Home Atl Hub Atl Hub Sports Lancers top RBC in pod ‘A’ championship game to complete 14-0 season

Lancers top RBC in pod ‘A’ championship game to complete 14-0 season

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Saint John Vianney High School girls basketball player Madison St. Rose dribbles the ball at the top of the key during the Shore Conference Pod A championship game against Red Bank Catholic on March 6 in Holmdel. St. Rose scored a game-high 20 points in the team's 61-34 victory over Red Bank Catholic.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Saint John Vianney High School girls basketball player Emma Bruen looks to drive to the basket during the Shore Conference Pod A championship against Red Bank Catholic on March 6 in Holmdel. The Lancers capped off their perfect 14-0 season with a 61-34 victory over Red Bank Catholic. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Saint John Vianney High School girls basketball player Madison St. Rose dribbles the ball at the top of the key during the Shore Conference Pod A championship game against Red Bank Catholic on March 6 in Holmdel. St. Rose scored a game-high 20 points in the team's 61-34 victory over Red Bank Catholic.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Saint John Vianney High School girls basketball player Emma Bruen looks to drive to the basket during the Shore Conference Pod A championship against Red Bank Catholic on March 6 in Holmdel. The Lancers capped off their perfect 14-0 season with a 61-34 victory over Red Bank Catholic. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

There were no conference and state championships to be won during the 2021 girls basketball season that was played in an abbreviated format during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but that did not stop St. John Vianney High School from showing off its greatness on the court and laying claim to the title of the best team in New Jersey.

For the second year in a row, the Lancers vanquished every New Jersey team they played. The Lancers capped a 14-0 campaign on March 6 at home in Holmdel with a 61-34 victory over Red Bank Catholic High School in the championship game of the Shore Conference pod “A” postseason tournament.

For 2021, the Shore Conference did not feature competition in the traditional divisions. Teams were placed in a “pod” and played to a postseason pod title.

“We made the most out of the opportunities we were given this season and punctuated it (today) with a nice win,” SJV Coach Dawn Karpell said. “This is a very special group and the depth we have on this roster is pretty tremendous as well. No St. John Vianney team has gone back-to-back years as No. 1 in the state. There is an asterisk on it, but it’s still really special and hopefully, the kids will always remember it.”

The Lancers are 42-0 against New Jersey teams during the last two seasons. The team’s only loss in that span was a 77-51 setback to Long Island Lutheran High School during the winter of 2019-20.

Red Bank Catholic went 10-2 in 2021, with both losses coming to the Lancers. In their 10 wins, the Caseys outscored their opponents 660-322.

The pod “A” championship contest saw junior Justine Pissott tally six points to lead RBC to a 13-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

During the first three minutes of the second quarter, SJV seniors Emma Bruen and Katie Hill hit back-to-back three-point field goals to give the Lancers an 18-13 lead.

“We started to knock down shots and that opened up the offense for us,” Hill said. “We were patient on offense and executed our plays.”

Junior Ashley O’Connor hit from behind the arc to give SJV a 21-16 lead as the quarter neared its conclusion.

In the final seconds of the quarter, Janie Bachmann was fouled by Antonia Panayides on a half-court shot to beat the buzzer. Bachmann hit three free throws to extend the Lancers’ lead to 25-16.

St. John Vianney put the pedal to the metal in the third quarter. A three-point play by junior Megan Cahalan pushed the lead to 30-20 and was the start of a dominating  performance by the Lancers in the third quarter.

The Lancers outscored RBC 21-4 in the third quarter and led 47-20 lead going into the final eight minutes.

The 61-34 victory gave St. John Vianney its ninth win of 25 or more points in 2021.

“We talk at halftime about how the first three minutes of the second half is always important and we just came out and gassed them,” Karpell said. “Our girls were so locked in defensively. We knew what they wanted to do and we took that away from them.”

Junior Madison St. Rose scored 20 points for the Lancers and finished the season with 272 points. She averaged 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.6 assists per game during an impressive campaign.

 

“It was just really fun to get the opportunity to play and help my team go undefeated,” St. Rose said. “I’m so proud of myself and my teammates. We proved ourselves multiple times and overcame every challenge thrown at us.”

Hill had nine points, four rebounds and two steals in her final game in a Lancers uniform. She said she was grateful for the opportunity to have a senior year on the court.

“It means so much to me that we were able to have such a great season under these circumstances,” Hill said. “It’s a great season to end my senior year on. Even though it was different, we still played the best teams in the state and got the wins. It was great to end my high school career on a positive note.”

Bruen said she will have fond memories of the 2021 season and of playing alongside her teammates.

“We are all so proud of making the most of whatever we got,” she said. “We met our challenges all season and came out super strong. We all played together really well.”

Junior Ally Carman led RBC with nine points and Pissott added eight points for the Caseys.

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