Well hold on to your seat because the Shore Conference is getting ready to have a shift in power thanks to the new transfer rule. When state decided to allow players to transfer and not sit out the 30 days. It opened the door for kids to find new homes. Some schools have benefited and some have not. They will always be those who are not happy about kids transferring schools. There will always be those who accuse others of recruiting weather it’s true or not. It just the way it is… but I say this, it’s America and kids and parents have every right to change schools if it benefits them in anyway. As long as they don’t break the rules…So here we go!
No team will be affected by the transfer rule more than Manchester. Many believed that Manchester with the best young backcourt in the state and Destiny Adams could give SJV reason to pause. Manchester lost to SJV in the SCT final last season. They were hoping this up and coming season would be payback time. While SJV does not lose a single player in their rotation. MANCHESTER, watched the best young backcourt in New Jersey pack their bags and move on. FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR ANGELICA VELEZ has transferred to Trenton Catholic. GABBIE ROSS FIRST TEAM ALL FRESHMAN has transferred to Donovan Catholic. Velez has power 5 offers on the table and Gabbie Ross has high D1 offers as well. Replacing these two is virtually impossible. The good news for Manchester fans is freshman Devyn Quigley is very talent and may be able to step in and take some of the sting away. Manchester is using the lost of the two as a rally cry on social media, saying everyone is doubting them. It’s a smart move but in the end Manchester is going to win 20 games and will play Manasquan in the Group 3 sectional final. What many believe is that they cannot beat the big dogs like SJV. They disagree!
RUMSON FAIR HAVEN had the deepest freshman class in the Shore last year…key word “HAD” It was thought Coach Callahan would run 11 players out each night. But in the end, like just about every other high school team in the country. Dave Callahan’s rotation in real games was just like everyone else’s… he played 8. Meaning some mega talented D1 babies never got real minutes. The result, point guard of the future Molly Kelly has packed her bags and moved up the street to powerhouse RBC. Molly Kelly is a big lost for RFH and it may not show its face next season but certainly will in two years. Kelly was expected to be one of the faces of RFH. She shocked everyone when she decided to attend RFH over RBC. Well she has decided RBC is where she belonged all along. Sarah Hughes is gifted as in really gifted. Many believe she would be all freshman last season. It didn’t happen and neither did the playing time. Hughes got caught up in a numbers game. So Sarah Hughes took her talents to Ranney High School were she will get minutes and most likely be the star of the team. Hughes is another possible D1 player to walk out the RFH door. She was without question in the RFH long terms plans. That has all changed and Ranney is the lucky one…RFH losing two talented babies has to hurt the program long term.
HOLMDEL may have picked up the biggest piece of all. Most will not pay much attention to Alexandra Loucopoulos leaving Manasquan to join Holmdel. Make no mistake I have seen Alexandra and this is exactly what the doctor ordered for her and Holmdel. She gives Holmdel that all important ball handler and scorer. She also is tough as nails and not afraid of competition. She got few opportunities at Manasquan because of the numbers game. There is zero doubt in my mind she allows Holmdel to start thinking Top 20 and a possible Top 5 in the Shore and here is why…Ryann Taylor… Abby Ferguson… Katherine Martini..Olivia Palmer and now Alexandra Loucopoulos make up as good of starting five in the Shore outside of SJV and RBC(who they beat last year)
RBC is a little different than any other situation. First they did not get any of the the Top 3 freshman in the Shore. There are only 3 impact freshman in the 2024 class. But in the last week they picked up a very important freshman. When it’s official I will release her name. She will be somebody that Coach Montano, can groom for the future. Molly Kelly coming aboard is a lot bigger than folks realize. Now Coach Montano can rest Sophia Sabino at times. Something he has not been able to do in the past..why? Because he had no other point guard. Molly Kelly will fit the bill very nicely. But the real story is this, what would you say if RBC picked up a player who had 33 points in a game…18 rebounds in a game…scored 400 points and had over 225 rebounds. Sound scary right? Well folks it could be a wrap by the end of the week. This transfer makes RBC beyond scary. They pick up a 5th starter, scorer, rebounder and battle tested senior. Once it’s a official I will drop it on twitter.
St. Rose lost a ton of talent but have some talent returning. The problem is they have a lot players who are being asked to play big mins after barley playing a year ago. Abby Antognoli has always wanted to viewed as more of scoring point guard. She just may get her wish this year. Because transfer Rosie Scognamiglio of Pearl River, NY is coming. She was All Division as a freshman last season for Pearl River. She is not stranger to competition as she played for Team Rio. She will give Coach Chambers the flexibility to take advantage of Abby Antognoli scoring ability without worrying about who is running the show. Now St. Rose looks totally different. The world on the street is Lala Law is improving every day. Nisaisya Ervin right now looks like a different person, coach Chambers is in for a real shock when she get her in the gym. She has taken full advantage of the lock down. The most underrated player maybe in the Shore returns in Mo Stapleton. Now throw in the two talented guards in Abby and Rosie and St. Rose is no longer rebuilding…
Now Donovan Catholic is interesting. First Gabbie Ross going to Donovan has to be a shock for all. You certainly can’t say it was for basketball reasons. Because Manchester clearly would give her more attention than Donovan Catholic. Her decision was clearly based on non basketball issues. The same can be said for the other big transfer to Donovan Catholic. Shelby Barksdale has been playing in the darkness at Mater Dei and now moves to Donovan Catholic. She had 266 points and 224 rebounds, those are not numbers seen around Donovan very often. While Donovan Catholic will get more exposure than Mater Dei, don’t expect college coaches showing up in the dozens any time soon. What Barksdale and Ross have done is set the table. A year from now others may follow them to Catholic and they could return to being a Ocean County powerhouse and coaches will take notice. Remember Barksdale is a junior and Ross will be a sophomore. Donovan Catholic a year from now just may be the team to beat in Ocean County and may give Manchester a run for the money this year.
So how do I see things right now? Well here is my Mid Summer Top 10 and folks we are not done with Transfers because I left out two monster transfers and until they say I can release, I cannot factor them in…
MID SUMMER TOP 10
- SJV- the heavy favorite right now..everyone back including first Team All EVERYTHING.. Katie Hill and Madison St. Rose. Now throw in that Emma Bruen is becoming an elite combo guard and is there really anyone than can beat them?
2. RBC- bangin on the door and the transfer game and Pissott development is huge. Ally Carman just may be the most dominationg post played in the state
3. MANASQUAN– if there is development watch out, Hope Masonious gives them the scoring and IQ that’s been missing. Brooke Hollaway and Mary Donnelly are knocking on the star status door. Georgia Heine is looking like a ALL SHORE PLAYER as the D1 offers keep rolling in.
4. MARLBORO– Everyone that matters is back and Jess Riepe is a superstar..but she is not alone. Sammy Jay, Dani Schlesinger, Sam Nocco and FIRST TEAM ALL FRESHMAN Erica DiSimone Laura Morehead and Samantha Slofkiss ARE ALL BACK. They will be battle tested because they play one of the best schedules every year. They have a impact freshman point guard on the way as well
5. St. ROSE- surprise, surprise that got just want they needed from the transfer portal. There bench and is thin but the talent in the starting 5 cannot be denied. Can Coach Chambers get them to train?
6. MANCHESTER– This may be a stretch right now. But Destiny Adams and rapidly improving Amaya Bray return. Still the best in Ocean and Group 2 contender. Red Shirt Freshman Deyvn Quiley is going to have to run the point.
7. HOLMDEL– They could be higher before all this shakes out. The starting five has size, shooting, IQ and quickness. This could be the surprise team of the year. They are battle tested and have played the best of the best. They showed a improved competitive nature…now can they get it up to the next level?
8. RBR– The lost of Taylor Crystein cannot be understated. They return Caitlyn Decker, Amelia Medolla and Chloe Teter and have a chance to rise in the ranking with a few quality wins. They had a up and down season last year. They will be searching for a quality win. If this team picks up one transfer watch out… remember John Truhan is still the one coach everyone fears in a big spot
9. RFH- Now every year we say they are going to pressed to have a RFH type season. Losing Paige Slaven is huge put replacing her will be a issue. Charlie Rosen will get first crack. After that it’s a toss up and Grace Munt may have to return to the point as she did as a sophomore. The different is RFH really needs Munts scoring and rebounding this coming season. Cosentino has been gym rat and has superstar written all over her…Julia Shanes will step into a starting role and Dylan Cahill will make a run at most improved player.
10. DONOVAN CATHOLIC– It’s been a long time since this name appeared in the Top 10. But Gabbie Ross and Shelby Barksdale matter. Now throw in NYT commit Jordan Keating and that’s a lot of scoring punch. They have a chance to make real noise.
VERY SORRY…ONLY CAN TAKE 50 PLAYER THIS YEAR!