It’s been a tough stretch for Archbishop Molloy (13-6) through the latter half of January with defeats to Christ the King and Sachem East that might have made it tough to get up for a long road trip down the shore to New Jersey.
That lack of confidence and lack of energy gave the Stanners a tough road through the first half on Sunday against the host, Holmdel, in the Coaches Choice USA Shore vs. NY/NJ Challenge, but junior guard Jenna Mastellone forged ahead as Molloy wore down the Hornets in a 63-39 victory.
“It was big for us because we’ve been kind of down lately,” Mastellone said. “We just wanted to come down here and get a win.”
After trailing by as many as five points in the second quarter, the Stanners went on a 10-0 run to take control. By the second half, Molloy was rolling.
“They came out with more energy in the first half,” Mastellone said. “We wanted to beat them in that aspect in the second half and I think we did that.”
The Stanners forced 11 turnovers in the game and limited Holmdel to just 27% shooting. The Hornets scored just 12 points in the second half.
Mastellone led the way with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists, but the Stanners were balanced. Keely McEachern added nine points, four rebounds, and two assists. Jane Walsh had eight points, Gabby DeVito also had eight points and four assists, and Margarita Kilpatrick chipped in with nine points and five assists.
Holmdel jumped out to to a 14-9 lead after the first quarter and led 24-19 before going into an offensive funk. Star point guard Jen Inman scored a game-high 16 points. Kayla Clark added five points and eight rebounds. Syd Coffaro finished with 10 points and five rebounds, but struggled with perimeter shooting.
That was thanks to a rejuvenated Molloy defense.
The Stanners harassed the Hornets and avoided the sting. Abigail Duvivier and freshman Tori Hall each played a role defensively.
Molloy’s schedule picks right back up this week as we roll into February.
“I think this gets our confidence going,” Mastellone said. “Beating a good team by that margin certainly brings us back.”