WE LEARNED SO MUCH THIS YEAR! post thumbnail image

So here we are as get to the end of the Shore season on Sunday.  We get the game everyone has wanted to see. RBC vs SJV certainly  will be filled with anticipation and excitement regardless of the outcome. These are two mega programs with legendary coaches, players, traditions and status among girls basketball programs. These are the two most historic  programs and coaches  in New Jersey girls basketball history.  But they are not the only stories this year. We have learned so much along the way this season, about Shore Conference  basketball teams and players.













No story gave me more joy than the Belle Alvarado story. She proved that kids willing to work and not make excuses can have there moment. She is now the poster child for all kids trying to break into a lineup and make a real contribution to their team. BELLE ALVARADO  proved that rather than threatening to quit, transfer when things are not going your way… it’s far better to work harder













We learned this season that sometimes  reputations really don’t matter. ELI CLARK proved that all season. She has emerged as  the best true Point Guard in the Shore Conference. She did so by performance and not by hype. Eli Clark is now a household by out working and out performing so many others with bigger reputations. She showed you can due big things if yiu have a big heart and a bigger dersire.













You cannot talk about the Shore Conference  without brining up ‘25 Haley Posner of Ranney.  This year, she quietly  become one of the best players in the Shore Conference. More importantly  as many ran out the door at Ranney. She stuck by Coach Linney and her teammates. She proved tough times don’t last , but tough kids do.












We all knew that ZOE BROOKS  was special. But what we found out this year was that she also is a unselfish  leader. Brooks is so much more than a great player. She is a great  person, daughter, teammate  and friend to all.  This year that is my most lasting memory of her. Not the points, exciting moves,  big players or wins. It’s her character that separated  her. Her dynamic  personality, kindness and goodness to all…and most all, THAT SMILE!













Those in the know, knew that Addy Nyemchek was the best freshman in the state of New Jersey. She had D1 and Power 5 offers before her first high school game. She just didn’t run around posting it on twitter and social media.  What we didn’t know was that  Addy Nyemchek impact on RBC would be this dynamic. She also showed us something else. You don’t have to cater to star players and treat them differently.  This year ADDY NYEMCHECK may have been the most complete freshman  we have seen in a decade. 


Mile Djordjiovski | For NJ Advance Media










This season nobody could have imagined  that Trinity  Hall would be a Top 20 team. Well at least those who didn’t know , how special Nina Emance is and what she has meant to an entire school.  This year Nina Emance  proved that dreams do come true, even nobody except you believes.













The return of Megan Sias is the best comeback story in years. Sias who lost all of her sophomore year last season after making 1ST TEAM ALL FRESHMAN, was everything and more that was once predicted  for her all year. She clearly is a Top 10 player in the Shore. 













Mckenna  Karlson may not get the attention  of so many others. She has spent two years in the shadows of so many stars at Manasquan. She has been quietly waiting for her chance to shine. Well she certainly  got my attention  this year. McKenna Karlson  was one of the best two way players in the Shore. If she is not a D1  player then nobody is in my mind. This year showed us what pride really means to a team and a player. She was sensational  this season, let no one tell you different.













SJV is so good sometimes we take for granted what they truly are about. Ashley SOFILKANICH is going to be 1st Team All Shore this year. Madison  Kocis has exceeded all expectations. Aleena Dinker is growing up right before our eyes.  Before the season nobody could have predicted  what they all have been, done and become. This season DAWN KARPELL, reminded us what SJV is really about and does better than everyone else. …PLAYER DEVELOPMENT 









It’s hard not bring up what Deyvn Quigley  has done this season at Manchester. She has put up historic numbers, while being double and triple teamed all year. She has done it all in this challenging year with such grace and class. With so little help and experience behind her. Yet not once did she point a finger at a teammate or a coach. We never heard her play the blame game. The great ones are always different













Teagan Drennan, did not have the reputation  as other freshman to start the season. But here we are at the end of the season and she just might be 1st Team All Freshman. How did thst happen you ask? Well she had a qrowth spell and a coach that believed in her. The result is she had a season, even she couldn’t  have imagined.














The condesed season took it toll on so many kids. You have to wonder if RBR had Camryn Gardner  all year. How things COULD have been so much different for her and RBR. The fall started put with some much hope and optimism. It was a real challenge  for coaches to navigate the season. I think come April and may we are going to see the results of this condesed season on kids.










Cassidy  KRUESI  certainly was a great story all year. Last season she was a surprise.  This season she was a gift. The sophomore  guard has established  herself as a true defensive stopper and game changer. Cassidy  KRUESI  is  a future D1 player. I mean two years ago Cassidy was a afterthought. Now she is a force in the Shore.












Rylee Drahos and Julia Corsentino both are going to be remembered for there greatness under fire. This year neither put up the numbers they  have had in the past. But somehow it doesn’t  matter because  there impact on there schools programs were immense this season. Sometimes  it’s not about numbers both proved that this year.








It’s funny and strange but Gabby Ross ends her Shore career almost forgotten. We forget all she has accomplished over the years. She was pretty brave to stick around this year, knowing Donovan Catholic  was in a full rebuilding  season. I really feel she deserves  more than we are giving her.














How amazing amd refreshing has Casey Prior been this year. Here is a kid who has stuck to her guns and refuses to take the easy way out. She could have easily taken  a D1 scholarship by now. But instead she has waited for right school. But yet she didn’t  play for herself this season. She played for her team and school. She played the game  the right way all year. Try finding a kid doing that these days.














You want a test of will? How about Raquel GUIDETTI  this year. She got off to a rough start. There had to be some doubt that creeped in. She had to wonder if transferring to RFH was a mistake. But she held her head up high. Her Coach Dave Cahallan  stuck by her and they trusted each other. There is no other way to explain her turn around. She went from a disappointment to one of the best players in the Shore. She went from coming up short to ALL SHORE…my kind of story!










Emma Throthon  of Bargaget has numbers  as impressive as Deyvn Quigley’s and in some ways are more impressive.  But yet she has been given  little if any credit. She plays the same level of competition  and for some reason we have never given her the same love. This season she really stepped up her game. I think the Shore is starting to learn the young lady is talented. 


The RBC babies











What’s left to be said about the RBC FRESHMAN CLASS. It’s safe to say everyone had a right to upset about them all attending RBC. Everyone said it wouldn’t  work out. Yiu can’t  keep all thos kids happy. They were wrong because  this group had someting yiu cant teach, a competive  nature and mental toughness. There is little doubt they have lived up to the hype as the greatest  freshmsn class in SHORE HISTORY.













I wonder if anyone ever  has had the dream year like  Josie Munson.  She not only has had a historic senior year.  But she also is on her way toher dream school  NYU… FOLKS DREAMS DO COME TRUE🌈👀🙏









.Not every story ended well this season. There were some kids who transfered in the middle of the season. Leaving there teammates  behind to pick up the pieces. Many are soon to follow them put the door as well, due to the 30 day transfer rule being waved. We saw also saw the injures and kids complaining  about playing time. Well not every kid is Belle Alvarado  I guess 🤷 







When you think about great seasons.  One day we are going to realize St. Rose just put together  a heck of a year. St Rose losses this year. SJV, RBC, NP in OT, IHA and Manasquan.  Only one of those losses came with Maggie Cavanaugh  in the lineup. Meanwhile  they beat Chatham,  Albertus Magnus,  Ewing , Manasquan  and Trinity  Hall. I think it’s safe to say. Only SJV has that  type of resume. Them getting the 3rd seed was a crime. But it was that type of season, this year in the Shore. For a third straight  year injuries  did them in late. Mo Stapleton, then Rosie Scognamiglio last year and now Maggie Cavanaugh… 













Skylar Soltis is a 6’4″ forward that nobody knows about except those in the know, she  returned the last 2 weeks. She was out with a ACL injury. I wonder how many people noticed her numbers since  her return. Her 19 point 16 rebound game vs Manchester is just a part of what she has been doing. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see her all year. Because  she  truly developed  last Spring before her injury. The light switch  had went on. She got her body  fitness level way up, started living in the gym and her skill sets grw beautifully. The SHORE and college coaches missed all that. But no worries because  come next year, she’ll  be a household name. Especially  after the AAU season opens up her recruiting. Before her injury  she was tracking to be a star…we missed that this year!











The GIVE AND  GO PODCAST was one of the best things in years to start covering the Shore Nick Lowe and Matt Brust made the Shore just a little more relevant  this year. I guess it’s why the Shore is so special… because  it’s so relevant  all year round.


There is one more  great game left to be played in the Shore Conference… I guess we saving the best for last. But it’s been a heck of a ride this year…








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