The Middletown South girls basketball team has not missed a beat coming off last season’s appearance in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV semifinals. The Eagles (9-0), ranked fifth in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, have five returning starters who provide a strong veteran presence.
The Eagles’ strong play continued on Thursday as Wagner recruit Jackie Dluhi scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in the first half and they erased an early 10-point deficit on their way to a 45-32 nondivisional win over dangerous Holmdel.
Holmdel (5-4), coming off a 47-30 victory that ended No. 1 St. John Vianney’s 66-game Class A Central winning streak, received a team-high 16 points from Tara Inman. The senior guard scored 11 points in the first half.
POINT BEACH 90, ASBURY PARK 45: Junior point guard Katelynn Flaherty scored 20 of her career-high 43 points in the second quarter to go along with seven steals, five rebounds and four assists to lead the No. 7 Garnet Gulls (8-0, 6-0) by the Blue Bishops (1-6, 1-4) in Class B Central.
For Point Beach, sophomore guard Marina Mabrey scored 15 of her 29 points in the first quarter, while adding seven steals, six assists and six rebounds.
TR SOUTH 52, SOUTHERN 36: Amanda Timmes scored nine of her game-high 18 points during a 17-5 first quarter for the Indians (6-3, 5-1), who ran away from the Rams (5-4, 2-4) in Class A South.
Allison Spaschak paced Southern with a team-high 15 points.
MATER DEI 58, KEANSBURG 49: Sophomore guard Lindsey Florio scored seven of her team-high 14 points as part of a 21-11 first quarter, which propelled the Seraphs (3-6, 3-3) to a Class B Central win over the Titans (4-5, 1-4).
Kim McNelis finished with a game-high 16 points for Keansburg.
NEPTUNE 68, OCEAN 27: Ivy Harrington and Iyonna Crenshaw scored 21 points each to lead the Scarlet Fliers (8-2, 4-0) past the Spartans in Class B North.
Miesha Bacon added 10. Crenshaw netted 10 and Harrington added six in a 22-9 first-quarter spree. Harrington scored nine in the second quarter. Harrington and Crenshaw grabbed 12 rebounds apiece. Teammates Marajiah Bacon and Miesha Bacon scrapped for nine and six steals, respectively.
In boys games
ST. ROSE 59, KEYPORT 37: Conor Leddy scored 14 points, Dan Borner netted 11 and Tyler Long added 10 for the Purple Roses (7-3, 4-1) in their Class B Central win over the Red Raiders.
Borner scored nine first-half points as St. Rose took a 28-19 lead. Leddy put home seven third-quarter points as the Purple Roses went ahead, 45-28. Kevin Walsh led Keyport with 14 points.
MARLBORO 53, FREEHOLD 31: Justin Markowitz netted 16 points and George Elghaul added 11, leading the Mustangs past the Colonials (3-7) in nondivisional play.
Markowitz scored eight first-quarter points, powering the Mustangs to a 14-5 lead. He scored eight in a 16-4 third-quarter assault as the winners went up, 41-23. Freehold’s Dan Martucci scored 16, including eight in the second half, and grabbed six rebounds.
JACKSON MEM. 48, TR EAST 42: Eric Carter’s 20 points, Nick Specht’s 12 and Pete Heltzel’s 10 led the Jaguars (8-2, 4-1) past the Raiders in Class A South.
C.J. Hirschy led East with 17 points.