Every rose has it’s thorns. So goes the saying, so goes the song, and so went the weekend for the FBC Defenders 16u team. On Saturday the “rose” prevailed when when Coach John Stone, and the FBC Defenders clashed with Red Hook Lady Ravens in a hard fought, defensive battle. Jackie Rodriguez, the pint sized shooting specialist from Sayreville, amazed from beyond the 3 point line, and shot 6 of 7 from the free throw line, on her way to leading all scorers with a 20 point performance. Khadijah Matthews relied upon her speed, and ball handling skills to create nightmares for the Lady Ravens with her dribble penetration, to contribute 13 points. Defenders were able to fend off a valiant effort from the Lady Ravens in the second half to secure the win, 44-38.
On Mother’s Day morning, amid the sounds of bouncing balls, sneakers screeching, and the soothing sounds of soulful classics from the resident DJ, FBC Defenders returned to the Rose, and experienced the unfortunate thorns. The Defenders were outsized, outscored and simply outplayed by the NE Crusaders in what may be one of the worst defeats in FBC Defenders recent history. Lack of offensive rebounding, failure to defend the lethal perimeter shooters of the Crusaders, and a lackluster offensive performance which produced 8 turnovers, in the second half alone, led to the unprecedented 74-43 defeat. Jackie Rodriguez the only Defender to score in double digits scored 11 points, scoring 3 goals from behind the arc. Morgan Mitchell scored 9, and Kyra Fox contributed 7 points, and Ashley Opitz finished with six points. Coach Stone was visibly irritated following the lopsided defeat, and held a lengthy post game discussion with the Defenders to ensure that all the lessons from such a defeat did not go unnoticed. I can only imagine what the next practice session will be like for the FBC Defenders.
On April 13-14, 2013 The 13U Defenders team played in the Garden State Spring Showcase at Montclair University.
Day one Game one: The girls started off sluggish and appeared to have some nervous jitters. The game was close until the last 4 minutes of the second half when the girls seem to be out hustled and out worked. It was the girls first game as a team and it showed. But there were some bright spots. Flashes of greatness on offense and defense. At times you would see the girls run fast breaks that were fluent and flawless. The team was lead by Monrenike Akinrefon 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists Defensively their pressure caused turnovers left and right. The team played a good game but just came up a hair short.
Day one Game two: What a difference a game makes! I guess the girls didn’t like how a loss taste! The girls came out fighting, full of fire and never trailed. The offense was in sync every pass every play. And the defense was true lock down, hustle “D”. The girls look like they had been playing together for years. The offense was a team effort, with Deonna Henry scoring 15 points, Patricia Harding 11 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds and Isimemem Enahoro scoring 10 points and 5 assists. I guess that earlier lost didn’t sit well with these young ladies and they came out with something to prove.
Day two Game one: It’s looks like Deja vu. The girls came out once again looking sluggish and out of sync playing versus Freedom. As a team the Defenders had 12 turnovers and 14 fouls. The girls were not playing with the same discipline and confidence that they showed in there last game. This game our players were faster and more athletic but it didn’t show on the court. Despite playing relax defense and an out of sync offense it was a 7 point loss 34-27. Monrenike Akinrefon was team high scorer with 6points and 6 rebounds and Isimemem Enahoro had 4 points 4 rebounds 2 assists 1 block and 5 steals.
Day two Game two: Game two versus NJ Knights was the second game of back to back games for the 13U Defenders. Surprisingly they came out running, with no signs of fatigue. They once again came out with vengeance after a loss. They were playing with great energy and focus. They were able to breeze past the Knights 33-21 with Monrennike Akinrefon leading the team scoring with11 points and 3 rebounds, Patricia Harding 4 points 8 rebounds 2 assists and Kennedy Selby 4 points 3 rebounds and 5 assists. The defense is still a work in progress, at times a little lack luster and not enough hustle. The offense was showing signs of individual talent and not team work at times. But over all the girls had a good weekend, as this was there first tournament as a team. They have showed progress from the first day of practice until now, with hard work and dedication sky’s the limit for the 13U defenders team. Congratulations girls!!
1st game on Friday
FBC Defenders braved hours long traffic jams, and the scheduling cruelty of three out of five early morning games, to leave their defensive signature stamped on this all important Preseason Challenge. Anchored by program mainstays, and energized by several sophomore newcomers, the Defenders returned home with an impressive 4-1 record overall.
Defenders endured the business traveler’s red eye equivalent in the 8am tip off on Friday morning, against the hometown team Virginia Explosion. Defenders struck first with an 8-1 run fueled by Jackie Rodriguez, aka J-Rod. However the next minute and 4 seconds belonged to the Explosion’s 7-0 run to knot the score up at 8-8. Defenders responded with 2, 3 point field goals from Kadijah Mathews & Morgan Mitchell but, their lead would be brief. Both teams battled through several lead changes throughout the first half, and the Defenders trailed by one point at the half, 29-28. The second half saw more of the same with the Defenders ending up on the wrong side of several lead changes, to fall in the red-eye 51-46. Jackie Rodriguez led all Defenders with 15 points, while Kadijah Mathews and Kyra Fox both finished with 8 points.
2nd game on Friday..
Defenders faced The Blackhawks of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Defenders jumped out to an early lead, 17-12. In a gutsy move, Coach Stone replaced the starting five with the more energetic, sophomore dominated line-up of reserves, who unleashed their own scoring assault on the Blackhawks led by Morgan Mitchell, Camille Duncan & Brianna Carr. Defenders led by ten, 33-23 at the half. In the second half, the Blackhawks began to force the issue with their own offensive assault but, the Defenders responded with timely baskets from Kadijah Mathews, Alyssa McDonough, & Kyra Fox before Jackie “J-Rod” Rodriguez erupted for 12 points in 4 minutes, with 4 consecutive, crowd astounding, 3 pointers! Rodriguez led all Defenders with 17, Alyssa McDonough scored 14, Kadijah Mathews finished with 6, while Brianna Carr and Kyra Fox each finished with 5 points. Defenders win big, 61-47.If
3rd game of the tournament.. 9:10am on Saturday
Defenders faced the equally athletic, but bigger opponent in the Maryland Lady Tigers of Baltimore. Coach Stone sat the more experienced starters most of the game, in favor of the more energetic sensational sophomores, Morgan Mitchell, Camille Duncan, Brianna Carr, Sydney Bray, and Ashley Opitz, who appeared to shock the bigger, Lady Tigers with their relentless energy, and tenacious defense. The Lady Tigers tried to respond to the smaller, scrappier sophomore laden line up with brute force, but were surprisingly turned back, with equal aggression. Led by the feisty, energetic guard play of Morgan Mitchell, and Sydney Bray the Defenders battled the Lady Tigers throughout the second half, until the final moments when Coach Stone pegged the veteran leadership of Alyssa McDonough to pace the Defenders, and control the offense in the final moments to hold on to defeat the Lady Tigers. Alyssa McDonough finished with 11, Morgan Mitchell scored 6, while Camille Duncan rounded out the scoring with 5 points. Defenders win a thriller, 38-34.
4th game – Saturday evening.
On Saturday evening, the Defenders returned to the Richmond Convention Center to face NYC Heat at 7pm. After a series of private team meetings behind closed doors, throughout the day, to settle chemistry issues the Defenders showed off their newly acquired chemistry and camaraderie to defeat the pesky NYC Heat who battled back from several leads throughout the contest. The Sayreville High School teammates, and life long friends, Jackie Rodriguez and Alyssa McDonough combined for 37 points to boost the Defenders record to 3-1, for the tournament. McDonough led all scorers with 22 points, while Rodriguez poured in 15, with another 4, 3 point field goals performance. Ariel Donza, and Kadijah Mathews each contributed 6 points. Defenders roll, 57-47.
Final game on Sunday morning.
FBC Defenders face off against the Connecticut Starters. Defenders woke to another early morning game against another feisty opponent in the Starters. In the beginning moments, McDonough’s drive to the basket, and Rodriguez’ 3 point field goal set the tone, as the Defenders fought off the Starters in a contentious battle that featured two lead changes, and frantic defense that resulted in several turnovers benefiting the Defenders. Defenders led at the half, 27-19.
In the second half, the Starters came out swinging, and closed the gap 29-24, before Coach Stone sent his starting line up back into the game. Alyssa McDonough asserted herself as the literal driving force as several layups led to trips to the foul line. The Starters continued to fight back, and answered every Defenders score, with one of their own. With the Defenders leading 33-30, with roughly ten minutes remaining in the contest, Kyra Fox sinks a 3 pointer, from the right wing. Still the Starters fought on. With less than six minutes remaining, the Starters tied the game at 38, Kadijah Mathews scores on a drive to the basket, and McDonough scored to give the Defenders the lead 42-38. The Defenders never looked back. Relying upon their signature, tenacious defense, the Defenders came up with 2 stops, and 2 turnovers, and used McDonough to close with several drives to the basket, resulting in consecutive trips to the line. McDonough leads all scorers with 18, followed by Rodriguez with 12, and Mathews with 7 points, and Ashley Opitz contributed 5 points. Defenders win, 52-47. Finishing the tournament with a 4-1 record. Now, it’s on the next one..!
“We are defense! All you have to do is look at the name of this program, if you want to know who we are. We are defense! That’s who we are, and that’s what we do…!”, bellowed Coach Stone, to his team, during the first timeout huddle of Sunday morning’s contest in Brooklyn. The Defenders took their tenacious style of basketball to Brooklyn’s iconic Rose Classic tournament this weekend, and escaped with 2 wins in 3 attempts. Early season jitters, and new team chemistry issues didn’t seem to plague the lady ballers of Somerset, New Jersey, as they managed to finish the weekend with more wins than losses.
In the first game on Saturday, the Defenders went head to head with “Queens Finest”, and benefitted from High School teammates, Jackie Rodriguez, and Alyssa McDonough who scored 18, and 17 points respectively. Kyra Fox added 6 points, Ashley Opitz 4 points and Kadijah Matthews added 5 points and 3 blocked shots to help the Defenders fight off Queen’s Finest, who fell short in the final moments of what was an electrifying, see – saw battle. The Defenders prevailed, 51-47.
In the second game on Saturday, CAS Douglas took advantage of a fatigued Defenders squad, who managed to have only one scorer in double figures. Jackie Rodriguez led all Defenders with 10 points. The Defenders fell to CAS Douglas in a forgettable performance 51-22.
On early Sunday morning, the Defenders faced off against the Long Island Renegades. However the early morning tip-off proved to be a worthy opponent, also as the Defenders struggled early to find their legs. Eventually the Defenders found their way behind the reliable shooting of Jackie Rodriguez who led all Defenders with 12 points. Alyssa McDonough provided much needed leadership and poise, as the Renegades applied full court pressure. The Defenders also benefitted from timely scoring by Camille Duncan, and a stoic defensive effort from Morgan Mitchell who also contributed 6 points, as the Defenders held on to beat the Renegades 36-34.
THANK YOU ALL !!!
A great Big Thank You to all our Players and Parents helping donate to our non-perishable food drive. It was A great success, we had collected 4 boxes of foods to be donated to our local Middlesex County food pantry’s which I am sure will go to a very good cause in helping some of the families in Middlesex County that had lost so much in Hurricane Sandy.
All Area [1st (ALYSSA MCDONOUGH), [3rd (Janaysia James, Kenya Adams), "Honorable Mention" (Ashley Palmieri, Brittany Vick, Kyra Fox, Nadirah Wilson, Kendrea Williams, Jackie Rodriguez, Ashley Pina, Ashley Sullivan, Gabraella Jones), All Playmaking (Janaysia James), All Shooting (Jackie Rodriquez), All Freshman (Kendrea Williams, All Rebounding (Gabraella Jones, Kenya Adams), All Hustle Team (Nadirah Wilson)]. CONGRATULATIONS LADIES! THE PROGRAM IS EXTREMELY PROUD OF YOU!
|Forward||Danielle Padovano||South Brunswick||Sr.|
The Fordham-bound senior averaged 18.7 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, finishing as South Brunswick’s all-time leading scorer with 1,340 points.
|Forward||Brittany Washington||John F. Kennedy||Sr.|
Averaged 17 points and 11.5 rebounds per game for the GMC runner-ups, while going over 1,600 career points as Kennedy’s all-time leading scorer.
The Cardinal McCarrick transfer averaged 22.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 4 steals in 17 games as she wound up with 1,020 career points.
Heavily relied on, Peacock averaged 16.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.6 steals as she scored 20-plus points in 11 of 26 games.
The senior averaged 15.2 points, 4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 3.1 steals, finishing her Woodbridge career with 1,150 points.
Cut and Paste Link below to see full article online.
Practice Starts On 3/8/13 for All Teams!
11U, 13U Teams 6:30pm to 8pm
14U, 15U, 16U Teams 8pm to 9:30pm
Location is St Peter Gym, 175 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ
Welcome To The FBC Defenders Family!
Latoya Alexander, Emily Bell, Ivy Bethea, Mollie Brueggemeier, Kristina Donza, Zaniera James, Kaitlyn Marquez, Olivia Mullins, Melissa Myer, Bianca Nakar, Erin O’Kane, Inaya Thompson, Jolisa Ramos (Dev)
Morenike Akinrefon, Isimemen Enahoro, Patrica Harding, Deonna Henry, Roshanna Lewis, Briyanah Richardson, Kiara Rodriguez, Kennedy Selby, Alex Walker, DreAsia Williams, Taliah Whitson, Saja Alsten
Jayda Anderson, Aahmira Brown, Elise Brown, Stephanie Giardina, Al-Asia Hill, Halena Martin, Shaunna Randolph, Brianna Rodriques, Gabrielle Turner, Maria Wise
Yetunde Adyemo. Yewande Adyemo, Jada Atchinson, Briana Collado, Janelle Headad, Gabby Jones, Camille Menns, Taylor Nelson, Janeia Simmons, Myasia Taylor, Kendrea Williams, Yavonna Williams
Camille Duncan, Kyra Fox, Kadijah Mathews, [Alyssa McDonough], Morgan Mitchell, Evangela Morris, Ashley Opitz, Jackie Rodriguez, Savannah Valentin, Carisma Cochrane (???), Sidney Bray
Congratulations to All Players!
FBC Defenders Basketball Staff
Even in her dreamiest summertime moments, Taylor Jeffers never saw this coming. No one did.
It’s tough to predict 29-0. It’s even tougher to actually go 29-0, and that is what the Montclair State University women’s basketball team has done so far this season. Jeffers, fellow Franklin High School graduate Shalette Brown and three other players from the area have helped make it happen.
“It’s just amazing to have a season like this,” said Jeffers, a senior forward who averages 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. “Nobody thought we’d be able to go undefeated like this. But we have a really good group of girls this year. We’re all on the same page, especially as far as defense is concerned.”
The Red Hawks allow just 45 points per game, with opponents shooting a paltry 34 percent from the field and 24 percent from 3-point range. Montclair State averages 17 steals per game and forces a mind-boggling 28 turnovers. Just in case the other team gets a shot off, the Red Hawks own a plus-11 in rebounding margin.
On Saturday Jeffers posted 16 points and six rebounds in a 71-51 shutdown of Lebanon Valley, earning the program’s first berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Next up is Christopher Newport on Friday in Indiana.
“This has been really shocking and surprising,” said Brown, who tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals against Lebanon Valley. “And tremendously fun —especially all of us being so close.”
This didn’t happen by accident. Head coach Karin Harvey recruited talent-rich Somerset, Union and Middlesex Counties and got skilled athletes who already knew each other through high school and AAU circles.
In addition to the Franklin connection of Jeffers and Brown, Harvey plucked leading scorer Melissa Tobie from Roselle Catholic, freshman guard Jordyn Stanley from Woodbridge and freshman guard Vicky Beneventine from Ridge.
Jenny Malone, who hails from North Plainfield and attended Roselle Catholic, was the starting point guard last year but got hurt in the preseason.
“That was a really big blow for us,” Jeffers said. “But that didn’t stop her from coming to practice every day and motivating us and helping us. It’s like she’s on our coaching staff.”
Stanley scored two points off the bench in Saturday’s second-round win.
“She’s doing really well,” Jeffers said. “As a freshman you can be a little scared sometimes, but she’s been able to step up and make some plays for us.”
The local connections matter. Jeffers helped recruit Brown, who is the New Jersey Athletic Conference’s Rookie of the Year.
“I’ve never come across somebody who works so hard,” Jeffers said. “Usually players that young don’t understand how much it takes — the dedication, the work ethic. She gets it.”
The whole team gets it. That’s why the players took it in stride when the NCAA sent them on the road for the first two rounds because of New Jersey’s push to legalize sports betting.
“You make the best of the situation,” Jeffers said. “We’re just happy to be having the season we’re having.”
Written by Jerry Carino @njhoopshaven
Staff writer Jerry Carino: email@example.com-
How Sweet it Is!!! Women’s Basketball Beat Lebanon Valley 71-51 to Advance to NCAA Sweet 16 29-0 Red Hawks Head to Sectional Tournament For First Time in School History
Annville, PA – The magical season that has been for the Montclair State women’s basketball team will last a little longer.
Senior forward Taylor Jeffers (Franklin Township, NJ, Franklin) scored a game-high 16 points while freshman Shalette Brown (Somerset, NJ, Franklin Township) and junior Nicosia Henry (Bolingbrook, IL, Bolingbrook) each scored 15 as the unbeaten Red Hawks advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship for the first time in program history with a 71-51 win over Lebanon Valley on Saturday evening.
The victory sends unbeaten Montclair State, now 29-0, to next week’s Sectional Tournament which begins on Friday, March 8. MSU will face Christopher Newport on Friday at a time and site to be determined. That information will be announced on Sunday, March 3 by the NCAA.
MSU, ranked No. 5 by D3Hoops.com and No. 7 in the WBCA/USA Today Sports Division III Poll, continues what has arguably become one of the finest, if not the finest season in program history. The Red Hawks, who have already set school records for most victories in a season, best start and longest winning streak in athletic history, are now moving into some select company.
The 29 victories by Montclair ties them with the 1995-96 Rowan (29-1) and 2009-10 Kean (29-2) squads for the second-highest single-season total in New Jersey women’s collegiate basketball history trailing only Rutgers University’s 30 victories (30-3) during the 1986-87 campaign. The Red Hawks also tied those two squads for the longest winning streak in State history and the most consecutive victories in a season as both Rowan and Kean each won 29 during their record-setting years.
Against host Lebanon Valley, the Red Hawks never trailed and except for two early ties led virtually the entire way. Tied at 4-4, Brown put MSU in front with a jumper and Henry scored four straight giving the Red Hawks a 10-4 advantage with 14:26 to play.
Kiely Chaklos connected twice from the foul line to get the Dutchwomen (24-5) within four points but that would be as close as Lebanon Valley would get the rest of the way. Jeffers countered with a jumper the next time down the floor and a layup by Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ, Roselle Catholic) with 9:21 to play gave MSU its first double-digit lead at 22-11.
Jen Kuczynski (Springfield, NJ, Jonathan Dayton) drained a three pointer for a 31-15 lead with just over four minutes to play and hit again with 27 ticks showing as Montclair State held a comfortable 40-19 lead at halftime.
Montclair held LVC to 35 percent shooting (7-of-20) in the first half and outrebounded the Dutchwomen 24-14 over the first 20 minutes, including 14 on the offensive glass that yielded 12 second-chance points. MSU also turned 13 turnovers by the hosts in to 13 points.
In the second half, LVC went on an 11-5 run to bring the deficit down to 45-30 on Kerri Stolle’s three-pointer with 15 minutes left. But the Red Hawks countered with a 17-4 spurt led by six points from Jeffers and five from Brown as the lead was boosted to 62-32 with 10:14 remaining.
Tobie added eight points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals for Montclair State with freshman guard Kelly Williams (Titusville, NJ, Hopewell Valley) contributing seven points, five rebounds and three assists.
Montclair State, making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, finished with a 41-31 rebounding edge, including 21 offensive and forced the Dutchwomen in to 25 total turnovers which led to 25 points. MSU also held LVC without a field goal over the last five minutes.
The Red Hawks now move on where they will face a Christopher Newport Team that earned its way into the Sweet 16 with a 56-50 victory over Marymount (VA) in the second round on Saturday. It will be the second meeting between the teams as they last met during the 1997-98 season with the Captains (29-2) earning a 70-68 victory.