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NJSIAA Girls Basketball Group 2

NJSIAA Girls Basketball Group 2 Last season Manchester Township won the South Jersey Group 2 title and the Hawks won’t relinquish that championship very easily. In fact, they are the solid favorite to repeat. Here is a look at the field.

Girls South Jersey Group 2

Defending champion: Manchester Township beat Middle Township, 34-33 in last year’s sectional final.

This season’s main contenders: Manchester Township, Haddonfield, Sterling, Middle Township, Cinnaminson, Barnegat.

Outlook: Last season Manchester was the No. 3 seed and in addition to beating top seeded Middle Township in the final, the Hawks were a 47-32 victor over second seeded Haddonfield in the semifinals. This year The Hawks won’t sneak up on anybody.

What also helps Manchester Township is playing in a competitive division – the Shore Conference B South, where the Hawks are battling Donovan Catholic for the title.

The two schools split close games this year with Manchester Township winning the season opener, 67-63 and Donovan Catholic winning the rematch, 50-49 on Jan. 22.

That was the first loss of the season for the Hawks. The second came on Jan. 27 when Franklin beat Manchester Township, 53-41. At the time, Franklin was ranked No. 10 in the state by NJ.com while Manchester Township was No. 12.

This type of competition will be good for the Hawks come state tournament time.

Some other big wins for Manchester Township this season have come over Group 4 Toms River North and perennial Group 2 power Rumson.

Manchester Township’s 6-foot-3 Destiny Adams has been among the state’s most impressive freshmen. She is averaging more than 16 points per game. Her sister Dakota Adams, a 5-10 junior, averages more than 11 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Dejah Adams, their sister, graduated last year and was a key member of the South Jersey championship team.

Asha Harper, a 5-10 senior, is another key veteran on this year’ squad.

Now the question is whether anybody can compete favorably with the Hawks.

Haddonfield is among the contenders due to a dogged defense by the Bulldogs. The first two losses by Haddonfield (out of the first 15 games) were to Winslow Township and Shawnee, who will be contenders in South Jersey Groups 3 and 4 respectively.

Haddonfield doesn’t have an explosive offense, but in Jackie Donovan, has one of the better coaches in South Jersey.

Senior Mary Kelly has led a balanced offense, averaging around 13 points per game. The Bulldogs already have wins over quality Group 2 teams Sterling and Cinnaminson, both also in the mix.

Middle Township, last year’s top seed, can’t be counted out this season. The Panthers have played a tough schedule which included losses to Group 3 heavyweights Ocean City and Mainland

There likely won’t be any dark horse candidates in Group 2. In fact, Manchester Township is such a solid favorite that it would be a surprise if the Hawks don’t repeat as champions.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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