High School Girls Basketball

The Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team with its trophy after beating Saddle River Day for the Non-Public Group B title on March 12, 2022 at RWJBarnabas Health Arena in Toms River. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Soon-to-be-senior Katie Ledden reflects on Rutgers Prep’s run to TOC Final

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. […]

The St. Thomas Aquinas girls basketball team with its 2022 Championship Banner. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Battling MS, winning the GMCT, Aquinas’ Joe Whalen named CJSR Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year

Winning a GMC Tournament Championship is not an easy feat. Some winners do, but most don’t have a clear road and path to the title. In the case of St. Thomas Aquinas this year, there were numerous obstacles, like replacing key players, and getting new players to gel. But for head coach Joe Whalen, the challenge was monumental, and life-changing: dealing with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis that explained so many things the 64-year-old had simply attributed to age and previous sports injuries. He’d had knew issues years ago, and suffered concussions from his time boxing. But this was different, and […]

Rutgers Prep sophomore Mikayla Blakes goes up for a shot in the first half of the Non-Public Group B title game on March 12, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Super sophomore Mikayla Blakes is Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year

It’s rare that a senior – sometimes even a junior – isn’t named Player of the Year, in just about any sport, whether in high school or college. But when someone is as good as Mikayla Blakes, just a sophomore at Rutgers Prep, the class year gets thrown out the window. And so, Blakes is the inaugural Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year, an honor that’s well-deserved. The numbers are impressive. Consider that as a frosh in the short COVID year she scored double figures in seven of 13 games – and in each of the […]

The Rutgers Lady Knights with their AIAW Championship banner as they “Ring The Bell” at Old Queens in 1982. (Source: Rutgers)

Rutgers’ WRSU celebrates 40th anniversary of Lady Knights’ AIAW National Championship with Grentz, Coyles and more

As the NCAA tournament rolls on, Monday will mark 40 years to the day since Rutgers won a hiostoric national championship. On March 28, 1982 at the Palestra in Philadelphia, the Lady Knights – led by players like Mary and Patty Coyle, Chris Dailey, June Olkowski, and trailblazing head coach Theresa Grentz – beat heavily-favored Texas to win the final AIAW national title, in a year that was a crossroads for the sport. That was also the first year the NCAA sponsored a national women’s basketball tournament, and women’s basketball programs were split. Some went with the NCAA, others stuck […]

The Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team with its trophy after beating Saddle River Day for the Non-Public Group B title on March 12, 2022 at RWJBarnabas Health Arena in Toms River. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Rutgers Prep girls leave no doubt about it; they’re No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving final top ten of the year

When Central Jersey Sports Radio began its coverage of high school basketball last season, in the pandemic-shortened year, Rutgers Prep was the preseason No. 1 team. The went wire-to-wire with it last year, finishing 13-0, winners of the one-off Skyland Conference top pod. To challenge themselves, they even played Saddle River Day the next day, after winning the pod final, and won that game, too. They didn’t go undefeated in 2021-22, but they were by far the best girls’ team in the area, again, and once again, have gone wire-to-wire to finish No. 1 in the final Bellamy & Son […]

Rutgers Prep and St. John Vianney play the final Tournament of Champions title game at Rutgers University’s Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway on March 20, 2022.

INSTANT REPLAY-Girls’ TOC Final: (1) St. John Vianney 72, (3) Rutgers Prep 52

The 3rd-seeded Rutgers Prep Lady Argonauts fell to top-seeded St. John Vianney, 72-52, as the Lady Lancers won their eighth TOC title, and third under head coach Dawn Karpell. Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Rutgers University’s Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway on Sunday, March 20, 2022:

The rematch: A preview of Rutgers Prep and St. John Vianney in the last TOC final

We’re down to the last two teams, and half of girls’ basketball in New Jersey probably hoped it would come down to this, because the first meeting never lived up to the hype. That was at Kean University on Super Bowl Sunday, part of a girls’/boys’ doubleheader at their great gym in Union. But the result was anything but super for Rutgers Prep. The Lady Argonauts played an ok first quarter, but didn’t do much of anything right from then point on, en route to a 39-point loss to the No. 1 team in New Jersey. Rutgers Prep was No. […]

St. John Vianney’s Ashley O’Connor lets go a three against Sparta in the TOC semifinals on March 18, 2022 in Toms River, NJ (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

St. John Vianney gets big nights from St. Rose, Brooks, to beat Sparta; will face Rutgers Prep in TOC Final Sunday

Senior Madison St. Rose and junior Zoe Brooks did what they’ve been doing all year long – scoring a lot of points – and top-seed St. John Vianney – the No. 1 seed in the Tournament of Champions and the No. 1 team in the state – beat fourth-seed Sparta 75-54 to advance to the TOC Finals fir the first time since 2016. St. Rose scored 23 and Brooks led the way with 24 for the the Lady Lancers, who now will face Rutgers Prep in the title game. The two met on Super Bowl Sunday as part of a […]

Rutgers Prep sophomore Mikayla Blakes tries to make a move in the TOC semifinals against Manasquan on March 18, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

INSTANT REPLAY-Girls’ TOC Semifinals: (3) Rutgers Prep 64, (2) Manasquan 48

The 3rd-seeded Rutgers Prep Lady Argonauts beat the 2nd-seeded Manasquan Warriors 64-48, behind 17 points Rutgers-bound senior Antonia Bates, and nine team treys. Rutgers Prep moves on to the TOC Finals for the first time ever, and will face top-seed St. John Vianney, which beat 4-seeed Sparta in the other semifinal Friday night, 75-54. Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Toms River North’s RWJBarnabas Health Arena on Friday, March 18, 2022:

Rutgers Prep senior Leyla Castro drives from the left wing against Manasquan in the TOC semifinals on March 18, 2022. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Argonauts come out hot, lead wire-to-wire in 64-48 TOC semifinal win over Manasquan

Rutgers Prep came into its Tournament of Champions semifinal game with Manasquan as the lower seed, the Warriors also ranked above them in the statewide Top 20. The Argonauts had something to say about that. With only one tie, at 2-2, the third-seeded Lady Argonauts led virtually wire-to-wire, coming strong out of the gates, and beat 2nd-seed Manasquan 64-48 in the Tournament of Champions semifinals, to give them their first-ever birth in the TOC title game, in the event’s last season. They will play top-seed St. John Vianney at 4 pm Sunday at Rutgers for the Tournament of Champions title. […]

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