Marina Mabrey attended classes Thursday to begin her second go-round at Manasquan High School, which means the 30-day clock on her suiting up for the Warriors was set in motion.
As first reported by the Asbury Park Press’ Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) on Twitter on Dec. 28, the reigning Asbury Park Press Player of the Year decided to leave Point Beach two games into her second season at the school with the intention of transferring back to Manasquan where, as a freshman, she helped the lead the Warriors to their first NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crown and a Shore Conference-record 32 wins.
Another member of that 2012 TOC winner, senior guard Katelynn Flaherty, has transferred from Point Beach to Central Jersey Group I contender Metuchen, started classes there on Monday and is expected to be eligible to compete for the Bulldogs this week. Flaherty will not be required to sit 30 days under NJSIAA transfer rules because she has a bona fide change of address. Mabrey’s situation is a little more unsettled than that.
Mabrey does not appear to have a bona fide change of address, which would mean she is subject to the NJSIAA’s transfer rules. The 30-day clock began on Thursday when Mabrey began attending classes. On the 31st day, which is Feb. 1, Mabrey is eligible to play in a game. Manasquan is scheduled to play at St. John Vianney on Feb. 4, 14 days before the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament. She is allowed under NJSIAA rules to practice with the Warriors while sitting out her 30 days.
The only hiccup in getting Mabrey on the floor could be the NJSIAA transfer waiver, which Manasquan needs to initiate and Point Beach needs to sign off on. If Point Beach feels Mabrey left for athletic advantage, the NJSIAA Eligibility Appeals Committee would need to hold a hearing to decide a course of action.
Point Beach athletic director Ellen Magliaro told the Asbury Park Press on Monday afternoon that she has not received any paperwork from Manasquan regarding Mabrey. Manasquan athletic director Ron Kornegay did not return calls seeking comment on Monday.
When Mabrey and Flaherty announced they were transferring from Manasquan to Point Beach on Aug. 27, 2012, Manasquan tried to block the controversial move by claiming athletic advantage. Manasquan refused to sign the transfer waiver, which led to a hearing before the NJSIAA Eligibility Appeals Committee on Nov. 27, 2012. After six hours, the duo was deemed immediately eligible with no penalty.
Mabrey and Flaherty, two of the top players nationally in their respective high school classes, going to Point Beach was an immediate shot in the arm to an otherwise nondescript Shore Conference program. Having gone 4-14 in 2011-12, they led the Garnett Gulls to a 26-2 record, while capturing Class B Central, Central Jersey Group I and Group I titles in the process. In the first round of the Tournament of Champions, the duo fueled an upset of Non-Public B champion Trenton Catholic Academy before falling to eventual TOC winner Malcolm X Shabazz in the semifinals.
Mabrey averaged 25.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 4.5 assists, while 83.9 percent (161-for-192) from the foul line. She had 1,184 career points entering this season.
Once eligible, Mabrey, the younger sister of Notre Dame sophomore, two-time All Shore first-team selection and 2012 Asbury Park Press Player of the Year Michaela Mabrey, will join a team under second-year head coach Lisa Kukoda that is already thriving.
The Warriors are ranked No. 2 in the latest Asbury Park Press Top 10 on the heels of a strong showing at the WOBM Christmas Classic, where they defeated perennial Shore Conference power Red Bank Catholic, 50-36, in the final. Manasquan’s only loss on the season is a 48-46 overtime setback to the Caseys on opening night.
Kukoda, the 2013 Asbury Park Press Coach of the Year, steered Manasquan to a surprising 20-9 season last winter, including a 9-5 mark in always-tough Class A Central, after Mabrey and Flaherty transferred out.
Kukoda declined comment on Mabrey’s transfer, citing her administration’s desire to have all inquiries directed to the athletic department.