz is averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds. That is what you call getting it done early in the season. But what is everyone missing? Every team Colts Neck plays is game playing for Foltz. They double her or cheat to her on defense. She has a huge target on her back. Yet somehow Foltz just keeps putting up numbers. Foltz rarely gets a clean look at the rim, so she has reinvented herself with pull up jumpers and offensive rebounds. She is one of the few great shooters who rarely comes off screen. Making her accomplishments even more impressive.
14. Lucy Adams and Grace Munt have become stars. More importantly they have become players who can dominate a game against Top level competition. Adams is working on an All Shore Season and Munt is becoming one of the best players in the 2021 class..next year RFH will get a real shot in the arm with its monster freshman class.
15. Totally sneaking up on everyone…amazing how so many are dismissing them…MISTAKE
16. Right now, I think only 4 teams can win the SCT or TOC from the Shore Conference…MANCHESTER…SJV..ST. ROSE…MANASQUAN…but boy are there alot of spoilers out there..None bigger RBC ..MIDDLETOWN and.. RFH…3 teams who are going to be scary in a few weeks
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