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Feb 25, 2012
St. Rose wins its first SCT girls basketball title since 1993

"WEST LONG BRANCH  By all accounts including her own, St. Rose senior forward Samantha Clark did not play well when the Purple Roses lost to Manasquan in a highly-anticipated nondivisional game in Belmar on Feb. 11.
That loss and effort stung Clark, but it did not change one simple fact. If St. Rose was going to contend for a Shore Conference Tournament crown, the teams offense would have to go through the 6-foot-2 Fordham recruit. Refocused on Friday evening for the SCT final and a rematch against Manasquan, Clark showed what she is capable of when all pistons are firing.The inside/outside threat torched Manasquan all night, scoring 18 of her game-high 28 points in the second half to go along with 10 rebounds and a 12-for-13 showing from the foul line. That defining performance of her high school career led No. 2 seed St. Rose to a 65-56 win over No. 1 seed Manasquan at a raucous Multipurpose Activity Center on the campus of Monmouth University.The win marks the first SCT crown for the Purple Roses (25-1) since 1993 and gives them a stranglehold on a potential top 2 seed in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions next month, should they advance that far.I didnt play well the first time we played them and thats not me, Clark said. This time, I tried to have a good motor and finish the game out this time.While Amanda Hagaman defended Clark marvelously in the first meeting, Clark had a field day down low in this one as St. Rose led the whole way, save for a 2-2 tie early in the game, It stretched the lead out to seven at 41-34 late in the third quarter before two Clark layups after getting deep position on the blocks made it 45-34.Those layups were a microcosm of Clarks night. After getting outmuscled in Belmar two weeks ago, she constantly flashed to the middle, got defenders on her hip and finished. It also helped that four of five Manasquan starters were in dire foul trouble the whole night.I think the big court helped us here a little bit because we were able to spread them out a little bit more and Sami had a lot more space, St. Rose head coach Joe Roman said. Cat got going for us and Sarah Kurtz hit a couple 3s for us and was aggressive early.Phipps came off the bench to score 13 huge points, while Kurtz, a sophomore forward, capped an outstanding Shore Conference Tournament with 11 points in her second consecutive start.Manasquan (24-2) had the deficit down to two at 53-51 as Michaela Mabrey and Katelynn Flaherty started to heat up. The turning point came however when Morgan Barry was fouled after St. Rose broke the Manasquan press. Barry hit both free resulting free throws, St. Rose got the ball back and proceeded to go 12-for-14 from the line to close the gameFree throw shooting will be a point of contention in the days to come as St. Rose went to the line 38 times against just 15 for Manasquan, which saw Mabrey, her sister Marina, Flaherty and Hagaman in foul trouble throughout.The high-scoring trio of the Mabrey sisters and Flaherty combined to shoot 14-for-40 and 2-for-10 from 3-point range for 40 of Manasquans 56 points.Josh Newman: ;"
St. Rose wins its first SCT girls basketball title since 1993 | The Asbury Park Press NJ |
source: Asbury Park