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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

No. 6 Manasquan Clinches Group 2 Central Title with Victory Over No. 16 New Providence!

SportsNo. 6 Manasquan Clinches Group 2 Central Title with Victory Over No. 16 New Providence!

Katie Collins, a senior at Manasquan, and her teammates recall feeling remorse as they left the New Providence court after the previous season.

Last season, when Manasquan traveled to New Providence for the sectional final, he felt as like he was missing someone. The seniors, which include players like Collins, McKenna Karlson, Carlie Lapinski, and Hope Masonius, were inspired by this defeat to return to New Providence this season with renewed hope and motivation.

Every player was fueled by the sense of devastation from the previous season, which was like a fire, and on Friday night, Manasquan was given another opportunity in New Providence.

They weren’t going to let it get away this time.

Manasquan made a comeback to the summit of a Central Jersey Group 2 mountain.

Manasquan, the No. 6 team in the NJ.com rankings, is ranked second because to Olivia Shaughnessy’s team-high 16 points, Collins’ all-around performance, and the team defense. In the Group 2 section final of the state championship in Central Jersey, the top 25 team defeated the 16th-ranked and first-seeded New Providence team, 55-44.

Collins, who finished with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 blocks, remarked, “From that moment on, we knew we were going to come back this year and take what was ours.” That’s all we’ve been thinking about since then. We are in a great mood. We are overjoyed. This is, of course, what we labor and play for as seniors.

And we can’t wait to get back to work.

Manasquan (24-5) will play Middle Township on Tuesday in the Group 2 semifinals after the latter team upset Cinnaminson in the South Jersey Group 2 championship. Monroe High School will host the matchup with Middle Township at 7:00 p.m.

Manasquan has won nine division titles in the past ten years; its lone defeat came against New Providence in the previous campaign, which ended the team’s eight-game winning streak from the previous season.

After trailing 8–5 after the first quarter, Manasquan, notably Shaughnessy, began to play more aggressively in the second quarter.

The junior put Manasquan ahead 20–16 at the half when he made two three-pointers, one of which came just as the second-quarter buzzer went off. Manasquan placed pressure on New Providence by extending their advantage to nine points, 29–20, in the third quarter with a 9–2 run.

With 49.1 seconds remaining in the third quarter, New Providence (25-5) narrowed the gap to two, 32-30, but Manasquan regained momentum and opened up a 10-point advantage early in the fourth quarter to exact revenge on their previous season’s defeat.

Shaughnessy stated, “We were thinking about it the entire game.” “We couldn’t let the wild environment from last year stop us from winning today.”

Masonius scored nine points, Jordyn Hollawell chipped in ten, and Shaughnessy drained a game-high four three-pointers.

With this setback, the career of what would later turn out to be one of New Providence’s most notable senior classes comes to a close.

Together with two Union County tournament championships, a Group 2 championship from the previous season, and a 92-14 record, Grace Kinum, Jasmine Miller, Kyra Licari, and Grace Henn graduated.

Coach Cap Pazdera of New Providence remarked of his senior class, “Forget about the basketball players, they’re just great kids,” as tears welled up in his eyes. Working with children who are committed and willing to put in the work, like these, is a joy every day.

Junior Brenna Slattery added eight points, and Kinum finished with a game-high 26 points.

At this point, Manasquan’s main goal is to win the Group 2 championship in 2022.

They had to win the identical match they lost the previous year in order to take that spot, breaking their eight-game winning streak in the section.

It was poetic for Manasquan to return a year later and defeat the same squad that put an end to the run.

In the end, Hollawell stated, “the flavor becomes a lot sweeter.” “Also, we knew we had to restart the streak this year after regrettably breaking it last year.”

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