Unbeaten Rancocas Valley tops Trenton Catholic
This felt so much like March – a packed house, two of the top girls' basketball teams in the state, intensity reaching well beyond regular-season level.
Yes, Rancocas Valley's 58-47 win over visiting Trenton Catholic Academy on Thursday night certainly had a state-tournament feel to it.
The conclusion afterward didn't differ very much from before – these are two of the best teams in the state.
The victorious Red Devils, 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, have the look of a major Group 4 state-title contender. The program knows the look after winning the state crown in 2011.
It was the team's first win over Burlington County Liberty Division foe TCA since 2008, so it was quite a regular-season victory.
"It kind of felt like a playoff game," said 6-foot-2 center Lauren Moses, who had seven of her 14 points in the fourth quarter when the Red devils outscored TCA, 17-11.
As an added bonus, it was the 16th birthday for Moses, among the top players in the state.
"It was a good present," she said, smiling.
One that could have been gift-wrapped by senior point guard Brianna Logan, who had 14 points and kept a cool head, adeptly running the offense in such a heated atmosphere.
"I think she is the best point guard in South Jersey," RV coach Anthony Corrado said.
Leading by 41-40 early in the fourth quarter, the Red Devils scored seven straight points to put distance between the teams.
Sabrina Jackson hit two free throws, and Logan made 1 of 2 technical foul shots. Baskets by Moses and Logan extended the lead to 48-40 with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left.
TCA (7-1) was led by Division I prospect Isis Young, a 5-8 junior who had 22 points.
With all the story lines, there was also the familiarity factor. Dominique Ward, a 5-11 junior, is in her first season for Rancocas Valley after competing for TCA. Among the many Division I prospects on the floor, Ward finished with 12 points.
"It felt awesome," she said about beating her former teammates.
Trenton Catholic 12 14 10 11 – 47
Rancocas Valley 18 11 12 17 – 58
TC: Isis Young 22, Meshaylah Blue 5, Marissa Jenkins 2, Stacy Labissiere 2, Tyler Raysor 14, Erin Garner 2.
R: Kristin Smith 2, Dominique Ward 12, Lauren Moses 14, Jasmine Lewis 5, Brianna Logan 14, Jordan Woods 8, Sabrina Jackson 3.
Contact Marc Narducci at email@example.com or @sjnard on Twitter.