***Roselle Catholic took lessons learned from February loss to end the season with impressive run to earning school's third TOC title!
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***Montclair's position as one of the better soccer communities in state is enhanced by fact that five more seniors from 2 high schools in town will move on to D1 college programs. See "Feature Articles"
***Verona school administrators' 'Winter of Discontent' continues as the recently-appointed football coach Tony Sorrentino, Jr. leaves after just one month for return to college position. Read "The Buzz"
Manasquan players react in jubilation as time has expired and Shore Conference team has completed its mission defeating Franklin 72-60 to capture program's third NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crown Sunday at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton. (Photo by Bob Thomas)
Mabrey’s Big Fourth Quarter Leads Surge
As Manasquan Wins A Third TOC Crown
By Sean Reilly
TRENTON - Dara Mabrey knew one thing heading into the fourth quarter of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
The Manasquan senior wasn’t quite sure how those last eight minutes would play out. But the guard did know she’d be giving it her absolute all.
“It had to make it count,” she said. “That’s all I was thinking.”
Mabrey proceeded to put an exclamation point on her spectacular four-year career by scoring 15 of her 30 points over the final period, and it sent top-seeded Manasquan to a 72-60 victory at CURE Insurance Arena.
Manasquan avenged a 50-48 buzzer-beating lose to Franklin in last year’s final. The Monmouth County team won its third TOC crown, with the others coming in 2012 and 2015, when Mabrey was a freshman. Manasquan also lost a 65-58 double-overtime game to St. John Vianney in the 2016 final before the heartbreaking loss to Franklin last winter.
This time, Mabrey and her teammates walked off the court winners, although it was far from easy.
Manasquan (32-2) ended the first half with a 32-20 lead, and extended the margin to 39-22 when Carly Geissler hit a 3-pointer with 5:54 left in the third quarter.
Franklin, however, whittled its deficit to 47-38 following a Kennady Schenck 3-pointer with 56 seconds left in the period before Lola Mullaney closed out the quarter scoring by connecting inside off a pass from Faith Masonius 20 seconds later.
Third-seeded Franklin (25-8), the Group 4 champion that entered with a 17-game win streak, then amped up its defensive pressure in the fourth quarter, and it brought fast results.
The Somerset County team, which overcame a 12-point third-quarter deficit when it beat second-seeded St. Rose, 56-53, in an overtime semifinal on Friday, got within five points after Diamond Miller sank two free throws with 6:25 left.
Mabrey then began her late-game push. She responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Manasquan a 54-46 lead.
Tiana Jackson scored for Franklin, but Mabrey countered with a bucket for a 56-48 margin with 4:38 to go.
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