Despite a loss in its final game of the year to Morris Catholic in the Non-Public Group B Final Sunday afternoon, another dominating season by Rutgers Prep has earned them their rightful place at the top of the final Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings of the 2022-23 season for the third straight season.
The numbers for the Lady Argonauts continue to stagger the mind.
Consider: they have won 41 straight games against Somerset County opponents and 54 against Skyland Conference foes. Of the last 30, none have been by fewer than ten points. And their last loss to a Skyland opponent came against Franklin in the 2019 Somerset County Tournament Final.
They’ve won three straight SCT titles, a stretch interrupted by winning the one-off 2021 Skyland Conference top playoff pod during the COVID-shortened season where there was no county or state tournament.
They are also the only team ever to be ranked in the CJSR/Bellamy Top Ten since it’s inception along with our first season of high school basketball in 2020, making it 28 straight weeks at the top.
Ultimately, Rutgers Prep finished 25-5, won the Skyland Conference Delaware Division, the Somerset County Tournament, and their second straight Non-Public South B sectional title.
The top three teams stayed the same as in the most recent rankings – from Week Eight – with St. Thomas Aquinas at No. 2. The Trojans finished 22-7, and won the GMC Red Division as well as the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, their fourth straight – not counting the COVID year of 2021.
Gill St. Bernard’s (18-9) is third, the Somerset County Tournament runner-up to Rutgers Prep.
Monroe returned to the rankings at No. 4 after a strong playoff run, going all the way to the Central Jersey Group 4 title game. They beat division foe South Brunswick to get there, but lost in the finals to Jackson Memorial, and finished 17-10.
South Brunswick (19-8) finished right behind the Falcons in fifth place.
Edison checks in at No. 6, the the GMC White Division Champions, who finished the season 21-7 after starting the season 11-0.
Middlesex made a nice run ot the Central Jersey Group 1 finals, where they fell to Shore in the sectional title game, finishing 20-9.
Watchung Hills came in eighth, finishing 20-7, followed by Hillsborough in 9th at 16-11.
North Plainfield finished tenth at 17-9, bowing out of the state tournament to eventual Group 3 finalist Randolph.
Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Final Girls’ Basketball Rankings for the 2022-23 season: