Blair’s boys' varsity basketball team made program history on February 21 with its 86-64 win over New Jersey rival St. Benedict’s Prep in the NJISAA prep “A” state championship. This marks the first time in School history that the boys' varsity basketball program has earned both the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) and state titles in the same season.
The team’s journey to the 2019 state title began after its heartbreaking, one-point loss to St. Benedict’s in last year's state final. The Bucs redeemed that loss with this year’s victory, capping their season with the team’s fourth state title, its first since 2014.
The championship game was hard fought, as Blair was down 13 points in the second quarter. However, the Bucs’ offense surged to score 58 points in the second half. Top scorer Jaylen Blakes ’21 came off the bench and scored 27 points. Jabri Abdur Rahim ’20 was a force to be reckoned with throughout the game with 21 points. Seniors Jordan Dingle ’19 and Keenan Worthington ’19 rounded up the scoring with 18 and 11 points, respectively.
“These guys invested deeply in each other and in their own development as players and men,” said varsity head coach Joe Mantegna. “When the moment was the biggest, and they could have quit, they bonded together and made plays to become the first Blair boys’ basketball team to win both the MAPL and state prep “A” tournaments in the same year."
In addition to its four state titles, Blair boys' basketball now holds a total of 11 MAPL championships.