B North, could be the most interesting Division and most underrated division in the Shore Conference this year. Now on paper this may look like two horse race…DON’T BELIEVE IT. It may also appear that RBC is the heavy favorite…DON’T BELIEVE IT. The winner of this B NOTRHT is going to have to grind to win this years title. It will be no walk in the park…TRUST ME!
To win B NORTH one thing is clear, you will have to go though RBC. This is a talented young RBC team that is a year older. They are clearly physically stronger and more polished. This is a group that many is a year away from winning not just a SCT but maybe another TOC. There talent level is that good.
WHAT THEY LOST- They lost current Loyola College shooting guard Alex Barazotti i the ultimate leader. She was part of the unbeaten RBC that last won the SCT. Replacing her will be no easy task.
WHATS BACK? Shooters, Future D1 shooting guard Josie Larkins, who is rapily becoming the apple of so many coaches eyes, will fill the role Alex Barazotti left open nicely. Larkins is a deep three point high percentage shooter that DEFENDS…RARE. Shooting is something RBC will not have to worry about this season. Hayley Moore is falt out the best transition three point shooter in the shore. When she gets going she becomes a major issue for any team. She has grew and gotten stronger since last year. But the biggest difference people will see in her game is this…better defender and maybe more important a much better shooter off the dribble. I believe she has a chance to RBC leading scorer this season. Gillian Hansen has been a reliable shooter for RBC for years now. She is somebody that Joe Montano will have no problem turning too during the season. But the player who just may put RBC over the top is CATLIN CARROLL. Folks I believe this young lady is going to have a dream season. Carroll not only is a shooter but is a major finisher in the lane and ready…gets out in transition as well as anyone. When is this important? Because despite all the shooters at RBC, what was their biggest problem last year? Getting easy baskets.
WHATS UP FRONT? The front court for RBC looks the same as last year. Katie Rice could be the most improved player in the Shore. I believe she will make a run at ALL SHORE. Rice has improved in every area of her game. She very well could be RBC 2nd best ball handler against pressure. She is now a real threat from 18 feet and continues to rebound in traffic against bigger opponents. Maureen Coakley continues to be the most disrespected player in the shore. Folks look at her numbers last year. Nothing is more of a lo than Coakley getting double figures every night RC takes the floor. She rebounds, defends and plays with passion. Annetta Panayides is 6’2″and no doubt at some point will called upon and remember you heard it hear first….WILL SHOW UP BIG TIME
YOU GOT THE POINT? The point Guard position is in total lock down. Rose Caverly, is a future All Shore and D1 guard., who has earned the trust of Coach Montano. Caverly is making a real case these days as the best baby point guard not only in the shore but the state as well. This summer she but up numbers that at times were shocking. But Caverly will not be alone. Amanda Hart is a name you may not know….but you better learn quick because she is going to play a major role for RBC this season. I love her ability to get by opponents and her level head. This is going to a be break out year for this young lady. If this is not enough, RBC expects Tia Montange back before season end. Montange started as a freshman for RBC and is a combo guard who brings massive creativity with the ball. She can create her own shot in the lane and bury 3s till the cow come home.
WHAT TO EXPECT- The Yankees are a family, no team in the Shore is closer on and off the court. They play for the name on the front of the Jersey. There is never any drama in this program because the man at the top, makes it very clear…THIS IS HIS PROGRMAN. The future Hall of Fame coach is quietly doing one of his best jobs at bringing a team along. This group has developed nicely and could be the surprise team of the year. But first they must win the B NORTH TITLE.
Neptune will come at a you in swarms
Neptune, make no mistake is real CONTENDER for the B NORTH TITLE. WHY? Because they have the one player in the entire Shore Conference that can beat you by herself on any given night in Dezzy Allen. This is an aggressive group that plays all out and as a TEAM. Some will think with the lost of Miesah Bacon this team could take a step backwards… Don’t believe it. I am her to tell you this is a possible Top Ten team in the state before things are done.
THE STAR- Dezzy Allen is a feak of nature, she has leaping ability of a dude and the quickness and length of your best male player. Her competitive nature, pure athleticism on both sides of the ball is 2nd to none. She my friends is a POY candidate.
NOT A ONE WOMAN SHOW- Here is the thing everyone is missing, Allen is not alone. Brianna Love goes right to the top of anyone’s underrated team. She is an explosive undersize forward. But what makes her special is that she plays way bigger than her size. She is a beast on the offense boards and murder of the dibble. She can handle the ball and play away from the basket when called upon. Love is a issue every single night. B
THEN CAN SHOOT- Neptune folks can flat out shoot the ball as a team. In the fall league they surprised RFH with their competiveness and shooting ability. The for a lack of better word man handled the Bulldogs from the three point line. Alexa Vreeland is now a senior and still a major threat any time she walks on the floor. Kaelyn Kimbrough is a seasoned senior who just plays hard and is not afraid to shoot the three.. She has been part of a lot of winning over her career and will want to go out with a bang. Junior Alexis Bennett is a reliable shooter who has now stepped up her game and will no doubt try to make a name for herself.
SOMETHING NEW-Sophomore transfer point guard Pericous Allen is a major pickup for Neptune. She is a player you simply do not hear enough about. She gived Neptune a major boast with the lost of bacon. Finally there is no question freshman RAHMENA HENDERSON goes right to the top of the list of impact freshman. She is a player that Neptune will need to give them that energy and more talent against elite teams She defends, gets in the lane and makes great decisions in transition.
WHAT TO EXPECT- Once again they will have the pack mentally of all Neptune teams. Once again they will swarm to the ball and once again they will be a real contender for B North. John Brown just continues to win and regardless of what opponets do..HE PLAYS NEPTUNE BASKETBALL. This is a team that could win B NORTH and nobody believes this more than the Neptune kids themselves.
If there is a team in the Shore that could make a major jump this year, its Colts Neck. Coach Glenn Jassen is putting together a team that could surprise everyone this year. They are a team loaded with underappreciated talent and more importantly a perfect mix of upper and under classmen.
THE SENIORS- If Senior Elsie Brown had been wearing a RBC, SJV or RFH jersey that last 3 years, she would be a household name. This is a young lady with mega talent, for the likes of me how she could be this under the radar is amazing. This is a young lady with All Shore type of ability. She averaged double figures last season and was a handful for everyone. She gives Colts Neck real star power and somebody that can at times carry the offense and get them easy baskets. Senior Amanda Hunt feels like she has been around forever. The quite effective shooting guard is a real teammate that Coach Janssen can call on at any time. She can and will knock down shots. She has been in the wars and has also been part of some very important program wins, which inculdes a state title. Colts Neck will need her if any thing special is in the making this season.
PLAYING BIG- Little Jamie Prestagiacomo is work horse on the court. She is quick, can pressure the ball and plays with passion and confidence. There is no question her role will increase this season. 5″4″Junior Sam Roth is expected to have another strong season. Last year Roth stepped up her game and played a major role in Colts Neck late season run. Roth is a gym rat and all reports point to have a great year.
A BABY SHALL LEAD- At the end of the day what will put Colts over the top will come down to two babies. Carla Volpe who was on the all Freshman team last year, will need to step up her game even more this year. Carla Volpe is moving into star status very quickly. This fall she lived in the gym and it appears to have paid off. Coach Jassen must be given credit for the development of his young star. She arrived at the school under the radar and has blown up. Now Coach Jassen will need to work his magic again. Because one of the best young players in the state Lola Mullaney will join his roster. This was some what surprising as most figured the star 8th grader would pick one of the big 3 schools. But she decided to stay home and Colts Neck will reap the benefits from day one. Mullaney can score in every fashion and can play the point or the off guard. Mullaney and Volpe must give Brown that offensive support that could allow Colts Neck to play the big girls
WHAT TO EXPECT- This is a team that will slide under the radar. B NORTH POWERS RBC AND NEPTUNE will not be on vacation when they show up. This team will need to bring its best in the big games. But here are two major questions. Where is the team size to rebound and defend? How long will it take Mullaney to adjust to the high school game with scouting and preparation that does not exist in AAU and grammar basketball? They have a decision to make…play spoiler or go for the title this year.
Nobody did a better job at bringing a program back to life than Coach Coyle did at Long Branch. Her team had so many first’s last season to count. Her team started the year off by knocking off then State Champ Colts Neck. They won a there first Holiday tournament and the players all had they first taste of winning big games and being competitive against elite competition. Now the question is what’s next for Coyle and her troops?
WHO WILL LEAD THE WAY? Well one thing is clear, Long Branch is only going as far as the most underrated and maybe the most talented point guard in the shore will take them. Che’kasha Andrews is flat out a one women wrecking crew. No player and I mean no player gets less respect for being a flat out star. Andrews has put up numbers against everyone. She can beat you off the dribble, the three point line or with pull jumpers that are flat out next level stuff. She my friends is a ALL SHORE talent.
HELP IS THERE- Andrews will have some help in Angelique Gathers who blew up last season, and will be back a year older and ready to go. Last season she was a major surprise having monster nights often against top teams. Quayniece Page, Tygeria Covin are both back and played major roles during the turn around season…This is a real spoiler team if someone is caught napping
WHAT TO EXPECT- They can not win B NORTH but they can sure as hell stop another team from doing the same. It was no surprise they caught Colts Neck napping last year in the season opener. This year it won’t be as easy because the element of surprise is gone. Teams will know to be ready. Long Branch has most of the players back from last year and will be trying to keep the program moving in the right direction.
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN-
WALL- Unlike Colts Neck and Middletown South they have not figured out how to keep them talent at home. If they do in the future WATCH OUT
OCEAN TWP-With the lost of FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, LUCI THOMAS, they have taken a step backward
MATAWAN- It simply comes down to not enough overall talent.
JOE MONTANO…THE YANKEES OF THE SHORE
Nobody is running away with this division. This B NORTH again will come down to head to head competition. Colts Neck is talented and added some real fire offensive fire power. If anyone of the favorites lose to LONG BRANCH they are out of the mix….My guess is RBC WINS B NORTH
B NORTH PRE- SEASON AWARDS
ALL B NORTH PRE SEASON DIVISION AWARDS
COACH OF THE YEAR- JOE MONTANO
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR- LOLA MULLANEY
PLAYER OF THE YEAR–DEZZY ALLEN- NEPTUNE
ALL DIVISION TEAM
DEZZY ALLEN- POY
KATIE RICE- SOPHOMORE- RBC
CHE’KASHA ANDREWS- SENIOR-LONG BRANCH
CARA VOLPE-SOPHOMORE- COLTS NECK
ELSIE BROWN-SENIOR- COLTS NECK
JOSIE LARKINS-JUNIOR- RBC
Maureen Coakley- RBC
Brianna Love- Neptune
Gaithers- Long Branch