TOMS RIVER — Immaculate Conception’s unfinished business will have to wait until next year.
The Blue Wolves’ first trip to Pine Belt Arena didn’t have a happy ending Saturday afternoon. Immaculate Conception couldn’t overcome a second-quarter breakdown and wound up dropping a 56-49 decision to St. Rose in the Non-Public B girls basketball title game.
The Blue Wolves (23-8) came out strong, playing with energy and creating some good scoring opportunities in the first quarter. The Purple Roses, particularly star senior guard Kat Phipps, took a lot of bad shots early on, and Immaculate Conception opened a 15-9 lead.
Then, just like that, everything changed.
The St. Rose offense began to click, from smoother passes to better shots by Phipps. The Purple Roses (31-1) were quicker than IC on defense, and the Blue Wolves started having trouble moving the ball.
“We lost our composure,” Immaculate Conception senior forward Samantha Fuehring said. “I have no idea why.”
Phipps, who came into the game averaging 23 points per game, began to hit shots, and the Purple Roses seemed to feed off that. St. Rose went on a 14-0 run that spanned parts of the first two quarters, opening up a 23-15 halftime lead.
Immaculate Conception hit only two field goals in the second quarter. Fuehring, who scored eight points in the first quarter, had none.
“In the second quarter we just got impatient,” said Immaculate Conception coach Jeff Horohonich, whose team is ranked No. 4 in The Record Top 25. “When we did, they must have scored 12 points off of our turnovers.”
SPECIAL NOTE: Samantha Fuehring will finish with 2,188 career points.
That ranks 6th all-time in Bergen County and 8th in North Jersey