There were many good boys’ high school basketball teams in the GMC and Skyland Conferences in this COVID-shortened season, but when you beat three of them – including two that you lost two a total of three times this season – en route to winning your league’s top pod trophy, that has to count for something.
For us, that counts for making Watchung Hills the No. 1 team in the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten of the year, and thus the 2021 Boys’ Basketball Team of the Year.
The Warriors finished the year 12-3, their losses coming to Hunterdon Central twice, and once to Gill St. Bernard’s, at the time the No. 1 team in our rankings.
Watchung Hills beat both of those teams in the first two rounds of the Skyland Conference Tournament’s Blue Division pod, then knocked off then No. 5 Rutgers Prep in the finals on the road, on a game-winning baseline bucket by Tyler Bokatch in the final few seconds, holding off one last chance by the Argonauts, who had to go the length of the floor in just under 1.5 seconds.
LISTEN: An audio look back at Watchung Hills boys’ basketball, 2021 CJSR Team of the Year, with Coach Justin Salton, Trevor Bokach, Elijah Lewis
Second in the final rankings was Colonia. The Patriots – in a four-team GMC pod – took down the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in the rankings, respectively: St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Below are the final rankings, including postseason tournament superlatives: