Piscataway Impresses on Monday and Tuesday at EB
|A Piscataway player goes up for a rebound in the second half against East Brunswick II on Tuesday at the 2016 East Brunswick Team Camp at EBHS. P-Way was dominating en route to going 3-0 in games covered by GMC Hoops this week at EB, and won those games by an average of 26 points per game.|
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–Last week, GMC Hoops spent the first two days at the 2016 East Brunswick Team Camp at both Hammarskjold Middle School and East Brunswick High School. On Monday, the site saw six games while on Tuesday it only saw three. The GMC teams that were covered over the two days included: Bishop Ahr, East Brunswick II, Monroe, North Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, and Sayreville.
The team that was most impressed over the two days covered by GMC Hoops was Piscataway. The Chiefs, which finished 7-14 last season, won all three of the games we saw, and all by comfortable margins. P-Way averaged just under 57 points per game while yielding only about 31 per contest for an average margin of victory of about 26 points per game. Defensively, the Chiefs played with a tenacity reminiscent of those teams from the Guy Jensen era that appeared in three GMCT finals: 2007, 2009, and 2011, and won two championships.
These Chiefs are mostly young, but the some of the solid talent is moving into their senior years. Piscataway has had three straight solid freshman classes with two of those classes reaching the Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tournament Final Four twice in 2014 and 2016 while the freshman team in 2015 was the tourney’s top seed. Moral of the story here is that, there is a lot of good talent that has been developing at the lower levels in P-Way, and they’re mostly becoming upperclassmen now. So expect the Chiefs to be better than they have been recently next season.
Signs of this improvement already started to occur this past season. Piscataway, which was picked to finish last in the GMC Red by GMC Hoops in 2015-16, defied the odds by finishing fifth. The Chiefs helped themselves by not only splitting with Perth Amboy, but also sweeping the season series against North Brunswick. On top of that, P-Way won crossover games against J.F. Kennedy and Edison, which helped bolster its resume in earning the 12th seed in this past season’s GMCT. Players to watch on P-Way next year include: D’Ondre Dent, Mehki Morgan, Cameron Saintil, Jordan Davidson, Mattias Arrindell, Deandre Scott, Keyshawn Grant, and Dahjuan Brennerman.
Players from the lower levels to also watch out for in the coming years at Piscataway include: Skykyle Matthews, Tyree Barba-Bey, and Samuel Ezeonu. Matthews earned All Tournament Team honors from GMC Hoops for the 2016 East Brunswick/GMC JV Tourney while Barba-Bey and Ezeonu earned similar honors from the site for their efforts in the 2016 Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tourney, where P-Way finished third after defeating Old Bridge in the Consolation Game. Other teams that looked good at East Brunswick over the two days included Old Bridge and Monroe. While the Knights took it on the chin to GMC Red rival, Piscataway in their nightcap game at Hammarskjold Middle School on Monday (lost to the Chiefs, 42-19), they still ended up going 2-1 in the three games we covered.
The most impressive performance in the two wins by Old Bridge was against neighborhood rival Sayreville. In that game against the Bombers, the Knights behind the shooting of Brandon Millings and Rich Calandrino and the interior play of Kyle Paris, jumped out to a 37-16 lead early in the second half, and led by as many as 33 before Sayreville, which played without standout, Ryan O’Leary, put together a 23-10 surge to finish the game for a 61-41 final score. Old Bridge had a little more of a fight against North Brunswick on Tuesday, but overcame an eight point deficit at 36-28 with under 10 minutes to go to win the game on a putback by Paris with seven seconds remaining. While the Knights are losing a good group of seniors in Connor Romano, Stephen Strom, C.J. Santoro, and Zach Attianese, but they still have good talent returning led by Paris, Wil Osvald, Calandrino, Millings, and Connor Freel.
Monroe had a bit of a fight against Bishop Ahr on Tuesday, but broke away from a 41-38 lead with about five minutes to play by scoring the last 11 points of the contest for a 52-38 victory. Matt Hoyt sparked the final assault with a critical three from the left corner with four minutes remaining for a 44-38 lead. Then, the Falcons led by Hoyt, Hassan Reid, and Eric Johnson, went to the line, and sank eight free throws down the stretch to wrap up the victory. Like Piscataway and Old Bridge, Monroe has a great deal of young talent coming back including Hoyt, Reid, Johnson, Luke Patel, Mike Kides, Kevin Shea, and AK Patel. The Falcons, which only lost Eddie Pinto and Kenny Synsyn to graduation from this past year’s squad, have also been already at work by playing in the Mid-Jersey Basketball League this spring at the Monroe Sports Center.
While East Brunswick II didn’t win any of the three games GMC Hoops covered at this week’s EB Team Camp, it was competitive in two of the games as the Bears only lost by seven to Perth Amboy (45-38) and by four to Roselle Park (56-52) on Monday. Players that performed well for these Bears over the two days included Steven Marx, Mitchell Pingoy, Jaedan Pressley, David Bermudez, Jermaine Taylor, and Sal Salsa. Sayreville had some good moments in its first game on Monday against Roselle Park. Led by Henny Mautes, who at one point, scored seven straight points for the Bombers in the second half, Sayreville had taken a 59-37 lead only to have the Panthers rally with a 16-3 surge to pull within single digits, and eventually only lose by six, 68-62. North Brunswick did have a disappointing loss to Old Bridge on Tuesday, but did have good efforts from Jordan Salisbury, Quadir Bulter, and Avery Claggett in defeat.