Adams, Munt, McBarron leading Rumson girls’ basketball to successful season

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Last winter, Tori Hyduke defined Rumson-Fair Haven High School girls’ basketball.

Hyduke, now a freshman guard at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., scored 26.3 points per game and drilled 70 three pointers in her senior season at Rumson-Fair Haven.

The 5-6 guard also led the Bulldogs to the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 sectional tournament semifinals, where they lost to Lincoln High School, 57-53.

After that loss, though, the Hyduke show ended. The dynamic guard was off to college.

Lucy Adams, Grace Munt and Cortland McBarron complemented Hyduke last winter, but they also took a backseat to their standout teammate. This winter, however, they have collectively made up for Hyduke’s departure.

Rumson-Fair Haven is 14-8 and the No. 2 seed in the Central Jersey, Group 2 state sectional tournament. The Bulldogs will open the state tournament on Feb. 25 against 15th-seeded Delaware Valley Regional High School.

“Our goal is to win Group 2,” said Rumson-Fair Haven coach Dave Callahan.

Callahan is in his third season with the Bulldogs. His first two teams went a combined 39-18. But he said this may be his best TEAM.

“They have tremendous chemistry, maybe the best I’ve had since I’ve been here,” the coach said. 

Adams, a junior, has replaced Hyduke as Rumson-Fair Haven’s best player. But her game is very different.

Hyduke was a classic scoring two-guard. Adams is a unicorn who fills the box score. The junior leads the Bulldogs in rebounds and blocks and is second on the team in scoring.

“We move her around a lot and she does it all. Rebounds, blocks, threes and can handle. She’s having an outstanding season,” Callahan said. “She has taken on a bigger role this year. It has rounded out her game.”

Munt, a sophomore, played power forward last winter. But in December, Callahan switched her to point guard. He liked her acumen, passing ability and outside shot.

“Grace just knows how to play and is really conscious of getting her teammates involved,” Callahan said.

McBarron, another sophomore, is the most logical successor to Hyduke as a scorer. After coming off the bench last year, she is leading the Bulldogs in scoring this winter.

And McBarron is only getting better.

On Jan. 26, she dropped in 23 points in a close victory, 43-41, over Middletown High School South. On Feb. 1 against Holmdel High School, the sophomore poured in 26 points in a dominating victory, 64-39.

“In the last three weeks she has emerged as one of our best players. She has really embraced her role as a scorer,” Callahan said. “The biggest thing with her is gaining confidence from being a freshman jumping up to a sophomore.”

That was the biggest thing for all the Bulldogs, really: gaining confidence without Hyduke.

“I knew after Tori graduated I would have to step up and fill a bigger role. It motivated me to be more aggressive,” Adams said. “I always look at my matchup. If someone’s shorter, I’ll have coach put me inside. If someone is bigger, I’ll go out to the three point line to shoot or drive.”

“I really had to change a lot moving to point, since I played a big all my life. I’ve had to train my handle a lot more,” Munt said. “But it’s been beneficial because it has gotten me to shoot more.”

“I was scared of it but it came naturally,” she added.

Rumson-Fair Haven’s new dynamic came just as naturally, and it won’t be leaving anytime soon. Callahan only has two seniors on his varsity roster, so this season is only the beginning for the Bulldogs.

“I’m so excited to have the whole core back next year,” he said.