Colonials facing difficult stretch without leading scorer

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By Jeff Appelblatt

Injuries have impacted many basketball teams in the Shore Conference this year, and that includes Freehold High School’s girls’ basketball team.

The club has been without last year’s leading scorer, Sierra Strong, since she posted a double-double in the first game of the season against Freehold Township High School.

Any basketball team would miss the presence of a player that can score 16 points and grab 14 rebounds, which Strong did against the Patriots.

“She’s not playing for us right now because she’s injured,” Freehold’s coach Jen Brzucki said.

The Colonials are trying their best to put up wins in her absence.

“We’re doing the best we can with utilizing the people that we have at the maximum of their abilities,” the team’s coach said.

What the Colonials have was enough to put together a few wins at the end of December and start of January, highlighted by the play of Sydney Przygoda.

“Sydney has been picking up a lot of the scoring, which is helpful,” Brzucki said at practice the day before her team was slated to face Freehold Township a second time.

Przygoda is accepting her leadership role on offense, but she didn’t want it to come the way which it has.

“My AAU coach was really positive. He told me I could have a great season,” Przygoda said. “I felt bad when Sierra got hurt. I played with her for a while now.”

She won’t take full credit for the wins the Colonials have gotten.

“Everyone else is helping out, too,” the junior said. “Obviously I don’t dribble down the court myself.”

Wins would have been more difficult for the Colonials to pull out if it wasn’t for the passing and the 3-point shooting of Kayla Fletcher and Olivia Duffy.

January has been filled with matchups against Shore Conference A North Division foes. The Colonials have lost four division games between Jan. 10-19 to Marlboro High School, Colts Neck High School, Howell High School and Freehold Township.

 

“We’re back in a tough conference. The conference realigned,” Brzucki said, noting that Colts Neck and Neptune High School were teams brought back to A North this year.

Freehold’s coach hopes to finish the season strong.

“We’re going to continue to play hard and play cohesively as a unit like we have been,” Brzucki said.

The Colonials faced another division rival, Manalapan High School, Jan 24. Then they’ll take on Neptune Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Neptune. Freehold defeated Manalapan (1-11) early in the season, but the Scarlet Fliers (11-2) dominated the Colonials, 60-22, two days later.