By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
TRENTON, NJ — Manasquan High School Warriors women’s basketball team has made it to the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions girls basketball championship game for the third straight year. Unfortunately for them, they’ve only been able to win it once during this time.
For the second time in the past three-years, they’ve had to deal with defeat. They’ve lost to No. 1 seeded St. John Vianney High School Lancers, 65-58, at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, N.J. in double-overtime.
St. John Vianney used a 12-5 run in the second overtime to end the game. Both teams scored just four points in the first overtime.
“For me as a coach, to have kids that want to be here, that want to be a part of a program and want part of it and play the way they just did,” St. John Vianney coach Dawn Karpell said. “And accomplish what they did, that’s what special to me.”
With the win, this is St. John Vianney’s seventh Tournament of Championship. They’re 7-3 all-time in this game, while Manasquan dropped to 1-2 in the final game of the season.
The Lancers scored four straight points to begin the second overtime. Manasquan’s Nikki Stevens, who had four points, made a basket to cut the lead to 58-55. Kelly Campbell, who had 23-points, made two free throws, before Warriors’ Faith Masonius made a three-pointer to make it 60-58.
Campbell made three out of four free throws late. Tina Lebron, who had seven points, made the last free throw in the game.
The Warriors used a 20-13 run in the fourth quarter to tie the game at the end of regulation. Masonius made the game-tying basket at 49 with five seconds left.
Masonius had 12 points in the quarter and 27 overall. Campbell had just three points, while her teammate Vanessa Pinho led the Lancers with six points this quarter — and had 10 points overall.
Campbell had three points in the third, all of the Lancers points in this quarter. The Warriors had five points with three coming from Stella Clark — who had 13 points — and a basket from Stevens, who finished with four points.
“We’ve been with each other through thick and thin. Freshman year, we had 11 losses. We always talk about how we started from the bottom, but it’s kind of true,” Campbell said.
The Lancers led Manasquan 32-24 at halftime. The Masonius sisters combined for six points, while Campbell had five.
“We all up together, all played AAU together, all decided where we wanted to go to high school together,” Pero said. “We’ve been with each since we were in fifth and sixth grade, and that’s a big part of it.”
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