Emerging Star Sajada Bonner Making Strides in her Junior Season at St. John Vianney By Lou Monaco

Each year, the St. John Vianney girls basketball team is near the top of the weekly Top 20 rankings throughout the state, week in and week out. 


This season is no different for the Lancers (9-0), currently ranked No. 2 in the latest NJ.com Top 20 rankings, and leading the way for them has been the emergence of Sajada Bonner. 


The 6-foot, junior guard/forward leads the Holmdel-based school in scoring (112 points in nine games played, 12.4 ppg) and is tied for the team lead in 3-pointers made (11, 1.2 pg). 


“We are definitely playing as a team and taking it one game at a time,” said Bonner. “I think we can score from all levels, inside and outside, all over the court and we love each other on and off the floor as well and that’s helping our early success.” 


Bonner, who has raised her scoring average by close to 11 points since her freshman year, also has scored in double figures in eight of her nine games played for the Lancers, highlighted by a 19-point performance in a 63-39 road victory at Matawan on Jan. 9. 


“I think gaining that experience and just being older is helping my game. Coach (Dawn) Karpell is pushing me to be the best I can do and my mom, Tina, is always pushing me as well to be better and learn from the game. That’s getting me to the point where I want to be. Last year was the first year since I’ve been here that we didn’t win it all. I think this season thus far we are taking quality shots and making good decisions to help us succeed.” 


The rest of the Lancers’ January schedule follows: vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, Jan. 16, 6:30 pm; at Raritan, Jan. 18, 5:30 pm; vs. Red Bank Catholic, Jan. 20, 1:30 pm; vs. Red Bank Regional, Jan. 23, 6:30 pm; vs. Holmdel, Jan. 26, 6:30 pm; vs. St. Anthony’s (NY), Jan. 28, 3:30 pm; vs. Shore, Jan. 29, 6:30 pm. 


Sajada is having a good season. She is shooting over 40 percent from both the 3-point arc and from the floor,” said St. John Vianney head coach Dawn Karpell. “Her growth from last season has contributed to our early success.”