South Non-Public Girls Basketball Tournaments Offer Plenty of Competition

South Non-Public Girls Basketball Tournaments Offer Plenty of Competition
The NJSIAA Non-Public tournament usually features some of the top teams in the state. Because New Jersey has just two sections for the Non-Public schools – North and South – there are many teams from Central Jersey and even beyond that compete in the South field.
The South Non-Public A field features some of the best teams in the state. The South Non-Public B field is also highly competitive.
There are traditionally fewer teams that compete in the Non-Public playoffs. In the public schools, there are 16-team fields. There aren’t as many Non-Public schools. In South A, there are 12 teams competing, which means many of the top seeds will have a first-round bye.
In South Non-Public B there are 14 teams. Here is a look at both Groups. The South A tournament begins on Feb. 26 and the South B starts on Feb. 27.
South Non-Public A
Defending champion: St. Rose Belmar beat Immaculate Heart Academy, 53-38 in the championship.
This year’s top seed: St. Rose Belmar.
Favorite: No. 2 St. John Vianney.
Championship: March 5 at Jackson Liberty.
Outlook: St. Rose began the week 23-1 with the lone loss to Rutgers Prep. Yet St. John Vianney, which owns a New Jersey-best seven Tournament of Champions titles, will be difficult to beat. Last year the Lancers lost to St. Rose, 47-43 in the sectional semifinals.
St. John Vianney is led by one of the top seniors in New Jersey, Sajada Bonner, who is a Quinnipiac recruit. She is averaging 14.2 points on a very balanced team. Brynn Farrell, a 5-11 junior, who averages 18.4 points, is the leading scorer for St. Rose.
Two other teams to watch are No. 3 Bishop Ahr and No. 7 Red Bank Catholic, a perennial power. As for teams from the seven-county South Jersey area, No. 5 Bishop Eustace is the highest seed.
South Non-Public B
Defending champion: Rutgers Prep beat Trenton Catholic Academy, 58-54 in the sectional final.
This year’s top seed: Trenton Catholic Academy.
Favorite: No. 6 Rutgers Prep. The Argonauts have played one of the toughest schedules in the state and appear primed to defend their title.
Championship: March 6 at Jackson Liberty.


Outlook: Don’t sleep on No. 2 Gloucester Catholic, which has the best shot of any team from the seven-county South Jersey area. The Rams are led by 6-1 senior Azana Baines, a Duke recruit who is averaging 17.2 points per game. Top seeded Trenton Catholic Academy will also be a major contender. With the way the brackets are, a Gloucester Catholic-Rutgers Prep semifinal could be a highly anticipated game.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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