Enthusiastic Donovan Catholic uses energy to win this basketball season


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A combination of energy and enthusiasm has sparked the Donovan Catholic High School girls’ basketball team this season.

Those traits were working well when Donovan Catholic extended its winning streak to seven when it knocked off Jackson Liberty High School, 41-18, on Jan. 11 in Toms River.

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Donovan Catholic coach Glenn Jansen praised his team after it won the Shore Conference B South Division game t o improve to 9-2 and 5-1 in the league.

“We are going a thousand miles an hour on both sides of the ball and every girl is working to make a play for a teammate. When you play that type of basketball, it is tough to defend,” Jansen said.

He pointed out that the defense was the key in the victory over Jackson Liberty.

“In the first half, we struggled offensively. We missed a lot of shots, they were good shots that just did not fall. So, I challenged them if you are going to knock down shots our defense has to go to the next level. They were taking good shots they just were not falling,” Jansen said.

He also credited how his team has worked well together.

“I tell them all the time they do not have to be perfect, they just have to play together. The team has adopted that as their mantra,” Jansen said. “Other than that, these girls are a tight nit group that come in and work everyday.”

Donovan Catholic junior guard Paige Slaven led all scorers with 12 points, while she aklso came through with five rebounds and four assists.  Sophomore guard Jordyn Keating finished with 10 points and junior forward Jayda Kearney recorded six points and grabbed seven rebounds in the victory.

“We ran the fast break. I got a lot of good looks. My teammates ran the wings. We did good,” Slaven said.

Donovan Catholic had 13 steals in the game.

Slaven revealed that the squad works really hard on defense in practice.

“We lost three main shooters last year. We knew this year was not going to be all about offense, it would be about defense too. We have been working really hard on team defense,” Slaven said.

Keating said that teamwork is the key.

“I feel like we started to play more as a team this game. We are a family, there is no secret to it. We trust each other and we play ball,” Keating said.

Keating also offered that the Donovan Catholic players will need to continue to trust each other.

“We just have to keep building on what we are doing and we will keep going up from there,” Keating said.

The Griffins will have played Point Pleasant Borough High School on Jan. 14. The next game will be a road matchup against Trenton Catholic Academy High School on Jan. 19. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

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