Friday, April 19, 2024

Blair Boys Champs of Prep School A League

Xavier Mantegna and dad, coach Joe Mantegna. Photo by Joe Phalon.
Kenny Thompson and his mom celebrate their championship. Photo by Joe Phalon.
The Blair Buccaneers win the Prep School A championship. Photo by Joe Phalon.

Blair Academy boys’ basketball coach Joe Mantegna cut the last snip on the net after the Buccaneers became champions of the Prep School A Tournament and called it a “culture win.”

The Bucs prevailed over St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark February 21 in a game of attrition, 53-51.

Though he said it wasn’t a pretty game and that they didn’t play particularly well, he said the team “never quit on each other.”

Blair finishes the season 22-4. Mantegna described this as being in “rarified air.”

The game came down to a battle of free throws as Jayden Williams sealed the win for the Bucs with two last-minute foul shots. Williams finished the game with 11 points. 

Derron Rippey scored 20 points, going five-for-five from the foul line. He notched one steal in his winning effort. 

The Bucs had five steals on the night, but they also were the victims of ball theft six times, one of the reasons Mantegna characterized the game as sloppy. But he added that a win is a win. 

Jack Bailey put nine on the board for Blair, with Brendan Oliver adding six. 

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.