Sure, we joked a lot on Central Jersey Sports Radio that this year’s Tournament of Champions would be the last one ever, until it’s not. But getting to the historic final game and winning it all was a goal for the Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team from Day One.
They didn’t win it all, but they went as far as they could: the TOC final, running (again) into St. John Vianney, nationally ranked, and the No. 1 team in the state.
But it was a fantastic year when all was said and done. They won the Somerset County Tournament, again. They won the Non-Public South B title, the Group B title, and got contributions from everyone, however little or small.
And yet, this team has so much more to do.
That’s because its two biggest stars will be back next year: sophomore Mikayla Blakes – CJSR’s inaugural Girls’ basketball Player of the Year – and junior Katie Ledden. She averaged 15 points and over 6 rebounds a game, while Blakes led the team in scoring with 18.2 points per game, and nearly five assists per contest.
And then there’s the supporting cast. Though Antonia Bates – who’s headed to Rutgers – Leyla Castro and Morgan Ryan graduate, sophomores Chloe Escanillas and Zahra Alexander return.
And all of that will have Rutgers Prep starting the 2022-23 season right where they begin this year – and last year, for that matter: at No. 1.
Ledden spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the 2021-22 season, and the prospects for next year; click below to listen: