To be clear: there is no disputing what single team has been the best in Somerset County for the last several years.
Since losing to Franklin in the 2019 Somerset County Tournament Final, Mary Klinger’s Rutgers Prep squad has not lost a single game against a Skyland Conference opponent. The streak is at 50 games and counting, and should it stretch to 51 Tuesday night, the Lady Argonauts will all but have sewn up the top seed in the upcoming Somerset County Tournament.
Standing in their way when they meet at 3:45 Tuesday afternoon – in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio with Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas on the call (click here to listen) – will be Gill St. Bernard’s. The third-ranked Knights (11-3) could at least make a case for the top seed in this year’s SCT if they are to knock off No. 1 Prep (10-3) in a Skyland Conference Delaware Division game. A win would be monumental.
Gill is 39-11 since the start of the COVID-shortened year, but three of those loses have come to the Lady Argonauts, and none by closer than 28 points, which came in the final of the top Skyland Conference pod in 2021.
Rutgers Prep, meanwhile, has won eight of its ten games this year by 10 points or more, and the only two that weren’t double-figure margins – came two weeks ago to non-Jersey opponents Pickering Central of Ohio and South Shore out of New York.
They are led by junior Mikayla Blakes at 22 points per game, and backed up with Rhode Island-bound senior Katie Ledden’s 15 point per game average, while getting significant contributions from freshman Gigi Battle (9.2 ppg) and Ava LaMonica (4.8) among others.
Gill has no one pouring in points like Blakes, but they have a balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging over 7 points a game, including standout junior Brooke Baisley (11.6) and sophomore Maya Abramson (9.4 ppg).
Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s preview interviews with both head coaches: