CBA boys, Midd. South girls only local teams to advance in SCT play BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer SEAN DWYER Brookdale’s Derrick Truesdale shoots a jumper over a Salem defender during Saturday’s Blues’ win in Middletown. LINCROFT — Five local high school basketball teams entered Sunday’s Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) quarterfinal round chasing down a championship. By the end of the day, only the top-ranked CBA Colts and third-ranked Middletown South girls were still in pursuit. The Colts knocked off eighth-seeded Colts Neck, 35-11, as Dan Werner outscored the Cougars all by himself with 14 points. Facing a much larger and deeper CBA team, Colts Neck coach Lou Piccolla felt the only way his team could stay with the Colts was to slow the tempo of the game down to a snail’s pace. And that’s exactly what his team did, only it didn’t quite have the lasting affect the coach was hoping for. While the Cougars were able to build an 8-4 lead after one quarter of play, CBA was able to more than double its scoring output in the second stanza, ending the quarter on a 7-1 run to take a 13-11 lead at the half. The Cougars were putting on a stalling exhibition, holding the ball for up to three minutes at a time before launching a shot. In the first half, it kept them close. In the third quarter, it kept them within six, as CBA managed just four more points. Then, the Colts’ offense finally got on track, and CBA used a 18-0 run to end the game. Meanwhile, the CBA defense remained patient enough to keep the Cougars off the board for the entire second half. You would think that by holding the ball, Colts Neck would be able to work some open looks at the basket, however, for all of their patience, the Cougars shot zero-for-10 from the field in the second half, and five-for-22 overall, including zero-for-11 from three-point range. It was not the prettiest win for CBA, but it did get them to tonight’s semifinals, where they will face Manasquan. The fourth-seeded Warriors survived a triple-overtime thriller against fifth-seeded St. John Vianney, advancing when Jason Westrol hit an 8-footer with three seconds left to give his team the 64-62 win. Westrol led the Warriors with 34 points for the game, overshadowing a brilliant effort from SJV’s Matt Mullery, who scored 29 in the losing effort. Vianney had its chances to win the game, including a Mike Spinelli 3-pointer that bounced off the rim to end the first overtime period. Center Derrick Fetzer was able to score on the rebound, but it was ruled after the buzzer. Manasquan nearly won it at the end of the second overtime, but Westrol missed the front end of a one-and-one, sending the game into the third extra session. The loss marked the third time the Lancers fell to Manasquan this year, and leaves the Lancers (19-4) looking ahead to next week’s state tournament, where they will take on Camden Catholic in the second round of the South A Parochial tournament on March 2. Manasquan will look to advance to Saturday’s final with a win over the Colts tonight. In their only other meeting this year, CBA handed the Warriors a 57-41 loss. Tonight’s other quarterfinal will pit upstart Freehold Borough against a Monsignor Donovan team that escaped an upset bid from Middletown North on Sunday. The second-seeded Griffins came into Sunday’s game undefeated at 20-0 and anxious to prove their perfection is not simply the result of a soft schedule. The 10th-seeded Lions were certainly up to the challenge, at least for the first three quarters. North matched Mon Don through the first half, and actually had the 23-20 lead at the break. They maintained that lead through the third quarter, entering the final stanza up 31-28. However, the solid execution the Lions had exhibited through three quarters failed them down the stretch, as Mon Don forced six turnovers with its defensive pressure. North also hurt itself from the foul line, missing three of six free throws, and only managed to attempt two shots from the floor the entire fourth quarter. As a result, the Griffins were able to put the ball in Randall Stallworth’s hands in the game’s waning seconds, and the senior guard didn’t disappoint, scoring on a layup with six seconds remaining to give his team its first lead of the second half. North had one last shot to win it, but Chris Misiaszek’s buzzer-beating half-court shot banked off the backboard and rolled of the rim, sealing Mon Don’s 21st win of the year. Misiaszek led the Lions with 16 points on the night, and will look to put forward a similar effort on Monday when North takes on Hillsborough in the first round of the Central Jersey Group IV tournament. The Lions are the fifth seed, while Brick Memorial is the top seed. The Mustangs will enter the state tournament hungry for redemption after being upset in the SCT second round by Freehold Borough on Friday. The Colonials are the Cinderella team of the SCT, having followed up Friday’s win with a 53-46 win over neighboring rival Freehold Township on Sunday at Brookdale to advance to the semifinals, where they’ll face Mon Don tonight. Eagles advance to SCT semis with balance, depth The Middletown South girls basketball team just keeps winning. While the Eagles have rolled to a 21-1 mark this winter, they are were not considered one of the favorites to emerge with a SCT title, with most people pointing to either top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven of second-seeded Red Bank Catholic as the teams to beat. All the Eagles can do to answer their critics is win, one game a time. And that’s exactly what they’ve done, heading into last night’s SCT semifinal against RBC. On Sunday, South knocked off sixth-seeded Holmdel, 47-35, using a balanced offensive attack to hold off a Hornet team that fell into foul trouble and could not match the Eagles’ depth. South was led by Shawna Hagen’s 10 points, they received at least six points from six other players. Holmdel was led by Dana Graziano’s 17 points. The Hornes will now prepare for their state tournament opener against Cranford on Tuesday in the North II Group III first round. The winner gets top-seeded Shabazz on March 2. The Eagles were hoping to upset the Caseys last night to get a shot at Friday’s final. RBC had no problem in getting by Pinelands on Sunday, 70-40, led by Kristina Danella’s 23-point effort. In last night’s other semifinals, Rumson-Fair Haven took on a Howell team coming off a 54-48 upset of Monmouth Regional. Friday’s final is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Ritacco Center at Toms River North.