St. Rose girls repeat as state basketball champs

St. Rose girls celebrate after winning their second consecutive state title on Saturday. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

TOMS RIVER – The St. Rose girls basketball team demonstrated the old sports adage “Defense wins championships” on Saturday with a 45-42 victory over Immaculate Heart for New Jersey’s Non-Public A championship.

The Purple Roses used some lockdown defense in the tough, tight final at the RWH Barnabas Health Arena to win its second straight state title. By beating the Blue Eagles, the Purple Roses advances to the Tournament of Champions, which begins on Tuesday at the RWH Barnabas Health Arena.

St. Rose went into the fourth quarter on Saturday leading by three points and despite not making a field goal during the entire fourth quarter held off Immaculate Heart due to some tough defensive play.

The Purple Roses went nearly six minutes without a single point in the fourth quarter, but only allowed a couple of free throws from the Blue Eagles.

St. Rose took the lead for good in the fourth quarter on two free throws by Abby Antognoli and two more free throws by Sam Mikos with just over a minute left helped give the Purple Roses some much needed breathing room.

Brynn Farrell was the main option for the St. Rose offense for much of the game, scoring 16 points in the first half and 22 for the game for the Purple Roses
It has yet to be determined what seed the Roses will get in the Tournament of Champions. A top-two seed would advance St. Rose to the semifinals on Thursday. Any other seed and St. Rose will pick up play on Tuesday.

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.