By Eric Braun


Red Bank Regional (16-7 overall, 9-5 B North, 3rd Place)

Red Bank Regional, the No. 12 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament, took on a tough Southern Regional team in the opening round and advanced with a 51-44 victory over the Rams.  Meghan Murray (18 points) and Chloe Teter (17 points) lead the way for the Bucs.  In the second round against fifth-seeded Red Bank Catholic, the Bucs pulled the upset of the tournament with a dominating performance to earn a 65-62 victory over the Caseys.  The veteran group from RBR took it to the young RBC program early and often, leading 26-19 at the half, 44-31 at the end of the third and held on for the three-point win. In the quarterfinals on Saturday, the Bucs showed the heart of a champion and let everyone know they will be a team to be reckoned with the rest of this season and years to come.  RBR overcame deficit after deficit against Manasquan and forced overtime to decide a winner. The Bucs came up just short, losing to the Warriors, 61-58. Meghan Murray paced the Bucs offense with 21 points.

Manasquan (17-5 overall, 12-2 A Central, 2nd Place)

Manasquan is no stranger to this time of year and all that is at stake.  Gone is the division title that they surrendered this season to St. Rose, to whom they fell in their only two conference losses.  Still in their sights are Shore Conference and NJSIAA tournament runs.  The Warriors earned the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye to start the tournament.  In the second round against No. 13 Freehold Township, the veteran Warriors were too much for the Patriots and pulled away with a 61-23 win.  Manasquan was led by Lola Mullaney with 21 points and Faith Masonius with 18 points.  Manasquan advanced to another Shore Conference Tournament semifinal with a 61-58 overtime win over Red Bank Regional. The Bucs gave the Warriors everything they had, but down the stretch the leadership and experience of Masonius (26 points) and Mullaney (22 points) were too much to overcome.  Manasquan will tip off against Saint John Vianney on Tuesday night.

Marlboro (20-4 overall, 11-1 A North, 1st Place)

Marlboro, who ousted Middletown South as the A North front runner the past couple of years, is on a roll this season entering the Shore Conference Tournament.  They are the No. 7 seed and took care of Keyport in the opening round, 68-38, and then ousted tenth-seeded Toms River East in the second round, 65-45.  Sharp shooter Gisella Romeo has paced the Mustangs with 19 points against Keyport and 15 points against Toms River East.  On Saturday, Marlboro fell victim to the up tempo St. Rose offense that exploded in the second half to knock the Mustangs out of the Shore Conference Tournament with an 88-49 loss.


Saint John Vianney (19-2 overall, 14-0 B North, 1st Place)

As one of the most complete teams in the Shore Conference, Saint John Vianney is the No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament.  The Lancers took care of an always talented and tough Jackson Memorial team in the second round, 72-40. SJV was led by Sajada Bonner with 18 points, Brelynn Bellamy with 14 points, Katie Hill with 13 points and Madison St. Rose with 12 points.  The Lancers have shown no shortage in scoring this season with 409 field goals and 121 three-pointers.  This type of offense is what Coach Karpell looks to ride to more SCT, NJSIAA and TOC championships. The Lady Lancers advanced to the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals with a 66-38 win over Middletown South Saturday, with Bonner scoring 18, Sarah Karpell with 14, Bellamy and St. Rose with 10 apiece.  They will tip off against Manasquan on Tuesday night.

Middletown South (18-4 overall, 10-2 A North, 2nd Place)

Middletown South, another constant fixture during tournament time, enters the Shore Conference Tournament as the No. 8 seed and took care of Barnegat with ease, 56-30. The Eagles were up 34-7 at the half and were led by Kayla Richardson with 18 points and five rebounds and Isla Brennan with 13 points and seven rebounds.  Middletown South took on a tough Toms River North team in the second round and held on for a 53-52 win.  North made a game of it in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles, 18-12, but dug themselves too big a hole entering the quarter down, 41-34.  The Eagles were led by Brennan with 18 points and seven rebounds and Stephanie Mayerhofer with 13 points.  Saturday the Eagles fell to Saint John Vianney, 66-38, in the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament, led by Brennan with 14 points.

Manchester Township (22-2 overall, 14-0 B South, 1st Place)

Manchester Township entered with high expectations and has not altered their plans.  The Hawks took care of business in conference going undefeated.  Next up is a run at the Shore Conference Tournament title.  They entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and earned a first-round bye.  Their second-round opponent was an up and coming Trinity Hall team that was not ready for the stage with Manchester.  The Hawks led from start to finish with a halftime lead of 40-16, and finished off the Monarchs, 69-38.  Manchester was led by Leilani Correa with 18 points and seven rebounds, Kemari Reynolds with 18 points and five assists, and Destiny Adams with 13 points and nine rebounds.  On Saturday, Manchester took care of Rumson-Fair Haven early, jumping out to a 19-0 run and closing out the first quarter, 19-3. The Hawks would continue their dominance closing out the half up, 34-15. Rumson clawed back into the game, but Manchester withstood their effort and defeated RFH, 67-33, behind 22 points from Adams.

Rumson-Fair Haven (15-8 overall, 8-6 A Central, 4th Place)

The Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs, always a tough draw for anyone, once again showed their mental toughness in a tightly contested second-round Shore Conference matchup against Colts Neck.  The Bulldogs entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed and the Cougars as the No.  11 seed.  RFH jumped out to a first quarter lead, 14-6, and the two teams played even basketball the rest of the way with neither team giving an inch.  In the end, Rumson held on for a 42-35 win led by Grace Munt with 13 points and six rebounds, Grace Colucci with 10 points, and Lucy Adams with six points and 12 rebounds.  The Bulldogs’ Shore Conference Tournament run came to an end against Manchester on Saturday.  Rumson fell behind early in the first and could not climb back into the game, falling to the Hawks, 67-33.