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The St. John Vianna High School basketball team celebrates winning the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 and won its first state championship since 2016. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viani Madison St. Rose knocks in the vine between two Immaculate Heart defenders during the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. St. Rose scored 18 points in the game to help SJV defeat Immaculate Heart 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball players Viani Paige Knutsen, Madison St. Rose, Megan Cajlan and Ashley O’Connor are celebrating helping Lancers win the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viany Ashley O’Connor takes to the bench during the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 and won its first state championship since 2016. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John Vianny High School basketball player Julia Carpel is guarded by Selena Teshka of Immaculate Heart at the top of the key during the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game on March 12 in Toms River. SJV won 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viany Ashley O’Connor grabs the ball and passes to teammate Bree Delaney for a three-pointer during the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball players Viani Ashley Safilkanich and Megan Kahalan celebrate that on March 12 in Toms River aid lancers defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 to win the NJSIAA Non-Public Championship A. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF


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The St. John Vianna High School basketball team celebrates winning the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 and won its first state championship since 2016. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viani Madison St. Rose knocks in the vine between two Immaculate Heart defenders during the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. St. Rose scored 18 points in the game to help SJV defeat Immaculate Heart 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball players Viani Paige Knutsen, Madison St. Rose, Megan Cajlan and Ashley O’Connor are celebrating helping Lancers win the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viany Ashley O’Connor takes to the bench during the NJSIAA Non-Public A Championship on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 and won its first state championship since 2016. STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John Vianny High School basketball player Julia Carpel is guarded by Selena Teshka of Immaculate Heart at the top of the key during the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game on March 12 in Toms River. SJV won 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball player Viany Ashley O’Connor grabs the ball and passes to teammate Bree Delaney for a three-pointer during the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship game on March 12 in Toms River. SJV defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36.STEVEN BASSIN / STAFF

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St. John’s High School basketball players Viani Ashley Safilkanich and Megan Kahalan celebrate that on March 12 in Toms River aid lancers defeated Immaculate Heart 74-36 to win the NJSIAA Non-Public Championship A. STEVEN BASIN / STAFF


During the current three-year practice of near-perfect St. John Vianni High School basketball, Holmdell, the women’s basketball team, Lancer’s book lacked two elements: winning the state championship and winning the NJSIAA Champions Tournament.

On March 12 at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena in Toms River, the Lancers celebrated one of those boxes when they won 74-36 over the Bergen County Immaculate Heart Academy to win the NJSIAA Non-Public A state tournament title and advance to the Champions Tournament. which will begin March 16.

“I was happy to see them come out and win such a decisive victory,” said coach Don Carpel. “That they came out that way shows how good a team they are.”

The Lancers started the private game of the championship with a series of 15-0 and led 22-2 at the end of the first quarter.

The Wlanders continued to dominate the competition in the second quarter and led 31-5 with a score of 3:42.

Senior senior Ashley O’Connor and Megan Kahalan finished the second quarter when O’Connor gave a perfect pass under the hoop of Kahalan, who made it home and took the lead with a 38-9 break.

For Kahalan, a Midtown resident, attending the state tournament finals and winning the state championship were one of the many reasons she decided to visit St. John Viani.

The Lancers had no chance of playing in state tournaments in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kahalan was happy to finally get a chance to play with her teammates for the state championship.

“No one on the team has played in the state championship, so to come here and win is a strange feeling,” said Kahalan. “We all wanted to prove that we are state champions. The last two years we have not been able to defend this. I’m just very happy that we’re happy to win (state championship). “

St. John Viani (30-1) got his 29th victory with a double-digit score. Lancers 2021-22 won the first state championship program since 2016 and the state’s 17th crown in the school.

Senior Madison St. Rose led against Immaculate Heart Academy, scoring 18 points and making 6 rebounds.

In the Lancer’s 69-50 victory over Paul VI Hadonfield High School in the South Jersey State Championship in the non-public championship, St. Rose led the top scorer with 27 points.

St. Rose, who will continue her career at Princeton University, is averaging more than 21 points per game this season. She made 152 rebounds.

“I wanted to make sure that memory would last forever,” St. Rose said after Lancers ’victory over the Immaculate Heart Academy. “Just playing on this stage is all I can ask for. Finally, winning the state championship is something I will never forget. “

Junior Zoe Brooks scored 16 points in a win over Immaculate Heart Academy.

Brooks, who moved from the Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy in Hamilton before the 2021-22 season, played as well as Carpel and Lancer could demand this season and especially in the postseason.

Brooks averages just under 18 points per game and leads in assists and interceptions.

During the state tournament, Brooks averaged more than 19 points per game. Against Paul VI in the state championship in the sectional tournament, her figure showed 21 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

“It’s indescribable,” Brooks said of his victory in the state championship. “We had a lot of fun this season. Since the beginning of the season, I was convinced that we have a strong team and that we can do great things. “

Kahalan scored eight points against the Immaculate Heart Academy. Sophomore Julia Carpel and juniors Mikaela Hubbard and Ashley Safilkanich scored six points each.

The Lancers have scored 72-2 over the past three seasons and a 62-game winning streak against rivals from New Jersey.

With the victory in the non-public state tournament A, Lancers will advance to the NJSIAA Champions Tournament, which features all state champions in sections.

Carpel knows that reaching that level means a lot to her seniors: St. Rose, Cahalan, O’Connor, and Paige Knutsen.

“I’m very happy with this senior group that they got a chance to see it,” the coach said. “This is a really special group of players. They made this team one of the best in the history of the school. “

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