The Rutgers Prep Argonauts have made it to a second straight sectional final, knocking off St. Thomas Aquinas 68-59 Monday night in the Non-Public South A semifinals.
It was a stellar defensive effort for 3rd-seeded Prep, which never trailed against the second-seeded Trojans, who got off to a slow start for the fifth-game in a row.
And individually, the Argos kept Adam Silas in check all night. The talented senior wound up scoring 12 points, but was held to just a single point from the foul line until the third quarter.
On the other end, Jadin Collins, Preps leading scorer averaging 16 a game, went off for a career high 32.
It sends Rutgers Prep into Wednesday’s Non-Public South A title game at 7 pm down at Lenape High School just outside of Philly for a rematch with Red Bank Catholic. The top-seeded Caseys were 70-58 winners over 4th-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen Monday night, and beat the Argonauts 90-79 in the Jimmy V Showcase back at Central Regional in Bayville back in late January.
Rutgers Prep is in the South A section for the first time, having played in the smaller South B section since joining the NJSIAA for the 2012-13 season. Now 13-8 all-time in the state playoffs, their eight prior playoff appearances include two trips to the Non-Public B semifinals, and a trip to the finals in the last state tournament played, in 2020. There, they lost to Wildwood Catholic, 80-67, with a team that was led by Trey Patterson, now at Villanova.
Click below for postgame reaction as Mike Pavlichko talks live following Rutgers Prep’s win with the Argos’ Jadin Collins and head coach Matt Bloom: