By Nicholas Lowe & Doug Brustman SSN Contributor 

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Shore Conference Girls Basketball SCT Semifinals Recap


Wednesday 2/15/23 SCT Semifinals

#1 SJV advances to its 8th straight SCT final, defeating #4 St. Rose 83-40

In typical SJV fashion, hard defense and a strong inside game led them to their 8th straight Shore Conference final and they will attempt to win their 4th straight title after defeating St. Rose 83-40. The Lady Lancers outscored St. Rose 28-3 in the 2nd quarter with all three points coming at the foul line for the Roses. SJV defense had 17 steals in the game and their full court defense prevented St. Rose from having any flow on offense.

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SJV Sr. Zoe Brooks Drive to the basket for 2 out of her game-high 26 points. (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

SJV was able to pull away in the second quarter without NC State commit Zoe Brooks, who missed majority of the quarter due to injury. Freshman Madison Kocis scored 7 out of her 12 points in the quarter and senior Janie Bachmann scored 6 out of her 14 in the quarter. Bachmann also finished with a game high 14 rebounds.

“Coming into games like this you never know what will happen,” Bachmann said of Brooks getting injured. “We know we have to keep going and keep the energy up and we still have to execute. We have not played at Monmouth since my freshman year and I know the atmosphere will be amazing with all the rivalries in the Shore Conference.”

SJV Sr. Ashley Sofikanich (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)
SJV Sr. Ashley Sofikanich (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

Brooks was able to return and had a dominate third quarter, scoring 17 out of her game-high 26 points. She also had a game-high five steals, which lead to several easy baskets for the Lady Lancers.

“She has been a little dinged up, but we have a lot of experience and the kids responded well,” Coach Karpell said. “Janie and Jules stepped up and Bre did an amazing job, it was a really great effort tonight. Getting back to the finals and playing on that stage is exciting for the kids.”

The game started with both teams shooting the ball well with a total four 3-pointers made. Junior Julia Karpell hit two for SJV and senior Rosie Scognamiglio and sophomore Cassidy Kruesi each hit one. Scognamiglio finished with a team high 12 point for the Roses. The Roses only trailed 18-14 after the first quarter with both Scognamiglio scoring five points.

This group of seniors for SJV will be entering the finals with only two losses and just won their 101th game. They have been not only the most successful program in the Shore, but the state since the early 90’s and continue to be the same program it was back then.

“I grew up around it,” Karpell, who finished with 8 points and 5 assists, said. “Teaching the younger kids how to come together and where the bar is set is really important.”

#2 RBC defeats #3 Manasquan, 44-38, to advance into the SCT Finals.

In what has been turning into a pattern for RBC over the last couple weeks, sophomore Tessa Carman was able to take control and score a game-high 17 points for RBC to send them into the Shore Conference Tournament finals after defeating Manasquan 44-38.

“Its about her confidence,” RBC coach Joe Montano said about Tessa Carman. “A couple of times I had to yell at her to go to the basket. I told her she is hard to stop and not many can stop her. What impress me with Tessa is last year she took some plays off and she coasted at times, but she has made great effort at playing hard all the time and it has changed our team.”

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RBC So. Tessa Carman (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

RBC was able to get out to a lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Casey’s defense was able to force seven turnovers in the first quarter and continued that pressure throughout the game.

Like they have done all season, RBC had a different player step up, upperclassmen and freshmen, at different points of the game. Whether it was freshman Kate Liggio hitting a 3-pointer towards the end of third quarter or freshman Addy Nyemchek and senior Molly Kelly making a defensive stop, everyone played a role.

RBC Fr. Katie Liggio (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

“They all want to play and they all bring something to the table,” Coach Montano said. “It is almost like a college type roster. We have kids on the bench that in the middle of the game I say we need a shooter and we have a shooter or we need to stop somebody and I got a defender. They been very good at understanding that and doing their job.”

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RBC Fr. Addy Nyemchek (Photo: Ray Rich Photography)

Manasquan did not go quietly in the fourth quarter. RBC got the lead to 11 points, but Manasquan was about to cut it to 5, 43-38, after sophomore Olivia Shaughnessy hit a 3-pointer.  That was the closest Manasquan would get as RBC was able to step up and come up with a couple of defensive stops to close out the game.

With the win, RBC will face #1 SJV in the Shore Conference Finals on Sunday at Monmouth University. The two teams met two years ago during the Covid season in the Pod A championship

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