Donovan Catholic Continues Banner Season In State Tournament By Lou Monaco


Without two starters in the starting lineup due to injury, the Donovan Catholic girls basketball team opened up its state tournament campaign last week on a high note. 


Senior guard and Stockton-bound Molly Collins tied a game-high with 22 points, including 11 free throws, and senior guard and Ithaca-bound Melissa Buxton added 10 with three 3-pointers to lead seventh-seeded Donovan Catholic to a 50-46 triumph over 10th-seeded Mount St. Mary in the first round of the NJSIAA South Jersey, Non-Public A state tournament last Wednesday in Toms River. 


With the win, Donovan Catholic (21-5) saw its two-game losing streak snapped after an 18-game win streak and advanced to the sectional quarterfinals. The Griffins visited second-seeded Gloucester Catholic (23-3), No. 11 in the latest Top 20 rankings, this past Saturday after the game was originally scheduled for the previous day, but was postponed due to severe inclement weather. 


Sophomore guard Paige Slaven had nine points and sophomore guard Olivia Parlow posted seven for Donovan Catholic, which trailed by five points entering the fourth quarter but outscored its opponent, 19-10, to secure the win to improve to 12-0 at home and advance. 


“We had two starters who were injured last Wednesday, but the team gave it a total team effort,” said Donovan Catholic head coach and alumnus Glenn Jansen, who is at the end of his first year at the helm after a four-year stint at Colts Neck. “We haven’t had any players foul out all season, but we had two starters foul out, so we won down the stretch with a combination of girls who don’t normally play a lot together.” 

No matter what happens on the first Saturday in March, Donovan Catholic has had a banner season. 


This is only the second season the Griffins have had 20-plus victories in the last 10 years and during the regular season, they clinched a co-Shore Conference (B South) crown. 


Top statistical leaders for the Griffins entering last Saturday’s state quarterfinals matchup include Collins (13 points per game, 53 steals on season); the other senior and undecided on her college choice, Alyssa Hirschy (12 points per game, with 50 3-pointers; Buxton (8 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game) and Slaven (8 points per game, 3 assists per game).