Lady Mustangs break out offensively

Barb leads attack in Elizabeth

By: John E. Powers
   After scoring a total of 47 points in the first quarter in their first six basketball games, the Manville High School girls found something of an offensive nirvana in Elizabeth Saturday afternoon.
   The Lady Mustangs scored 22 points in the first quarter on their way to a 60-41 win over St. Mary. Manville (4-3) scored 20 points in the first quarter against St. Mary last year in Manville en route to a 59-20 win. Manville outscored St. Mary 20-0 in the first quarter of that game, but this time St. Mary nearly kept pace, trailing just 22-20 after one.
   The offensive production by Manville might have been surprising because of the venue. The Lady Mustangs scored eight points in the first quarter in their game against St. Mary in Elizabeth last year, winning 36-33.
   "We’ve had some trouble finding our rhythm down there before," said Manville head coach Kyle Rehrig, whose team was 3-4 after seven games last year.
   Another stunning statistic was at the free throw line, where Manville converted 16-of-26, while St. Mary made only two of three attempts.
   "They weren’t calling a lot of fouls, there were only eight fouls called in the first half," Rehrig said. What proved to be the difference for Manville was its commitment to being the aggressor, Rehrig said.
   "They were pressing and we were getting easy buckets," Rehrig said. "We had lay-ups. We really attacked their pressure well. Most of our baskets were in transition. We moved around well. To do it at their place was pretty good."
   Sam Aichele had six of her 10 points in the first quarter and Robyn Barb had eight on her way to a career-high 21 points. Manville shot 22-for-59 from the floor.
   "We were attacking the basket," Rehrig said. "That’s what we have emphasized. Robyn was doing things I’ve been asking her to do for three years and it showed. She also worked hard on the defensive end. She had a couple of nice lay-ups where she split people and then a couple of jumpers inside of 15 feet."
   Sophomore point guard Rhianna Lebedz had another strong game, scoring 12 points with six rebounds and four assists. Manville had 13 steals and forced at least 25 St. Mary turnovers, the coach said.
   The MHS girls lost to South Hunterdon 72-35 last Thursday. Lebedz had 10 points. South senior forward Breanna Fulper had 19 of her game-high 28 in the first half and Casey Slack had 15 of her 19 in the second half.
   "I told the kids before the game that we had to know where Fulper and Slack were at all times," Rehrig said. "I told them that if we were going to get beat we were going to force the other three kids to do it. Well, Fulper and Slack wound up outscoring us as a team. They are a good team."
   South Hunterdon made it to the Central Jersey Group 1 final last year where it was beaten by Jonathan Dayton, a team Manville will play at this Friday night. Manville will also be at Bernards Thursday afternoon.
   "It’s going to be a tough week," Rehrig said. "We’re going to practice, practice and practice. We really haven’t done anything new except we’re playing more zone."