This past weekend, the varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams both won the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) Championship. For the girls, this marks their 12th consecutive conference title along with the boys’ fifth consecutive title.
The girls began their tournament journey with a shaky start in their semifinal game against Hill, being down 16-30 at halftime. However, after making adjustments, the Bucs went on a 24-3 explosion in the third quarter and never looked back. Blair ended up defeating Hill 63-51 and advanced to Sunday’s championship game. The leading scorer was Zeynep Ozel ’24 with 21 points, followed by Kennedy Henry ’25 with 17 points.
In their championship bout with Mercersburg, Blair dominated the game, winning with a final score of 68-33. Zeynep was once again the leading scorer with 25 points and Kennedy followed with 23 points. Jaylin Hartman ’23 and Isabella Murray ’23 also contributed with eight points each.
“The MAPL championship has been circled on our calendar all year as the culmination of our progress throughout the year,” said Greg Rosnick, Blair It was great to get quality performances from every member of our program over the weekend. Jaylin Hartman, Zeynep Ozel and Kennedy Henry were especially important for us on the weekend. They all played almost every minute and had huge contributions on both sides of the ball. We're looking forward to using this weekend as a springboard to finish strong over the last two weeks of the season as we compete in the national championships in Charlotte, NC and the NJ Prep state tournament.
For the boys’ team, they came out on fire for their semifinal game against Hun. Only beating them by one point in the regular season, Blair made a statement with a 76-57 victory over the Red Raiders. Carnegie Johnson ’23 led the way with 17 points, followed by Luke Paragon ’23 with 16 points and Ian Imegwu ’23 with 13 points.
Blair would end up facing Hill at Sunday’s championship, a tough league opponent who the Bucs lost to in the regular season. Redeeming themselves, the Bucs went on an offensive explosion, defeating the Rams 94-61. Ian had an outstanding game with 29 points, going 7-11 from downtown. Following him in scoring was Luke (17 points), Carnegie (16 points) and Jayden Williams ’24 (14 points).
“This is a supremely confident team both because they have competed together for a very long time and are true to our process of preparation,” said Joe Mantegna, Blair head boys’ basketball coach. “Veteran and prepared teams expect positive results, and we were fortunate to get one this weekend against two talented MAPL opponents.”
Both teams will now prepare for the NJISAA Prep A State Tournaments, as they will both play in the semifinal round at Blair Academy on Tuesday, February 21.