Last year Marlboro High School gave Neptune High School all it could handle. It was a game that would not be settled until overtime. Neptune would win and hold on to their top 20 ranking. Yesterday Marlboro and Neptune laced them up again. Neptune is #15 in the state and there are those who believe that that ranking was not legit. They believed this, because Neptune had lost future Division 1 point guard and star freshman from a year ago Rahmena Henderson. But what people did forgot was this…. Coach John Brown the winner of two SCT AND a TOC title is one of the most successful coaches in New Jersey and is still at Neptune. What people also forgot is Brianna Love is a total warrior. They also forgot anytime Desi Allen puts on a uniform the team always has a chance. Now people may have forgotten about those three. But they may not have known that MAYBE the best freshman in the shore, plays for NEPTUNE. Her name is Makayla Andrews and folks she came out yesterday like gangbusters.
Brianna Love yesterday came out with a bandage wrapped around her right hand. She could not use the hand the entire afternoon. She could not dribble pass or shoot with her right hand. But that did not prevent her from having a banner performance yesterday. It was Brianna Love who took over the duties of point guard for John Brown’s team. While Henderson may have been missed. It was clear with Brianna Love’s move to the point guard spot, Neptune did not miss a beat. What Neptune did find out was, their Newfound point guard was not only seasoned but added a element of scoring and creativity, that they did not have last year. Brianna Love showed all this with one hand tied behind her back. Oh yeah she shot her free throw right handed and went 4-6…not bad.
DezzyAllen is the best finisher in the state. But yesterday she could not finish baskets, she normally would make with her eyes closed. At times she appeared frustrated and surprised that she couldn’t make such easy shots. So DEZZY ALLEN just turned on the other parts of her game. Like her passing skills, which are so underrated it’s embarrassing. Allen split, sliced and diced through the Marlboro zone defense and found Alexis Bennett for open three-point shots. Bennett the senior rewarded Allen for such unselfish play by burying threes throughout the day. Then Allen went on a rebounding and steal rampage. She stole passes in the air, she got deflections that led to easy baskets. As if that was not enough Allen found time to grab 7 rebounds while guarding the insanely talented Jessica Board, who by the way had 11 points and 12 rebounds. I can assure you, Broad had more than 12 rebounds, she was spectacular yesterday. DEZZY ALLEN rather worrying about stats and feeding HER EGO, got what she came for…A WIN!
When we talk about great coaches in the shore, we rarely bring up John Brown’s name. John Brown has been one of the most successful coaches in the state of New Jersey. His teams always play a pressing up-tempo style. His teams always play with purpose and he is a master and I mean Master at in-game adjustments. Like when his team got off to a slow start in the first quarter. That was not a problem, John Brown has seen it all. He simply told his team to relax and to move the ball. But more importantly he told his team that the work ethic was not good enough. His team responded and they responded in a big way. He also had a few bags of tricks up his sleeve. Like his half-court trap out of a 1-3-1 look and then his famed full court press. It’ set in motion what would become a convincing victory for Neptune. John Brown my friends is a master and he is a master because he has learned the art of adjusting. Without Henderson not only did he adjust, he found a way to make his team better. Now folks that’s called coaching. Rather worry about things he couldn’t control….John Brown saw THE BIG PICTURE!
Her name is Makayla Andrews, about a month ago she showed up at a training session at HOOP GROUP. I asked her where did she come from, she just smiled. I asked her to write her name down and she did. I put I put her name in my database, I keep of kids, I believe are special talents. So last night after Neptune had finished off Marlboro I went back and looked at her name. Here is what I wrote “Andrews is athletic, quick, explosive, perfect kid for NBS and could be as good as any freshman in the state”. I also wrote I need to see more of her. Yesterday I saw more of her and what I saw was that John Brown has another star on his hands. While Dezzy Allen struggles at The rim, the baby had no such issues she roamed the baseline for offensive rebounds and hard drives to the basket.Then she got out in transition and not only finished at The rim, but displayed vision that would most point guards blush. In a word Miss Andrews was sensational. But what really made her special was her body language and her attitude. They say the best players are coachable, energetic and teammates. Miss Andrews hit a homerun on all three fronts. Yesterday she threw down the gauntlet for the Freshman of the Year award. She basically said catch me if you can. She is going to be one of those rare players before she is done. By the way college coaches, she’s a division 1 lock… and you know my track record regarding such matters.
For those who thought NEPTUNE would take a step back take a step. Here is a news flash. Not only is Neptune not taking a step backwards, they are taking a giant leap forward.. Brianna Love at point guard gives them a dimension of scoring, experience ball handling against pressure and something that you cannot teach.. a off-the-charts competitive nature. Andrews gives them a infusion of mega talent. Oh yeah there is somebody named DEZZY something as well. This team is going to be ranked all season and there may be some bumps like all teams go through but they’re not going anywhere folks. John Brown and his merry band of warriors are in for a special season.
UPDATE….CORE SKILS ON SATURDAY AT HOOP GROOP STARTS JAN 9th…this event will sell out