Manasquan’s depth was once again on full display in the Warriors’ 65-52 victory over close-town rival Wall in the WOBM Christmas Classic semifinals Sunday at Pine Belt Arena.
After an evenly played first quarter, Manasquan ended the first half on a 13-0 run, taking a 31-18 lead into the half. Led by Sam Sullivan and Courtney Hagaman, the Warriors eventually closed out the game to reach their second WOBM final in three years.
Manasquan head coach Lisa Kukoda was excited for the way her team was able to come together after an early test from the Crimson Knights.
“We had different girls step up at different spots both offensively and defensively tonight,” Kukoda said. “The team effort was one hundred percent there, so we were really happy with that.”
The run at the end of the second quarter was what provided the key gap in the game, as the Warriors were able to exploit Wall’s zone defense.
“I think moving the basketball really helped with that,” Kukoda said. “We know teams are looking to collapse on Sam, we just kept our composure and were able to hit some outside shots.”
Hagaman scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half, including a couple of big three-point field goals in the Warriors’ second-quarter run. Sullivan finished with a team-high 20 points, including 11 in the second half.
“She knows she has to keep her composure in the post for us,” Kukoda said of Sullivan. “Teams are going to look to double her, she is a great player with strong moves that she uses to her advantage.”
Manasquan once again had balanced scoring from several players in the win. Bridget Ford had 10 points, Stella Clark finished with 8, and Molly Bryant added 4 for the Warriors.
Wall’s Ellen Dougherty had a standout performance, finishing with a game-high 27 points. Christina Tricarico finished with 12 points for Wall.
After winning the WOBM tournament in 2011, the Warriors will have a shot at another title on Monday night at 5:30 p.m. against top-seeded Red Bank Catholic. The two teams met opening night, with the Caseys edging the Warriors, 48-46 in overtime, in a Class A Central game.
RBC 54, MONSIGNOR DONOVAN 39: Alex Barazotti finished with a team-high 19 points to lead the top-seeded Caseys over the fifth-seeded Griffins. Quinn McMenaman scored eight of her 10 points in the second half and Grace Fallon finished with 11 points for the Caseys.
Dana Carbone scored 12 of her game-high 21 points in the second half for the Griffins.
ALBERT E. MARTIN BUC HOLIDAY CLASSIC:
Colts Neck and Red Bank Regional advanced to the championship game, which will be played today at 4:15 p.m. at Red Bank.
Lindsey Bosland had 16 points and Lauren Zborovancik added 15 points as Colts Neck defeated Hudson Catholic, 63-40, in its semifinal.
Red Bank defeated Middletown North, 46-41, in the other semifinal. Mia Schoening led Red Bank with 17 points. The Bucs (2-1) wiped out a one-point deficit after three quarters by outscoring the Lions (0-2) 20-14 in the fourth quarter.