By Nicholas Lowe SSN Contributor 

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#7 TRN takes a Season Sweep over Jackson Memorial to win A South

Toms River North (10-2) relied on strong defense in the first quarter, coming up with seven steals, to get out to a 20-2 lead and never looked back as they defeated Jackson Memorial (9-6) 50-36.

Every starter for the Mariners had two or more steals in the game with senior Arliana Torres leading them with five on the way to clinching A South division title.  Senior Julia Grodzicki and junior Megan Sias each had four steals for Toms River North.

“This is always a good matchup and we both come ready to play no matter what our previous wins and losses were,” Grodzicki said. “She (Coach Gillen) always tells us to play with heart and it is always going to come down to who hustles more, chases down loose balls and plays hard on defense.”

Toms River North was led on the offensive end by Sias, who scored 11 out of her game high 20 points in the first quarter including a bank 3-pointer at the end of the first. Her final stat line was 20 points, 11 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks for the Mariners.

“I am so proud of her (Sias) because they always say the year you come back is a transition year after missing a whole year of basketball,” Coach Vicki Gillen said about Sias' return from her ACL injury last year. “She has been such a constant, steady player for us this season. She is hard to guard because she is a versatile player.”

Jackson Memorial was able to chip away at the Mariners lead in the second quarter and at the start of the third, getting it down to seven points early in the second half behind senior Chloe Messer, who scored 8 of her team high 15 points in the second quarter.

Toms River North did not let Jackson Memorial get any closer though and was able to control the glass in the third quarter, out rebounding the Jaguars 8-3. Torres and Sias both had two steals in the quarter to give the Mariners a 41-23 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“We did not even talk about A South today,” Gillen said. “We talked about what we were going to do tonight, viruses, what Jackson was going to do and that is how we have been doing it all year. We just played Toms River North basketball.”

Toms River North moves to 7-0 in A South, while Jackson Memorial falls to 5-2 which is tied with Toms River East.


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