Last Thursday the Shore Conference saw teams who had hoped to extend their seasons, get roughed up. When Shore teams get outside the Shore things tend to work out. While every single team who lost last Thursday was a serious underdog. It was expected their would be a few shore teams who produce a upset. So when it did not happen, many across the state, cried overrated….there is old saying that goes something like this….LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE.
Last weekend somebody poked the bear known as the Shore and the Shore roared a angry roar. Middletown South and Neptune blew out opponents, setting up a ALL SHORE Group 3 Central STATE FINAL tonight. Then TRE took care of business as they beat the #2 seed Highland Park on the road. Highland Park found out, what defending champ Timber Creek found out, even unranked teams in the Shore are dangerous. Highland Park entered the game 26-1 before TRE sent them off into the sunset. TRE will meet Ocean City tonight in the South Jersey Group 3 final.
SJV did what everyone expected them to do… rolled, knocking out Shore team Donavan Catholic. Now they move to the semi-finals of Non Public A in a ALL SHORE affair tonight. Because RBC sent the states #10 team Notre Dame packing. The Shore weekend party did not end there folks. Because St. Rose sent #6 Gil Bernard on vacation till next year with a win on the road. They will the meet #2 team in the State Non Public B final Rutgers Prep on Tuesday. Finally RFH and Manasquan shut the Shore Conference party down by destroying opponents, setting up another ALL SHORE GROUP 2 CENTRAL STATE FINAL on Tuesday.
POKING THE BEAR IS NOT SMART….
MONDAYS MATCH UPS
Today Middletown and Neptune will do battle in another State final. Junior Dezzy Allen and Senior Stephanie Karcz will do battle. No two teams in the Shore rely on their stars more than these two teams. Karcz and Allen know teams game plan to stop them. They also their teams are at their best when their supporting case steps up.
Middletown has Alex Balsamo who has had a All Shore Season. If Middletown South hopes to win a 3rd straight Central 3 Title, she will have to be just that today. Neptune’s Brianna Love has sat in the shadow of Allen all year. But she too has been sensational. If Neptune has any chance of getting over the hump today and win their first Title in 3 years. It will start with Love being at her best. There are two babies that will play big roles today.
Rahmena Henderson was just named to the ALL FRESHMAN TEAM, she had a dream freshman season. She will need to be Sharp today or Neptune will be going home. Isla Brennan had a breakout freshman season. She was asked to grow up with all the injuries and lead the way for Middletown as the their point guard. Middletown got a big lift when they got senior Julia Valkos back. But junior D1 lock, Haley Dolonzo will not be in the lineup and that is a major lost. While Dolonzo and Valkos has been sidelined for most of the year. Alexis Bennett of Neptune has been a quite assassin all season. Her timely shooting has been heaven sent. But more importantly she has been her best on the most important nights. If she gets rolling, watch out because Neptune becomes an dangerous team when this happens. But in the end somebody has to lose.
The names Alexa Vreeland and Sam Kennan may not sound important to you. But both will need to play like champions today, if their teams what to be champions when the night ends. Di’Avian Foster of Neptune, Gabby Cook and Grace Curtis of Middletown are all names that may not sound important today. But rest assure the win is in the details tonight.One mistake could be the difference in a championship. These no names could be the difference in a season ending or continuing. It happens every year, powerhouse shore teams knocking each other out in the state. Some how it’s seem wrong, but it’ the way it is and tonight one team is going home…
THE FUTURE VS. THE PRESENT
Tonight it’s about the present and the future. SJV and RBC will do battle. Both are two of the best teams in New Jersey. RBC has a team of babies with Juniors Maureen Coakley and Josie Larkins being their only upper classmen. SJV has a team of stud seniors, who has beaten everyone around the state. They are a super team. Tonight the present super team faces a team that some believe has a chance to be a super team one day. RBC has real talent. But it’s youthful group, that if they can put together 32 minutes of full concentration, my be able to keep it interesting. They played SJV a few weeks ago and were overwhelmed. If they have any chance tonight, they will need to have Coach Montano’s full attention. Another Shore team is going home tonight. If its SJV, I would think it would be the biggest upset in state tourney history. The shame is that if RBC was playing any other team in the state, we be talking about their TOC chances. But it just he way things are and tonight RBC WILL NEED A MIRACLE of MIRACLE’S. The run by TOM RIVER EAST just may be the story of the State Tourney. TRE has gotten little if any respect this season. They were never ranked in the state. Not ranked in the shore and yet here they are in the South Jersey Group three final. Talk about not listening to the doubters. Kaitlin Lister has been beasting like no other these days. She has put her team on her back and refuses to lose. She and her teammates will take on Ocean City. They will need to another monster performance from Kaitlin Lister. But make no mistake, her teammates will need to play light out. Ocean City has blow out some common opponents and they are playing at home. TRE will need to be special in order to bring home a state title. They are the last team in Ocean County still playing. TRE is playing with house money folks and the Shore Conference biggest surprise may have one more left.
UPDATE…NBS TIMES AND SPRING DATES TO BE RELEASED TOMORROW…MONDAYS AND WEDNESDAY’S