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Warriors, Purple Roses Set for TOC

The girls basketball teams from Manasquan and St. Rose won group championships over the weekend at the Pine Belt Arena and will be returning to Toms River for the Tournament of Champions this week.

The Warriors claimed the Group 2 title for the second time in three years when they topped Newton 49-38 Sunday behind a 20-point, 10-rebound, and 6-assist effort from junior Marina Mabrey.

Manasquan shot just 38% from the field and committed 20 turnovers, but a strong defensive effort led them to the championship for second-year coach Lisa Kukoda.  St. Rose sparkled in a 64-49 win over Morris Catholic on Saturday for their second Non-Public A crown in three years as Jess Louro and Kat Phipps combined for 35 points with each grabbing 8 rebounds.

Manasquan, who won the WOBM Christmas Classic at the Pine Belt Arena, was seeded second behind Malcolm X Shabazz in the Tournament of Champions which features the six state group champions. Both the Warriors and Shabazz will have byes into Friday’s semifinals in Toms River.

Meanwhile, St. Rose faces Group 4 champion Paterson Eastside in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30 with the winner to go up against Shabazz, the top-ranked team in New Jersey.  The other quarterfinal Wednesday (5:30) will match Immaculate Heart Academy against Woodrow Wilson of Camden.

The Pine Belt Arena will also host the Boys TOC quarterfinals on Tuesday night with Linden to meet Pitman in the 5:30 opener followed by Roselle Catholic against Newark Tech.  St. Joseph’s of Metuchen and Newark East Side drew opening round byes and advance directly into Thursday’s semifinals at Monmouth University.

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