There is going to be a SCT after all this season god willing. By now you have heard that the Shore Conference will have 8 divisions, or Pods as they call them. The divisional teams will play each other twice and that leaves each team with anywhere between 2-4 non division games they can schedule. While nothing is perfect it does give the players something to play for. Their will be 8 teams placed in a Championship pod at the end of the season. These teams will play for the Shore Championship. The other 5 Pods will play for a championship as well. In all there will be 6 champions. What is the Criteria for who plays in the championship Pod and the remaining pods has not been decided yet.
The players, fans, parents and seniors. Players get a chance to play for something meaningful. The fans get to see Shore basketball and the parents get to watch these kids finally lace them up. Seniors get to play one more year and reach personal milestones.
There are only 8 teams in the championship bracket. Meaning a few good teams will not play for the title. Things will not be settled on the court as they say. Teams 9-12 will certainly bark. In the end it will be the same ole list of names most likely playing for the title. The real question is who gets the 8th seed?
I am not a big believer in conspiracy theories but SJV is clearly getting the short end of the stick again. The Lancers will not play a competitive conference game. In fact the scores are going to be downright embarrassing at times. Katie Hill is close to 1000 points this is going to be a real juggling act for Coach Karpell. She he has to get her team ready and she can’t do that by playing her rotation only 2 quarters a night. She does have two non conference games. Look for Coach Karpell to seek out TCA, RBC, Rutgers Prep. She will only be interested in playing the Top 5 team in the state. The question is can she make it work. I have no doubt Coach Karpell is not happy with the set up. But as they say… it is what it is and Dawn and SJV is use to it at this point.
RBC is clearly the big winner here. There are in a pod they should win. They will play in a pod with RBR, RUMSON and a up and coming Shore team. While RBC will be the heavy favorite. Keep in mind that RFH and RBR have both beaten RBC in recent years. Shore has been competitive vs RBC. This division is clearly the best division of all the divisions. In terms of getting your team ready.
The most competitive Division or pod is the one which features Marlboro, both Freehold Schools, Middletown South and Trinity Hall. Marlboro is a clear favorite. But each game in this division should be a war. The teams are evenly matched and that should make for plenty of surprises. Trinity Hall will try and surprise everyone. They are still a talented team led by one of the best freshman in the state. There are four All Shore Player types in the division.
The most interesting division features St Rose and Manasquan. St Rose was supposed to be in a rebuilding year. But this fall they showed they have some real pieces to work with. Abby Antognoli has emerged as a PLAYER OF YEAR candidate. Transfer “cracking” ROSIE SCOGNAMIGLIO, is a major addition to the lineup. Mo Stapleton returns, Layla Laws is looking like a D1 player. Niasya Ervin could be the wild card if she is willing to embrace her role and connect with Coach Chambers…watch out!
Manasquan returns just about everyone. Georgia Heine is now the most recruited available 2022 in the shore. Mary Donnelly, Brooke Hollawell, Dorothy Lofferdo, Seniors, Macy Black and Allison Waters all return along with Rylyn Orlando. Freshman Hope Masonious and McKenna Karlsson make Manasquan even deeper and give them another dose of D1 talent. They are deepest team in the Shore. Ranney is a up and coming program and will hope to make some noise. They have a slew of incoming star babies and Transfer Sarah Hughes to lead them. Neptune still has a D1 backcourt and in any night can put the fear of god into anyone in the division. This division should be fun from start to finish. Look for lots of surprises
On the surface you may be asking why isn’t Manchester, Donovan Catholic and TNR not all in the same division? I’m sure it’s because there are things to consider like the boys side that factor into the divisional makeups. But Manchester like SJV is in a division that will offer little competition. But unlike SJV, Manchester may be the luckiest team of all. They will get 3 and maybe 4 non division games because their division only has 5 teams. They are in position to put together a great non conference schedule. Let me help them out and start with this… DONOVAN CATHOLIC AND MANCHESTER MUST PLAY and if they don’t play, it’s a real red flag. Donovan Catholic beat Manchester in the summer and the winner of this regular season game should represent Ocean County in the Top 8 championship bracket. If they don’t play neither team should be rewarded with a championship seeding… that’s one man’s humble opinion. The rest of Ocean is a toss up with TRN trying to play the spoiler role. Because only one Ocean County team will make it to the championship bracket unless politics come into play.
HOLMDEL will need to find a quality win to make the championship Pod. They certainly cannot win a division with SJV in it. But a good non divisional win will go a long way. The Ocean County crowd will be screaming for a 2nd team in the Championship bracket. Holmdel will be the likely target to get kicked down to the #9 spot, to make room for a 2nd Ocean team..They have two non conference games… my advice? use the wisely.
- SJV- by a mile
- RBC- the most talent
- St. Rose- chemistry is the key
- Manasquan- They are so deep
- Manchester- Destiny Adams, need I say more?
- RFH- They lost a lot but return a lot.. GRACE MUNT
- RBR- As long as JT is coaching anything is possible
- Marlboro- Jess Riepe and crew want a top 20 ranking
- Holmdel- They got a huge transfer in ALEXANDRA LOUCOPOULOS
- Donovan Catholic- Three serious impact transfers