Morgan Maguire is a fourth-year varsity player for Bishop George Ahr High School. On a girls’ basketball team full of transfers, Maguire is the program girl.
She is also the glue girl. While her teammates score and generate live tweets, Maguire makes the extra pass.
But on Feb. 22 at Middlesex County College in Edison, Maguire generated the live tweet.
Early in the third quarter of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament championship, Bishop Ahr trailed Edison High School by two points. Maguire held the ball on the left wing, with no defender even near her. After scanning the court for an open teammate, Maguire looked up at the basket.
She launched a three pointer and drilled it, putting the Trojans back in front. The trey woke up Maguire’s teammates, started a big Trojans run and led to Bishop Ahr’s 47-32 championship victory.
The Edison parochial school won its first GMC title since 2001.
The game was locked at 19-19 at halftime, so Bishop Ahr won the second half, 28-13. A few possessions after the three, Maguire even made another tweet worthy play. She drove down the right side, laid the ball in and took a smack to the arm. The senior sank the free throw to complete the and-one.
“We picked up our energy off her three,” said Bishop Ahr junior Emma Boslet. “It was a game changer.”
“I had so much confidence in her taking it,” said another Bishop Ahr junior, Kelsey Ransom. “Once it went in, I was like, ‘It’s go time. We’re taking it.'”
Boslet and Ransom, two of Maguire’s more famous teammates, did work too. Boslet kept the Trojans in the game with seven first quarter tallies. Ransom closed the game in the fourth quarter, controlling the boards and scoring nine points.
A different player led Bishop Ahr in scoring in every quarter. The Trojans also held Edison’s all-time leading scorer, Samira Sargent, to eight points. Bishop Ahr shut down passing and driving lanes with its length.
The Trojans are very talented and they play team basketball. Both characteristics should carry them far in the NJSIAA Non-Public A South Tournament. Bishop Ahr’s goal is to win the Non-Public A South title, and then the Tournament of Champions state title, too.
“We want to show people why we did what we did in the county,” said Bishop Ahr coach Brittney Griffin. “If you have five, six, seven weapons, you’re going to be successful.”
“We have a chance of getting farther than we did last year,” Boslet added.
Last winter, the Trojans lost in the Non-Public A South quarterfinals, 65-19, to St. Rose High School. St. Rose is in the field again this year, as the No. 1 seed. The No. 2 seed is Saint John Vianney High School, another loaded New Jersey power.
Bishop Ahr again faces a difficult road. But the Trojans didn’t have Ransom last year. The junior is the rare talent who can dominate the boards, beat any defender off the dribble and score at will. She did all three to finish off Edison.
But most importantly, she is confident in her teammates. They did, after all, lift the Trojans in the first three periods on Feb. 22, when Ransom was struggling.
“We know we’re a team that can go far,” Ransom said. “It’s just a matter of going out and executing.”