In the middle of February, St. Thomas Aquinas made a statement with a win over Gill St. Bernard’s in the Hearts 2 Hands Showcase at Roselle Catholic. Key players were missing for both teams, but it established the Trojans as the No. 1 team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Rankings.
But then, Gill beat Rutgers Prep in the Somerset County Tournament Final, and Rutgers Prep beat Aquinas in the Non-Public South A semifinals, en route to a sectional championship.
Aquinas beat Gill, which beat Prep, which beat Aquinas, which beat Gill….
Ultimately, Gill St. Bernard’s will close out the season as the No. 1 team in the final Bellamy & Son Top Ten.
The Knights – with a host of Division 1 players, including Georgetown-bound Denver Anglin and junior Mackenzie Mgbako – finished the season 20-7, with only three of those losses coming to New Jersey schools. They lost to Aquinas, took then-No. 1 Camden to the wire, and lost to eventual Tournament of Champions winner Roselle Catholic in Non-Public North B title game.
Rutgers Prep finished second, going 26-4, and bringing home the program’s first-ever sectional title. They rallied to beat Red Bank Catholic in the Non-Public South A title game down at Lenape High School.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the GMC Tournament Champion came in third, at 27-2, also the White Division Champions.
One previously-unranked team made it into the final rankings: South Plainfield. The Tigers finished 23-7, won the Blue Division in the GMC, and made it all the way to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 finals, where they lost to Colonia, 56-52 in double-overtime. They finished seventh in the final rankings, while the Patriots finished fourth.
Below are the full final rankings: