【N.J】 Pennington’s Morgan Matthews among girls basketball’s All-Prep, All-Area finest – – – New Jersey News

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Morgan Matthews and the Pennington School varsity girls’ basketball team had a dandy 2022-23 season, yet they believed they should have done better.

Even with a new head coach in Carmen Cook, the Red Hawks found themselves on the exact same pace they had set in 2021-22 as this winter wound down.

With 5-foot-11 junior guard/forward Matthews setting a torrid pace by scoring 18 or more points in all but two of her games this season, Pennington had plenty of moments to celebrate – winning the Peddie School Tip-Off Tournament and the John Molinelli Holiday Tournament before seeing Cook, formerly of Voorhees High, win his 300th game January 14 versus St. Benedict’s Prep and Matthews surpass 1,000 points February 7 at Franklin High.

In mid-February, however, the Red Hawks dropped a 68-57 decision to Hightstown High in the semifinals of the Mercer County Tournament at Trenton’s CURE Insurance Arena Feb. 15. Two days later, they fell, 64-49, to Newark Academy in the New Jersey Independent Schools Athletics Association Prep B Tournament final, one year after beating the Minutewomen in the same game.

While the finish may have been disappointing, it did not take away from the fact that Matthews and her teammates had another standout season.

Matthews led Mercer County’s prep schools with 22.4 points per game, plus 5.1 rebounds per game and 2.5 steals per game to be named as The –’s All-Prep Player of the Year.

She was joined on the All-Prep first team by teammates Macayla Rodriguez, a 5-6 senior guard who averaged 11.3 ppg, and Izzy Augustine, a 5-7 sophomore guard who provided 12.8 ppg with 51 3-point field goals.

Cook is The –’s All-Prep Coach of the Year after leading the Red Hawks to an 18-6 finish.

The Pennington girls were joined on the All-Prep first team by Hun’s 5-10 senior forward Sasha Moise, who averaged 11.7 ppg with 7.1 rebounds per game, and 5-8 postgraduate guard Emily O’Dwyer, who contributed 13 ppg with 61 3-pointers; Lawrenceville’s 5-6 junior guard Anna O’Keefe, who scored 16 ppg with 65 3s, which led the preps; and Stuart Country Day’s 5-10 freshman forward Taylor States, who impressed by scoring 17 ppg.

Matthews and Rodriguez were also first team All-Area selections along with Ewing High’s Big Three juniors Rhian Stokes, Joi Johnson and Te’Yala Delfosse; plus Hightstown’s standout senior guard Kyla Glasser-Hyman.

Florence’s 5-6 senior guard Gabrielle Loftin, who averaged 22.9 ppg in 15 games to finish her high school career with 1,170 points; and New Egypt’s 5-6 senior guard Payton Arnold, who scored 17.4 ppg to finish with 1,021 points, while hitting an area-best 78 treys this winter; rounded out The –’s All-Area first team.

Ewing finished as the best local girls’ team after setting a school record with a 30-3 campaign on the way to winning its second Group III state title and finishing ranked No. 6 in New Jersey (the state’s top public school).

Stokes was The –’s All-Area Player of the Year with Blue Devils’ head coach Dan Montferrat named as The –’s All-Area Coach of the Year.


First Team

Position            Player                School         Year

Forward       Sasha Moise               Hun              Sr.

Forward       Taylor States             Stuart             Fr.

Forward    Morgan Matthews     Pennington        Jr.

Guard         Izzy Augustine        Pennington       So.

Guard         Anna O’Keefe       Lawrenceville       Jr.

Guard        Emily O’Dwyer               Hun             PG

Guard     Macayla Rodriguez     Pennington        Sr.

Second Team

Position             Player                School         Year

Forward     Sydnee Eggleton         Peddie            Sr.

Forward            Emily Ix                 Stuart             Jr.

Forward       Amira Pinkett              Hun              So.

Forward         Gabby Hall           Pennington       So.

Guard           Mia Hartman              PDS               Jr.

Guard            Hayla Dora         Lawrenceville       Jr.

Guard        Marcela Nearing          Peddie            Jr.

Guard             Yijia Song          Lawrenceville       Fr.

Honorable Mention

Victoria Lubaczewski, Addison McNally, Anna Schweer (Hun); Jessylyn Bentum (Lawrenceville); Grace Browne, Aisha Caban, Jordyn Jefferson (Peddie); Anna Hokkanen, Claire King (Pennington); Paige Gardner, Nandini Kolli, Makayla Rondinelli (PDS); Abby Chirik (Stuart).


Morgan Matthews (Pennington)


Carmen Cook (Pennington)


First Team

Position            Player               School          Year

Forward        Joi Johnson             Ewing              Jr.

Forward     Te’Yala Delfosse        Ewing              Jr.

Forward    Morgan Matthews     Pennington        Jr.

Guard         Payton Arnold          New Egypt        Sr.

Guard     Macayla Rodriguez     Pennington        Sr.

Guard        Gabrielle Loftin           Florence          Sr.

Guard    Kyla Glasser-Hyman    Hightstown        Sr.

Guard          Rhian Stokes            Ewing              Jr.

Second Team

Position            Player               School           Year

Forward       Sasha Moise               Hun              Sr.

Forward     Caitlin Landgraf        Allentown          Sr.

Forward     Angelina Banas      Notre Dame        Sr.

Center          Abby Misier           Hightstown         Jr.

Guard         Izzy Augustine        Pennington        So.

Guard         Anna O’Keefe        Lawrenceville      Jr.

Guard         Kayla McCrea          Allentown          Sr.

Guard          Saniyah Spell           TCPA               Jr.

Third Team

Position            Player               School           Year

Forward       Taylor States            Stuart               Fr.

Forward        Jules Lynch          Notre Dame        Sr.

Forward     Sydnee Eggleton       Peddie              Sr.

Forward    Ashley Adamson         Steinert            Sr.

Guard       Simone Pintinalli      Notre Dame         Jr.

Guard         Emily O’Dwyer             Hun              PG

Guard           Hayla Dora         Lawrenceville        Jr.

Guard          Mayah Alford            TCPA               Jr.

Guard        Gillian Magner      Hopewell Valley     Jr.

Fourth Team

Position            Player               School           Year

Forward            Emily Ix                 Stuart             Jr.

Forward       Amira Pinkett              Hun               So.

Forward         Gabby Hall            Pennington       So.

Forward       Anna Winters          Princeton           Fr.

Guard           Mia Hartman              PDS               Jr.

Guard           Ava Aldarelli         Robbinsville         Fr.

Guard         Jillian Watson   Northern Burlington  So.

Guard       Karina Harrison  Northern Burlington  So.

Guard      SondJane Daudin         Trenton            Fr.


Rhian Stokes (Ewing)


Dan Montferrat (Ewing)

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