Tag: Mount St. Mary

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 Paving Top Ten, to be CJSR’s Team of the Year.

They finished 29-3, going all the way to the Tournament of Champions title game, where they fell for a second time this season to the state’s undisputed No. 1 team, St. John Vianney. Winners of the Somerset County Tournament, the Non-Public South B and the Non-Public Group B state titles, their only other loss came out of state, early in the season, to Westtown (PA).

That’s a run of 17 straight polls where the Lady Argonauts were No. 1, the only team to have that ranking in the entire – albeit brief, so far – existence of Central Jersey Sports Radio.

While Prep was no surprise this year – and would be a safe bet at a preseason No. 1 next year with key players like sophomore Mikayla Blakes and junior Katie Ledden returning – one surprise was Hillsborough.

The Lady Raiders made a late run in 2022, going all the way to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finals where they lost to eventual Group 4 champion Westfield. They got their first ranking of the season in the final top ten, at No. 4.

Below are the final Bellamy & Son girls’ basketball rankings for the 2021-22 season:

No. 8 Mount St. Mary wins second straight over No. 6 Bound Brook, 61-50

The tenor of Tuesday night’s Skyland Conference crossover game between the best two small schools in the league changed twice in the span of about 20 minutes of real time.

Neither team could find the basket in the early going, and it looked like 6th-ranked Bound Brook and No. 8 Mount St. Mary would be headed for a 15-10 halftime score, or something of that ilk.

After things settled in, the teams traded buckets with increasing frequency, and swapped the lead nine times by the first few minutes of the second stanza.

But once the Lions jumped ahead that last time, they never looked back, extending a seven-point halftime lead to as much as 15 in the third quarter, and 17 in the final period, to come away with a 61-50 win over the Crusaders.

Eventually, Mount found its touch from beyond the arc, burying eleven treys in the game, five of them from sophomore Rachel Castela, who set a new mark for buckets from downtown in a single season of 55, thanks to her quintet of treys in the game, four of which came in the second half, three in the third quarter alone.

Mount improved to 13-7 on the season, while Bound Brook dropped to 15-6. That’s the most losses for the Crusaders in a season since 2016 – which wasn’t a bad one by any stretch; they went to the Central Jersey Group 1 final and lost to University of Newark.

It was also the Lions’ second straight win in the series after Bound Brook had won the previous eight.

Click below for postgame reaction:

Sophomore Rachel Castela, who set a new single-game school record for threes of 55
Mount St. Mary head coach Ryan Shellhammer

No. 6 Bound Brook to square off with No. 8 Mt. St. Mary in battle between Somerset County’s best small schools

The game is a challenge every year, even if long winning streaks have been the norm over the last decade or so.

When Bound Brook was down on the early 2010s – as in 0-23 down in 2013, the Crusaders were getting walloped by scores like 53-18.

Enter coach Jen Derevjanik, a stellar player on Staten Island in high school who later won a WNBA ring, and the tide turned, with Brook winning 8 straight from 2016 until Mount turned the tables last season with a 47-38 victory.

That should make tonight fun in Bound Brook, where the Crusaders and Lions will do battle.

Brook (15-5) – the Mountain Division champion six years running now – is led by a pair of experienced players who aren’t seniors, though one will be out tonight.

Junior Casey Miller leads the team with 13.4 points per game, a whopping 116 assists and 86 steals. But sophomore Brenae Jones, averaging a double-double of 10.7 points per game and a team-leading 11.4 board, won’t be available.

Derevjanik says she’s not injured, and should be back for the county tournament, in which Bound Brook picked up a 5th-seed last night and will open at home Saturday against either 13-seed Bridgewater-Raritan or 12-seed Somerville.

On the other side is a young Mount St. Mary team (12-7) which is in first-place in the Valley Division of the Skyland Conference by a half-game over Voorhees (a win over the Vikings on Feb. 24 would give them the title outright, lest they share it). Rachel Castela – whom Derevjanik coached in 7th-grade AAU ball – can hit the three, 50 of them to be exact, and leads the team with 13.6 points a game. She’s just a sophomore, and freshman Mia Gestosani is next up at 11.1 points a game.

Click below to hear from both coaches as they preview tonight’s game with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Bound Brook head coach Jen Derevjanik
Mount St. Mary head coach Ryan Shellhammer

Playoff update: Girls’ Basketball Non-Public Sections

Central Jersey Sports Radio continues its breakdown of playoff sections with Saturday’s NJSIAA cutoff fast approaching. Here’s a section-by-section look based on official standings available on NJ.com as of 11 pm Monday:

Non-Public South B: This could come down to the wire, as Rutgers Prep (15-1) sits in first with 417 points, just eight ahead of Wildwood Catholic (16-4, 409 points.) But those are the only two teams in the same realm of power points, as St. Rose of Belmar in third has only 315 points, trailing by 94. This one could come down to residuals for the Argonauts, and Sunday’s game against statewide No. 1 St. John Vianney won’t count – it’s after the Saturday NJSIAA cutoff. Calvary Christian (12-2) out of the GMC Gold is fifth at 269, with Timothy Christian (6-7, 164) in 10th.

Non-Public South A: It’s St. John Vianney leading the pack here by a wide margin, 19-0 with a whopping 501 power points, 99 ahead of Paul VI (15-3, 402). Red Bank Catholic (18-3, 392) is next, followed by St. Thomas Aquinas (14-3, 366). It’s unlikely they could make up enough ground, which sets up a potential matchup with SJV in the sectional semis. It’s no better for fifth=-place Immaculata (11-7, 334), as the winner of that potential 5/4 quarterfinal game would get the Lady Lancers in the semis. Mount St. Mary (10-5, 301) would get them in the quarters if they hold in eighth place. Mother Seton (2-5, 72) brings up the rear.

Non-Public North B: The only real threat here is Gill St. Bernard’s, which is 11-3 with 289 points and sitting in 5th. Even though two of their 13 games are losses, even a couple of wins probably aren’t enough to propel them into third (currently held by Montclair Immaculate at 13-4, 345 points) and away from top-seed Saddle River Day (16-1, 486 points) until the sectional finals. Also in this section: Wardlaw-Hartridge (1-12, 89) in 12th.

Non-Public North A: The only area team here is Pingry, which is 6-10 with 209 points, and sitting ninth in the standings. The Big Blue could edge up into the top eight and even the top seven if they play their cards right. Top seven would avert an early matchup with top-seed Immaculate Heart (16-4, 399 points).

No change, top to bottom, in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

Not a single team moved one single place in the Week 7 Bellamy & Son rankings for girls’ basketball, with few losses by anyone, and many out-of-conference or to other ranked clubs.

Rutgers Prep remains No. 1, as the Argonauts have been since the rankings debuted at the start of last season, making it 14 straight week in the top spot for Mary Klinger’s squad. They had a 3-0 week, and a huge win Sunday over the 5th-ranked team in the state, Red Bank Catholic, in the Coaches’ Choice USA College Showcase in Holmdel.

Colonia – at No. 2 – also has a perfect week, going 2-0 with wins at North Brunswick and over Woodbridge. The Patriots have not lost a GMC game yet this season, their only two losses coming in their season opener to Albertus Magnus (NY) and January 12th at Westfield.

Third-ranked Bound Brook lost at Bayonne last Tuesday, while No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas lost twice, to Long Island Lutheran Tuesday at home, and to Rumson-Fair Haven in the showcase down in Holmdel Sunday.

No. 7 Monroe lost to Bound Brook on Thursday, Watchung Hills lost to unranked Immaculata Thursday, and tenth-ranked Old Bridge lost Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the full Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings:

Top five keep winning and stay in place in Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

The top five teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings went a combined 12-0 in the week gone by, with no changes among them.

Led by Rutgers Prep (12-1) at No. 1, the rest – Colonia second, followed by Bound Brook, St. Thomas Aquinas and Gill St. Bernard’s – didn’t budge.

Even the rest saw minimal changes. Monroe flip-flopped with Franklin to take 6th place after the Warriors lost to Gill St. Bernard’s last Thursday (on Central Jersey Sports Radio) 35-33 on a buzzer-beater by Brooke Baisley, while Monroe went 2-0. The Falcons have the longest active win streak in the GMC at the moment, at nine games.

Watchung Hills did the same with Mount St. Mary, moving up to 8th after the Lions split with Pingry last week, while the Warriors went 2-0.

Old Bridge held in tenth, despite a 48-36 loss last Tuesday at Monroe.

Below are the full rankings for Week 6:

Big shuffle in Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, though Rutgers Prep remains at the top

Only one team in this week’s Bellamy & Son Girls’ Basketball Rankings was in the same place a week ago. Other than Rutgers Prep, everyone shuffled into a new position, thanks to a couple of upsets.

Most notable was Monroe, previously unranked, knocking off No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas by 12 on Thursday night, a little more than a month after losing to them in the season opener by 38. It was a convincing win, too; the Falcons led virtually wire-to-wire.

Not to be outdone, unranked Watchung Hills beat No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s, while Franklin beat Watchung Hills and now just has two losses; to Gill and No. 1 Rutgers Prep, which has now held the No. 1 spot every week of the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, since its inception in CJSR’s inaugural season last year, a total of 13 weeks.

Many other teams also shuffled around with a mix of wins and losses. Below are the full Week 5 Bellamy & Son rankings:

Another unbeaten week keeps Rutgers Prep atop the Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

There’s no change in the top three places of the Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings, with No. 1 Rutgers Prep, No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas and No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s combining to go 9-0 in the past week.

Colonia and Bound Brook flip-flopped, with the Patriots (11-2) going 3-1 last week, losing only at Westfield. The Crusaders (8-3) also lost at Westfield, by fewer points, but dropped a second game in a 2-2 week, losing out-of-state to St. Joseph by the Sea of Staten Island.

Mount St. Mary (6-3) went 2-0 for the week to hold in sixth, while Woodbridge jumped from n inth to seventh on the strength of a 3-0 week. Old Bridge (6-2) held in 8th after a 1-2 week, losing to Monroe and No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas, but they picked up a win over a ranked foe, too, edging No. 7 South Brunswick 47-46. That loss put the Vikings (7-2) behind them in ninth, down two spots.

Middlesex (5-2) holds in tenth at 5-2, following a 2-1 week that included playing all the way up to the Red Division in a 58-48 loss to East Brunswick.

Below are the complete Week 4 rankings:

Another week at No. 1 for Rutgers Prep girls in Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

On the strength of a 2-0 week after a COVID pause, the Rutgers Prep girls remain the Number One team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Week Three Top Ten.

The Argonauts got back into action with a pair of games this past weekend, beating Camden Catholic Saturday 78-46, then topping Long Island Lutheran 68-49 down in West Deptford at the Blue Star High School Invitational.

There was a little movement this week, as St. Thomas Aquinas – with a 2-0 week – jumped over Gill St. Bernard’s. The Knights went 0-1 this week, losing their only game 45-42 at Hillsborough. The Trojans beat Edison by 24 and South Brunswick by 14.

Bound Brook held in fourth, while Colonia – which went 3-0 this week with wins over North Brunswick, at Woodbridge, and at Carteret – vaulted up to fifth, and Mount St. Mary held in 6th.

South Brunswick went 2-1 – the loss coming to St. Thomas Aquinas – and moved to seventh, while Old Bridge – undefeated at 5-0 – jumped into the rankings at No. 8. The Vikings had wins over South River and Edison.

Woodbridge went 1-1 and dropped to ninth, while Middlesex – which beat Spotswood and South River in the week gone by – held in tenth.

Below are the Week 3 rankings: