B NORTH is an interesting conference because of the amount of talent in the conference from top to bottom. It’s a division with legendary coaches, PLAYER OF THE YEAR candidates and a number of possible ALL SHORE players in a but shell this division is not for the faint of heart. RBC is the overwhelming favorite but all it will take is one slip up and all can change. That’s because the teams all only meet once.
RBC looks to be unbeatable in this division. They are without question the most talented team in the division and maybe in the state. On paper they have no glaring weakness. They have a Division one player in every starting position and 4 Division one players coming off the bench. They simply can overwhelm opponents with their talent. The bad news for opponents is there are load with gym rats. This team has shooters, size, ball handlers, speed, experience and shot blockers. I think you get the picture. It will take a very special performance to beat RBC in the division. While RBC graduated 3 seniors last year. This is one of those rare cases where the team may benefit from graduation.This season Joe Montano the winningest coach in Shore history is playing possibly the most demanding schedule in RBC history. Why? RBC next year just may be playing for a National Championship and he wants to get them ready.
Head Coach- JOE MONTANO (Multiple Shore Conference SCT Chips, TOC Chip, National Ranked teams, most wins in Shore history )
Conference – 10-0 in B North
Ranked State in Top 20
Projected Division one players (9)
Gym Rat Count (8)
Casey Prior currently at Fairfield U
Emma Carman currently at Quinnipiac
Molly Kelly currently at BC( not playing)
Olivia Venture transfer to RBR
There are too many stars on this team to list. But if there has to be a star on this team. It just may be Coach Joe Montano. He was brilliant last season in holding together a team everyone thought would have chemistry issues. He team lost in the SCT final. This summer his team knocked off SJV at Best of Maryland and was one game away from winning the Chip. Coach Montano has found a way to manage the egos of his deeply talented team and has prevented the parents from poisoning the ways. He has been a rock star in developing his young players while also not changing his RBC culture of the name in front is way more important that the name in the back. He turned his team loose with a uptempo pressing style without losing RBC’s true identity… DEFENSE! There is no doubt the real star at RBC is Coach Joe Montano because nobody on the roster is bigger than the team or him.
TESSA CARMAN- 5’11”- JR – SWING
First start with she has not allowed the recruiting process to get in the way of development. She has offers from P5 to Ivy schools. That’s because she is the most explosive player in the division and Shore conference. She has improved her three pint shooting so much that she now must be game planned. Her ability to get down hill is not just exceptional but almost unstoppable because of the quickness and strength. She is the best shot blocker in the Shore Conference. Her new found fitness level makes her scary because she can play hard and longer. This year RBC will be looking for consistency from Tessa and if she brings it, RBC just may be unbeatable.
CHRISTINA LIGGIO- 5’9”- JR- WING
The former Freshman of the year has continued to live up to her reputation as one of the toughest and most competitive players in the state. She has more D1 offers than a beauty Queen. Her ability to score at all three level is a gift. But it’s her post up game that will pay off nicely this year. Her new found shooting range will have P5 schools smiling. She is the ultimate gym rat and hence why she has developed so much since last season. She is an excellent passer and can slide to the point when asked to do so. She has the ability to guard all three guard positions and not afraid to defend undersized post players. There is no question she is a PLAYER OF THE YEAR dark horse.
RAQUELLE MCMULLIN- 5’10”- JR SWING
She has been more than rock solid. McMullin has been a model of consistency. She is as reliable as it gets. But it’s her versatility that makes her so special. She can defend multiple positions. She can knock down the three or get in the glass. She is a wonderful passer, who runs the floor. There are only two teams in the Shore she doesn’t start for, RBC and SJV. She is exceptional in the RBC press package because of long arms and ability to anticipate passes. She is a player Joe Montano will count on all season, even in big spots. She is a seasoned, experienced, battle tested player.
KATIE LIGGIO- 5’9”- Soph- WING
Here is another player with multiple D1 and P5 offers. That’s because her offensive package is not only dynamic but the most complete one in the Shore this side of Hope Masonious of Manasquan. Her shooting range and player efficiency if flat out jaw dropping. She is an underrated defender and passer in transition. She can score off the bounce with pull up or tear drops. She is one of the best post up guards in the entire state. She was named FIRST TEAM ALL FRESHMAN last season. She most likely will shatter the three point shooting record at RBC before her playing days are done.
ADDY NYEMCHECK- 6’1”- SOPH – COMBO
She is coming off perhaps the best Freshman season in a decade. She was named the FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR for good reason. She was simply dynamic in big games. She single handily put RBC in her back with dominant performances in their biggest games of the season, over and over. She is an elite shot blocker and rim finisher. Her ability to shoot three’s and get on the glass are special skill sets. But what set Nyemcheck apart from every single player in the shore is her unselfish style. She is the Larry Bird of New Jersey basketball. Her ability to pass the ball and elevate her teammates have no equal. She has offers from everyone for good reason. She may be the SHORE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.
SOPHIE SMITH- 6’1 – SOPH- FORWARD
She had a big summer as she saw a major development in her game. Mostly due to getting an opportunity to play consistently. She took full advantage and her game grew. She has developed a real scoring post game on the block and has a wonderful 15-18 foot jumper. All tool sets that have D1 college coaches excited and why she has multiple D1 offers on the table. Last season she got got valuable mins all season. This season she hopes to get extended minutes. Her shot blocking , rebounding and post defense are things RBC can never get enough of. She runs in transition as well as any post player in the entire state. She has magical hands and is an exceptional passer. When in the floor with Nyemcheck the chemistry is special in their hi- lo action. Sophie Smith if she is focused could be the player RBC needs to get over the top on a National level.
LOLA GIORDANO- 5’8”- COMBO
She was named FIRST TEAM ALL SHORE. She is a warrior and has a competitive nature that is off the charts. She was assigned to guarding elite scorers last year and delivered. She is the energizer bunny, running down loose ball, diving on the floor and giving up her body. She is fearless. She is a coaches dream from a team chemistry standpoint. It’s impossible not to root or like her. She has made herself a reliable scorer either from the three or getting to the rim. She has been in big spots on big stages and stepped up her game. Regardless if she starts or comes off the bench the future D1 guard is a problem for all. Look for Lola to have a big year and build on her freshman season.
TESSA LIGGIO- 5’7”- SOPH- POINT GUARD
Here is the little dirty secret about RBC that nobody wants to talk about. RBC without Tessa Liggio is going nowhere. The sophomore point guard is the best point guard in the shore. Her leadership, playmaking and scoring cannot be replaced because of how she does it. Her play making affect every player on the team. RBC without her in the fall at times look unorganized and lacked toughness. The two things they have not had in recent years until the arrival of Tessa Liggio. She has multiple D1 and P5 offers because she may be the best “PURE” point guard in the state right now. You cannot pressure RBC when she is on the floor.
DANIELA MALETSKY- 5’9”- SOPH – SWING
Can you really call a D1 player at RBC underrated? Well in the case of last season’s All Freshman Team member Maletsky you can. Last season she was dynamite in the RBC 2nd unit. She was instant offense, rebounding and murder in their press package. Daniela is a next level elite interior passer. She can guard cowards of guard because of quickness and length. No player on the RBC roster will benefit more with the graduation of last years seniors. The added playing time could see her stats explode this season. She was flat out sensational at best of Maryland this summer. A sure sign as to what may be coming this year.
ELLA INACIO- 5’11”- SR- WING
She may be an afterthought to many. But Inacio played real minutes last season. Coach Montano created a nice role for his lone senior. Inacio is a legit scorer and capable of providing instant offense when called upon. She was the leading scorer at RANNEY as a freshman before transferring to RBC. She has a college type body and excellent skills. She is also experienced and battle tested. She is a classic RBC kid in that she will accept her role and think team first.
RBC will be an explosive offensive team. They could have different stars take over games at different times. They will be flexible and able to adjust to any style of play. But make no mistake. RBC’s true identity will not change. They will be one of the best defensive teams in the state. They will show multiple levels of pressure and all will start and end with defense. They are a few tight unit and that’s a good thing because they are going to need it. Because they will be every opponents SUPER BOWL this season.
RBC has three major questions. First where is the leadership coming from. They may not have a single senior in their rotation to set the mood and expectations. This is still a very young group. Next, the schedule is perhaps the most challenging in recent RBC history. They could lose as many as 6 games. This is a schedule from hell. They will need someone to clam the waters when the losses hit. There is no way RBC is going though this schedule unscathed. Again seniors matter when things get dicey. . Finally what happens if Tessa Liggio is lost for any reason? RBC can certainly beat most teams without her. But not the legit contenders
COACH JOHN TRUHAN– (SCT Chip, Multiple Division chips at Multiple schools, Hall of Fame inductee)
Overall Record– 18-11
Conference- 8-4 B North Division
Division one players- (3/4)
Gym Rat Count- (3)
Everything at RBR will start right here. Camryn Gardner is leader and barometer of this squad. She is a hybrid that is back to form and is looking like she did sophomore year when she carried RBR on her back. That’s after being named First Team All Freshman the previous season.Camryn Gardner is fully healthy and this fall was simply dynamic. Her ability to finish from anywhere on the court at 6’2” makes her a nightmare matchup. She had has increased her range from beyond the arc and is a elite shooter these days. Now throw in her length and intelligence and she provides RBR with a defensive presence in there man or zone schemes. Camryn Gardner will doubt be making a claim for ALL SHORE this season. She had a dream like fall and her teammates believe in her and will follow her into battle against anyone. She has turned down multiple D1 offers and is locked in to start the season.
They lost Josie Munson currently at NYU. She was the teams leading scorer who also provided reliable rebounding. There should be a number of players who will be candidates to replace her this season.
CAROLINE POLLAWAY- SENIOR- 6’3”- CENTER
She is that rare true center. The former 1st Team All Freshman player had a productive fall. She has become more dominant on the block and demands a double team. The underrated passer has the ability to score from the elbow and can go downhill with one dribble from the top of the key. The RBR offensive is dictated thru her. She is becoming a Defensive nightmare for opponents and has really hit the weight room in this off season, making her bigger and stronger. She has proven in big games the ability to step up especially come post season time, where she has double her stats in these all important games
SYNAI BLYCHANTON – SOPHOMORE- 5’8”- COMBO
The motor is and pace has not been seen at RBR since they knocked off RBC in the SCT, in perhaps the biggest upset in SCT history. Synai, appears to have found new life and an opportunity at RBR. She got caught up in a numbers game at insanely talented RBC last season. She gives RBR swag and presence and is the human highlight due to her explosiveness and exciting style of play. She can beat you off the dribble for pull-ups or tear drops. She is an elite rebounding guard that can start the break off the dribble. She is an improved three shooter. Her development could hold the key to RBR’S future this season.
ZOE GULLEY- SOPHOMORE-5’9”
She is the best player nobody wants to give credit to or talk about. She has Range is 28-30 feet but can explode by anyone trying to recover from drifts and fades from JTs Princeton looks. Has improved on both ends and is not just a three point shooter. Might be the most complete player on this team one day. She has played every position in the floor and is only a sophomore. Real impressive stuff to say the least. Zoe has shown the bigger the stage the bigger the performance. Her 26 point performances in the state tournament vs Hopewell was one of the best performances by a freshman in years. Look for the hard working Gulley to build on what was a great freshman season a year ago
RILEY WHEELER- SOPHOMORE- 5’8”- COMBO
She just may be the missing piece to RBRs success. Coach TRUHAN believes she has the intelligence to play with or without the ball and an incredible desire to win and may need to become more selfish in order to make RBR a top 5 team. She has real next level quickness and speed. She gets to the rim and the new 5 foul rule will serve her well. She is a deadly shooter. Last season as a freshman she had multiple double figure scoring games and a season high 20 points. The much underrated defender played both both point guard and the wing last season. She is battle tested and gained valuable experience last season on her way to making the ALL FRESHMAN TEAM. Do not be surprised if she has a break out season.
KRISTEN CONNERS- SOPHOMORE-5’8”- WING
Will make shots from everywhere
She is the most improved player on the roster. More importantly she took on legit next level competition all fall. While she didn’t play high level AAU she gained tremendous confidence this summer. So much that she the “BEST” post passer and might be the best shooter on the team. Something that is big considering RBR’S size and strength in the post. She did not get extended minutes last year. But should see important mins all season. She had a dream like fall in terms of development. She has lived in the gym and her growth has shown, she is a early favorite for most improved player in the Shore Conference. This is an emerging player in a big way.
RILEY JOYCE- SOPHOMORE-5’5”- GUARD
Phenomenal three sport athlete that was a defensive nightmare for most opponents
Guarded RFH’s Corsentino last year and held her to one field goal. Pressured Trinity’s star guard Nina EMNACE at the battle of boardwalk. She has quick feet and brings a real physical style to the table. This is a player stacked with intangibles. She is also battle tested and brings valuable experience.
Caitlyn Courtney and Rylynn Kilcooley- Sophomore- GUARDS
These two are multi sport athletes. Both have big motors that were sparks last year as freshmen and will be needed on both ends this season.
OLIVA VENTRE- 5’9” SR WING
This is a major pickup for RBR. She got caught up in a numbers game at RBC. But RBR will be a great escape. The Shore Conference will notice her ability to score and be creative from day one. She has size and a willingness to play with passion and an edge. Do not be surprised if she in the starting lineup at some point. She just may be the answer to the lost of Josie Munson
RBR will once again be one of the best coached teams in all of New Jersey. They will run the Princeton offense with Coach TRUHAN injection his own twist and turns. They will be one of the most prepared teams night in and night. The addition of transfer SYNAI BLYCHANTON and the improvement of KRISTEN CONNORS gives RBR a major talent upgrade. The team gets back a healthy Camryn Gardner after missing most of the season. The do it all Gardner will make like easier for all especially in high profile games. She gives RBR a legit closer and star. This is a Top 20 team in the state that everyone must fear because they are well coached, experienced and have real talent at every position.
There is no doubt how RBR handles full court pressure is the key. The last two years they get an “F” grade in this area. Next the competitive nature. Camryn Gardner is the only player on this roster that played competitive high level AAU and received playing time. Why is this important? Because if RBR wants to play with the big dogs, they’ve come to the right place. Trinity is a powerhouse, same for SJV MANASQUAN and RBC. Their players are used to highly competitive environments & competition. The good news if they figure all this out. They could pull off another Coach TRUHAN miracle and win the division and state title and make a run at a SCT CHIP.
Dave Callahan is the king of late season magic. If there is one thing everyone knows. It’s a Dave Callahan team is not what you want to see Kate in the season. While RFH is make up of multiple sport players. They are competivecand have been in the wars. They play fast and aggressive. They have a former 1st Team All Freshman guard in Sylvia Notine who recently committed to UNC for field hockey. She is pit bull and will not take a back seat to any guard in the Shore. She has seen and done it all. Ella Mason is dripping with confidence and should be ready for a break out season . Mason has Ice in her veins. These too are just another example of way Dave Callahan is the guard whisper. Because his best work may be with Raquel Guidetti, who has turned into a full blow star. She is on a crash course with the ALL SHORE team. She is a big time scorer with for deep range or off the bounce. She is an extra rebounder from the guard spot every night and a much underrated defender. She is a willing passer and plays with an edge. Everything RFH starts right here with this talented stud. The big question is when a D1 school will come and scoop her up. The RFH front line of Abby Boyle and Erin Reid is quietly under appreciated. Both are physical, athletic and battle tested. Boyle is a rebounding and defensive machine. But it’s her sneaky scoring that so many miss. Erin Aries has a D1 look. She has a big body to match her athletic quickness and speed. She had big moments in big spots last year. She gained valuable experience. This just be the year Erin Reid explodes into the spotlight, She has played against elite competition all summer and will be prepared once the season starts to dominate at times. Anna Grendel will certainly see more minutes this season. She was highly effective last season. She had some very big moments. She can rebound, score and defend. More importantly she is experienced and emerging as a player. Freshman Brooke Janenicke is just what the doctor ordered. She will bring defense, quickness, ball handling and total commitment. Do not be surprised to see her name on the all freshman team. Perhaps the biggest story in the freshman class in the Shore is Grace Smith. The freshman has elevated her game in such a manner it’s hard to believe at times. She has certainly been sensational up to this point. She is going to get serious minutes. If Ashley Keiger is the favorite to win Freshman of The Year. There may be one player standing in her way… GRACE SMITH. RFH will once again play one of the best schedules in the state. What many are missing is there first 6 game play with anyone. This is a very very dangerous group.
There is only one question. How long will it take for this team to get into a basketball mind set. They have senior leadership who have been in every big game. But they spend the fall on their future college sports. Finding their focus won’t be easy. Replacing Julia Cosentino is not possible. But they may gain more team chemistry by sharing the wealth.
The return of Tom Brennan has to bring new energy to the MiddleTown South team. But what should really have everyone excited is the future. The South freshman class can make a claim they are the best baby class in the Shore. Sam Orlando will be in the Freshman of Year conversation. She has strength, size and toughness. Maddie has a huge upside, she is long athletic and talented. She has chance to be special. South returns their backcourt of Erin Mayerhofer and Cassidy Brown. Both are experienced and have had big moments during their time at Middletown South. Amanda MacGregor got value minutes last season and had a 30 point game vs Colts Neck. She could be the go to player on this years team. 6’1” Elizabeth Tardy is a proven rebounder and scorer. She has size and real strength and give Middletown South a real post presence. Last season Middletown South missed the SCT and finished under .500. Reaching those two goals would be a step forward into the future.
Middletown North and Colts Neck have outstanding coaches. But there will focus on the future. But have impact freshman on the way if things hold. This year will be more about building there culture.
On paper this is an easy pick until you remember Coach TRUHAN and RBR have a history of doing the impossible. Like knocking off RBC in the biggest upset in Shore history. Then you remember RBC and RFH is a rivalry game. It’s a war regardless of who is playing. But in the end this is the year of⬇️⬇️⬇️
RBC WINS A NORTH THIS SEASON
B NORTH PRESEASON AWARDS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR –ADDY NYEMCHECK
COACH OF THE YEAR– JOE MANTANO
B NORTH PRE SEASON 1st Team
CAMRYN GARDNER- RBR
TESSA CARMN- RBC
CHRISTINA LIGGO- RBC
TESSA LIGGIO- RBC
B NORTH ALL FRESHMAN TEAM