Tag: Bergen Catholic

Hillsborough puts 3rd best winning streak in the state on the line Friday night at Ridge

It’s only two games into the season, but the Hillsborough football team has kept the ball rolling from last year’s 13-0 squad that put up the program’s first-ever unblemished season, setting a school record for wins, winning two titles, and rewriting eleven different categories in the offensive record books.

That all goes on the line tonight when Boro (2-0) visits Ridge (1-1) up in the Somerset Hills.

Hillsborough is, no doubt, a different team. With the QB/WR tandem of Jay Mazuera and Thomas Amankwaa gone to graduation, there’s a little less flash, but new QB Ryan Tasetano (last year’s backup to Mazuera) has found a favorite target already with slot receiver Shane Donoghue, combining for 3 TD hookups already.

Ridge, on the other hand, has a season-opening 48-0 win over Monroe and lost 28-10 last week to Phillipsburg in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. The truth, for the Red Devils, may be somewhere more in the middle.

The teams have split the last two meetings.

Hillsborough is now on a 15-game winning streak, one of just four teams with streaks on the right side of the ledger of ten games or more.

The longest active win streak in the state belongs to Caldwell. The Chiefs have won 15 straight, dating back to their last three games of 2020. They went 12-0 last year and won the North 2 Regional Championship, and are 2-0 this year.

Bergen Catholic has won 16 in a row, going back to a win in their finale of the 2020 COVID season. They won the Non-Public Group A Championship last year, going 12-0, and are 3-0 to start 2022.

Then there’s Hillsborough at 15, with Irvington behind them at ten in a row. The Blue Knights won their last seven games last year en route to the North 5 Regional Championship; their sectional title was the first ever in program history.

Everyone else undefeated this season has fewer than ten wins. The next closest is West Morris at eight in a row. The Wolfpack won their last five games of last year, including the North 3 Regional Final against Cranford at MetLife Stadium. They’re 3-0 this season.


  • Caldwell: Friday night at home against Verona (1-2)
  • Bergen Catholic: Saturday at home against Seton Hall Prep (2-0)
  • Hillsborough: Friday night at Ridge (1-1)
  • Irvington: Saturday at Columbia (0-2)
  • West Moris: Friday night vs, Roxbury (0-2)

On the other side of the ledger, two Big Central teams continue to hold the longest active losing streaks in New Jersey.

Highland Park has dropped 36 in a row, with its last win coming on Thanksgiving of 2016, in the last game of the year, against arch-rival Metuchen, 35-7. Friday night, they host Spotswood (2-1).

JP Stevens is at 25, with the Hawks’ stretch going back to the last two games of 2018; their last win came over Monroe. Stevens – a Group 5 school – is down several divisions this year in the Big Central, and playing some Group 2 schools. This week, they have a Group 3 on the docket when Governor Livingston (1-2) comes to North Edison).

Behind those two is Paramus Catholic. The Paladins, remarkably, have not won since 2019, in their penultimate game of the season. They were 4-7 that year, and lost their finale, going winless in the 2020 COVID year, as well as last year.

They’ve been close this season, dropping their opener by a touchdown at Hudson Catholic, and getting edged by a single point last week, 37-36, at Pope John. Friday, they play Chaminade of New York, which was 7-3 last season, but dropped their first and only game of the year this year; they’re 0-1.

Even with a win, that streak would continue against New Jersey schools. Chaminade is the only out-of-state opponent the Paladins have faced during that entire stretch.

Behins PC is Ferri – at 16 games – having last won in 2019, followed by Paterson Kennedy at 14.

Gloucester Catholic snapped its 15 game skid last week with a 34-16 win at Bishop Eustace.

INSTANT REPLAY-Boys’ Non-Public Group A Final: Bergen Catholic 66, Rutgers Prep 54

The Rutgers Prep boys’ basketball season came to an end – despite a 21-point effort from Jadin Collins – with a 66-54 defeat to Bergen Catholic in the Non-Public Group A Championship Game, heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click the graphic above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Jersey Mike’s Arena at Rutgers University in Piscataway on Saturday, March 12, 2022:

Rutgers Prep boys fall short of TOC bid in historic season

Rutgers Prep boys’ basketball coach Matt Bloom wants his team to remember that they made history in 2021-22, something no one can ever erase: they won a sectional championship that had eluded them in the prior nine seasons as a member of the NJSIAA.

But they will not make the Tournament of Champions in the final year of the event, as the South champion Argonauts fell to North winner Bergen Catholic in the Non-Public Group A Championship game at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway, 66-54, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Click the ad above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

Rutgers Prep had brief leads of 2-0 and 4-2, but never lead again, as the Crusaders slowly built out to a double digit lead, which went back-and-forth to single digits on a number of occasions throughout the night. But most of the second half was spend with a double-digit deficit, though the Argonauts only trailed by seven at the break, 32-25.

Part of the problem was Prep wasn’t hitting its good looks, which it normally does. Junior Jadin Collins – who had back-to-back career highs in the sectional semis (30 against St. Thomas Aquinas) and finals (33 versus Red Bank Catholic) – came back to Earth with a 21-point night, to lead all scorers in the game.

Prep was active on defense. Senior Ryan Pettit had a handful of quick baskets off inbound turnovers by Bergen Catholic, all forced by the Argos being active on the trigger.

But Rutgers Prep only connected on one three-point bucket all night, a triple by Collins in the fourth quarter for his last three points of the game.

Prep – which ends its season at 26-4 – will graduate two key parts of its starting five, in 6-7 forward Ryan Zan, as well as Pettit. Senior swing Donovan Long, who didn’t get in Saturday’s final, also will graduate. Late in the game, Bloom got two other seniors some time on the Rutgers floor – Ryan Kokoszka and Kridshna Lekhi.

Looking like a college kid plucked from the stands with a chance to win a free tuition, Lekhi chucked a three from just inside half court with the game out of reach and 15-seconds left. There was no hurry, he just wanted to take the shot. He banked it off the glass, but it narrowly missed, bringing a chuckle and some smiles from the bench and Prep fans in attendance.

Click here for postgame reacton as Mike Pavblichko talks to Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom:

Argonauts peaking at the right time, ahead of rematch with Bergen Catholic for trip to boys’ TOC

It’s the Non-Public Group A final. That’s what the game is called.

But it’s really about a trip to the last-ever Tournament of Champions, an event that began in 1989, but will be played for the last time this year, scrapped by the NJSIAA to add extra weeks onto the season for the vast majority of teams, not just the last six to stay alive.

Click the ad above for more on Kean University’s next open house.

The Rutgers Prep boys’ basketball team is in uncharted territory. Since the tiny school on Easton Avenue in Somerset joined the NJSIAA for the 2012-13 school years, the Argonauts had never won a sectional final.

Until this year.

And they’ve done it in large part to Jadin Collins. He was already the team’s leading scorer, averaging about 17 points a game heading into the Non-Public South A semifinals against St. Thomas Aquinas. There, in North Edison, he scored a career high 30 points – and actually finished with a double-double – knocking off the second-seed in their own gymnasium.

What to do for an encore? How about 33 points – a new career high – and solid defense such that he took a key charge late in a comeback that Matt Bloom still hasn’t figured out how it happened.

That’s ok. It happened, and Bloom and Company are moving forward Saturday afternoon as South A champion Rutgers Prep (26-3) takes on North A Champion Bergen Catholic (21-8), which is certainly better than its record would indicate – and it’s not a bad one, at that.

The Crusaders have a tough national schedule, and have lot to the likes of Roselle Catholic, Cardinal Hayes (NY) and Kevin Boyle’s Montverde (FL). They also lost twice to Don Bosco Prep in the regular year, then beat them in the Bergen County Jamboree – their county tournament – and in the North A final.

The Crusaders are led by Fordham-bound Will Richardson and Wagner-bound Julian Brown, as well as a talented surrounding cast.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with both head coaches to preview the Non-Public Group A championship game:

Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom
Bergen Catholic head coach Billy Armstrong