Missing it’s most important player, senior guard Kat Egan, and its top reserve, freshman guard Emily Uribe, the St. John Vianney girls basketball team, ranked No. 1 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10, ran into a squad on Saturday that was a little too long and a little too athletic to deal with.
Life Center Academy, a non-NJSIAA school located in Burlington Township, pounded the glass and took advantage of a fast pace, ultimately running away from the Lancers, 61-49, at the New Year’s Resolution Showcase on Saturday afternoon at Paterson Kennedy.
Spearheaded by 6-foot sophomore guard and Rutgers recruit Aliyah Jeune, the Warriors (13-0) ripped off a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 43-35 lead. Back-to-back 3-pointers from freshman point guard Kelly Campbell and junior guard Jackie Gallagher cut the St. John Vianney deficit to just two at 43-41 going to the fourth quarter.
With foul trouble an issue and Life Center controlling the tempo on both ends, a 10-2 run to open the fourth put the game out of reach. That run was capped by offensive rebounds and follows from junior guard Ashli Jeune, who is also bound for Rutgers, and 6-foot-4 senior forward Elo Edeforioka for a 53-43 lead.
“I think, ultimately, we broke down, especially on the glass,” St. John Vianney head coach Dawn Karpell said. “They took full advantage and we just got a little tired.”
Campbell finished with 15 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, while Gallagher finished with 12. Aliyah Jeune scored 13 of her game-high 27 points in the third quarter, including all three of her 3-pointers.
Egan and Uribe were both hurt on Thursday when the Lancers defeated Manasquan, 44-43, to run their Class A Central winning streak to 66 games. Uribe was the victim of a freak accident during warmups, resulting in a high ankle sprain. While a time frame for her return has not been set, it could be a few weeks based on the nature of the injury.
Egan, a 2012 All-Shore second-team selection, twisted her knee in the first quarter on Thursday and did not return. X-rays on Friday and the results of Friday afternoon MRI were still pending as of late Saturday.
The Lancers (6-2) are at Holmdel on Tuesday evening and will host longtime rival and perennial New York City power Christ The King on Saturday evening.
IN BOYS BASKETBALL GAMES
HOLMDEL 57, MANALAPAN 51: Senior guard Robbie Cantelli scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter and junior Gerard Nocera added 12 points as the Hornets (5-2) defeated the No. 6 Braves (5-3) in a nondivisional game.
Manalapan senior guard Anthony Firkser scored 13 of his game-high 27 points in the first half and also scored the 1,000th point of his career in the second quarter. Firkser now has 1,022 career points. Senior guard Michael Pyzik added 10 points.
SOUTHERN 56, LONG BRANCH 50: Southern Regional junior forward Mike Gesicki scored 13 of his career-high 32 points in the first quarter as the Rams, ranked eighth in the Asbury Park Press top 10, edged Long Branch in a nondivisional game on Saturday afternoon.
Gesicki now has 978 career points as the Rams (6-2) jumped out to a 18-5 first quarter lead. Sophomore forward Jake Logue finished with nine points and senior guard Zach Policastro had seven points.
Long Branch’s Terrel Cox finished with nine of his team-high 16 points in the second half and Hassan Foster added 12 points and Dwight Clark added 11 points.
COLTS NECK 71, BAYONNE 63: Senior guard Brandon Federici finished with a game-high 23 points as the No. 1 Cougars (7-1) defeated the Bees (5-3) in a nonconference game.
Sophomore guard Christopher O’Reilly and senior guard Tim Vangelas each added 13 points and junior guard Jake Mullaney had nine points.
Senior forward Eddie Romanik added nine points, six rebounds and six assists and senior forward James Sobieski added four points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
SJ VIANNEY 56, MATAWAN 55: Senior forward Garrett Clifton scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and finished with six rebounds and five blocks as the Lancers (4-4) edged the Huskies (2-4) in a nondivisional game.
Junior guard Vinny Facchino added 10 of his 16 points in the first half.
Matawan sophomore guard Joe Piscopo scored 10 of his team-high 13 points in the second half and sophomore guard Jason Dunne added 10 of his 12 points in the second half.
MARLBORO 72, MONMOUTH 58: Junior guard Justin Markowitz scored 16 of his season-high 24 points in the first half and sophomore guard George Elghoul added nine of his 16 points in the second quarter and finished with 10 assists as the Mustangs (3-4) defeated the Falcons (4-4) in a nondivisional game.
Monmouth sophomore Kyle Bradshaw scored nine of his 13 points in the third quarter and senior Marcus Stephens scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half.
RB CATHOLIC 76, ST. ROSE 60: Freshman guard Eddie Hahn scored a career-high 18 points, junior guard Kyle Jeffery had 16 points and junior guard TJ Verdiglione added 13 points as the Caseys (5-4) defeated the Purple Roses (5-3) in a nondivisional game.
St. Rose’s Brendan Lynch had a team-high 17 points and Conor Luddy added 12 points.