By Warren Rappleyea
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s girls’ basketball team will face a pair of tough tests before the regular season ends and the Shore Conference Tournament begins.
The Bulldogs are an impressive 16-3, but they play in the Shore Conference’s A Central Division, which also houses Saint John Vianney High School, (17-3) and in a conference that also includes Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School (17-2) and Manasquan High School (19-1).
Rumson-Fair Haven lost its first meeting with St. John Vianney, 70-43, Jan. 17 and is set to play the Lancers again Feb. 9 in Holmdel. On Feb. 11, the regular season concludes at RBC.
Coach Dave Callahan’s girls are coming off a disappointing 70-61 loss at Manasquan Feb. 4. Rumson-Fair Haven went into halftime up, 41-38, but the Warriors dominated the second half, and Dara Mabrey scored 12 points in the final quarter and put up 30 points for the game. Tori Hyduke led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Hannah Scanlon added 17 points and Michaela McGarvey connected for four 3-pointers.
For the most part, Rumson-Fair Haven has dominated its opponents this winter. There was a close call against Franklin High School in December at the Mount St. Dominic Holiday Festival in Caldwell. The Bulldogs were held to just three third-quarter points, but they came-from-behind in the fourth to erase a 47-38 lead by Franklin, with Scanlon and Hyduke leading the way and totaling 27 and 18 points, respectively.
In the loss to St. John Vianney, Rumson-Fair Haven was unable to dig out of an early 19-8 hole, despite 18 points from Scanlon. The Bulldogs’ only other loss came against Long Island Lutheran, 62-53, Jan. 29. They rolled out to a 27-15 lead in the first quarter, as Katie Foos and freshman Lucy Adams hit for three 3-pointers apiece. However, Rumson-Fair Haven found itself tied, 50-50, following the third quarter. Over the final eight minutes, the visitors held the Bulldogs to three points.
“We started out very strong, and we seemed to be hitting all of our shots, but we kind of ran out of gas,” Callahan said. “We just cooled off a bit, and Long Island Lutheran is a top-notch team, and they were able to get the win.”
Scoring is not a problem for Rumson-Fair Haven, as Scanlon leads the way with an average of 21.8 points while also averaging 12 rebounds. Hyduke, a junior, averages 14.1 points — good for second on the team — and averages over five rebounds.
Foos averages about seven points and is the Bulldogs’ top 3-point shooter with 41 treys to her credit. McGarvey, a junior, has sunk 22 3-points while averaging just under seven points. Adams and hard-working Megan Volker both average five points, and Abigail Kelly averages 2.6 points. Scanlon, Hyduke, Foos, McGarvey and Adams have played in all 19 of Rumson-Fair Haven’s games.
“We have talent, and the girls have played well, and they’ve learned a lot this year,” Callahan said. “Now we have to take that experience and use it to defeat the high-quality teams.”
Prior to squaring off against St. John Vianney, the Bulldogs were scheduled to visit Shore Regional High School (5-14) Feb. 7 in an A Central game. Victories over Shore Regional and St. John Vianney would enable Rumson-Fair Haven to share the division title with the Lancers.