They say you can’t change the spots of a leopard and yesterday afternoon that was never proven to be truer in the Manasquan victory over Rumson. One team preformed the way that have all year, with discipline, leadership and chemistry and the other team preformed the way they played all year.
Two players scored every point for Manasquan, except for one; Sam Sullivan and Marina Mabrey. On the surface that may look strange. But if you sat in the stands yesterday, you would know they were the two most unselfish players in the gym. The passing and basketball IQ of Maria Mabrey is off the charts. As one college coach said to me “we are finally seeing what this kid can really do”. Mabrey is showing the world she is a first class teammate. Sam Sullivan showed that disciple can help you win games and inspire teammates. When the crowd overreacted to a foul by Mabrey the senior walked over to her fellow teammate and said just play. You see Sullivan has grown up and is now part of something special brewing at Manasquan. But Eva Hart yesterday showed us all what sacrifice and leadership means. She took charges and yelled at teammates for not picking up a teammate on the floor. She refused to let her Manasquan teammates forget for one second what matters most…EFFORT. Manasquan is all about winning right now. From the coaches’ right down to the last man. They have put their ego on the sidelines for the something bigger down the road. How do I know that? These words…”GET THE BALL TO MARINA”. Yes, the Manasquan players were yelling that over and over yesterday. Finally Lisa Kukoda proved yesterday that disciple and coaching matters. She used her timeouts early and late because she understands saving timeouts is a form of over coaching, and she burned them like paper in order to keep her team on track. She also sat her star player when she thought her star was not on the same page as her. Finally she did what all great coaches do; she made sure everyone on her team played their role to perfection.
Rumson had only 11 points in the first half as they played with a lack of offensive creativity, in the 2nd half they played with a Lack of discipline and Leadership; these were issues all year and yesterday was no different. Their shot selection to start the 2nd had half could only be described as bizarre and their selfish style of play was a clear example of what went wrong for the Bulldogs all year. The makeup of Rumson most likely be different next and that may help them in the long run…Yesterday was a tale of two stories and now one will continue and one has ended.