NJSR Staff (@ShoreSportsNJ, @ScHoops1, @JimRosa519)
The 2015 Maroon and White girls basketball camp got underway today from Holmdel HS. The camp featured the best teams from around the Shore Conference and more. Here is what we learned…
Offense for Middletown South Comes Along!
When you think of Tom Brennan and Middletown South, you think of a team that plays excellent defense but is held back by their lack of scoring in big games. The Eagles opened up camp against the host Holmdel Hornets and showed offensive explosiveness that we have neven seen from them before!
The star of the show was freshmen Isla Brennan, the daughter of Tom Brennan. Isla provided the solidity at the point guard position for Middletown South, bringing the ball up floor while also displaying knock-down shooting ability! This took a lot of pressure off of superstar Loyola commit Stephanie Karcz, who was able to find more open looks.
Eve Piri and Samantha Keenan (both freshmen!) also provided some post presence for this team, which sped up their ball movement and cutting ability. Ryan Wydra and Sean Martin caught up with head coach Tom Brennan after his team’s impressive 37-32 win-
RBC Looks to Take a Big Step Up!
Well after day one of the annual Maroon and White it was time for another team to impress the crowd. After only about five minutes it was clear that the Caseys of Red Bank catholic have begun to petition to the rest of the shore conference that they are indeed the mature team that was “right around the corner”, as stated by many fans and coaches.
RBC defeated both Donovan Catholic and Southern regional Tuesday. In both games it was clear that this is a new and much more confident RBC team that was very young last year. Key standouts for the Caseys in both games included the senior Jennifer Bagnell, along with Juniors Annetta Panydides, and Josie Larkins.
I caught up with Larkins later on in which she had a few quotes to describe her team. Larkins added ” I feel that we have gotten more aggressive as a team on defense.” Our chemistry as a team has gotten much better.” We are getting better with moving the ball forward, and our team is starting to understand how important it is to play hard all the time”
In addition, Junior Maureen Coakley proved to the many college coaches and media members such as myself that she can facilitate just as well. She was able to provide key passes up the court to Larkins and other members of her team that allowed them to clear space in transition.
If the Caseys want to get back to making deep postseason runs, it is going to start with speed and confidence to make tough passes. So far, so good as we move on to day two. What more will the Caseys show us tomorrow in what will be a day of another set of fine games!
Stella Clark Steals the Show for Defending Champ Warriors!
If you found yourself in and out of the many gyms of Holmdel HS today, it likely did not take you long to notice Manasquan point guard Stella Clark. Clark was playing without her running mate Dara Mabrey, but this was not an issue! In her first game, she tore apart Freehold Township by doing a little bit of everything- scoring, defending, and rebounding.
Clark has always been known for her passing ability, and strong defense, but she continued to prove that you can count on her to score when needed. Stella continued that dominance in her second game against Southern Regional. She ran the Squan offense with excellence and efficiency, finding her younger teammates in transition, and taking shots when needed.
I have said many times that Stella is very much like former SJV point guard Jackie Kates. She will have a huge role for Squan this season.
This also provided a chance for Lisa Kukoda to work with the youth on her team. Sophomore Maggie Kelly did a nice job in the starting lineup. She was there to grab rebounds and work against some bigger competition. Carly Geissler looked impressive playing the 2. She was able to make plays when Stella needed her to. She also looked strong defensively. Expect Carly to be a big piece of Squan’s bench this season.
The Warriors will continue tomorrow as they play a big game against Middletown South. Hear from Stella after Day 1 here-
Rumson-Fair Haven proves they can be one of the best!
Everyone who came out to Holmdel today knew that RFH vs Middletown South was going to be a battle of the heavyweights. Even though it’s only July, these are two teams that are extremely competitive.
There are only a few miles separating these two schools, and they always want to bring their best. It was only five months ago that Middletown South defeated Rumson in the SCT Final 8 at Brookdale. You could say this game meant nothing, but that can be further from the truth.
Middletown South got off to a fast start, and a halftime lead, but it was Rumson who would take control in the end. After struggling with shot selection, and rebounding, Rumson found a way to adjust to the Eagles game. Senior Captain and Forward Stephanie Lesko put on a show today.
Lesko hit four three-pointers and finished with 16 points. Everyone knew this was going to be Stephanie Lesko, and Nicole Morris’s team going into the offseason. The leadership of these two did not disappoint.
Rumson-Fair Haven showed why they are going into this season with so many weapons. They may have the most depth in the state right next to SJV. Tori Hyduke picked off right where she left off in the sectional final last year. The Sophomore showed great vision, made spectacular passes, and scored when needed. Sydney Sabino was right there to hit the threes when needed. When you talk about a sharpshooter beyond the arc, Sabino is always there to answer the call.
Senior captain Nicole Morris led the way as the offense went through her. The Rumson bench was also right there all game long. Recent transfer Christina Antoniokakis brings a unique skill set. The Sophomore point guard can make plays by seeing the floor, and she can hit the shots when needed. She can play defense against players twice her size and even pick their pockets.
It’ll be interesting to see what Coach Sourlis does with her throughout the season.
At the same time, don’t sleep on Megan Volker or Katie Foos. Both these players have improved their defensive mechanics tremendously. They can lock down other players, and block shots when needed.
It is clear that Rumson will be a tough team to contend with in Class A Central, and Group II. After the game, we had a chance to catch up with Rumson forward and Senior captain Stephanie Lesko. Steph shared her thoughts on the Middletown South game and the upcoming season.