Southern Regional’s Margan Henderson tries to stop Holmdel’s Morgan Graziano from passing into the basket during Southern Regional vs Holmdel in SCT Girls Basketball Tournament on February, 19, 2015. Peter Ackerman/Staff Photographer
HOLMDEL – A dominant fourth quarter run led No. 8 Holmdel to a Shore Conference Tournament second round victory over No. 9 Southern 51-21 on Thursday night. With Holmdel’s leading scorer Mia Ehling sidelined for most of the first half with foul trouble, head coach Don Hampton knew it wasn’t going to be easy getting the SCT second round win.
The Hornets got a spark off the bench from Jen Inman in the third quarter, who scored all 10 of her points in the second half, but it was the combination play of Ehling and Morgan Graziano that really provided the separation for the Hornets in the fourth quarter.
“We started to spread the floor in the second half, and just didn’t let Southern dictate how the game was going to go,” Hampton said. “We have been working with Morgan in the post more, she’s having success with more of a post presence these past few games.”
Holmdel had to get a win a day before the SCT seeding meeting just to qualify for the tournament, as all five of its starters have suffered some form of injury this season. The rigors of playing in Class A Central didn’t help to qualify, but will no doubt have them ready for the quarterfinals. The Hornets will get one more shot at No. 1 St. Rose at Brookdale Community College on Saturday.
“We are young at the guard position, and we have to control clock and tempo,” Hampton said. “When you want to come out and shoot shot for shot with St. Rose, Rumson, or St. John Vianney you are going to lose big, we are better when we control tempo.”
GAME BALL: Holmdel’s Morgan Graziano scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Graziano had been suffering from a slight knee injury, and was hit with the flu just two weeks ago, but has been feeling much better lately.
“When we played St. Rose earlier this season we were able to stay with them in the second half, we have to come out and start the game just the way we finished this one tonight.” Graziano on facing No. 1 St. Rose in the SCT quarters.
In other SCT second round games
Freehold Township 40, Red Bank Catholic 39: Sam Famulare went coast to coast in four seconds for the game-winning layup as time expired leading the No. 11 Patriots over the No. 6 Caseys in a SCT second round thriller. Famulare finished with a team-high 16 points and Tori Wagner added 10 more in the win for the Patriots.
Alex Barazotti scored a team-high 16 points for the Caseys. The Patriots will play No. 3 St. John Vianney on Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
St. John Vianney 63, Matawan 36: Kelly Campbell scored her 1,000th career point on a three-point field goal with 30 seconds left in the game, becoming the 16th player in SJV to achieve career 1,000. Campbell also finished with a triple-double; 24 points, 11 steals, and 10 rebounds leading the No. 3 Lancers over No. 19 Huskies.
Midd. South 64, Marlboro 32: A strong second half performance helped the No. 5 Eagles outlast the No. 12 Mustangs. Steph Karcz scored a team-high 17 points and Hayley Dalonzo also added 14 more points for the Eagles in the win.
The Eagles will play No. 4 Rumson-FH at 12:45 on Saturday.