Manasquan High School has been a state powerhouse since Lisa Kukoda took over the program. When she arrived, Manasquan was full of problems. Many believed the program had hit rock bottom. There seemed to be no way back. Well with multiple state titles and SCT titles in her back pocket, Manasquan has not just made it back… they are at the TOP. Lisa Kukoda, has had the most successful start to a coaching career than any coach in SHORE CONFERENCE HISTORY. These days she continues to add to her already historic legacy. This season she has a talented roster returning. Manasquan is no longer a young successful team. They are a experienced group who have been though the Shore Conference battles. This year they will need to step up if they wish to join the many successful Manasquan powerhouse teams before them.
Manasquan is the deepest team in the Shore Conference by a mile. They are a team that offers real flexibility and talent. They have two Division one lock players on the team. But have the potential to have as many as 5 when it all shakes out in the end. They have added one of the best freshman in the state. But the backbone of this team will be the returning juniors and seniors Allison Waters and Maci Black. This years team some may believe is lacking size but they added a long and athletic 6’2″ Freshman. They have shooters, ball handlers and high IQ players. This is a team where anything less than a SCT final 8 appearance will be a disappointment. They hope to find a way to get to the next level. My guess is that is exactly what this crew will do…
Manasquan has proven scorers and players up and down the roster. They also have excellent passers and team quickness. Last season they simply could not get over the hump in the big games vs the big dogs. Losses to St. Rose, RBC, Manchester and Long Island Lutheran can be chopped up to them being young. But they also lost to Chatman high School. What does all the mean? This fall Manasquan got kicked around on the same night by RBC and St. Rose in a meaningless fall league game. But it was a bad sign because it continues a pattern of performances vs top teams. But now the good news, Manasquan has a group of hungry players returning. They will want revenge this year. They play Manchester and St. Rose and will be ready to take the next step as a team. Look for a bigger, stronger and mentally tougher team this coming season. Manasquan plays for chips and this year nothing less is expected.
GEORGIA HEINE is the best available 2022 player left on the shore recruiting board. There is a reason for this, last season she was 2nd on the team in scoring, first in rebounding and first in assists. Her versatility has been been special for the 6’0″ swing player who has started as a freshman. She can play point forward and defend multiple positions. Heine who is a gym rat has turned herself into a knock it out three point shooter. Manasquan is going nowhere without Georgia Heine.
BROOKE HOLLAWELL has been asked to run the Manasquan offense at times and then become a scorer when needed. She has been rock solid and has become a true big shot maker. She is a ball hawk on defense and is one of the best shooting combo guards in the Shore Conference. Her quickness and speed causes problems for opponents on both sides of the floor. Last season she was First Team All Division in the best division in the state. Hollawell is looking more like a Division One player every day. Manasquan knows she is the one player they cannot replace.
MARY DONNELLY is the most under recruited player in the state of New Jersey. She is a high major talent who is one of the most athletic and skilled players in the Shore Conference. Donnelly is also one of the best shooters in the state. This fall she trained and is in great shape. She is a improved baller which Manasquan will welcome as turnovers were a issue last year. What everyone forgets is that Mary Donnelly is one of the most versatile defenders in the state of New Jersey… don’t be surprised if Mary Donnelly is ALL SHORE THIS SEASON.
DOROTHY LOFFREDO does so many little things that doesn’t show up in a box score. LIke guarding the best post players in the Shore Conference. Loffredo is warrior that battles night in and night out. She has wonderful vision and a nice feel for the game. She is one of the best kept secrets in the Shore. She also has the ability to make shots and finish at the rim. Dorothy Loffredo just may have a breakout out season. She has a lot of experience in big games. Dorothy Loffredo could be the player that puts Manasquan over the top.
ALLISON WATERS is a deadly shooter. She signed with D2 mega powerhouse U of Sciences in the fall. Waters will provide instant offense for Manasquan. She has come off the bench the last three years. She has accepted this role and has embraced being instant offense. This season Waters is confident and knows the Manasquan system. If she comes up big in the big games, Manasquan could take that jump to the next level. WATERS has won a SCT and TOC, so she knows the work it takes to win on the biggest stages.
MACI BLACK is so underappreciated its a joke. She is one player on the Manasquan roster who truly makes her teammates better. Black runs the offense and makes great decisions. She knows where the ball should go and finds her teammates. She takes care of the ball and will step up and knock down shots. This year Manasquan will count on her to run the show once again. Maci Black has seen a lot of winning and has won a SCT and TOC title… so she knows what it takes to win the SCT CHIP.
RYLYN ORLANDO has a excellent freshman year. She is tough as nails and proved she was ready for prime time in the biggest games of the year. Rylyn is a hardcore defender and gives every ounce of energy when on the court. She finishes at the rim and can knock down the three. This season look for Rylyn Orlando to play a bigger role for Manasquan. She could be a real shot in the arm for Manasquan.
HOPE MASONIOUS is one of the best freshman in the state. She is a deadly shooter. He basketball IQ is off the charts. Her ability to score below the fouline is rare for a young player. She already understands team defense. Masonious is a excellent ball handler and could slide to the point at times. There is no question she could be the missing piece that Manasquan needs to get to the next level.
KATIE COLLINS just may be the most new comer to the Manasquan roster. She is one of the best incoming freshman in the shore Conference. She is 6’2″…athletic and highly skills. She will knock down jumpers. But has the ability to score in the lane. But she brings something to the table that Manasquan needs in the worst way. She gives them size and rebounding. There is no question she fills the one hole in the Manasquan lineup. Look for Coach Kukoda to throw her right into the fire… the future Division one player is just what the doctor ordered for Manasquan
McKENNA KARLASON The freshman may find a role on this deep roster. She is talented and had a great summer and fall. Look for Coach Kukoda to try and find minutes for the freshman this season. She works hard and is highly skilled. She is has a big future at Manasquan
This is a team that is talented, experience and battle tested. The question is can they play with the elite teams of the Shore? There Pod has St. Rose so winning those two games will be very important if they want to make the SCT final 8. They added Manchester and Top 20 Lodi Immaculate, clearly they are ducking no one. This entire crew for the most part are back again next year. So Manasquan will have two years to cement there place in Manasquan hoop history Last year Manasquan won another G2 sectional title. But at Manasquan that is not enough these days. There is only chip to win… that’s the SCT title. Manasquan just might surprise everyone…and get to the NEXT LEVEL.