The SCT final four is now set. There is not much of a surprise SJV..MANCHESTER..ST. ROSE and RBC are the last 4 standing. These four teams were clearly the best teams in the Shore Conference this year. So today I will give you a peek at each team.
#1. ST. JOHN VIANNEY
They’ve had a number of player step into new roles and shine. They play 10 players in the meat of the game. Ciera Cevallos , Janie Bachmann and Ashley Sofikanih will all play at some point off the bench. They will run and try to fatigue teams. SJV will press on made and at times missed baskets. They are most effective and go on big runs after made free throws. Madison St. Rose is a leading candidate for Player of The Year. They have a number of deadly shooters in Christina Whitehead, Katie Hill, Madison St Rose, Ashley O’Conner and Emma Bruen. All are very capable of getting on hot streaks and busting a game wide open. All are defensive minded, ultra competitive and play with confidence. Megan Cahallan is a legit post defender, rebounder and scorer. She give SJV a real post presence. She can also step away from basket and shoot the three. Mikaela Hubbard will back her up and give SJV another legit post player if any problems arise. As a group no team in the state finishes at the rim better than they do. They do not miss layups and there shot selection is easily the best in the conference. They will trap all ball screens and run out on all turnovers regardless of where and when they happen. Right now this is 75% of there offense. There half court offense is a question. They struggled vs at the time nationally ranked Riverdale Baptist in a 40-38 win(Madison St. Rose 17 points) and vs LUHI got blow out when they struggled scoring in the half court. In both games they didn’t get massive points on turnovers, how will they score, without turning teams over is a big question? How good is SJV? On paper they are a dominant team. But in actuality, nobody can truthfully say. Because of all the teams left SJV has played by far the weakest schedule. BUT HAVE THE BEST CHEMISTRY OF ALL THE TEAMS LEFT
#2 MANCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
There have the most talented player in the event in Destiny Adams. She is the one player in the event that can single handedly carry her team across the finish line. She is dominating on the glass both on the offensive side and defense side. She scores over 50% of her teams points. She is the only player on the roster averaging double figures in scoring. She also is the most intimidating player left in the event. She is beyond physical and has a unreal motor. Gabbie Rose and Angelica Velez have become major impact players for Manchester. Ross is instant offense weather starting or coming off the bench. She can get to the rim, shoot three’s or get to the foul line. She is a three level scorer. Velez is now the general leading the show. She has lived up to the hype with her standout play. No freshman guard has had a bigger responsibility in running there team. She is clearly becoming one of the best point guards in the state. Amaya Bray is moving towards being a star. This season she has been a reliable scorer game in and game out. The future D1 game may be the 2nd most important player on the roster due to her ability to knock down jumpers. Serenity Anderson is battle tested and a player maker. She is very capable of a big night. Kermari Reynolds has shown flashes of returning to form. If she plays the way she can when fully healthy. Manchester just may be unbeatable. Tweety Hayes- Jones and Myah Hourigan will get first shot off the bench. Both have made big shots this season and have proved they can score. The big question is can Manchester knock down three’s and can they score in the half court offense… nobody really knows. What we do know is that they have not had a quality win this season. RBC may be just wanted the doctor ordered.
#4 ST. ROSE HIGH SCHOOL
Right now they are playing as well as any team in the state. Makayla Andrews, may be not only the best player in the Shore. But she just may be the most rounded as well. She has been a beast the 2nd half of the season in every phase of the game both offensively and defensively. Brynn Farrell has completely changed her game for her teammates. Her shot selection has been elite. Her assists and rebounding have just about doubled in the last month and her scoring is just about the same. She has been quietly sensational. Abby Antognoli has totally embraced being a pass and score 2nd point Guard in the last three weeks. She more than any player has seen the light and is the biggest reason for the St. Rose’s turn around . She still is averaging just as many points while getting her teammates involved. Maria Tedesco has been brilliant all year for St. Rose. She is the heart and soul. Mo Stapleton has been the do’er of all little things and now is knocking down jumper once again. Layla Laws, Maggie Cavanaugh, Niasya Ervin have all had there moments. Coach Chambers will not fear using senior Kitty Murphy. She has developed a nice bench rotation throughout the season. St Rose is cooking right now. They are trying to rally around the motto of “nobody believes us and we’re the underdog”. Sounds good but in truth nobody is buying it. Anything except a SCT TITLE with 3 seniors and two senior stars would mean a disappointing season.
#3 RED BANK CATHOLIC
No team has struggled more rolling into the SCT. Since there return from Christmas, they have lost their mojo. They were blowing Top teams out. They lost a barn burner to LUHI, and beat nationally powerhouse Roland Park. It appeared they where the team to beat. That seems so long ago these days. RBC is in total survival mode this days. They are simply finding ways to win…good teams find a way to win. Ally Carman has been the one constant force. Fab Eggenschwiler saved them from another embarrassing lost to Manasquan in the Final 8. They have not shot well and the defense and rebounding of the early season has gone the way of the unicorn. But no team left has the firepower of this group, ask Marlboro! Justine Pissott is still the best shooter in the conference, Sophia Sabino is still the best pure point guard and Toni Payinades is still the ultimate warrior. They have a deep bench in Nicole Stafford, Shae Sabino, Grace Wilson and baby Casey Prior. The real question is can a team struggle this poorly put it all back together this late in the season. We are about to find out. They have played a monster schedule. Free throw shooting is now a issue and who is closing in a pinch? RBC more than any other team left in the SCT is the the biggest mystery. They very much remind you of what St. Rose looked like earlier in the season. Now the two have reversed roles. Joe Montano is the one coach that can fix it and that’s exactly what he will need to do in the next 24 hours. His team is a heavy underdog.