South Brunswick puts it together in win over Monroe

By: Carolyn M. Hartko
   MONROE – Like a well-oiled machine, South Brunswick High’s girls’ basketball team rolled smoothly over Monroe, 54-25, Monday night.
   The visitors, who are enjoying their first winning season since moving up into the Greater Middlesex Conference’s Red Division, are now 9-4. Monroe’s Lady Falcons slipped to 4-9.
   "It was a great game for us because I feel like we really played like a team tonight," Viking head coach Jaymee Boehmer said. "We were doing things that we haven’t done in the past, like communicating well. I think we gave a total team effort today, and I think that’s what I’m most proud of."
   The Falcons got off to a good start, trading baskets with South Brunswick. And with 30 seconds to go in the first period, senior point guard Laura Gibbons fed Ali Baumlin on the perimeter for a goal that put Monroe up 11-9 at the break.
   The second period began the same way, until a 12-point run by the Vikings gave the visitors the first comfortable margin of the game. Two quick baskets by Falcon junior Emma Bossard in the closing minutes helped keep Monroe in the game, but Monroe was down 23-17 at the half.
   One factor that helped the Falcons in the first half was that they did a better job holding onto the basketball than they have been doing in recent games. Overall, the number of turnovers was lower on Monday night.
   "The first half we did okay," Falcon head coach Keith Hudak said. "But their press wore us down. And they’re a good team. You have to give them credit, too."
   The Vikings placed three players in double digits, and their defense was able to hold Monroe to just four points in each of the remaining two quarters. Sophomores Jessica Mastronardi and Jess Harbison netted 12 points apiece, and senior co-captain Heather Domotor tossed in seven. South’s other co-captain, Pam Weiss led off the boards with seven rebounds, and she posted 10 points on offense.
   One surprise for the Vikings in the last few games has been the play of sophomore Courtney Breese, recently pulled up from JV. She came off the bench for the fourth quarter and sank a basket in the opening seconds, then added two assists in another 12-point SB run.
   "Courtney’s a sophomore — they’re all sophomores," Boehmer said. "She was a real spark at the end when I put her in. She really worked hard. I think they all did. I feel really confident about today, and I’m hoping this will carry us throughout the next two weeks."
   Division games were to resume later this week with South Brunswick facing two Red Division teams, and Monroe will meet two of their White Division foes.
   Monroe was expecting to host North Brunswick on Wednesday (weather permitting), and they be at J.F. Kennedy on Friday. South Brunswick planned to travel to Old Bridge on Wednesday, and Piscataway will visit on Friday.
   "We’re home against Piscataway on Friday," Boehmer said. "We really have our hearts set on beating Piscataway, so we’re really looking forward to that game."