Today the SHORE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT kicks off. People will be talking about the past and whose record against whose is better. They will discuss last year and the year before, as if those players are still around. There are new players, new stars and new teams. Each year is different, so while the past is nice to discuss, it will mean nothing to the young ladies playing now. Some will compare scores and debate who is the best team, or coach. It’s all fun and exciting, it makes for great conversations. But at the end of the day, it will all be settled on the court. The favorites from here on out are heavy favorites. But to make it to the finish line …there are some things everyone should think about.
There are a lot of STARS in this years SCT. None bigger than Destiny Adams of Manchester. There is no question she is capable of taking a team out by herself. She creates so many problems it would take days to list. She can also take over games with her defense and rebounding. The real question is can your star put your team on there back and carry you home? The best candidates right now are Brynn Farrell, Makayla Andrews and Madison St. Rose.
Can your team go to its bench and still win? When it comes to using the bench no coach is even close to Dawn Karpell. Her bench is battle tested and play their roles to a “T” and are ALWAYS READY. The SJV bench is talented, but more importantly it has been used wisely by Dawn Karpell and she is not afraid to use it. There is never a question of if they are playing or when then are playing…THEY KNOW. Somebody is going to run into foul trouble or an injury. Somebody is going to have a bad shooting night, somebody is going to get injured or sick. When this happens, your teams bench is either going to shine or be exposed. Has your bench been used in big spots this year? The SCT is not a place to start finding out if they are ready…that ship has sailed.
DO YOU HAVE SHOOTERS? Sorry…if you don’t have shooters…you are not winning the SCT… nothing is more important in a Tournament. When your team is struggling to get buckets, you better have a shooter that can get you those unscripted points. Somebody like Taylor Crystian or Camryn Foltz. A great shooter can single handily knock you out of this tournament. Like if Ryann Taylor or Justine Pissot get on a roll, they could send your team packing. Jess Riepe has proven to be the most dangerous shooter going into the tournament. There is a flip-side to shooters though. They can also shoot you out of this tournament as well. If there is one thing I am 100% sure of…it’s this…Somebody is going to have to knock down big shots to win the SCT, and I’m not just talking one shot…Do you have a knock it down shooter who has played in the meat of BIG games that matter?
DO YOU HAVE A CLOSER? Nobody is sailing though the tournament, closers close quarters and games. SJV has the one of best in the business Madison St Rose will not miss LATE. Camryn Foltz will not miss a free throw late. Now here is something I learned a long time ago. Throw out shooting and free throw shooting percentage until the last 2 minutes. If they missed the big ones in big games, during the season…they are missing in the SCT. Closer’s don’t turn the ball over or make bad decisions late. You have a closer? Now be honest, do you trust your closer? Because if you don’t, secretly the team does not trust them. Does your closer know when to pass and when to shoot? Remember your closer is not always your best player or even a player. A closer can be a coach, John Truhan right now is one of the best closers in the business. His teams are shocking great at the end of games and quarters. John Truhan forget it, if he gets a chance to close…its a wrap. Now here is something everyone forgets…sometimes your closer never gets the chance to close, because in order to close you need to be in the game late with a lead. The SCT is not the place to try and find a closer…
THE BABY FACTOR, ARE YOURS READY? This is big and I mean it could mean a title for someone. Now don’t tell me how good your babies played this year. I don’t care about their stats. I want to know what your babies did against the real teams. How did they play in your 4 biggest games of the year. Did they see real time in the games that determine your season and seeding. Don’t tell me a play or shot a baby made in a game. Tell me what you babies did in the heat of big games. How was the shot selection during the season? How was there defense and decision making against the top teams? Now is your baby a part of the team or are you really counting on them to WIN IT? If your babies have put up good numbers in blow-outs, but have zero numbers in the big games…don’t expect them to all of a sudden blow up in this event. What’s the status of your babies? If they have to go from role player to prime time player can they do it?
SENIORS, ARE YOUR READY? If your team is not loaded with seniors your team’s job is a little harder. Those seniors must have experienced success in a big spots along the way. Winning a big game or tournament can’t be new to them. St. Rose is loaded with seniors has lots of seniors and they’re good. SJV has no seniors to lean on. RBC has three seniors who are battle tested. Karmeri Reynolds of Manchester is a senior with a SCT title in hand. Having battle tested seniors is something that gives you a real edge in these events. Seniors don’t panic and they play with a passion when they know the end is in sight….NOBODY HAS SENIORS LIKE ST. ROSE
CAN YOU TEAM HANDLE THE PRESSURE? SJV may be the favorite but they know all eyes are on them, anything but the title ends another disappointing SCT run. RBC has had a monster season, but they had two disappointing losses down the stretch and a disappointing lost in last years SCT. They have much to prove. St. Rose knows not many believe they have the chemistry to win it. . They know anything but a final is going to lead to questions about there selfishness as a group. Jackson Memorial knows a early lost, makes the season a wash. #6 seed Manasquan is not playing with house money just because they return everyone next year. Well all the other top teams return the bulk of their teams. RBR is trying to prove last year was not a fluke. They’ll have to get to the semi-finals to make real noise. Manchester knows they have to at least get to the title game or everyone will say, they were overrated all year. Everyone has their own pressure… who handles it best may hold the key to a SCT CHIP.
Does your coach have a track record of success? These games are going to be tight and somebody is going to win it or lose it based on decision making from the sidelines. Your coach better not panic and they better have those new offensive sets, out of bounds plays and new trapping defenses all ready to go for the SCT. Your coach better not start over coaching and trying to be the star. Your coach better be prepared coming out of time outs, last second situations. How are your rotations? They better be set and everyone better know, when they are playing. Too late to start changing now folks…you are who you are. Because in the end these games are going to come down to how your coach handles the pressure at the end of the games…they will need to make all the right moves!
The bottom line is that nobody has all the above ingredients going into the SCT. But somebody is going to face every one of these obstacles before a champion is crowned. The team that handles these challenges the best is going to be our winner. Right now SJV has the best chance to pull it off…but haven’t we been saying that for years now? Remember when RBC seemed unbeatable or when St. Rose was the heavy favorite? IT’S THE SCT AND ANYONE CAN WIN IT… WITH A LOT OF LUCK AND BREAKS.
SO WHATS AT STAKE OVER THE NEXT 2 WEEKS?
PLAYER OF THE YEAR? Right now it’s looks like Madison St. Rose’s lose. But what happens if Foltz wins 2 games? What happens if Destiny Adams goes off? What about Brynn Farrell she has to know she needs a great SCT to make 1st Team All Shore. She could steal the award. What about Paige Slaven? A run to the title game lands her squarely in the conversation.
COACH OF THE YEAR? who gets the award? Doug Shaw has Central Reg in the SCT.. how he do that? Long Branch and Shannon Coyle have shocked everyone. Dave Callahan once again has performed magic
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR IS A LOCK? Unless Prior, Ross, Velez, Shane’s or cosentino put on a show
WHAT ABOUT 1ST TEAM ALL SHORE? St. Rose …check….FOLTZ…check…ADAMS ..check . Okay now where you going? You telling me RBC doesn’t get one player? You Ignoring that Andrews is St. Rose’s best player right now. Don’t worry it will all get settled right now at the SCT. One more thing, reps don’t help you…PREFORMANCE FOR THIS YEAR IS ALL THAT MATTERS. Your past can’t help you.
WHAT ABOUT ALL FRESHMAN TEAM?
Forget it the SCT will sort it all out…
ALL THE QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT TO BE ANSWERED…ENJOY THE RIDE!
My 1st Rounds picks…
Colts Neck vs Howell… Camryn Foltz will get the help she needs today..CN advances
Holmdel vs Mater Dei… going to be harder than folks realize…Holmdel advances
Donovan Catholic vs TRE...Jordyn Madigan says play on …TRE advances in a war
Jackson Memorial vs Pt. Pleasant… another easy one for tonight
Marlboro vs Jackson Liberty…Marlboro meets Jackson Memorial on Thursday
Neptune vs Central Reg… the Central dreams ends right here
Trinity Hall vs Freehold Twp... Trinity feel there better with or without Wingertzahn…I disagree.. Freehold advances
RBR vs Lacey.… RBR moves on
TRN vs Middletown South… 2 division one players can’t lose in the first round…can they!
Long Branch vs Southern… interesting game and I say Southern in a upset.