By Brian Deakyne and Ryan Fennell
RUMSON – At this point, Red Bank Catholic is used to getting every team’s best shot. It just keeps trudging forward and playing winning basketball.
The Lady Caseys, arguably the best team in the Shore Conference, made an emphatic statement on Saturday, when they beat Jackson Memorial, 67-31, in the opening game of the Boardwalk Hoop Group Showcase at Rumson-Fair Haven high school.
Red Bank Catholic used a 24-0 run to silence the Lady Jaguars and take a 32-5 lead. From that point on, it was all Caseys, who improved to a perfect 13-0 with the win.
“I don’t think you ever expect to beat a good team by that many points,” Red Bank Catholic head coach Joe Montano said. “I’m real pleased with how we played. I think shooting well early in the game makes it a lot tougher on the other team to execute and I thought that was important.”
Last Thursday, Red Bank Catholic scored 39 points to beat Manasquan, 39-27.
“When you consider we have 39 [Thursday] night in the whole game, we’re like that,” Montano said.
The Caseys entered the game facing one of the best tandems in the conference in Jackson Memorial’s Hannah Missry and Steph Mason. Red Bank Catholic forced that duo to miss their first 17 three-point attempts, combined, in the blowout win.
“They [Jackson Memorial] are a good team,” senior Alex Alfano, who finished with a game-high 21 points, said. “We just knew what we had to do to execute, we just have confidence that with every team, we’re going to keep going and having the momentum and build from every single win.”
Alfano scored 14 of her 21 points in the first half for the Caseys, who took a comfortable 44-12 lead into halftime.
Alfano played a major part in the Lady Caseys 24-0 run early in the game. She went four-for-five from beyond the arc in the first half to lead Red Bank Catholic, which shot over 60 percent from the field in the opening two quarters.
“[We were] just getting in transition, having rhythm, pretty much going out confident and feeling the confidence with my teammates on the floor – it helped a lot,” Alfano said.
Senior Caroline Corcoran added another big shooting day for Red Bank Catholic, posting 13 points and four rebounds. Senior Mary Kate Caverly added 11 points for the Lady Caseys, as well.
The win is the fourth straight for the Caseys against a formidable opponent. Red Bank Catholic topped Neptune last Saturday, before beating St. John Vianney with a buzzer beater on Tuesday night, 48-46, and a solid win over Manasquan on Thursday.
“I think, when we’ve been as successful as we’ve been early in the season, you know that people are excited to play you,” Montano said. “Our program has been successful over the years, teams are excited to play us and they’re going to give us their best shot. But, we try to worry about us. We try to make sure we do our job and whatever happens on the other side happens.”
The Lady Caseys are well aware that going forward, every team will be looking to knock off the last undefeated team in the Shore Conference.
“We know that. We know every night is going to be a good game and we have to bring our best game every night because any given night, something can happen,” Alfano said. “We just have to keep going.”
RBC Girls Continue To Roll Win With Over Shore
West Long Branch – The Red Bank Catholic girls basketball team continued its dominance on Tuesday night, handing Shore Regional a, 52-25, loss and improving to 14-0 on the season.
The Lady Caseys handily defeated Jackson Memorial, 67-31, earlier this week and remain the only undefeated team left in the Shore Conference.
RBC got scoring contributions from 9 different players in the game against Shore Regional with Alex Barazotti leading the way with 12. Alex Alfano followed closely behind Barazotti with 11 points, and Grace Fallon added 9.
The Caseys held a, 13-2, first quarter lead and extended it to, 30-8, at halftime.
RBC is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 2 in the Shore Conference behind Point Pleasant Borough by other publications.
The Lady Caseys have 8 regular season games remaining with a divisional matchup against Rumson-Fair Haven on Jan. 31. The Caseys won the first meeting between the two teams, 44-39.
Another big game for RBC comes against long-time rival Saint John Vianney in the teams’ second matchup of the season on Feb. 8 at SJV. RBC came away with a close, 48-46, victory in the first meeting on Jan. 15.