Lady Mustangs let one get away

Rehrig loses first game to Newark Central

By: John E. Powers
   Call it a missed opportunity.
   The Manville High School girls’ basketball team started its season last Friday at Newark with a game against Newark Central. The Lady Mustangs, plagued by poor shooting, dropped a 31-27 decision that could have easily finished the other way around.
   The Manville girls struggled from the floor – shooting just 11-of-59 — and they were 5-for-12 from the free throw line. Manville head coach Kyle Rehrig, who was 4-0 in his first two years against Central, was scheduled to be in Bound Brook for a Tuesday night game against the Crusaders. MHS was set to play host to Newark Technology Thursday.
   Bound Brook lost its season-opening game, 35-20, to St. Mary-Elizabeth, while Technology was scheduled to open its season this past Tuesday at St. Mary.
   "Nothing’s guaranteed," Rehrig said. "It’s hard to get a grasp on how we did because of one game."
   Since a winning season will be a very tall order for the young Lady Mustangs, Friday’s game was one that Rehrig said the team will look at as one that got away.
   "It wasn’t as good as I hoped, obviously," Rehrig said. "I don’t think the problem was shot selection. We might have been a little intimidated – we threw some stuff up there. But we had some good looks; we just couldn’t put them in.
   "We should have beaten them, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have won that game," Rehrig said. "We definitely should have won it, no doubt in my mind."
   Manville led 16-14 after halftime and 23-22 after three quarters, still holding a lead early in the fourth quarter.
   "I think our first and fourth quarters were our worst," Rehrig said. "We had about 15 turnovers and we were inconsistent defensively There were times when we made great plays, then others when we weren’t really aggressive. It really hurt us. They had a lot of second chances."
   Senior forward Robyn Barb had 11 rebounds.
   "Robyn did some good things," Rehrig said. "But at times, I don’t know if our heads were in it or not. At times we did some spectacular things."
   The girls will play Central at home Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
   "When we play them again, it’ll be a completely different scenario," Rehrig said. "Hopefully, the kids will take the experience and apply it."
   The team had a practice Saturday and did some rebounding and passing drills and did a lot of talking, Rehrig said. He has been emphasizing being aggressive.
   "There were times Friday where one of our kids would have a rebound and they would just take it away," Rehrig said.
   The Mustangs will open the Dunellen Tournament Dec. 27 at the Faber School against Dunellen at 3 p.m. Bound Brook and Middlesex play the other game. The winners and losers play Dec. 29 at Faber with the winners meeting for the title at 5:30 and the losers battling for third place at 1 p.m.