Girls Basketball – Tournament of Champions Quarterfinal Preview
NJSIAA Girls Basketball Tournament of Champions
Thursday, March 16, 2017
At Pine Belt Arena, Toms River
No. 3 Red Bank Catholic vs. No. 6 Bound Brook, 7:30 p.m.
The third-seeded Caseys (27-3) bound into the T of C after rolling through the Non-Public A field. The only team during the state tournament to challenge Red Bank Catholic on the scoreboard was St. John Vianney by a 47-39 count. Vianney was also the last team to beat RBC when it knocked off the Caseys in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals.
The loss to St. John Vianney was one of just three losses for RBC this season and the other two came against Manasquan, which is the No. 2 seed in the T of C. If the Caseys win on Thursday, they will play Manasquan on Saturday in Toms River for a chance to play for the T of C title on Monday in Trenton. RBC was won two Tournament of Champions titles in its history and has not won it since 2000.
Bound Brook (26-3) has also lost just three games all year and is coming off a convincing win over 2016 Group I champion University in the Group I final on Saturday. The Crusaders started the season on a 17-game winning streak and are now finishing it with a flurry as well. Bound Brook has won its six state tournament games by an average of 38.7 points and won four of them by 40 points or more.
No. 4 Franklin vs. No. 5 Pascack Valley, 5:30 p.m.
At 30-1, Pascack Valley matches top-seeded Rutgers Prep for the best record of any team in the T of C, while Franklin has the worst record of any team in the field at 22-7. The tale of the tape, however, does not stop there because Franklin enters play Thursday as the only team to have beaten Rutgers Prep this season.
The Warriors ran into a St. John Vianney buzzsaw in last year’s Tournament of Champions semifinals and are itching to get another shot at this year’s No. 1 seed. Rutgers Prep beat Franklin in the second meeting between the teams.
Pascack Valley’s only loss is a two-point defeat at the hands of Old Tappan. The Indians held off a late run by Ocean City to win the Group III title on Saturday for the sixth time overall and first since 2008.