Monmouth Regional enters postseason play on three-game winning streak

Monmouth Regional High School girls basketball player Mia Troese races down the court for the loose ball against Freehold's Amy Potochar during a game played on Feb. 25 in Tinton Falls. Troese scored a game-high 16 points in Monmouth Regional's 40-28 victory over Freehold.

It was a week of success the Monmouth Regional High School girls basketball program had not experienced during the previous two seasons.

After winning a total of three games in 2018-19 and 2019-20, the Falcons matched that total by winning all three of their contests during the last week of February against Long Branch High School and Freehold High School.

“We said win the week and go 3-0, so I am really happy for the players,” Coach Laura Forbes said. “We are a young team, so this is exciting for them.”

Monmouth Regional defeated Long Branch twice to start the week and completed the sweep with a 40-28 victory over Freehold on Feb. 25 on its home floor in Tinton Falls.

Mia Troese continued a fine freshman campaign with a solid performance against Freehold, as she scored a game-high 16 points to put her at 93 points through seven games (13.2 ppg.).

Troese scored the first five points of the game as Monmouth Regional opened with a 9-0 run and led the Colonials 13-4 entering the second quarter.

“I make sure I come into each game ready to play and just go into beast mode,” Troese said. “We were playing really well together. Our ball movement and our talking really helped us come out to get the win.”

Monmouth Regional led 19-10 at halftime after freshman Kasey Chonko hit a jumper with :23 left in the second quarter.

Troese scored the first six points of the third quarter as the Falcons extended their lead. Her quick start began a 9-2 run that gave Monmouth Regional a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter.


Troese’s final shot of the game came at the start of the fourth quarter as she hit a three-point field goal from the corner; her second long-range basket of the contest. Troese has scored 16 or more points four times during 2021.

The talented freshman scored in double digits in five of her team’s first seven games during an abbreviated season. She added a season-high five steals in the win over Freehold.

“I think I played really well and had a good game all-around,” Troese said of her performance against Freehold. “I feel great about how I helped the team get the win.”

Junior Sydney Po pulled down 14 rebounds and scored nine points to support Troese.

Po and junior Ava Yeagle are the only two upperclassmen on the squad. Forbes credits both young women for their leadership and for helping to bring out the best in the younger players as the Falcons have found success late in the season.

“This year has obviously been very different than the past years, but because of our situation we have all grown really close,” Po said. “We are like a big family. Getting three straight wins has really pumped us up.”

In each of its three wins, Monmouth Regional scored 40 or more points.

The Shore Conference’s traditional divisions were not in place during the 2021 season that was impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Teams were placed into what conference officials designated as “pods.”

The three-game winning streak has Monmouth Regional at 3-4 entering postseason pod play. Forbes said she is excited to see her players compete in a postseason event and have fun trying to win more games.

After seeing her team struggle the last few seasons, the Monmouth Regional alum was pleased to end February with a three-game winning streak and is hoping her players can build on that success going forward.

“We are building,” Forbes said. “I have a great group of girls. They love getting after it every day and I love being around them.”