By Nicholas Lowe & Doug Brustman SSN Contributor 

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Lady Lancers defeated in the Non-Public A State Final game to IHA 65-55

It was not the ending St. John Vianney wanted, but they have no reason not to hold their heads up high after the season they had. The Lady Lancers lost 65-55 in the Non-Public A State Final game to IHA. This is the first loss SJV has had to a New Jersey opponent since 3/5/2019, when they lost to St. Rose 61-54 in the Non-Public A South sectional final.

SJV got off to a slow start and never really hit their stride until late in the 4th quarter. Senior Zoe Brooks, who has missed three out of the previous four games due to an injury, did not start and did not enter the game until 1:39 left in the third quarter with SJV trailing by 14 points.. The Lady Lancers trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter.

The Lady Lancers did not give up, just like they have done so many times over the last four years. They started the fourth quarter on a 8-0 run to cut the deficit to nine points. Freshman Madison Kocis knocked down five 3-pointers in the second half and scored a team high 15 points for SJV. She was able to help SJV get to within six points, but that was as close they would get.

“I think Maddie is going to be player of the year at least twice,” Brooks said about Kocis. “She is one of the best freshmen I have ever played with and I think her future is really bright.”

One era at SJV comes to end as a new one is about to start with the underclassmen. SJV senior class finishes with one of the most impressive resumes in New Jersey history. They finished 105-3 overall, with two of the three losses to nationally ranked teams. They went perfect in the Shore Conference Tournament, going four for four. They won one state title but were robbed of the possibility of playing for two others with Covid. They won the last TOC ever played last season and this season defeated the #1 team in the country.

“To lose your first game in your career, your senior year to a team in New Jersey in the state finals speaks for itself” Coach Dawn Karpell said about her seniors. “If I was going to categorize them, I would say they are the most unselfish kids I ever coached because they waited their turn and gave us everything, we asked of them.”

Throughout the last four years a different player stepped up in different situations. Senior Bre Delaney all season would hit a big shot when the team would need it. Today was no exception for the Stonehill commit, she knocked down two 3-pointers and finished with a career high 16 points.

“This program means everything to me,” Delaney said. “It has helped me grow as a person and Coach (Karpell) has taught me so much throughout the four years. Coming to SJV was the best thing I ever did.”

A senior who made a big impact this season is Ashley Sofilkanich, who is committed to Bucknell. She averaged 11.2 points a game compared to 5.1 points a game last season. Down the stretch she was hard for teams to guard, and her biggest games came against the best, including 17 points against RBC in the SCT finals.

“This has been a great four years here,” Sofilkanich said. “I love this team and this is probably my favorite year out of all of them. This is my family basically and I have the best coach who never expects less from us.

 This group of seniors will go down in the record books and everyone will continue to play at next level and continue to leave their mark on the game like they did at SJV. Brooks will be going to NC State, Janie Bachmann will be joining former teammate Megan Cahalan at Holy Cross, and Mikaela Hubbard will be going to Emory.

“I am so grateful to have learned from these seniors,” Kocis said. “They are the best seniors I could of asked for and each one have taught me so many lessons. They are all great people and were the best people to learn from.”

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