Rutgers Prep survives, advances, with first-ever Tournament of Champions victory; will face Manasquan Friday night in semis

Rutgers Prep defends against a shot from University’s Paradise Fisher in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinals in Toms River on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

NOTE: The time of Rutgers Prep’s TOC semifinal game has been corrected below to 5:00 pm.

Rutgers Prep surely wanted to be here, but after the first 24 minutes of play, they could be forgiven if they just wanted to get out of the damn building

Against a pesky 6th-seeded University team out of Newark, the third-seeded Lady Argonauts built a 20-point fourth quarter lead, but saw it shrink to 12 after Destiny Johnson bombed up trey after trey – and made them.

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With the season on the line, why not? She hit them from everywhere, even banked them high off the window outside the box, hitting four fourth-quarter treys.

But they were still not enough to counter Rutgers Prep’s high scorer, Katie Ledden, who – despite not scoring at all in the final stanza – tied Johnson for game-high honors with 23.

It was a monster night for Ledden until Prep got out of its offensive game, something head coach Mary Klinger said after that game she’d have to figure out why, in hopes of avoiding a repeat Friday night.

She knows Rutgers Prep (28-2) will need a much better effort in the semifinals here at Toms River North’s RWJBarnabas Health Arena, when they play second-seed Manasquan (30-4) at 5 pm. That game will be followed by the other semifinal at 7:00, featuring top-seed St. John Vianney (30-1) and 4th-seed Sparta, which beat 5th-seed Westfield Wednesday night, 55-47, in the early quarterfinal.

Click below for postgame reaction from the Rutgers Prep TOC quarterfinal game against University:

Junior Katie Ledden, 23 points
Head coach Mary Klinger

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