Friday, July 19, 2024

Redemption: Manasquan beats Franklin in TOC finale

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Trenton, N.J. — The Manasquan Warriors are back on top of the girls’ basketball mountain in the State of New Jersey. The Warriors, the No. 1 seed, defeated the Franklin Warriors, 72-60, at CURE Insurance Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Manasquan was able to get some redemption against Franklin one year later. It was Franklin, who ended Manasquan’s season with a last-second buzzer-beater to win last year’s Tournament of Champions.

Basketball (Photo by Pixabay)

“I said to them you have four minutes left here, you have to dig deep to give everything you have, whether it’s on the offensive end, the defensive end,” Manasquan coach Lisa Kukoda said. “The biggest thing was keeping our composure. They were pressuring us. That’s a credit to them. We had to keep our composure to do what we needed to do.”

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The Warriors now have the third-most Tournament of Championships in NJSIAA history with three wins. Only St. John Vianney (7) and Shabazz (6) have more.

Manasquan improved to 32-2 on the season. Franklin ended their season with a 25-8 record.

Dara Mabrey led the Manasquan Warriors with 30 points in her final high school game. She also had seven rebounds, four assists, and one block.

“I said a prayer during the game, and I knew I was going to do something to win tonight,” Mabrey said through tears. “It’s so emotional, I was smiling at one point, I was crying at one point. It actually hit me that my time is done here at Manasquan, and that’s really, really sad because this program has every part of me. I think I played with that emotion tonight. I wasn’t going down tonight.”

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Mabrey was one of three Manasquan players, who scored in double-figures. Faith Masonius scored 23 points, while Lola Mullaney also contributed 16 points.

The Warriors had nearly 10 minutes of bench play from Maci Black and Annie Mako. However, neither scored a point.

Diamond Miller led the Franklin Warriors with 20 points. She also had seven rebounds, five assists, and one block.

Miller was one of four Franklin players, who scored in double-digits. Tiana Jackson had 14 points, Kennady Schenck had 11 points, and Camille Gray contributed 10 points.

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“We still have something to prove,” Miller said. “The season didn’t end how we wanted it to, but overall, we had a great season. We had our ups and downs. It’s not over for me, it’s just a minor setback.”

The Warriors had two bench points, all from Kiersten McCloud.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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