Holmdel poised for another title run

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI staff Above, Holmdel’s Christina Martorello goes up for a lay-up during the Hornets’ win over Old Bridge on Saturday. At left, Ashley Folchetti drives by Old Bridge’s Kaitlyn Calogera, as the Hornets beat the defending Greater Middlesex Conference champs, 59-42. Coming off a solid nonconference win over Old Bridge, the Holmdel High School girls basketball team is prepping for tomorrow’s Shore Conference Class B North matchup at Monmouth Regional. The Hornets, 6-3 overall, downed the Knights 59-42 as sophomore guard Christina Martorelli scored 20 points and Jackie Klatsky pumped in another 17. Point guard Ashley Folchetti had an outstanding game, scoring eight points, dishing out eight assists and making four steals. Holmdel was scheduled to meet Neptune, 7-1 and 3-0 in conference play, on Monday in another important tilt. The Hornets, on the heels of winning the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III title last year while going 16-11, are expected to contend for the B North crown, as are both Neptune and Monmouth Regional. Holmdel finished second in the division a year ago. Thus far coach Dawn Karpell’s team has downed Raritan and Red Bank Regional in conference games, as well as Bayonne. Holmdel’s losses have come at the hands of Colts Neck, in the season opener, St. John Vianney and Perry, an Ohio school, in the KSA Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Fla. The Hornets finished second in the tourney. “We don’t have a lot of size so the keys for us are using our team speed, rebounding and taking care of the ball,” Karpell explained. “So far we’ve done pretty well on the boards, but we had a couple of games early where turnovers hurt us.” With a relatively young team in tow, the coach said she expects her players to cut down on turnovers as the season moves on. In addition, the presence of veterans like Folchetti and Klatsky lends a steadying hand. Folchetti has been a mainstay since her freshman year. Besides her offensive responsibilities she is an aggressive defender. Klatsky leads the team with a scoring average of 13 points and is the Hornets’ top three-point shooter. Another excellent defender, she also manages to pull down her share of rebounds. Holmdel has plenty of other talented players as well. Martorelli is a threat from the outside, as is senior Jasmin Rodriguez, who is averaging 10 points. Junior center Mary Orsini is the team’s top rebounder, pulling down six caroms per game, while averaging four points. Sophomore Ibayi Briggs also helps out under the hoop. The Hornets will be without sophomore Marissa Porto, who is out indefinitely with a sprained wrist. Porto alternates between guard and forward and averages eight points. Two freshmen, Ariel Redmond and Liz Mayell, who have played well off the bench, are likely to see more time in Porto’s absence. Karpell’s team has generally played well defensively. Holmdel employs the man-to-man, but takes advantage of its team quickness to press on occasion. “We have to play to our strengths,” the coach said. “That means doing little things like back-door cuts on offense and playing tight defense. The girls understand that; they’re working hard and it shows in our record.” Defending CJ Group III champs look strong early on BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer last_img read more