JSZ’s 2022 Mr. and Miss Hoop Zone Award Finalists Announced!

The 2021-2022 high school basketball season has officially come to a close a close after an exciting three months on the hardwood. Now, we shift our focus over to our extensive postseason awards.

By Rich Chrampanis, Jersey Sports Zone’s Chief Operating Officer

Voting for the 2022 Mr. and Miss Hoop Zone has officially closed. Numerous coaches from conferences spanning the entire state – along with JSZ’s staff of MMJ’s and other reputable, credentialed media – have cast ballots for the top boys’ and girls’ player in the Garden State. Every ballot has a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place vote with three points awarded for 1st, two for 2nd, and one point for 3rd.

The winners will be announced on March 27, first on JSZ-TV and then on social media. They’ll join a talented collection of players to bring home JSZ’s top annual basketball honor. In addition, we will present our JSZ All-Zone boys and girls basketball teams featuring 40 players from public and non-public basketball for each team. That coverage begins on Monday, March 28. Here are the JSZ Mr. and Miss Hoop Zone finalists, listed in alphabetical order.

Meet the 2022 Mr. Hoop Zone Finalists

Mark Armstrong, St. Peter’s Prep | Senior

Armstrong, a Villanova signee, will likely go down as the greatest player in St. Peter’s Prep basketball history. He broke the school’s all-time scoring record near the end of the season and closed out his senior year with a career-high 648 points, good for 22.3 points per game. Armstrong’s 1,776 career points came in a multitude of ways from the talented athlete.

Mackenzie Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard’s | Junior

After virtually missing out on his entire sophomore season due to an injury, Mgbako made up for missed time and dominated throughout his breakout junior year. He averaged 19.5 PPG and 10.6 RPG and helped lead Gill St. Bernard’s to a 20-7 record and a Somerset County Tournament championship. Mgbako is uncommitted but remains a Top-10 nationally ranked player in the Class of 2023.

Will Richardson, Bergen Catholic | Senior

There’s no doubt that 2022 was an up and down season for Bergen Catholic, but when it mattered most, their top player delivered. Richardson became the Crusaders’ all-time leading scorer and was instrumental in Bergen Catholic winning the Bergen County Jamboree, the Non-Public A North sectional title and the Non-Public A state title. The Fordham commit averaged 19.5 points per game this season. He’s a two-time Mr. Hoop Zone finalist.

D.J. Wagner, Camden | Junior

The nation’s No. 1 overall ranked player in the Class of 2023 put together another masterful season with Camden. Wagner, the reigning 2021 Mr. Hoop Zone Award winner, racked up 634 points across 32 total games this season, good for 19.8 points per game. He is the face of Camden basketball and helped The High capture the programs’s elusive 12th state championship in Camden’s long, storied history. Wagner, still uncommitted, is the most-highly recruited player in the country.

Simeon Wilcher, Roselle Catholic | Junior

Simeon Wilcher might be the most improved player in the entire state this season. Roselle Catholic’s latest star player was an essential piece to the Lions capturing the last Tournament of Champions title in state history – he dropped a team-high 22 points in an overtime win over Camden. Wilcher, a North Carolina commit, is a do-it-all guard who averaged 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.2 steals over a 30-game season.

Meet the 2022 Miss Hoop Zone Finalists

Zoe Brooks, St. John Vianney | Junior

After transferring in from Trenton Catholic, Zoe Brooks continued to show why she’s one of the best underclass guards in America. Alongside fellow Miss Hoop Zone finalist Madison St. Rose, Brooks dropped 579 points (18.1 PPG) on one of the nation’s best teams. She’s uncommitted and has one more season left with the Lady Lancers. Brooks is a two-time Miss Hoop Zone finalist.

Hannah Hidalgo, Paul VI | Junior

Hidalgo is the top player from South Jersey this season and continues to dominate every time she steps onto the floor. Hidalgo notched eight separate 30-point games for the Eagles and finished with a 26.3 PPG average. She guided the 24-4 Eagles into the Non-Public A South sectional title game.

Paulina Paris, Saddle River Day | Senior

In only two years at Saddle River Day, Paulina Paris carved out a spot as one of the best players to ever suit up as a Rebel. She’s as dynamic a guard as there is in New Jersey and beyond. The North Carolina commit put up 619 points (22.9 points per game) and was integral to Saddle River Day winning its sixth straight Bergen County Tournament championship and its fourth straight sectional title.

Justine Pissott, Red Bank Catholic | Senior

Justine Pissott is the only New Jersey player to be selected to the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game. The University of Tennessee commit averaged 17.4 PPG in her senior season and she eclipsed 1,000 career points in January.

Madison St. Rose, St. John Vianney | Senior

Madison St. Rose’s ended her immaculate high school basketball career at the top of the mountain. Her elite level of play was essential to St. John Vianney’s 32-1 season that included a Shore Conference Tournament title, a Non-Public A South sectional title, the Non-Public A state title and the last Tournament of Champions title in state history. The Princeton commit produced a career-best 693 points and averaged 21.7 and 5.1 rebounds per game. St. Rose is a three-time Miss Hoop Zone finalist.

JSZ Mr. and Miss Hoop Zone Past Winners

2018: Naz Reid, Roselle Catholic (LSU/NBA – Minnesota T’Wolves) | Dara Mabrey, Manasquan (Notre Dame)

2019: Bryan Antoine, Ranney (Villanova) | Diamond Miller, Franklin (Maryland)

2020: Lance Ware, Camden (Kentucky) | Kylee Watson, Mainland (Oregon)

2021: D.J. Wagner, Camden | Destiny Adams, Manchester Twp. (North Carolina)

Jersey Sports Zone’s full postseason coverage is made possible by RWJ Barnabas Health.