Tag: Mount St. Mary

Franklin, Ridge, Pingry, Mount St. Mary girls all advance to Somerset County Tourney quarterfinals

It’s on to the round of eight in the Somerset County Tournament, with all the higher seeds advancing in second round action Saturday afternoon. They now play in quarterfinal action against the top four seeds, which all earned double-byes.

In the top half of the bracket, 8th-seed Ridge beat 9-seed Bound Brook at home, 59-38, in a game in controlled the whole way, starting with a 22-8 first quarter lead for the Red Devils (13-9). Junior forward Emma Landes had her first career 20-plus point game, finishing with 23 on the day. Senior Casey Miller paced Bound Brook (9-12) with 19. Ridge moves on to play at top-seed Rutgers Prep (16-4) Tuesday night.

On the other side of that bracket, fifth-seed Franklin (11-11) more than doubled-up 12th-seed Immaculata, 43-21. This one started out slow, with the Warriors taking a 4-0 lead over the Spartans (11-13) after one quarter. But they picked up the offensive pace over the next eight minutes, taking a 16-5 lead into the locker room, a lead they would not relinquish. Junior guard Iyanna Cotton’s 19 points led all scorers in the game; she was the only one in double figures. Next up for Franklin is a quarterfinal game at 4-seed Hillsborough (14-9) Tuesday night.

In the other bracket, it was 7-seed Pingry (15-9) getting past 10-seed Somerville, 54-34, behind another big second quarter. Up by just two after the first eight minutes, the Big Blue used a 22-9 second period to take a 35-20 lead into halftime. Three Pingry players reached double-figures, led by sophomore center Debra Hill, with a game-high 16. Somerville drops to 13-10 with the loss, while the Big Blue move on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinals, where they will visit 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (14-6).

The other side of that bracket saw 6th-seed Mount St. Mary move on with a 50-43 win over Bernards (15-7). The Lions (15-9) were led by sophomore Mia Gestosani with 14, while junior Rachel Castela added 12. Game-high honors went to the Mountaineers’ senior guard Sydney Incarnato, with 18. Mount moves on to play third-seed Watchung Hills (16-5) Tuesday night.

Rutgers Prep girls keep on keepin’ on, lead Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten again

Make it 24 straight weeks at No. 1 for Rutgers Prep in the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, as the Lady Argonauts remain the only team ever to hold the top spot in the rankings, now in their third year.

Rutgers Prep (10-3) went 2-0 in an abbreviated week gone by, with wins at Hunterdon Central and Hillsborough by a combined 166-71. They will take a nearly four-year and 50-game winning streak against Skyland Conference opponents into a huge clash Tuesday afternoon at home against Gill St. Bernard’s, which can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. It’ll determine the Skyland Conference Delaware Division winner, and could figure into who gets the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament with the seeding two weeks from today.


St. Thomas Aquinas (12-3) held in second with wins over South Brunswick and Old Bridge, while Gill (11-3) had a 2-0 week with wins over Hillsborough and Bridgewater-Raritan, keeping them in third.

The rest of the rankings, however, saw some shifts.

Bernards (11-3), Edison (14-2) and Middlesex (12-2) all edged up one spot each to fourth, fifth and sixth, while South Brunswick (12-4) dropped from No. 4 to No. 7 after a 1-2 week that saw them beat Piscataway, but lose to No. 2 Aquinas and unranked Colonia.


The bottom three also saw some shuffling: Watchung Hills (12-4) moved up two spots to eighth on the strength of a 3-0 week that included wins at Ridge and Hillsborough, and at home over Immaculata.

Mount St. Mary (11-5) dropped one spot to No. 9 after a 1-1 week: a win over Somerville and a loss at Warren Hills.

Spotswood (12-4) entered the rankings after a 3-1 week where they lost to East Brunswick, 56-41, but rebounded with wins at Carteret and at home over South River and Keansburg. Metuchen (12-3) – previously ranked No. 9 – dropped out with a 2-1 week that included a loss at Woodbridge. The Chargers and Bulldogs square off against each other Monday.

Below are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

Few teams lose, but Franklin, Old Bridge girls bow out of Bellamy & Son Paving Week 6 Top Ten

The top four teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball rankings remained the same this week, while Franklin and Old Bridge dropped out, and Metuchen and Watchung Hills joined the group.

From No. 1 to No. 4, neither Rutgers Prep (8-3), St. Thomas Aquinas (10-2), Gill St. Bernard’s (9-3), no South Brunswick (11-2) dropped a single game last week.


Previously-6th Franklin dropped out after suffering an 0-3 week – albeit losses to Gill, Rutgers Prep and Rumson – and falling to 4-7 on the year. Meanwhile, Edison (12-1) suffered its first loss of the season – falling at Monroe 60-36 – and dropped one spot in the poll from fifth to sixth.

That all paved the way for Bernards (10-3) to move up to fifth on the strength of a 4-0 week.

Middlesex (9-2) and Mount St. Mary (10-4) each moved up a spot to seventh and eighth, followed by two new teams.


Metuchen (10-2) joins the rankings at No. 9, while Watchung Hills (9-4) takes the last spot at ten.

Below are the full Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

Three teams out, two new ones join Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings

It was a week of losses, some more impactful than others, in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten. Week Four saw the top five remain the same, but there were many changes in Week Four after that.

Rutgers Prep (6-3) continues to hold the top spot; their third loss of the season came by ten to McDonogh of Maryland. St. Thomas Aquinas (8-2) had a 3-0 week, while Gill St. Bernard’s (6-3) remained in third, despite a two loss-week; one came to top-ranked Rutgers Prep, which has not lost a Skyland Conference regular season game since a December 2018 loss to Franklin. The other came to statewide No. 1 St. John Vianney.

South Brunswick (8-2) holds at No. 4, while Edison (10-0) remains No 5.

Franklin (4-4) moves up from seventh to sixth despite a 2-1 week. Their two wins came in-league over Hunterdon Central and previously-6th-ranked Hillsborough.

Bernards (6-3) – which was tied for tenth with Middlesex last week – moves up to No. 7, while the Blue Jays (7-1) rose to No. 8. Mount St. Mary joins the rankings at 7-4 and in the nine-spot, while Old Bridge (6-3) debuts in tenth.

Dropping out were No. 6 Hillsborough, No. 8 Monroe, and ninth-ranked Colonia. The Raiders (4-4) went 0-3 last week against Rutgers Prep, Franklin and Watchung Hills. Colonia was 2-1 with a division loss to Old Bridge. Monroe dropped a pair of games to St. Thomas Aquinas and Colonia.

Below are the full Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

Lady Argonauts lead preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings, yet again

In Central Jersey Sports Radio’s third season of covering girls’ basketball in Middlesex and Somerset Counties, Rutgers Prep has taken the Number One preseason ranking for the third straight year.

The Lady Argonauts went wire-to-wire at No. 1 in the COVID-shortened 2021 season, and did the same last season, meaning Rutgers Prep has been in the top position in all 18 polls since its inception.

The two-time defending Somerset County Tournament, Non-Public South B and Non-Public Group B champions went 29-3 last season.

Meanwhile, St. Thomas Aquinas – which has won three straight GMC Tournament titles – is ranked second in the preseason, coming off a 22-4 season.

Gill St. Bernard’s – the 2022 SCT runner-up, which went 18-6 last year – checks in at No. 3, while GMC Tournament runner-up South Brunswick – 15-6 last year with a young team that’s more experienced this year – comes in fourth..

Colonia, a Central Jersey Group 3 finalist which went 25-5 a year ago and has back senior Mattison Chiera and junior Taylor Derkack, checks in fifth.

Below is the full preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten:

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).