RBC girls looking to keep the pressure on

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Correspondent Open season at RBR Friday With several key returnees and a deep and talented bench, the Red Bank Catholic High School girls basketball team will be looking to make its mark in the Shore Conference’s Class B North Division this winter. The Caseys posted a 17-8 record a year ago and finished third in the Shore Conference’s Class A Central division behind St. John Vianney and Rumson-Fair Haven. RBC reached the semifinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public South A playoffs before being eliminated. Coach Joe Montano, who enters his 21st season at the RBC helm, is looking to better that mark this time around, but his team will be competing in a division that is home to Neptune, last year’s Tournament of Champions winner and one of the top teams in the state. “We’ll be looking to play an up-tempo game with a lot of pressing,” the veteran coach said. “We’re going to look to score points off the transition and to constantly keep the pressure on our opponents.” The Caseys have just three seniors, but they will all play significant roles and serve as the team’s tri-captains. Samantha Guastella, a 6-1 forward/center, is expected to lead the Caseys’ offense. Last season, Guastella, who has committed to Quinnipiac University, averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds. RBC’s top shooting guard, Kasey Hobbie, also returns. A solid three-point threat, Hobbie averaged 10 points a year ago. She will continue her career next year at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Also back is point guard Mary Kate Byrne. In addition to running the offense, where she averaged 4.5 assists, the tenacious 5-8 Byrne is RBC’s top defensive player. Rounding out Montano’s starting lineup are 5-8 junior forward Morgan Arnot, who averaged seven points, and Grace Fallon, a 5-11 freshman forward/guard with an accurate shot and good ball-handling skills who is expected to make an immediate impact, the coach said. Sophomores Caroline Corcoran and Mary Kate Caverly, both of whom saw significant varsity minutes last winter, will be first off the bench for the Caseys. Corcoran plays both forward and guard, while Caverly is primarily a guard. Montano expects both players to augment the offense. The coach noted that several other players will see minutes as he looks to keep fresh legs on the floor. This group includes 5-9 junior forward Kayla Dunn, and four sophomores: 5-11 center Tara Daniels, and guards Alex Alfano, Rachel Krauss and Maria Balacco. At 5-9, Krauss may also see time up front. “We’re a good defensive team — that’s really our strength — and we expect to force teams into errors that result in points for us,” Montano said. “When we get into a half-court game, we’re going to need our guards to make shots to bring defenses out and create more opportunities inside.” RBC opens the season Friday at Red Bank Regional and then hosts Holmdel on Saturday. The Caseys will also play Long Branch and Colts Neck prior to the holiday break. During the break, Montano’s team will compete in the Boardwalk Holiday Classic in Wildwood. In the Dec. 26 opener, RBC will play Middle Township. After a few weeks of practice and several scrimmages, Montano said his team is ready to go. “I really like what I’ve seen so far,” he said. “This is a talented and very unselfish team, and I know the girls are only going to get better as the season moves along.”last_img read more