Marlboro Mustangs girls basketball playing great basketball in the last couple games hosted Manalapan who were struggling this season at 3-13 on the season. Marlboro was looking to go one game over 500 as they had all confidence in this matchup with their three seniors Erica DiSimone, Varsha Simha and Amanda Castro. Manalapan is still a young team but they battled, kept it close and never gave up.
In the first quarter Marlboro started strong against Manalapan's defense. They were passing the ball, finding open teammates, being smart with the basketball, taking shots when needed and defense was outstanding only giving 6 points this quarter while scoring 16. Manalapan had trouble early scoring and playing defense which they can't do against a great team. Marlboro's ability to swing the ball around was huge for them.
Manalapan made a run in the second quarter with much better defense. They cut the lead to nine heading into halftime only giving up 9 points and scoring 8. This quarter was mainly about defense, forcing tough shots trying to get the momentum back from Marlboro. The score was 25-14 Marlboro at halftime as both try to make some necessary adjustments for second half.
The third quarter was all about defense again as both teams had a hard time converting on some easy shots. Manalapan's goal was just to keep it close heading into the last quarter which they did. Marlboro did a great job by not letting them take the lead and focusing on playing their game. Marlboro loves playing fast, pushing the ball and staying up tempo which was a little tough for Manalapan.
Heading Into the fourth quarter Marlboro had a 33-21 lead but Manalapan made another run cutting it to 33-26 at point forcing Marlboro to call a timeout at one point. Hayden Sarlo hit a big three pointer for Marlboro and getting to the free throw line but couldn't convert on four pint play. That three pointer have them back the confidence again as they closed out this game beating Manalapan 43-32 in a close and great matchup.
Manalapan can learn from this game as they played great also.
Top scorers for Marlboro Erica DiSimone 15 points, Amanda Castro 7 points, Lia Villa 7 points, Varsha Simha 5 points and Hayden Sarlo 5 points.
Top scorers for Manalapan Sophia Venziea 20 points.
Photo Credit Mike Franco.