2018 Hoop Group Coach of the Year

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They year’s  Coach of the Year Award, could have gone in so many directions. There were so many great jobs done by Shore Coaches. Lisa Kukoda did just about everything a coach could do this season. She lost one game in the state and won the SCT and TOC. Dawn Karpell once again proved why she is so very special, she lost Kimi Evans and was ranked #1 the entire regular season, while playing a insane schedule. Joe Montano, once again had RBC in the mix for a SCT  and TOC with a young team surrounded by his 3 seniors. His team was the only team to beat Manasquan this season. Shannon Coyle shocked everyone this year, with her teams late run to the SCT. Tammy Nicolini is rapidly becoming one of the most respected coaches in the shore conference amazingly taking her team to a sectional final. The Coach of the Year Award does not go to the best team or the team that wins the most. Coach of The year, is about doing more with less and MOST IMPORTANTLY HELPING PLAYERS GROW AS PLAYERS AND PEOPLE(this weighs mightily). The Coach of the Year must make sure their players and parents respect them and trust them. Nobody did a better job this year in these area’s than...THE HOOP GROUP 2018 COACH OF THE YEAR IS JOHN TRUHAN OF RED BANK REGIONAL.

This season RBR was expecting a difficult and challenging year. They had lost the 5 senior starters, who had finally brought respectability to RBR in over a decade. The had won 17 games and made the Shore Conference Tournament. So this year everyone expected RBR is start another decade of rebuilding. They had a young and inexperienced team, they were a team of no names. They had one senior, who was a role player, that struggled at times as a junior with her confidence. It was certainly a year where 10 wins and being competitive would be enough. The problem is nobody told Coach John Truhan this was a rebuilding year and RBR was one of the toughest jobs in the shore. But John Truhan is not your ordinary coach, he is a proven winner and everywhere he goes winning seems to follow.

John Truhan, I like to call the Bill Parcells of coaching, he seems to enjoy taking programs that look dead only to turn them into winners.  Like when he took over  Toms River South and led them to 3 division titles in row and won 33 homes games in a row. Those 3 Divisional titles, were more than they had won in the schools history. TRS has never approached this success again. It might be because John Truhan decided to take over the Colts Neck program, a program that had fell behind and nobody pictured as a future powerhouse. It was here when people started to realize how good John Truhan was as coach. During his time at Clots Neck, they won three sectional titles, 3 division titles and a SHORE CONFERENCE TITLE AND MADE 2 TOC FINALS. He even became the first coach to beat Shabazz from the Shore after they were 8-0 in the TOC.  Coach Truhan did all this,  at the height of  the Shore Conference’s power. This is during the times of the great Neptune, RFH, SJV, RBC and Middletown South mega teams. So it was most shocking when John Truhan decided to leave Colts Neck after a SCT and TOC final with the entire team returning. He walked away from a dream team, because he didn’t want leave the next coach a rebuilding job. Colts Neck high school has never close to returning to the days of John Truhan. When John Truhan decided to leave Colts Neck for Central Regional high school it made little sense to most.  A school that had no history of winning and were everyone’s homecoming game.  But in his 6 years, Central won 3 division titles more than the school had won in its entire history. They made it to the State Semi Final a first  in the schools history. They won over 100 games and John Truhan had put Central on the map. Since he has left Central their record is 7-40. Now you know why he is called the Bill Parcells of coaching and why he is in the High School Coaches HALL OF FAME.


When news arrived that John Truhan had accepted the RBR coaching job on Nov 6th, two weeks before their first practice, most where shocked. RBR had lost their entire rotation from the 17 win team. The very team that had gained RBR the respect they had longed for over a decade. They only two returning players were their 9th and 10th man, Megan Murray and Bridget Tobin. They where players who would be asked to try and step up and lead a young inexperience untested group. John Turhan, took both players and instilled a confidence in both which lead to dream season. Megan Murray went from averaging 6 points to 15 points in just one season. John Truhan has turned her into a bona fide star. Nobody expected the lacrosse player to explode like this except John Turhan. Maybe more shocking than this, may have been the story of Bridget Tobin. Tobin was a senior, who had played spot minutes and had lost her confidence and some of her love for the game. But John Turhan made her his leader from day one. She became not only his leader, more importantly his coach on the floor. She rediscovered her love for the game and more


“Coach Truhan led our team to one of the greatest seasons our girls had in 20 years. He taught me that there is always time for hard work and a love for the game of basketball. Always displayed a positive attitude and plan to get better, we had such a great season and I will never forget it. Thank you!”   -Bridget Tobin

“Coach Truhan willingly took on a challenge. He came into a situation with low expectations because of the team’s age, yet amazingly produced 17 wins and a trip to the semifinals of the state tournament. The last time RBR did this was 20 years ago! He strategized, made quick decisions, and built confidence in individual players and the whole team, all with a sense of humor. If that’s not Coach of the Year material, I don’t know what is!” – Christa Teter

importantly embraced her new role. She went from averaging 4 points a game to 13.4 game. John Truhan trusted both of these untested players and was rewarded with loyalty and stellar play. But what made RBR’s season even more special, was that John Turhan took a group of freshman and made them prime time players as well. Chloe Teter, was expected to see minutes this year, because of all the players RBR lost to graduation. What was not expected was that she would become a member to the 2018 ALL FRESHMAN TEAM. Chloe shocked everyone and she can thank John Turhan, who gave her a scary amount of freedom and she shined; it took real guts for Coach Truhan to make such a bold more. But it was the play of Caitlyn Decker, than may have been John Turhan biggest work of art. The freshman averaged 10 points a games and had so many big nights, even Truhan had to be surprised. These babies, shined under Truhan and he may have been the only coach  who could’ve pulled this off. But when John Turhan turned the all but forgotten sophomore Grace Goodwyn into a starter and impact player, he out did himself. Grace is hearing impaired and now a main stay for RBR…the RBR season was something nobody expected. But John Truhan, has been doing the unexpected his entire career. His team matched the 17 win total from a year, which took 0ver a decade to do…in just one year.

This year RED BANK REGIONAL did the impossible. Not because they won as many games as a year ago. Not because they played SJV to a stand still for a quarter or nearly beating Top 10 RFH. Its not because his team got a state and SCT home game. It’s not because they won on the road against Chatham in the state tournament. It’s not because his team shocked everyone, this season, but winning a SCT game. What was thought to be the impossible  is that John Turhan has got an entire program energized in less than a year. John Truhan has made RBR a legit program, with a big future. What is impossible to understand is how has changed a group of kids lives in such a short time…this is coaching folks. This is the measuring stick. What is impossible to believe is that that people in the RED BANK REGIONAL community now have a new culture. They no longer feel like a 2nd class program. They now have a big time coach and a culture where winning is expected. It’s why John Truhan is the “Bill Parcells” of Shore, he takes programs with no future and gives them hope. It why this years….. 2018 COACH OF THE YEAR IS JOHN TRUHAN.



The 2018 HOOP GROUP FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR comes as no surprise. She is a player that comes around once in a lifetime. We have not seen a player like her, enter the shore since…who knows? This year, she not only lived up to the hype but exceeded it. She brought an excitement to the Shore Conference and most importantly to Ocean Country that we have never seen before.

Hoop Group 2018 Shore Girls Freshman of the Year is….DESTINY ADAMS of Manchester Township High School.

“Never once ,did she show her youth. Once she realized, she was a one of our go to’s on both ends of the court , she was BIG , game in and game out, and bottom line , she produced.” Quote David Beauchemin, Manchester  Township Head Coach

By now most know the story of Destiny Adams walking up to me, to inform me she was the best 7th grader in the Shore. What most don’t know is that she sold herself short that day. Destiny Adams, is not just the best freshman in the Shore. she is the best freshman on the Tri-State area. She my friends is something I have personally never seen before. Her stats this season are mind blowing. This season she averaged 15 points…8.7 rebounds..2.2 assists…along with 2.4 blocks a game. She had 466 points for the season. Those numbers are shocking by anyone standards. It was not her stats that were most impressive. It was her humble unselfish play that stood out to most. Destiny Adams is that rare superstar, that believes basketball is a team game and is willing to share the spotlight with her teammates. It’s why so many cheer and wish her the best.

Destiny Adams did not wake up and become a superstar. What she does have is a superstar work ethic and attitude. It why she is willing to make a 50 minute  ride on weekends to train. It why she allows you to coach her hard without her showing a negative attitude. It’s why when told she must become a better shooter, she did just that this season. She had 26 three’s this season. More than anything else Destiny Adams proved she is a real teammate, she played wherever she was needed on the court this season. She played every single position on the court this year. This  season at times her young teammates had trouble getting her the ball and often forgot where their bread was buttered. But not once did Destiny Adams show an attitude or raise an eyebrow. It is why once again coaches, teammates and opponents root for her success.

Before the season Destiny Adams was topic of much discussion. The word hype is often used when a talented player is introduced to the Shore Conference. the Shore is the show me conference, where doing over talking is required. Destiny is  6’3″ long and athletic but most importantly plays with a fire. It the only reason to explain how in her first game against rival Donovan Catholic she brought the house down. She had 28 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and a game winning shot. It was her way of introducing herself to the Shore Conference. If there were any doubts left, she put them to rest at the WOBM. She had 28 …13 rebounds and 3 assists against Toms River North in the championship game. It was the first WOBM title for Manchester and the first by a Ocean County school in a decade. She also became the first Freshman to walk away with the MVP honors. Manchester saw a lot of first with Destiny Adams in the lineup this season.

When Manchester knocked off RFH this year, it was sign of things to come. Like Manchester becoming a Top 20 team for the first time in schools history. Like winning consecutive Sectional titles for the first time. Like playing an elite schedule against teams like Franklin and a matchup against Mainland High School with Kylie Watson, these were big time showcase events Manchester has never been part of; prior to the arrival of Miss Adams. It was this type of excitement and attention that Destiny Adams has brought to Manchester High School. She has done all this with a cool demeanor and class. Her respect displayed toward, teammates, coaches, opponents and officials, proved she was more than at talented basketball player…but rather a first class young lady.

Destiny Adams will play college basketball wherever see pleases one day. It’s interesting that she seems not to be interested in attention from college coaches. I think she is enjoying playing with her sister. I also think were here sister Dakota goes to college will play a role in where one day she will play. Nobody told me this, I just know the relationship she and her family have. The Adams family are not your typical basketball family, they are proud of Destiny but keep her level headed. Her mother is a lawyer and one tough cookie. She doesn’t believe in special treatment and thinks all kids should be treated the same, including her own, regardless of there ability. Her father is the principle of Manchester High School and he will not allow anything to take a front seat above education. The Adams do everything as a family. They travel together, eat together and go to church every Sunday together. I once joked that Destiny should skip church to attend NBS on a Sunday….her mother did not laugh. The Adams raise Alpha daughters and sons, they are nurturing and firm. There are no shorts cuts. Everyone is held responsible and how many rebounds and points you get has nothing to do with anything.

This marks the 2nd year in a row Manchester has won the THE HOOP GROUP FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR, Kamari Reynolds won it last year. She has something in common with Destiny Adams. She too is a great teammate and ego free. There was talk if the two stars on a upstart program could work together. The questioned was answered this season, it was answered with unselfish play. The two have showed that winning trumps everything. Manchester is going to do a lot of winning over the next 3 years. Manchester will be a Top 5 team in the state to start next season. They will have a big target on their back. DESTINY ADAMS  has had a target on her back; since the day she announced she was best player in the 2021 class. That’s not just talk folks, because she is the …THE 2018 HOOP GROUP FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR…CONGRATS TO MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL AND DESTINY ADAMS

Hoop Group 2018 Shore Girls’ All Freshman Teams


This years HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM,  is once again loaded. This year 3 of the 1st Team members currently have D1 offers on the table. This group is special because most are known gym rats, who welcome competition. They all played major roles on there high school teams. They all had big games on big stages during the season and where impact babies all season. The 2018 class is special and because of the this,  will have a 2nd team All Freshman Team. This is only the second time we have added a 2nd team. There are 3 future D1 players who did not make any of the Shore All Freshman Teams and that is a tribute to the 2018  FRESHMAN CLASS overall talent.










“Sophia is a great kid with unlimited potential. Her ability to perform under pressure was instrumental in our team success.”

 Joe Montano, Head Coach Red Bank Catholic

Sabino was as  advertised in her season debut. She stepped into the starting lineup of the Top 5 ranked RBC. Her impact was felt on  both sides of the floor. While college coaches marvel at her court vision and basketball IQ. It was her defense which was the biggest surprise this season, as often times she guarded the opponents best offensive guard. Her ability to breakdown defenders is rare and next level type stuff. Her showing stopping performance in a win over #1 ranked  Manasquan which included 20 points and 5 dimes. May have been the best performance by a baby this season on a big stage. No freshman had the ball in hands more this season. Sophia Sabino is getting recruitment from some of the best teams in the country, which includes Top 5 programs. She has high D1 offers on the table already. There is no question, she is one of the best young point guards in recent RBC  history. RBC’s point guard spot is in good hands for years to come.



“Katie has a great skill set and understanding of the game. She is a good teammate and competitor and her on our team is only going to grow. The best thing about Freshmen is they become Sophomores”

Dawn Karpell, Head Coach St. John Vianney

Her length, size and toughness make her a classic SJV player. She took on the challenge to play at SJV were no promises are made and everything is based on performance and merit. It was a wise decision as Katie Hill showed she has superstar written all over her. She played against the very best competition all year. Her brilliant play against RBC was an example of her being ready for prime time on the big stage. Katie Hill is a deadly shooter and proved she is not afraid to be aggressive off the bounce. But it’s her ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, that separates her from other babies. Blessed with a next level competitive nature and knowing the track record of how SJV players develop. She just may be the best player in the 2021 class one day. No freshman played in more big games, while getting extended minutes. She is a drama free kid, from a drama free family. She is a total teammate and program kid. Katie Hill will be one of the most recruited players in New Jersey before her playing days are up at SJV. She has D1 offers on the table.



“Our success this season was spring boarded by a made 3-point shot as time expired when we were down two. Chloe had the courage to take the shot , but more importantly, show our team that games can be won even though we did not play our best and that a freshman can be counted on throughout the season. The shot was made in GAME 2! A poker face that bewilders opponents. Chloe Teter makes you think that she should be selling girls scout cookies at halftime rather than picking your pocket and finishing a drive that only needs two dribbles past half-court.”

Quote John Truhan, Head Coach Red Bank Regional


No player on this list is more of a surprise. In fact she is the biggest surprise HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN MEMBER maybe of all time. She was not listed as a Top 10 freshman entering the season. She willed herself into one of the best babies in New Jersey. She started every game for RBR this season. She had big shots, steals, passes and rebounds all year. He game winner at the buzzer to beat Manalapan should have been a sign of what was to come. She helped RBR win a shocking 17 games, a win in the SCT and helped RBR make it to the STATE quarterfinals for the first time in schools history and SCT  semi finals for the first time in 20 years. Teter averaged 9 points,2 steals and 3 dimes a game. Her cross over hop move is the best in the business and next level. She had 18 three’s this season and never walked away from a big shot this season. In fact she may have made more big shots than any freshman this year.. She no question took on the responsibility of replacing a team that lost 9 seniors with no problem. Her freshman performance just at be the best by a RBR baby in10 years. She is the first freshman in RBR history to make the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN TEAM. Chloe Teter has a big future ahead of her and the future of RBR basketball may rest on her shoulders.



“Rachel Capua  is a gamer . Never once ,did she show her youth. Once she realized ,she was a one of our go to’s on both ends of the court , she was BIG , game in and game out, and bottom line , she produced.”

Quote Rachel Goodale, Head Coach Jackson Memorial

She has seem to come from nowhere. Caupa stats this season may be the reason, Jackson Memorial may have been the surprise team of the year. No freshman outside Destiny Adams had a better year statistical wise. Caupa, had 15 double figure scoring games this year, including a season high 25 points. She averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds on the season. She was beast all season and saved best for some of Jackson’s biggest games. Like her 23 point and 6 rebound game in a win over TOP 20 TRN. Before the season she appeared on no All Freshman list and for the most part unknown, making her story even better. Rachel Caupa is a classic two way player and is a problem on defense just as much as she is one on offense. She started all 25 games for Coach Goodale and scored 300 points this season only Destiny Adams had more.  Rachel Caupa many believe had a real good case for freshman of the year. There is no doubt she is a special talent, who will rewrite the record books at Jackson Memorial before she is done. While she is a unlikely member of the HOOP GROUP ALL FRESHMAN. It is highly unlikely that she is not a future All SHORE PLAYER.


*I feel its very important we knowledge Lucy Alberici, of Raritan High School. She clearly had a All Freshman type season. 9.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a game. She also had a 25/10 rebound game in the state tournament. I did not see Raritan High School play this season. This is the reason she is not included in the All Freshman lineup. I am sure other kids were missed as well. But her stats alone against the competition she faced must be acknowledged.


She had tons of pressure on her this season and stepped up nicely for Coach Callahan. A future D1 player, she is the future of RFH basketball. Tough hard nosed player.


Are you asking how a baby can average 10 points a game and score in double figures 17 time be on second team? A scoring machine


She is a future ALL SHORE PLAYER  and may have more upside than anyone in the 2021 class. She has next level natural talent.


She had some big moments this season, a Future D1 player. She has great size for her position and is an elite shooter


St. Rose has a future star on its hands. She got better it seems every night. Her competitive nature is off the charts. She is a big time defender and total gym rat.




Over my dead body… is exactly how Manasquan approached every game this year.  They were shining stars when the season ended. Lisa Kukoda and her Merry Band of warriors seem to always play there best on the biggest stages. The TriAngle of Death…DARA MABREY…LOLA MULLANEY AND FAITH MASONIOUS were deadly all year. Senior Carly Geissler and Emma McManamen proved they were winners all year and history will show, along Annie Mako and Macey Black. There would be no 3rd SCT TITLE for Lisa Kukoda. …WITHOUT THEM. No question MANASQUAN was the best team in the Shore Conference this year….enjoy the video.

Tiny Green SCT Championship Predictions