We’re closing in on the midway point of the season in the state of New Jersey, and there still are a bunch of teams that are keeping the dream of an undefeated year alive.
How many teams can actually make that a reality and stay perfect in 2021?
Check out the list below to see the teams who have not lost yet, as of Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Bergen Catholic (5-0) might be the best team in Jersey. The Crusaders will certainly have a chance to make that case if they keep picking up statement wins while playing the toughest schedule in the state. Bergen Catholic’s latest victory was its best so far as it knocked off nationally ranked Patrick School. Juniors Will Richardson and Julian Brown have been explosive all season, coming up with their best games in the biggest moments. Rookies Elliot Cadeau Freshman and Terry Copeland have stepped in and made an instant impact.
Demarest (1-0) only played one game this season and walked away with a three-point win over Tenafly. This team will get back at it this weekend when it plays undefeated Dumont.
Dumont (6-0) has been impressive during its undefeated start, adding big wins over Ramsey and Paramus Catholic in the last week. Senior Dominick Barlow is averaging 28.8 points per game. The dominant forward has three 30-point games and a pair of 20-rebound games.
Pascack Hills (4-0) continues to stack up wins this winter and shows no signs of slowing down. Seniors Aidan Kehoe Senior, Jake Morales and Matt Myers are taking advantage of their final season and haven’t let Pascack Hills fall short yet this winter.
Passaic Valley (3-0) has won every game by at least 17 points this season. This squad just picked up its first road win against Fair Lawn on Wednesday. Junior Angel Rodriguez has been the team’s leaders, averaging nearly 20 points per game early on.
Paterson Kennedy (3-0) got back on the court after two weeks without playing a game and showed no rust in a win over Passaic. The Knights forced 21 turnovers in that game and used their translation offense to take control of the game. Paterson Kennedy goes head to head with rival Paterson Eastside on Thursday night.
Wayne Hills (6-0) has seen its upperclassmen step up early on and their play has made this team unbeatable. Philip Park, Andre Macarenes and Ali Mansroglu are all having solid years. Park’s ability to connect from 3-point range has been game-changing for the Patriots.
Pemberton (5-0) hasn’t had a start like this in a long time. The Hornets have won every game by at least 10 points and just handed Doane Academy its first setback as Cameron Downs collected 21 points and 12 rebounds. It was the fourth double-double of the season for the transfer from Medford Tech.
Trenton Catholic (2-0) posted a pair of tremendous victories after having to wait two weeks to kick off its final season. The Iron Mikes, No. 16 in this week’s Top 20 rankings, knocked off then-No. 16 Don Bosco Prep in their opener and handed No. 2 Roselle Catholic its first loss on Wednesday. The school is scheduled to close in June and this team certainly wants to leave its mark.
Egg Harbor (4-0) hasn’t played since defeating Pleasantville by 44 points back on Feb. 6. The Eagles are getting solid contributions across the board, with junior guard Carlos Lopez averaging a team-leading 20 points per game.
St. Joseph (Hamm.) (5-0) recently knocked off St. Augustine for the first time since 2007 and followed that with back-to-back wins by better than 30 points apiece against Vineland and Buena. Senior guard Marcus Pierce is the Wildcats’ leading scorer at 21 per game, while Clearview transfer Dom Thomas is averaging 12.6 points, six rebounds and nearly two assists per game.
Sterling (5-0) has emerged as the class of the conference behind first-year coach Justin Barringer. The Silver Knights most recently knocked off perennial power Haddonfield, getting 28 points 14 rebounds and three assists from 6-foot-5 senior forward Antoine Arnett.
Hopewell Valley (1-0) started its season with a win over Princeton and Kevin Ellis led the way with 15 points. Jake Loughery and Gabe Rodriguez each added 10 points for the Bulldogs in their season-opener.
East Brunswick (2-0) displayed an explosive and well-balanced offense led by Devin Kennedy, Jalen Pichardo and Justin Black to post wins against South River and New Brunswick. The Bears have tough battles ahead with St. Joseph (Met.) Thursday and South Brunswick Saturday.
Wardlaw-Hartridge (5-0) survived a scare against Timothy Christian Wednesday night, 60-57, thanks to strong interior play of Saleem Ibraheem and the timely scoring of Brandon McCall and Mehkai Huey. Huey has provided stifling defense in the backcourt in recent outings.
Memorial (1-0) showed no signs of rust Wednesday as the Tigers emerged from a two-week quarantine to top Snyder, 45-40, in their opening game. Aaron Swan scored 11 points, Alejandro Arango had nine and the squad played surprisingly crisp defense after the long layoff.
St. Peter’s Prep (6-0) needed overtime Saturday to edge No. 10 Montclair Immaculate, 60-57, but then was back to its overpowering ways three days later against North Bergen, 70-42. Ray Ford supplied overtime heroics against Immaculate with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and he, Mark Armstrong, Hassan Jackson, Alif Bass and Zion Fowler led a balanced attack against North Bergen.
Union City (1-0) came off quarantine perfectly ready for action with a 73-30 victory over Ferris on Tuesday. Senior Mike Jackson led the way with 20 points, followed by junior Maurice Odum with 14 and senior Devin Gomez with 13. The Soaring Eagles face Hoboken Thursday afternoon.
Dwight-Englewood (2-0) has been tearing it up offensively, averaging 79 points per game in a pair of wins. Junior David Mager leads that offense with 22.5 points per game. Sam Lieberman, Tyler Koutros, Vaughn Foster and Nick Balakian have also played well so far.
Glen Rock (3-0) came up with a strong defensive performance to keep its undefeated season going this week. The Bergen County squad beat Verona, 38-32, as Colin Boisits led the way with a team-high 12 points. Glen Rock is only letting up 34 points per game this winter.
Secaucus (2-0) is off to a good start and Jamling Lama has come back and played well again this season for the Hudson County squad. This team didn’t play its first game until Feb. 3, but hasn’t shown any signs of rust early on this season.
St. Mary (Ruth.) (3-0) has been picking up wins with a balanced lineup that has been impossible to stop at this point. The defense has forced 12 steals per game at this point and that has been key to success. Senior Nick Gillies’ ability to grab rebounds has also been key.
Mountain Lakes (2-0) generated a balanced attack behind the efforts of Riley Albregts, Kieran Schutt and Blake Furrer to open with wins against Boonton and Morristown-Beard. The Lakers are now under quarantine, though, and will not resume play until Feb. 18 at Morristown-Beard.
Newton (5-0) has flourished behind the scoring and overall court leadership of senior guard Aaron Fantasia (17.4 ppg.) and the reliable contributions of Dylan Bailey, Brian McKeown and Jack Young. Opponents have found it difficult to produce runs against this crew.
Roxbury (4-0) has applied a stranglehold to rival offenses through the cohesive efforts of Kyle Haegele, Trevor Napoliello, Jason Raggi, Justin Bosland and others. Haegele also has been a dependable scoring force at 19 ppg. The Gaels, who have yielded just 32.2 ppg., will need to maintain their edge against Randolph on Friday.
West Morris (5-0) has benefitted from the smart, unflustered leadership of senior veterans Christian Cevis, Jack Leloia and Ethan Stoute to climb to No. 8 in the latest NJ.com Top 20. The Wolfpack also have received some scrappy defense and rebounding from David Rento and Zach McFarland.
Camden (3-0) extended its winning streak to 28 dating back to last season with recent victories over then-No. 11 Rutgers Prep and Olympic rival Bishop Eustace. The Panthers are No. 6 in the latest MaxPreps national rankings – the top-ranked public school in the country.
Camden Catholic (2-0) was delayed due to COVID issues but picked up a pair of victories in its first week of play. The No. 9 Irish defeated Cherry Hill East and added a 23-point win over Moorestown. Temple-bound senior swingman Zach Hicks had led the way, eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his career with a 32-point effort against Moorestown.
Cherokee (5-0) continued its winning ways with recent decisions over Washington Township, then-No. 8 Paul VI and Overbrook. The Chiefs will host Colonial Conference leader Sterling in a non-league game Friday. Drew Wixted, Andrew Walker and Ethan Stith have led a balanced attack.
Lenape (1-0) won its only game before being hit with a COVID shutdown. Junior guard Derek Simpson poured in a game-high 23 points against Woodrow Wilson. The Indians are scheduled to play at No. 16 Trenton Catholic on Friday.
Shawnee (1-0) got past Winslow Township in its opener before being shut down. Dwight Mathews (20), Andrew Ball (15) and John White (12) led the charge. The Renegades aren’t scheduled to resume play until Feb. 18 at Cherokee.
Barnegat (4-0) is still unbeaten because of a pair of buzzer-beaters this winter. The latest came in an 83-81 victory over Freehold Township. Laurence Davis hit the winning shot in that game to keep Barnegat’s perfect run going. Jaxon Baker led all scorers with 27 points.
Holmdel (6-0) has been a well-balanced team so far this winter and that has been the key to this undefeated start. Alex Baker is the headliner of this team, but Ryan Bradley and Kyle Polivka have also been playing well.
Manasquan (2-0) will be back in action next week when it plays Montclair Immaculate. The Warriors have a lot of big games on the schedule and will get the chance to cement their place among the state’s elite teams pretty soon.
Manchester Township (3-0) is off to a great start and will have a good shot to keep that run going when it returns to the court in a few weeks. D’Maari Brown and Savon Myers have been offensive and defensive standouts early on for the Hawks.
Ranney (5-0) shows no signs of slowing down and if it keeps up this pace, the Shore Conference squad could finish the season with a perfect record. Elijah Perkins and Isaac Hester have been one of the elite guard combinations in the state this winter.
Red Bank Catholic (2-0) is shut down for the next two weeks, so it will have to wait to add to its winning streak. Juniors Cyril Arvanitis and Alex Bauman have been the leaders of the team so far, averaging double-digit points in a pair of wins over Long Branch.
Rumson-Fair Haven (1-0) still has only played once this winter, but is scheduled to come back and play Barnegat on Friday. That battle of unbeatens will show where each team is at with just a few weeks left in the season. Geoffrey Schroeder and Scott Gyimesi led this team in its season-opening win against Red Bank Regional.
Bernards (2-0) hasn’t played in a couple of weeks, but it is hoping to pick up where it left off when it returns. Andrew Holmes, Elliot Dietrich and Vincent White all were playing well and that trio will be counted on to keep the undefeated streak going next week.
Bound Brook (4-0) had to hold on late in a 59-56 win over Voorhees last week to keep its perfect season going. Quadir Harrell and Cam’Ron Summers each scored 16 points in that win, while Jordan Summers had a big-time double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Franklin (1-0) will be back in action against Watchung Hills on Friday. The Warriors started the season with a close win over Hillsborough. Franklin hasn’t played since that day, but will look to shake off the rust in a hurry with Anthony Milligan, Ikenna Eluwa, Cameron Snowden and Joshua Kuroda-Grauer leading the charge.
Montgomery (5-0) came out on top in a showdown with previously undefeated Ridge on Wednesday. Ryan Curry has been amazing this winter and dropped 26 points in that victory over Ridge. Lafayette commit Chris Rubayo has also played well, making Montgomery unbeatable halfway through the season.
It’s been two weeks since Pingry (1-0) last played. Sam Proudfoo, Oliver Duryee and Reese Swittenberg led the way in that win, scoring double-digit points for the Big Blue.
Barringer (1-0) turned in an outstanding defensive outing and received balanced scoring from Aiyon Walker, Isiah Cabrera and Jymir Williams to win its only game, 42-35, over Newark Academy Jan. 28. The Bears resume play Wednesday against Glen Ridge.
Bloomfield (6-0) has formulated a potent one-two combination thus far with consistently stingy defense (36.1 ppga.) and reliable scoring production from seniors Vernon Lee (15 ppg.) and Chino Anyanwu (12.1). Opponents have found they also cannot ignore Khanye’ Tucker or Isaiah Cortes.
University (2-0) got behind the offensive spark of Jannie Coates-Sineus (24 ppg.), Bakir Cleveland (15.5) and Tye Artis (15) to open with victories over Columbia and Payne Tech. The Phoenix face stern upcoming tests against Newark East Side Thursday, Columbia Saturday and No. 10 Montclair Immaculate Feb. 18.
Deptford (6-0) has been unstoppable, its best start in recent memory. Under first-year coach Brandon Williams, the Spartans defeated Highland and Triton earlier in the week and were scheduled to play at Camden Academy Charter on Thursday. A guard-dominated team, Deptford has been led by junior Virgil Scruggs at 17 points per game.
Penns Grove (5-0) has played solid basketball and will take its unbeaten streak into Glassboro on Friday. The Red Devils recently knocked off Salem Tech in a non-league game, getting 21 points and five steals from senior guard Nasir Robinson. Jayon Carter added 14 points and five steals, while Jymir Gilliam and Anthony Thomas had eight rebounds apiece.
Union County Conference
There are no undefeated teams in the UCC.
Kevin Minnick covers South Jersey boys basketball. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @kminnicksports
Mike Kinney covers North and Central Jersey boys basketball. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeKinneyHS
Brandon Gould covers North and Central Jersey boys basketball. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonGouldHS.