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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Apr 12, 2019

Colts Neck Girls’ Basketball Caps Successful Season

Written by Tim Morris

Colts Neck Swim team 2019

Head Coach Steve Jannarone figured a good season for his Colts Neck High School girls’ basketball team would be 16 wins while competing for the Shore Conference B North Division public school championship.

Instead, the Cougars won 20 games, captured the division crown and earned the top seed for the NJSIIAA Central Jersey Group III tournament, where they advanced to the final.

Looking back on the season – which ended Feb. 4 following Colts Neck’s 55-44 loss to Westhampton Tech in the state sectional final – the coach pointed to a number of things that led to the team’s overachieving year.

The emergence of junior guard Camryn Foltz was a revelation. She delivered more than expected and was the Cougars’ go-to player every team needs. She led the team in scoring (15.9 ppg) and was one of the top rebounders and defenders.

“She has a lot of talent,” Jannarone said. “She’s athletic, can create her own shot, and became a better defender and rebounder this year. She made a big jump forward.”

Jannarone said he admires her work ethic, noting she is up at 5:30 am each morning to work out. That helped her increase her athleticism and set a positive example for her teammates.

Colts neck swim team 2019 nj

“She loves being involved in everything about the sport,” he said.

The Cougars’ defense was anchored by sophomore point guard Jessica Thesing, who averaged three steals a game.

“She’s a great on-the-ball defender who can disrupt a game,” Jannarone said.

Three seniors, Teresa Marsh as well as twins Eva and Catherine Gibson, will all play basketball in college next year.

Catherine Gibson was the team’s three-point specialist, and Eva was the team’s second leading scorer, with nine points per game. Marsh was another shooter who gave the team a threat behind the arc.

Jannarone said he gets compliments from opposing coaches for the way the team plays. Their grinding out and suffocating man-to-man defense helped the Cougars survive the marathon of the B North season and win with an 11-3 mark (two games clear of Red Bank Regional and Middletown North).

“I think the division championship is more difficult to win than a sectional championship where you can get hot for a week,” Jannarone said. “A division championship requires a longer standard of excellence.”

Along with the division title and 20-8 overall record, the Cougars improved on their performance in the state sectional tournament. They were semi-finalists last winter.

“It was good to take that one step to the final,” Jannarone said. “I wish, for the seniors, we could have won it. We ran into mismatches in the final. They were physical up front. They were bigger than any team we’d played. It was tough to move them.”

It was still a superb season for the Cougars, and with Foltz and Thesing returning next year, they seem poised to take the next step and capture a sectional title.