We are in the stretch run before the star of the season. We are six weeks out before the first practice. Things certainly go fast even during these difficult times. Today I am going give you my thoughts on where teams and players stand today. Remember some players made major improvements this fall. There were a few surprises like every year and of course some teams have been locked in and building chemistry from day one. There have been a number of commitments. Finally the freshman class has some exciting stories.
- Camryn Foltz – Colts Neck
- Agelica Velez – Manchester
- Catlin Wingertzhan- Trinty Hall
- Brynn Farrell- St Rose
- Paige Slaven – RFH
- Rosie Scognamiglio- St Rose
- Lucy Alberici- RBC
- Gabbie Ross- Donovan Catholic
- Alexandra Loucopoulos– Holmdel
- Sarah Hughes- Ranney
- SJV- There is zero doubt in my mind SJV AND RBC are miles ahead of the pack. SJV simply has a team of gym rats to go along with 2 of the best players in the entire state in Katie Hill and Madison St Rose.. They also have the best forward in the shore in Megan Cahalan and the leading candidate for freshman of the year in Julia Karpell. But it’s sophomore Janie BACHMANN that has been the story of the fall. Bachman is ready to make a major impact this season. The future D1 guard has been brilliant all fall. But she is not alone because Brianna Delaney has proved she to is ready for prime time. They also will start the year stacked and ready? BETTER THAN A YEAR AGO despite the lost of Christina Whitehead. They also will be ranked nationally in the Top 10. More importantly they have been injury free and nobody has their chemistry.
2. If there is a team that can give SJV a run for the money it’s RBC. They have the best starting 5 in the state. Justine Pissott may be the best player in the state as a junior. Her development has been off the charts. Sophia Sabino has elevated her shooting ability. Ally Carman is the best center in the state. Antonia Panayides has been nothing short of all Shore like this fall. But the real story starts with gym rat Casey Prior who more than any RBC player has seen her game explode. She is knocking on the stardom down. Emma Carman looks like a possible 5th starter. They picked up two mega imports, Lucy Albericia could be the player that may be what RBC has been missing. The other transfer Molly Kelly has looked like the future point guard at RBC. But if she plays anything like she did this summer. She could easily find herself in the starting lineup. She is that good. RBC has had injury issues with Ally Carman and there is no dyning it real chemistry and leadership issues.
3. St. Rose– This will come as a massive shock to everyone. But right now this team is the third best team in the Shore and it’s because of three reasons. Massive player development, chemistry and a transfer. Most were surprised they ran through RBC in a fall league game. But upon further review, what did you notice. Laya Laws is starting to relish her roll has a rebounder, defender and lane filler. She has made major steps in her development. Niaisya Ervin has come back in great shape and has shown an ability to score and make plays . Her improvement has been a welcome addition. If she can blend and become a lynch pin WATCH OUT. Rosie SCOGNAMIGLIO is a transfer but no ordinary one. A total gym rat whose impact has been massive this fall. She is a major upgrade in the guard spot. How good you ask? She and Abby Antognoli just may be the best defensive backcourt in the state. They also may be the best transition duo I’ve seen to this point. Two main stays Mo Stapleton and Abby Antognoli will lead the team. This could finally be the year Stapleton gets credit for being a Top player in the Shore. Abby Antognoli is a first team All Shore player it looks like. She has embraced being the team leader.. the biggest questions are will they let her lead and can they develop a bench in 6 weeks?
4. MANASQUAN- No team has a bigger upside. The tools are in place and the talent is locked in. You must start with do it all Manasquan 2nd leading scorer, rebounding leader, assist leader, Georgia Heine get the picture? She was also NBS CAMP MVP. Heine had a monster summer. She has been very good in the fall as well. She has been a gym rat for the most part this fall. If she can stay focused 1st team All Shore is a real possibility. Mary Donnelly has shown flashes that she is ready to join the elite. D1 schools are lining up for the swing player. It may sound silly but Donnelly is underrated. Why? Because she could be a future POY. Brooke Hollawell has been building on her breakout sophomore season. She appears ready to run the show and if she can take the next step as a point guard all bets are off.. MANASQUAN could jump to the elite level. Freshman Hope Masonious is the most talented freshman in the state. She will most likely step into a starting role at some point. She brings greats skills and shooting. But more than that she brings a must needed team IQ boost. Allison Waters appears ready to provide serious offensive power. Dorthy Leffardo returns along with too many impact bench players to mention.. can Manasquan make a serious run at #1? They can but the competitive nature will need to be next level and a true team leader must show up.
5. MANCHESTER – They have the most dominant player in the state in Destiny Adams. On any night she can single handedly beat any team. Manchester is the only team with one player of this ability. The question is what does she have around her? Freshman Devyn Quigley has D1 potential. She clearly will be the point guard. She also will be Adams running mate. A tall order for a baby. No baby will have more responsibility this year. Where is the shooting. coming from? The possibilities range from Morgan “the greatest kid” Brustman to Amaya Bray and the under appreciated Myah Hourigan. They is no denying it, the lost of Angelica Velez and Gabbie Ross changers the expectations. If any of them step up Manchester can beat anyone on any night. Either way they will rule Ocean County.
6. RFH- There are hoping to sneak up on everyone again. It simply won’t happen. They have lost 4 players from their dream freshman class from a year ago. Wiping out the future for now. Julia Shane’s has decided to focus on track, Sarah Hughes left for Ranney, Dylan Cahill is out for the year with injury and the biggest lost Molly Kelly is off to RBC. These losses while Devastating will not affect RBC until next year. For now the caravan moves on. Grace Munt who gave Holy Cross a verbal has looked like a first team All Shore player. She is fully healthy and been living in the gym. She is gearing up for a monster senior year. Charlie Rosen will handle the point and word is has been training ALL FALL. She could be the wild card. But its Senior do it all Cortland McBarron that could be the different maker. Julia Cosentino has emerged into a D1 player and more importantly an elite scorer. She has trained more than a year ago and appears to be locked in. The return of Kaila Scarpa is too big to mention. She give RFH size and tough rebounding in traffic. Coach Dave Callahan has proven he can work magic regardless of his rosters. This year he may have to do his best job… but don’t we say that every year?
7. RBR- They land in the spot because Coach JT has energized his program again. Chloe Teter will make a run at All Shore after surprising everyone by committing to NYU. She will have to carry the offensive load with soccer star turned basketball star Caitlyn Decker running the show They have veterans everywhere. Big game player Amelia Mendolla returns. She has been a rock for JT and RBR. She is capable of big nights on big stages. Emma Moriarty had been an anchor for so long we take her for granted. She knows the RBR system inside and out. Mia Strand returns with her instant offensive. RBR has an talented freshman class entering. They are living in the gym. Camryn Garder is going to make a run at All Freshman. RBR ranked? Somehow it doesn’t sound strange anymore.
8. MARLBORO – This can be very low because you cannot tell much about them this time of year. That’s because there system is so unique. While they don’t have gym rats. They do have hard workers. Jess Riepe is their lone year round gym rat, will lead the way, she lead the state in three’s and will be needed to do a little of everything. Sammy Jay continues to be one of the best point guards in the Shore. Dani Schlesinger is vastly underrated. First Team All Freshman star from a year ago Erica DiSimone will certainly hope to build on last season. Sam Slofkiss has been in the gym grinding with Jess Riepe. She will move into the starting lineup and give Marlboro a much need athletic boost. Freshman Alyssa Tropeano is going to play a major role. Can they play 5 in and 5 out running gun? Who know because the bench is still a question mark.
9. HOLMDEL- Tricky.. Tricky.. Trinky because you simply have no idea what they are doing in the fall. In the past they have trained together or with SJV. They do not play as a group in the fall. Everything is low key with a realistic healthy approach towards basketball. Ryann Taylor is one of the most underrated stars in the shore. She will most certainly want to go out with a bang. Oliva Palmer has been everything and more over the past three years. But will be expected to lead the team with Taylor. But the major upgrade starts with future D1 Abby Ferguson and Katherine Martini. If Holmdel is going anywhere it starts with these two. Both are 6ft, versatile and talented. But the story of the fall is Alexandra Loucopoulos who transferred in from Manasquan. She gives Holmdel a player who has played against top competition. She has a competitive nature. Something that Holmdel can use a little more of. She can play all three guard positions… this is a major pick up. Holmdel in the next 6 weeks could really take a step forward.. but it’s a wait and see game. Remember they knocked off RBC last year.
10. DONOVAN CATHOLIC– They have First Team All Freshman Gabbie Ross and D2 bound Jordyn Keating. But it’s Shelby Barksdale that may give them that final piece. They will be well coached. The question is can they beat Manchester in a real game? It will be a chore to hang on to the 10th spot. They have lots of two sport players. So the next six weeks will be very important.
Katelyn Linney- has her freshman and sophomore transfer playing everyday. Running team out of season training. Has made Ranney a legit program in 6 months. She has elevated the entire standards of RANNEY. Soon like her mentor Dawn Karpell, she will have enemies if her kids will continue to buy in.
KATIE HILL– SJV
Grace Munt- Senior-RFH
Justine Pissott- Junior- RBC
Abby Antognoli- Senior – St.Rose
Sophia Sabino- Senior- RBC
Madison St. Rose- Junior- SJV
Ally Carman- Junior- RBC
Megan Cahalahan- Junior- SJV
Mo Stapleton- Senior – St. Rose
Chloe TETER- Senior-RBR
Jess Riepe- Senior – Marlboro
Georgia Heine- Junior- Manasquan
Hope Masonious- Manasquan
Nina Emmace – Trinity Hall
Carlie Lapinski- Ranney
Megan Sias- TRN
Devyn Quigley- Manchester( based on outstanding play in summer league)
- Casey Prior- SOPHOMORE- RBC
- Molly Kelly – Sophomore- RBC
- Georgia Heine- Junior – Manasquan
- Abby Ferguson- Junior – Holmdel
- Julia Cosentino – Sophomore- RFH
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