Huskies working together as the victories build up

first_imgThe Matawan Regional High School girls basketball team has overcome a scarce amount of starting experience, putting together a strong start to the season.The Huskies, playing without any seniors on their roster, are relying on a group of relative newcomers and a thin roster. The pieces have quickly come together for Matawan, though.After losing the season opener by a large margin, the Huskies bounced back to put themselves on track to compete for a division title.A 75-44 loss to Red Bank Regional High School last month was followed by a big 77-35 win over Asbury Park High School, then victories against Long Branch High School and Old Bridge High School.On Jan. 17, Matawan (7-3) recovered from a 13-point deficit with about nine minutes left to edge Freehold High School, 46- 43. The Huskies put up a 21-11 fourth quarter to secure the win.Tracey Brereton posted 16 points to lead the Huskies, while Jenelle Long added 12 points. Colleen Branagan scored 10 points, and Rose Egan had six.Brereton, a junior, and sophomores Long and Branagan lead the starting five as captains. Egan and a rotation of Mary Tomkins and Erin Powers also start for Matawan. Adrianna Fletcher fills in at the varsity level to add depth.Matawan’s ability to work together is paying dividends, head coach Jay Lagomarsino said. “We have a very young team, and we talked early on about progressing each game. We’ve been seeing that,” he said. “The team is improving. It’s starting to show.” Lagomarsino, now in his fourth year with the Huskies, arrived with a team predominantly comprised of sophomores. They graduated last year, so, in a way, he’s back to square one, the coach said. Even though Matawan is again a young team, the up-andcoming players have stepped up to provide leadership. “You need that leadership on the court,” said Lagomarsino, who has coached for more than 20 years. For one, Brereton has put up some impressive scoring totals. In addition to leading the team against Freehold, the junior logged a 30-point game in a loss to Wall High School on Jan. 13. She also scored 32 points for Matawan in an earlier loss to Howell High School. Lagomarsino noted that his time with the Huskies “has been a pleasure,” adding that Bob Harrigan, a longtime varsity girls coach at Howell, was an important addition to the coaching staff this season.Matawan has a challenging schedule for the second half of the regular season, including games against Holmdel High School and Marlboro High School.The Huskies were slated to host Neptune High School on Jan. 21, before hitting the road for a rematch against Red Bank on Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. The team is also scheduled to play at Middletown High School North on Jan. 24 with a 6:30 p.m. tipoff. By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent last_img

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