By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Monmouth Regional Falcons entered the 5th Annual Blue Devil Holiday Invitational basketball tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. They were seeded as the third best in the White Bracket of the tournament and faced winless Sayreville in the quarterfinals.
The Falcons are coached by Laura Forbes, who was a standout player herself at Monmouth Regional scoring 576 points, setting a school record with 993 rebounds, had 173 assists, 161 blocks and led the team to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III State Championships as a senior. She went from a Falcon to a Hawk at Monmouth University where she played forward. She also coached at Monmouth University and Fordham before returning to the Falcons in 2017.
Forbes had her team fired up for the Sayreville game, as they dominated the first quarter shutting out the Bombers 17-0. Amaya Harris had 11 of her game-leading 17 points in those opening eight minutes. Julia Biasi, Olivia Gades and Emma Riccardi each had two points.
In the second quarter, Monmouth Regional added 15 points to their total and the Bombers scored five. Falcons spread out the scoring to close out the first half with Mia Troese, Gades, Kate Hicks, Riccardi all with two points. Harris had four and Crystal Velez hit a three-point shot.
In the third quarter, Monmouth again spread out the points. Maggie Serghis and Troese both hit three-point buckets while Kasey Chonko, Harris, Hicks and Riccardi all had two points. Sayreville had only one point in the third quarter.
In the final quarter of action, Monmouth Regional didn’t score any points, and only allowed the Bombers five. The 46-11 victory gave the Falcons a perfect 4-0 record, while Sayreville dropped to 0-6.
Harris also had six rebounds for the Falcons, one assist and two steals. Riccardi had six rebounds and four steals. Gades had four assists and Hicks finished with three.
Monmouth Regional will face Howell in the semifinals of the White Bracket on December 28, at 12:15 p.m.
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