Tag: Jadin Collins

Falcons’ Josh Ingram finished strong for St. Joseph, earning him CJSR Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year honors

Josh Ingram – like a lot of other basketball players in Middlesex and Somerset Counties – had a very fine 2022-23 season. He averaged 22 points a game, nearly eight rebounds, nearly four assists, and shot just under 60-perccent from the floor, 37-percent from downtown, and a nice 83-percent from the free-throw line.

In the early season, he provided enough offense as St. Joseph-Metuchen – missing some key pieces for various reasons – tried to find itself. Later in the season, with things hanging in the balance, and starter Jeremy Clayville out, Ingram “turned it up to eleven.”

In his final ten games of the season, which included not one, but two wins over Rutgers Prep and a run to the Non-Public South A title game against Union Catholic – the eventual Group A winner – Ingram turned averaged 23.6 points a game, had 33 in the regular season win over the Argonauts, and cracked 30 points four times, including a wild GMC Tournament first-round win over Spotswood, where he notched a career high 38 points.

Those efforts have earned him Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year honors for 2023.

He was virutally unstoppable from the time Clayville went down January 27th to the point that when he returned, it was just gravy.

“It’s been a privilege to coach Josh and watch him grow into the player and person has become,” said Joe’s head coach Jan Cocozziello. “His talent is undeniable, but he’s also a leader with a team mentality. He’s a selfless player who steps up when his team needs him.”

Scroll down for honorable mention selections.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with 2023 Boys’ Player of the Year Josh Ingram of St. Joe’s:


Deuce Jones, St. Thomas Aquinas: There was a lot of talent on the Trojans’ roster this season, but as head coach Bob Turco has said about Jones, “he’s the straw that stirs the drink.” He averaged six assists a game, while still scoring 16.5 points a game for the three-time GMC Tournament Champions. What made it more impressive is that the junior was playing just his first season in North Edison, a transfer from Trenton Catholic. But he fit seamlessly into a solid core that included players like Jalen “Pop” Pichardo, Terrell Pitts, Kamal Lee, and more.

St. Thomas Aquinas junior guard Deuce Jones (right) talks with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Justin Sontupe after a 69-46 win over Colonia in Edison on January 12, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Jadin Collins, Rutgers Prep: An outstanding two-year varsity starter for Matt Bloom’s club, he averaged 19.2 points per game in that span and four-and-a-half assists as the Argonauts’ point guard, while also racking up 224 steals. This year, he averaged 20.5 points per game for 22-8 Prep en route to the Somerset County Tournament Championship, a year after they won the 2022 Non-Public South B title on his then-career-high 33 point effort – kitting key bucket after key bucket down the stretch.

Jordin Collins of Rutgers Prep brings the ball up the floor in the second half against Gill St. Bernard’s on January 24, 2023. Collins finished with a game-high 22 points. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Jordan Summers, Bound Brook: Summers – who just signed on with Caldwell Monday – has been a stalwart from a great recent basketball family in The Brook. Summers finished with 1,456 career points, and scored 690 this year in 27 games, averaging an area-best 25.5 points per game – that’s tops among boys and girls in the CJSR coverage area. But it was the intangibles, leadership and unselfishness that made him most valuable to his team. “I have seen Jordan grow in front of my eyes since he was a kid, says head coach Anthony Melesurgo. “I am so proud of the young man he has become. The sky’s the limit for him!” He’ll also be playing in the North-/South All-Star game this Sunday at 2 pm at Rutgers Prep, the second player in as many years to do so; Quadir Harrell played last year.

Jordan Summers of Bound Brook – surrounded by teammates – signs on for a full scholarship with D2 Caldwell on March 6, 2023. (Photo courtesy Anthony Melesurgo)

Rutgers Prep boys return every Franklin salvo to clinch third straight SCT finals berth

The Rutgers Prep lead was 12, then ten. Then 12, then ten. Then 12, then ten. Then all of a sudden down to six, before going back to 12 twice more, and before the Argonauts finally pulled away for good.

Fifth-seed Franklin gave top-seeded Prep everything they could handle, and even then some. Junior Cam Brown of Franklin suffered what looked like it could be a devastating ankle injury and came back. Jake Novielli, scoreless since a 13-point first half, banged in back-to-back threes.

But Johnny Nsenkyire’s answer-three held Franklin at bay again, and with a six-point game back up to nine, that was the last rush the Warriors could make.

Rutger Prep (19-7) got 20 points each from Jadin Collins and John Kelly – a pair of juniors – wile seniors Cameron Piggee added 12 and Jordan Atkins scored ten.

Novielli, a junior, finished with 19 to lead Franklin (16-10), while Cam Brown added 18 and Cam Snowden finished with 16.

Now, it’s on to Saturday’s Somerset County Tournament Final at 3 pm at Montgomery High School, where it will be a rematch of last year’s SCT final. Prep will face second-seed Gill St. Bernard’s, which beat 6-seed Ridge 57-50 in overtime Thursday night. You can hear that game on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning at 12:45 with pregame for the girls’ final at 1:00, which also will feature Prep and Gill.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

Click below for postgame reaction sponsored by SportsPlex at Metuchen:

Junior Jadin Collins and Senior Jordan Atkins
Junior John Kelly

No 3. Rutgers Prep boys make their case for top SCT seed with tip-to-horn win over No. 2 Gill St. Bernards

Jadin Collins got third-ranked Rutgers Prep out to a 2-0 lead, and the Argonauts never looked back.

And now they may be looking at the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament.

They sure have a strong case after their defense suffocated No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s for the full 32 minutes Tuesday night, in a 64-43 win heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The wins mean the teams split the regular season series, and should be co-champions in the Skyland Conference Delaware Division, assuming Prep (12-6) beats Bridgewater-Raritan at home Thursday night. That would leave the Argonauts and Knights (12-4) both at 7-1 in the division.

Comparing the head-to-head matchups, Gill won by two back on January fifth, and Prep just won by 21.

It was all Rutgers Prep in this one, virtually wire-to-wire. Marist commit and senior Jadin Collins finished with a game-high 22 points, including one of the team’s seven treys, to Gill’s three. In the earlier meeting, Gill hit 12 times from downtown, and Prep only once.

But Cameron Piggee missed that game – and several others – with a high ankle sprain. Back in the lineup for his fourth game since returning from injury, he had two first quarter threes that got Prep out to a 22-5 lead after one quarter.


That extended to 18 in the second before GSB got it down to five, but Rutgers Prep extended it to eleven by the break, and it never got under ten the rest of the way. Johnny Nsenkyire added a paire of threes, while John Kelly and Jordan Atkins each hit one.

The win was just the third in the last 20 meetings between the teams, but they’ve also split their last four. Rutgers Prep won their meeting in the 2019-20 season, but Gill won last year’s Somerset County Tournament final against Prep 84-63, and then had the January fifth win this year.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!
Senior Jadin Collins
Head coach Matt Bloom

Rutgers Prep rallies for wild, late comeback win over Red Bank Catholic to claim Argos’ first-ever sectional title

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Red Bank Catholic took a lead in the second quarter, was up six at halftime, and ballooned it to 12 in the third quarter.

Things weren’t looking good for Rutgers Prep, except slowly they chipped away, and eventually, overtook the Caseys with solid D, and another career high night for Jadin Collins.

Yes, he had another career-high, back-to-back such efforts, with 33 points to lead third-seed Rutgers Prep to the Non-Public South A title, beating top-seed Red Bank Catholic 63-to-60.

Two key plays down the stretch helped seal the victory once the Argonauts – who’d gotten the dozen-point lead down to one with just under two minutes to go – took the lead with about a minute to go.

They forced a bad pass to an open C.J. Ruoff in the corner, who would have hoisted a three, and drew a charge underneath to force another turnover.

Collins did the rest on offense for Prep, scoring 16 of his 33 in the fourth, key bucket after key bucket.

Next up for Rutgers Prep, the South A champions take on the North A champs, Bergen Catholic, who beat Don Bosco Prep in Franklin Wednesday night, 69-57.

Click below for postgame reaction from junior Jadin Collins and head coach Matt Bloom:

Rutgers Prep boys topple St. Thomas Aquinas in a slugfest, will try and claim program’s first sectional title

The Rutgers Prep Argonauts have made it to a second straight sectional final, knocking off St. Thomas Aquinas 68-59 Monday night in the Non-Public South A semifinals.

It was a stellar defensive effort for 3rd-seeded Prep, which never trailed against the second-seeded Trojans, who got off to a slow start for the fifth-game in a row.

And individually, the Argos kept Adam Silas in check all night. The talented senior wound up scoring 12 points, but was held to just a single point from the foul line until the third quarter.

On the other end, Jadin Collins, Preps leading scorer averaging 16 a game, went off for a career high 32.

It sends Rutgers Prep into Wednesday’s Non-Public South A title game at 7 pm down at Lenape High School just outside of Philly for a rematch with Red Bank Catholic. The top-seeded Caseys were 70-58 winners over 4th-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen Monday night, and beat the Argonauts 90-79 in the Jimmy V Showcase back at Central Regional in Bayville back in late January.

Rutgers Prep is in the South A section for the first time, having played in the smaller South B section since joining the NJSIAA for the 2012-13 season. Now 13-8 all-time in the state playoffs, their eight prior playoff appearances include two trips to the Non-Public B semifinals, and a trip to the finals in the last state tournament played, in 2020. There, they lost to Wildwood Catholic, 80-67, with a team that was led by Trey Patterson, now at Villanova.

Click below for postgame reaction as Mike Pavlichko talks live following Rutgers Prep’s win with the Argos’ Jadin Collins and head coach Matt Bloom:

No. 1 Rutgers Prep girls outdone by national power St. John Vianney, but No 3. Argo boys return the favor

The Rutgers Prep high school basketball teams split a boys/girls doubleheader Sunday at Kean University in Union, as the Argonaut girls – No. 2 in the state – lost big to St. John Vianney – No. 1 in New Jersey and five nationally – 87-48.

But in game two, the Rutgers Prep boys – third in the Bellamy & Son Paving Central Jersey Top Ten – turned the tables on their visitors from the Shore, beating the Lancers 90-43.

It was a balanced attack for Matt Bloom’s club, which is 12th in the statewide rankings, now 19-1, and has dates with Ridge Tuesday for Senior night and Camden – the No. 1 boys’ team in New Jersey – Thursday night this week before heading into the Somerset County Tournament.

Junior Jadin Collins scored 26 points, including three mammoth dunks and a pair of treys, while Cameron Piggee added 21, Ryan Pettit chipped in 12 and Ryan Zan contributed 11.

It was the first time this season the Argonaut boys had finsihed with a score in the 90s, and it was their third highest offensive output all season; they have ended up in the 80s three times, and twice eclipsed 100, maxing out at 105 in a road win at Bridgewater-Raritan back on February third. They also won at North Hunterdon 104-60 back on January 25th.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Collins and head coach Matt Bloom:

Girls: St. John Vianney 87, Rutgers Prep 48

Rutgers Prep’s Antonia Bates plays defense as St. John Vianney attempts a three. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Meanwhile, the Rutgers Prep girls hung in, but couldn’t get close enough against the Lady Lancers, who are ranked fifth nationally by ESPN, and now have won 49 straight games, the longest active streak in New Jersey. They had no answer for Princeton commit Maddie St. Rose – who finished with 26 points, including two treys – and Zoe Brooks, who finished with 24, including three from downtown.

It was only Rutgers Prep’s second loss of the year, as they fall to 17-2, and first against a New Jersey team since March 11, 2020, when they lost at Trenton Catholic in the Non-Public South B Finals. The margin of defeat, 39, was the biggest for Rutgers Prep going back at least beyond the 2006-07 season, the oldest year for which records are publicly available on either NJ.com or Maxpreps.com.

Sophomore Mikayla Blakes scored 19 as she tried to get her team back into it in the second half, scoring 15 of the Argos’ 25 points after the break. But both Blakes and junior Katie Ledden were held scoreless in the first quarter, and only managed six points between them in the first half; a single field goal in the second quarter was all Ledden could muster against a pesky SJV defense that denied good looks down low or around the perimeter.

Click below to hear Justin Sontupe talk to RU Prep head coach Mary Klinger after the game:

Collins leads Rutgers Prep into matchup with Shore Conference foe St. John Vianney

Roselle Catholic has talent to spare.

So, when Jadin Collins left and decided to enroll at Rutgers Prep, head coach Matt Bloom welcomed him with open arms.

All Collins has done is lead Rutgers Prep – with his 18 points per game – to an 18-1 record, their lone blemish to Red Bank Catholic in the Jimmy V Showcase at the end of January.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Collins will lead the Argonauts against St. John Vianney, in game two of a girls/boys doubleheader between the schools at Kean University’s Harwood Arena in Union. Game time is set for 12:30, immediately following the girls’ matchup between the top two teams in the state – SJV is ranked No. 1.

Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe will call all the action, and you can listen live by clicking here.

Click below for audio previews of Sunday’s game:

Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom
St. John Vianney head coach Ryan Finch