Middletown, NJ Freehold Twsp at Middletown South girls basketball: (L-R) FHT #33 Sam Famulare, MTS #12 Stephanie Karcz and FHT #40 Victoria Wagner battle for a loose ball late in the fourth quarter. 011215 Photo: Tom Spader/Staff Photographer
MIDDLETOWN – Middletown South head coach Tom Brennan admitted it wasn’t how he drew it up, but he’ll still certainly take the Shore Conference Class A North 34-32 win over Freehold Township. It was the defense that once again bailed out the Eagles, after the Patriots were able to hang around for most of the game, and eventually cut the lead to just two points in the final seconds of the game.
Freehold Township’s Sophia Carbone and Tori Wagner combined for eight points in the fourth quarter, giving the Patriots one final chance to send the game into overtime with 16 seconds left in regulation. However, it was Middletown South’s Madison Curtis who was able to get the final steal of the game to help secure the home divisional victory for the Eagles on Monday night.
Curtis knew the Patriots were going to try and get the ball into the post for Wagner, and was able to front her at just the right time to get the steal.
“As the ball was coming in, I didn’t think that I was going to be able to get around her in time,” Curtis said. “I just went for it and was able to secure the steal.”
Brennan knew it would be no easy task for Curtis on Wagner in the post, but her physical defense held Wagner to just seven total points.
“I thought she (Curtis) was lights out tonight,” Brennan said. “I can’t say enough about her, she is defending kids in the post that are twice her size, it was very fitting for her to be able to get that steal for us in the end.”
Steph Karcz finished with a team-high 10 points for the Eagles and was also a force on the defensive end. Along with the key steal at the end of the game, Curits finished with 10 rebounds for Midd. South. Although it’s still early in the season, the Eagles now are in the drivers seat in the divisional race.
“It’s a really nice win because we knew that they are one of our top competitors in the division,” Curtis said. “We knew before the game they were going to give us a run for our money, and that we would have to leave it all on the court.”
Despite the loss it was still a spirited effort from the Patriots, who clawed their way back into the game, with still a chance to send it into overtime.
WALL 33, MATAWAN 31: Regan Murphy scored a team-high 13 points leading the Crimson Knights to a Class B North win over the Huskies. Katie Hyde also added nine points for the Crimson Knights and Tracey Brereton scored a team-high 13 points for the Huskies.
RED BANK CATHOLIC 56, COLTS NECK 36: Josie Larkins finished with a team-high 18 points leading the Caseys over the Cougars. Maureen Coakley added 10 and Hayley Moore also finished with nine points for the Caseys.
IN BOYS BASKETBALL
MARLBORO 46, HOWELL 41: Matt Ringel scored eight of his game-high 15 points in the second quarter as the Mustangs (4-4) outscored the Rebels (5-5) 14-8 to build a 20-18 lead and then went on to record the Class A North win.
Gino Palummo led Howell with 15 points.
MANALAPAN 52, FREEHOLD 33: Zach Misischia scored 17 points and had eight rebounds and Michael Venezia added 16 points and five assists to lead the Braves to the win over the Colonials in a Class A North game.
Misischia had 10 points in the fourth quarter when Manalapan pulled away with a 20-3 burst.
The Braves outscored the Colonials, 36-6, in the second half after trailing 27-16 at halftime.