With seven area teams in action as Monday opened the second week of state tournament play in New Jersey, three advanced to sectional finals this Wednesday, while four other teams saw their seasons end, two in the sectional finals themselves.
In the Non-Public A semifinals, third-seed Rutgers Prep never trailed in a 68-59 road win over 2nd-seed St. Thomas Aquinas, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The Argonauts will face top-seed Rad Bank Catholic, 70-58 winners over fourth-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen.
Rutgers Prep will be seeking its first-ever sectional title in a rematch with the Caseys, who beat them on January 30th down in South Jersey at the Jimmy V Showcase at Central Regional in Bayville.
The final will be played at 7 pm at Lenape High School, and Central Jersey Sports Radio plans to broadcast the game, pending broadcast rights approval from the NJSIAA.
Two hours prior, the Rutgers Prep girls will be at Long Branch High School playing for their own sectional title, after the top-seeded Lady Argos beat 5th-seed St. Rose, 64-34. Katie Ledden had 20 points and eight rebounds, while Mikayla Blakes chipped in 19.
They will face second-seed Wildwood Catholic, a 45-39 winner over 3-seed Gloucester Catholic Monday night.
The finals are set for 5 pm at Long Branch.
Also advancing were the Gill St. Bernard’s Boys; the third-seeded Knights knocked off 2-seed Saddle River Day 81-42, advancing to play the top-seed Roselle Catholic, which beat 4th-seed Morris Catholic 93-73. It’ll be battle of two of the top teams in the state, with Roselle Catholic ranked second in all of New Jersey, and Gill – the Somerset County Tournament Champions – ranked fourth.
That game will be played at Franklin High School at 5 pm.
Besides St. Joe’s, three other teams saw their seasons end Monday night.
In the Central Jersey Group 2 boys’ title game, Bound Brook was seeking its first sectional crown since 1979, but the Crusaders were doomed by a slow start, and lost 75-44 at top-seed Rumson-Fair Haven.
The historic run for the Colonia girls’ came to an end down in Mercer County, as the 2nd-seeded Patriots lost in the Central Jersey Group 3 final, 70-45 to top-seed Ewing.
And in Non-Public North B semifinal action, 4th-seed Gill St. Bernard’s fell 62-35 to top-seed Saddle River Day.
Here’s the upcoming schedule of games, day by day, in the state tournament:
TUESDAY, MARCH 8
Boys – North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3:
2-South Plainfield at 1-Colonia, 6 pm
Girls – North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4:
6-Hillsborough at 1-Westfield, 7 pm
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9
Boys – Non-Public South A Final:
3-Rutgers Prep vs. 1-Red Bank Catholic – Lenape High School, 7 pm
Boys – Non-Public North B Final:
3-Gill St. Bernard’s vs. 1-Roselle Catholic – Franklin High School, 5 pm
Girls – Non-Public South B Final:
2-Wildwood Catholic vs. 1-Rutgers Prep – Long Branch High School, 5 pm
THURSDAY, MARCH 10 (*if necessary)
Boys Group 3 Semifinals (North 1 vs North 2):
(either Colonia or South Plainfield) Phillipsburg High School, 7 pm
*Girls Group 4 Semifinals (North 1 vs. North 2):
Franklin High School, 5 pm