In a marquee matchup that featured two state-ranked programs, two nationally ranked players, and a crosstown rivalry, Hudson Catholic earned their bragging rights as Hudson County’s best basketball team.
The Hawks, led by rising star and No. 44 NATL. ranked sophomore Tahaad Pettiford, outscored the Marauders 60-55 in a counterpunching game.
Pettiford finished the game with 25 points but was responded to by Prep’s senior guard Mark Armstrong’s game-high 31 points.
“Armstrong is a great player. Coach Alex (Mirabel) is a great coach. But I knew that our team would outcoach and outplay them,” said Pettiford
Pettiford’s supporting cast included juniors Eli Gertrude and Aaron David, who ended with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Unlike Pettiford, Armstrong did not have the contributions from his teammates. Besides Armstrong, the rest of his teammates finished with less than 10 points.
A game that included highlight reels, poster dunks, energetic fan bases in the sold-out High Tech arena, it was far from a disappointing outing for the losing team.
Saint Peter’s Prep will face Pope John in the first round as the No. 5 seed of the Non-Public A state tournament.
The champions will face Newark Academy as the number four seed in the same competition.
If both teams win their next game, they will meet in the second round of the state tournament.
But for now, Hudson Catholic is home to Hudson County basketball.