Shore Reg. Comeback Falls Short in the Group 1 Finals as They Lose to #8 University 57-47
By Nicholas Lowe & Doug Brustman SSN Contributor
Shore Regional Comeback Falls Short in the Group 1 Finals as They Lose to #8 University 57-47.
In a rematch of last years Group 1 finals, Shore Regional fell short to #8 University 57-47 at RWJ Barnabas Health Arena. Trailing by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, the Blue Devils got it to within two, 34-32, but could not get any closer.
When you think Shore Regional basketball, you think senior Rylee Drahos, but today it was a passing of the guard with sophomore Reese Fiore and freshman Ava Coyle stepping up hitting the big shot whenever University went on a run.
“All season long Reese has performed admirably,” Shore Regional coach Will WIshart said. “Reese has really come and matured the last 12 months from her freshman year to her sophomore year. Ava all year long has come off the bench and gotten better and better and the sky's the limit for that kid. Not a lot of people know her name but after this game they will.``
Shore got off to a slow start, trailing 11-0 in the first quarter, but was able to chip away going on a 6-0 run to end the quarter led by Drahos’s four points. University was able to build up in the second but Coyle was able to come in off the bench and provide the Blue Devils with a spark. She knocked down two 3-pointers, including one from deep to end the first half and bring Shore Regional to within four points, 22-18.
“Once my first three went in I felt relief and the game can slow down now,” Coyle said. “After I missed my first layup I was nervous, but after I made the three I calmed down and my nerves went away.”
University got off to a hot start in the third quarter and built a 12 points lead, but Shore Regional battled back. It seemed like a passing of the torch in the second half when Fiore, who finished with a game-high 19 points, knocked down four 3-pointers in the second half. Her second 3-pointer in the third quarter, followed by Drahos’s 3-pointer got Shore Regional to within two points, but that was the closest it would be the rest of the game.
Rylee is an amazing leader and taught me to be a leader and she taught me even if the shot does not go in just keep shooting,” Fiore said. “If Rylee is not in the game there is no choice but to step up and that is what Ava and I decided to do in this game.
Drahos’s career ended by fouling out, which was the first time in her career she fouled out, on a questionable call. University player claimed she got hit in the eye and both players stopped and looked at the ref and after no whistle Drahos went for the ball and then the foul was called.
“I thought some calls were slightly questionable, but you can not go back now and it is what is kinda a thing ,” Drahos said about the call. “We all wanted it tonight and they (Reese and Ava) stepped up and hit big threes. Especially Ava, she has guts and to shoot that. That is what I needed and they were able to do that and make big plays in a huge atmosphere like today.”
Drahos, who will be attending Rochester University, ended her Shore Regional career with 1,660 points, 684 rebounds, 327 assists and 315 steals in 100 games. She won two sectional titles and got to play in two state final games. She also left her mark on the underclassmen who will look to continue the success that she started.
At the end of the day there is a lot more than basketball and at the end of the day when your head hits your pillow all you have is yourself,” explained Drahos what she hopes the underclassmen learned from her. “The poise and the way you carry yourself is a big thing. It means a lot doing this with kids I grew up with and the journey is something to appreciate.