By Ryan Fennell
Little Silver – Rumson-Fair Haven came into the game against Red Bank Regional on Monday night hoping to get back on a winning track after dropping two in row with losses to Saint John Vianney and Point Pleasant Boro.
The Bulldogs came away with a 44-33 victory, but it wasn’t easy.
Red Bank Regional brought the game down to the final minutes trimming a seven-point RFH lead to four on a three-pointer from Paris Van Loon to open the fourth quarter.
However, Rumson’s Jessica Harvey turned it on in the fourth and proved to be too much for the Bucs’ defense as she netted 10 of her game-high 16 points to put the game away for the Bulldogs.
“You’ve got to give Red Bank Regional a lot of credit,” said Rumson-Fair Haven head coach George Sourlis. “They zoned us and dared us to make shots and for most of the game, we didn’t. I thought they played hard and did a really great job.”
Both teams started off slow with neither teams’ shots falling early on. Rumson started to gain some momentum heading into the second quarter, but Red Bank continued to battle not allowing Rumson’s offense to get away from them, and keeping it a six-point game at 20-14 at the half.
According to Sourlis the Bulldogs made an adjustment on defense in the second half to try to better contain Red Bank’s Zoe Curtis, who had 8 of the Bucs 14 first half points.
“We finally recognized that Zoe Curtis is a pretty good player and we had to make sure she couldn’t keep doing what she was doing in the first half,” Sourlis said.
Red Bank head coach James Young was happy with his team’s performance despite the loss.
“I’m really proud of my girls,” said Young. “After three years, I saw them come out against a team like Rumson and not be scared. They came out and weren’t afraid to make a play.”
According to Young the Bucs wanted to get the ball to Curtis inside but Rumson double-teamed Curtis in the second half and got the Bucs away from what they wanted to do, forcing them to make shots from the perimeter.
Although Van Loon put up 9 points on three three-pointers in the second half, it wasn’t enough to even the score against Harvey and the Rumson offense.
Sourlis said his team is happy with the win but needs to get better.
“It’s nice to win. Obviously losing to Vianney and Point Boro; there’s no shame in that, but we’ve got to get back on the right track,” Sourlis said. “Getting a W tonight hopefully gets us back in the right direction, even though we didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked. I think Red Bank had a lot to do with that.”
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