Caseys beat TRN 57-40

JACKIE POLLACK

Alisa Kresge of Red Bank Catholic goes around Toms River North’s Kristen Zales on a drive to the basket in the Tournament of Champions final on Tuesday at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, Rutgers University.

JACKIE POLLACK

Kelli Talbot of Red Bank Catholic gets ready to make a move in the lane in Tuesday’s Tournament of Champions final.

JACKIE POLLACK

Janine Cappadonna of Red Bank Catholic scores on a reverse layup in the second quarter of Tuesday’s Tournament of Champions final at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway.

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man (to man defense) and our matchup (zone defense), and he really did a super job of getting them prepared."

There was little that could prepare the Mariners for what the Caseys would do. Red Bank Catholic’s ability one through eight is unmatched in the state and, as usual, the ability of Montano to substitute without any dropoff at either end of the floor spelled trouble for the opposition.

With Kim Peto scoring eight of her game-high 16 points in the first quarter, the Mariners came out of the opening period with a 13-13 tie.

However, Peto and the Mariners were about to get a healthy dose of the RBC defense.

Peto’s disappearance for the second and third quarters while the Caseys were stretching their lead to 45-24 was due to the efforts of Talbot.

"Kelli just told me she was going to stop her at that point," Montano said, adding that Talbot’s wasn’t the only exceptional defensive effort. "I thought Lynne did a great job on Kelly Burger."

Still, the work of Talbot, along with Kresge and Lindsey Woodfield, limited Peto, who carries the Mariners’ offense, to just six points from the start of the second quarter to the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter. At that point, the outcome of the game was all but decided as the Caseys led 53-26 before Peto hit a three that cut the lead to 24.

"She’s been doing a great job for us this whole season," DePalo said of Talbot’s effort. "Whether it was (Vanessa) Putnoky at St. John’s or you name the team. It’s great to play with someone like that."

For Talbot, it’s the only way to play and she knows the pressure she applies takes a toll.

"I love it," the junior guard said of the top defensive assignments. "I love playing the great players. Peto is a great player who’s been playing great. … I can tell by the look on their face (that an opponent is getting frustrated) and when they get the ball back I just keep on staying in their face."

With Peto taken out of her game, the Mariners managed just six points in the second quarter and five in the third.

The lead ballooned to 27 (51-24) before Toms River North found its shooting touch in the fourth quarter. Peto hit a couple of threes and Stephanie Huhn was getting layups in transition that cut the lead back to the final margin.

All eight of the Caseys’ primary players scored. Brooke Tomovich, who got RBC to the final with her last second shot in the 64-63 win over Willingboro, scored eight points; McCaig finished with six, Kresge netted five; Woodfield added four and Cappadona hit a reverse layup in the second quarter that gave the Caseys their first double-digit lead.

The win gave RBC a perfect 31-0 record and their second Tournament of Champions crown. The Caseys first won the TOC in 1996.