Conference Teams Combine For Over .500 Record Entering Final Stage Of Season
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–On Monday, state tournament play began for 25 of the 31 teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference that qualified for the various tourneys categorized by school enrollment. As of the end of play, Wednesday night, the GMC has gone 9-9 against teams outside Middlesex County in state tourney play.
Entering the state tournament season, the 31 teams in the GMC had combined for an 82-76 record during the regular season against teams from other conferences. The conference is now 91-85, and has gone 22-16 since dropping to .500 in the middle of February. It has been an up and down, and streaky season for GMC schools against non-conference foes. The GMC began the year with 8 wins in its first 9 games, and then was clobbered over the holidays.
From that point on, the GMC schools have been on a roller coaster ride against teams outside of Middlesex County. For the most part though, the conference has held its own against many of the conferences in the Central Jersey area. Entering play on Thursday, the GMC is 4-3 against the Colonial Valley Conference, 23-22 versus the Skyland Conference, 10-10 against the Union County Conference, and 16-19 versus the Shore Conference. While the conference has not been dominant against schools from these other conferences, it has been able to hold its own.
A couple conferences that have done fairly well against the GMC this year have been the Burlington County Scholastic League, which has won 5 of 8 games against GMC schools, and the Hudson County Interscholastic Athletic Association, which has won 6 of 9 against the GMC. Breaking down the 91-85 GMC non-conference record by division: The Gold is 32-19. The Red is 27-21. Blue Division is 20-17 while the White has struggled at 12-28. Teams that have done well against non-conference schools this season are: Perth Amboy Tech (8-1), St. Joseph’s (7-2), South River (7-3), East Brunswick Tech (6-2), Dunellen (4-0), Old Bridge (5-2), East Brunswick (5-2), Middlesex (3-0), Piscataway Tech (4-2), and Spotswood (3-1).
Here are video highlights from the Blue Division contest between the Ramblers and the Highland Park Owls. Carteret started out strong with a dunk by Joe McRae, and had a 9-0 lead in the first 2:19 as HPHS turned the ball over 7 times. The Owls didn’t get on the board until the five minute mark of the period, and trailed at one point the first by a score of 22-4 before ending the period with an 8-4 spurt to narrow the deficit to 26-12 after one.
Ramblers Roll As Five Players Score In Double Figures
CARTERET, NJ–Friday afternoon’s game between Highland Park and Carteret had an ominous beginning, especially if you are an Owls fan. Less than a minute into the game, the Ramblers Joe McRae stole the ball, and went in for a one handed slam from the right side. Not too long after that, Andrew Stam converted a steal with a layup at the 7:02 mark. It was going to be that type of night for Carteret.
By the time Highland Park called a timeout with 5:41 to go in the first period, the Ramblers were already up 9-0 as the Owls had already committed 7 turnovers. Tyrell Lockley then got into the act with a couple threes, and Jaquan Robertson added a few scores for a 22-4 lead at one point in the period. The only blemish on Carteret’s performance to this point was back to back 0 of 2 showings at the foul line by McRae at the 6:35 mark, and Robertson at the 6:33 mark.
The Owls, led by senior Jordan Long, who had a team high 11 points including 9 in the first half, did try to make a game of it for a while with an 8-4 spurt to end the opening quarter to close the gap to 26-12. However, the effort was feudal as Carteret scored 25 of the 28 points in the second period. Elijah Torres had three field goals including a three point play for 7 of his 9 first half points to lead the barrage. Lockley and Robertson chipped in with 4 points apiece. Reserves Anthony Spinelli and Sean Kenney got into the act also with a three and a field goal respectively.
In the first half, Carteret compiled a 51-15 lead by the intermission on 19 FGs, 3 three pointers, and 4 of 9 from the foul line. Meanwhile, the Ramblers only allowed three different Highland Park players to score while limiting the Owls to just 6 field goals and 3 of 5 from the foul line for 15 points. The Ramblers had eight different players get into the scorebook including two that were already in double figures with Lockley having 14 while Robertson added 10. The game continued to get out of hand in the second half with Carteret outscoring Highland Park by a margin of 41-18 including a 28-8 showing in the third for a 79-23 lead.
The Ramblers wound up outscoring the Owls in each period en route to a 92-33 victory. Five different Carteret players ended up scoring in double figures led by Lockley with 18, Robertson with 16, Torres with 15, McRae with 14, and Stam with 12. Brandon Benjamin almost broke into double figures with 8 points along with 3 blocks while Spinnelli added 5. Jaren Miller scored all 8 of his points in the second half for the Owls to provide a bright spot while James Webb scored four points in the second half to end up with 7 and Harry Landis added 3 to finish with 6. Only five Highland Park players got into the scorebook.
Carteret put on a similar display in the first half of its game against Metuchen at the end of the first full week of the season back before the holidays. The Ramblers may not be as physical as they have been in the past on defense, but they don’t have to grind games out on offense either. They are very athletic and have the ability to score points in bunches.
CARTERET, NJ–On Friday afternoon, GMC Hoops traveled over to Carteret High School to take in the first half of the Blue Division contest between the Ramblers and the Highland Park Owls. Carteret started out strong with a dunk by Joe McRae, and had a 9-0 lead in the first 2:19 as HPHS turned the ball over 7 times. The Owls didn’t get on the board until the five minute mark of the period, and trailed at one point the first by a score of 22-4 before ending the period with an 8-4 spurt to narrow the deficit to 26-12 after one.
Highland Park wouldn’t get any closer after that as Carteret put togethert a 25-3 onslaught in the second for a 51-15 lead at the intermission en route to a 92-33 victory. Five Ramblers scored in double figures including Tyrell Lockley, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half. Jaquan Robertson scored 10 of his 16 points in the first two periods while Elijah Torres scored 9 of his 15 in the first 16 minutes. Jordan Long scored 11 points in a losing cause for the Owls including 9 in the first half. Below are game notes from the contest, most of which were from the first half.
7:02–CAR–up 4-0 after a steal for a dunk by Joe McRae and another steal for layup by Andrew Stam.
6:35–CAR–McRae swipes steal, misses layup, fouled on follow–misses both FTs.
6:33–CAR–Jaquan Robertson gets offensive rebound–fouled–misses both FTs.
6:17–CAR–Tyrell Lockley–three pointer from left wing for a 7-0 lead.
5:41–HP–30 sec timeout–follows CAR putback by McRae for a 9-0 lead. HP–7 turnovers.
5:00–CAR–Lockley scores on three pointer for a 12-2 lead.
4:40–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 14-2 lead.
2:41–CAR–on an 8-2 run capped by a putback from Robertson for a 22-4 lead.
2:23–HP–Harry Landis scores on floater for a 22-6 CAR lead.
1:40–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 24-6 lead.
1:25–HP–Jordan Long converts traditional three point play for a 24-9 CAR lead.
58.7–HP–Landis–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 24-10 CAR lead.
28.0–CAR–Brandon Benjamin scores on putback for a 26-10 lead.
3.0–HP–Long scores on layup off dish by Landis for a 26-12 CAR lead.
0.0–CAR–Stam just misses heave at buzzer–CAR leads 26-12 after one.
Highland Park First Quarter Scoring
Jordan Long–3 FGs and a FT for 7 points
James Webb–FG for 2 points
Harry Landis–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Totals–5 FGs and 2 of 3 FTs for 12 points
Carteret First Quarter Scoring
Tyrell Lockley–2 3s and 2 FGs for 10 points
Jaquan Robertson–3 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 6 points
Joe McRae–2 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 4 points
Andrew Stam–FG for 2 points
Elijah Torres–FG for 2 points
Brandon Benjamin–FG for 2 points
Totals–10 FGs and 2 3s and 0 of 4 FTs for 26 points
6:22–CAR–Stam–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 4-0 run, and a 30-12 lead.
5:41–CAR–McRae scores on putback for a 32-12 lead.
5:22–HP–Webb–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 32-13 lead.
5:14–CAR–Elijah Torres scores on a transition layup for a 34-13 lead.
4:22–CAR–Torres converts a three point play for a 37-13 lead.
2:27–CAR–Stam scores on putback for a 41-13 lead.
1:57–CAR–Lockley scores on breakaway layup for a 43-13 lead.
1:30–CAR–Stam drives and dishes to Robertson for layup and a 45-13 lead.
1:15–HP–Long scores on follow for a 45-15 CAR lead.
1:03–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 47-15 lead.
30.0–CAR–Sean Kenney–basket for a 49-15 lead.
2.5–CAR–Ramblers end the half with two FTs by Robertson for a 51-15 lead.
0.0–HP–Long heave at buzzer is off the mark.
Highland Park Second Quarter Scoring
Jordan Long–FG for 2 points
James Webb–1 of 2 FTs for 1 point
Totals–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Carteret Second Quarter Scoring
Elijah Torres–3 FGs and 1-1 FT for 7 points
Tyrell Lockley–2 FGs for 4 points
Jaquan Robertson–FG and 2 of 2 FTs for 4 points
Andrew Stam–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Anthony Spinelli–3 PTR for 3 points
Joe McRae–FG for 2 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points
Totals–9 FGs, a 3 PTR, and 4 of 5 FTs for 25 points
Highland Park First Half Scoring
Jordan Long–4 FGs and 1 of 1 FTs for 9 points
James Webb–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Harry Landis–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Totals–6 FG and 3 of 5 FTs for 15 points
Carteret First Half Scoring
Tyrell Lockley–4 FGs and 2 3s for 14 points
Jaquan Robertson–4 FGs and 2 of 4 FTs for 10 points
Elijah Torres–4 FGs and 1 of 1 FT for 9 points
Joe McRae–3 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 6 points
Andrew Stam–2 FGs and 1 of 2 FTs for 5 points
Anthony Spinelli–3 PTR for 3 points
Brandon Benjamin–FG for 2 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points
Totals–19 FGs, 3 3s, and 4 of 9 FTs for 51 points
Carteret outscored Highland Park by a margin of 28-8 to take a 79-23 lead.
Carteret outscored Highland Park by a margin of 13-10 to close out the 92-33 victory.
Highland Park Scoring–2nd Half
Jordan Long–FG–2 points
James Webb–2 FGs for 4 points
Harry Landis–FG and a FT for 3 points
Jaren Miller–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
Travis Lesuer–FT for 1 point
Totals–7 FGs and 4 FTs for 18 points
Carteret Scoring–2nd Half
Tyrell Lockley–2 FGs for 4 points
Jaquan Robertson–3 FGs for 6 points
Elijah Torres–3 FGs for 6 points
Joe McRae–FG, 3 PTR, and 3 FTs for 8 points
Andrew Stam–2 FGs and a 3 PTR for 7 points
Anthony Spinelli–FG for 2 points
Brandon Benjamin–2 FGs and 2 FTs for 6 points
Totals–15 FGs, 2 3s, and 5 FTs for 41 points
Highland Park Scoring–Game
Jordan Long–5 FGs and a FT for 11 points
Jaren Miller–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
James Webb–3 FGs and a FT for 7 points
Harry Landis–2 FGs and 2 FTs for 6 points
Travis Lesuer–FT for 1 point
Totals–13 FGs and 7 FTs for 33 points
Tyrell Lockley–6 FGs and 2 3s for 18 points
Jaquan Robertson–7 FGs and 2 FTs for 16 points
Elijah Torres–7 FGs and a FT for 15 points
Joe Mcrae–4 FGs, a 3 PTR, and 3 FTs for 14 points
Andrew Stam–4 FGs, a 3 PTR, and a FT for 12 points
Brandon Benjamin–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
Anthony Spinelli–FG and a 3 PTR for 5 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points.
Totals–34 FGs, 5 3s, and 9 FTs for 92 points
Carteret’s Win Over Spotswood Makes It A Three Team Scramble In Blue While Four Teams Separated By One Game In Gold
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Prior to the season, I had indicated that the Blue and Gold Divisions were going to be tough. With the additions of Piscataway Tech and South Plainfield in the Blue, and the exit of P-Way Tech from the Gold, competitive races were expected this year in these two divisions. So far the season hasn’t disappointed. At the midway point we have a three way tie in the GMC Blue, there are three teams separated by one game.
If there is any parity in the GMC, it lies in these two divisions mostly. For instance, of the seven games that were played on Wednesday, five of them were decided by single digits, and six were determined by 10 points or less. Oh, by the way, the sixth game, the one that was decided by ten points, went to overtime. South River needed an extra session to defeat Timothy Christian, 72-62.
Gold Division Free For All
Speaking of the Rams, they have come back from the dead in divisional play. After losing its first three league games, South River has battled back with victories over Wardlaw (57-36), East Brunswick Tech (78-44), Amboy Tech, and TCS. A big part of that was the play of Tyler Harris, who had a monster week in week four with 89 points in three games.
Besides the rally in the GMC Gold, the Rams also have beaten a very good Group I school from the Shore in Keansburg twice. First time was a come from behind overtime victory in the Genevieve Hawley Tournament Championship (73-71) at Henry Hudson Regional HS over the holidays, and the second time was last Saturday at home (79-77). Matt Martinez has also played very well for the Rams. He pumped in 27 points in the win over Timothy Christian, and had a double-double in the first win over Keansburg with 16 points and 10 assists. Martinez has a great handle, shoots the ball well, and plays with great confidence. He is probably the best point guard at South River since this site was launched in 2000.
Let’s not forget Sean Darrar, who was the hero in the first win over Keansburg. The younger Darrar scored all 11 of his points in the final 5:35 of the contest including three treys. One of the threes tied the game at the buzzer to force overtime, and then another was the game winning with 18.7 seconds remaining. Against East Brunswick Tech, South River opened the game with a 28-6 first quarter rampage that included five threes. Two of those treys were by Harris, who scored the first 9 points of the game for the Rams, and had 14 of the points in the period. He ended up with 22 in the first half, and 30 for the game. Another of the two treys came from Bobby Applegate, who can provide scoring from the perimeter as well as length on defense, and rebounding.
Back to the rest of the Gold Division, there is a lot more competitive balance this year with the departure of Piscataway Tech. For instance, even though Amboy Tech is 2-5 in the league, they have lost a number of close games including a one point loss at home to Dunellen, and overtime losses to Timothy Christian and East Brunswick Tech. They also suffered a loss to South Amboy without two top players in Agnel Etienne and Jonathan Sosa. Jordan Little is a solid player in the middle for the Pats while Kelvin Perez has been the most consistent. Wardlaw is also 2-5, but they have been a strange team.
The Rams have lost twice to Amboy Tech by four and defeated Dunellen. Wardlaw also lost by one in non-conference play to North 13th Street Tech of Newark in the Joe Silver Holiday Tournament. Justen Davis is a solid rebounding and scoring combination, who is closing in on 1,000 points. Noah Ganz gives the Rams some perimeter punch while Ish Menns and John Newman provide athleticism. Matt Rosado gives much needed experience at the point while John Pohopin gives additional scoring from the outside. East Brunswick Tech has struggled since a 2-0 start with six losses in its last 10 games. Mark Alston and Brett Carmen have been solid for the Tigers.
Moving up to the top half of the Gold, Dunellen, South Amboy, and Timothy Christian are all locked in a three way battle for first place at 5-2. The Guvs appeared to have control of the division late last week, but three straight single digit losses including one at the buzzer to Highland Park, have brought them back down to .500. Thankfully, South Amboy only has won loss in the division during this recent tough stretch, a 50-42 defeat at the hands of Dunellen on Wednesday. The Governors are led by a group of juniors that includes Steve Herdman, Joe Fruncillo, Nick Kales, and Dan Murphy. They also have sophomore Tim Kales and senior Matt Lavan in the rotation.
The Guvs could easily be 9-3 at least if it weren’t for tough crossover losses to Cardinal McCarrick (54-51 in OT on December 15th), Sayreville (54-46 on January 12th), and the buzzer beater to Highland Park. In all three games, South Amboy had the held including an 11 point advantage on McCarrick. If this group begins to figure out how to close out close games against these bigger schools from the upper divisions of the GMC, they could make a bit of a rumble in the county tournament. Herdman, who recently had his 37 consecutive game streak with at least one three pointer broken, came back the next game with four in the first period as the Guvs defeated Wardlaw, 60-38. Fruncillo has had game high in each of the last three games.
Despite losing two 1,000 point scorers in Dan “Triple” Decker and Kristian Svendsen to graduation, and another key player from last year’s team in Devon Johnson, who transferred to Edison this year, the Tigers of Timothy Christian are still a factor in the GMC Gold. Led by senior Jeff Parker and junior Brandon Summers, this edition of the Tigers are a solid shooting bunch that still play solid defense and great team ball. Trailing by four near the end of regulaton and in overtme at Amboy Tech last week, TCS found a way to win (54-51) as Summers came up with two scores to tie the game with a minute to go in overtime and Parker won it with a three from the left wing with 31.8 seconds to go.
Jarret Locke is a nice little playmaker, who was just a split second shy from winning the contest in regulation with a heave just inside halfcourt. He also had a runner that tied the contest. Mike DiLeo provides some additional scoring punch while reserve Zach Coyle helped the Tigers stay in front for a while in the third against the Patriots with a trey from the left wing. Evan Waldron clogs up the middle, and gives TCS some much needed size down low. Head coach Chris Hobbs has some help on the bench this year with an assistant, and that has helped him find ways to keep the Tigers in the hunt despite the turnover from last year.
Finally, we get to Dunellen, which could be the most intriguing team of all in this division. The Destroyers did take some hits to graduation by losing the likes of Sean Gibney and Jeff Puckett, but they still had a lot back this year with Deon Brown, Dylan Hoski, Matt Heidinger, Tony McGuane, and Orville Thompson. However, DHS has had some struggles that included losses to Wardlaw, Middlesex, and more recently, Timothy Christian. Keep in mind though that Dunellen has always gotten off to tough starts under head coach Bernie Buniak only to come on strong and either win or challenge for the division crown in late January and February.
Three Way Horse Race In GMC Blue
While four teams are in the hun in the Gold Division of the Greater Middlesex Conference, three teams are battling for first place in the Blue. Carteret moved into sole possession of first at 8-1 with a come from behind, 75-72 win over Spotswood on the road on Wednesday night. The Chargers, which came into the week undefeated in both division and conference play suffered two straight conference losses including a 74-59 defeat to North Brunswick at home on Monday night.
Tied with Spotswood, and only a half game back of Carteret in the standings is Piscataway Tech at 7-1. The Raiders rolled over Bishop Ahr, and have a tie breaker over Carteret thanks to a thrilling, 54-52 win on the road at CHS on January 4th. Spotswood defeated the Raiders at P-Way Tech to start the new year. Despite moving up a division, and losing the likes of Galen Smith, Khairi Mosely, and Mo Pierre to graduation and the likes of Will Joyce and Jalen Jackson to transfer, Piscataway Tech has managed to not only stay in contention, but get some early season quality wins on the road at Carteret and over Group IV schools, Passaic and Paterson Kennedy in the Jingle Bells Jubilee over the holidays.
Turell McClendon, Jordan Lackey, and Aziz Austin carry much of the load for PVT, but role players Robby Pierre, Inderpaul Pingahila, and Willie Patterson have contributed nicely as well. Head coach Karl Towns has also made some defensive adjustments, and now he is looking like a strong GMC Hoops Coach of the Year candidate. He may have mellowed a bit on the sideline as well, but he was very close to top form in the win over Carteret two weeks ago. Carteret also took some heavy losses to graduation by losing the likes of Avery Carter, Tanveer Dosanjh, Joe Nigro, and Kevin Van Dyke among others, but still had the likes of sophomores Jaquan Robertson and Brandon Gilder back along with senior Elijah Torres.
Younger brother Zach Torres has also contribued off the bench while newcomers Tyrell Lockley and Joe McRae provide athleticism and versatility. Forward Andrew Stam gives CHS some length and scoring ability from the perimeter. The team in the Blue with the most experience back is Spotswood. Even though the Chargers lost 1,000 point scorer, Tommy Soulias, who is now playing well at Kean, they had the likes of Jake Dadika, Dalonte Grant, Jamal Lewis, Corey Brown and Kevin Fox all back this year. In addition they have some solid newcomers such as freshmen Marlon Hart and Eric Dadika coming off the bench. Jake Dadika is one of the top scorers in the GMC this year whle Grant provides additional scoring punch to make this one of the best backcourts in the conference.
Lewis may be undersized, but his athletic ability and tenacity help him compensate for that as he has put up a number of double-digit scoring games recently including 18 in a victory over Bishop Ahr. Corey Brown brings his football toughness on the boards while scoring from either the perimeter or by going to the basket. Kevin Fox demonstrated a nice knack of perimeter shooting to help the Chargers put the game out of reach against BGA. Hart and the younger Dadika also find ways to contribute any way they can.
For a while, Bishop Ahr appeared to be a contender with five wins in six games after an opening night loss to Carteret, but since then, the Trojans have come back down to earth with three straight losses including an overtime defeat at Metuchen, and double digit setbacks to division frontrunners Spotswood and Piscataway Tech. The BGA was hit hard by graduation with all but two players graduating last June. However, head coach Dennis O’Keefe has a solid sophomore class headed by Tom Weiler, and a couple transfers from St. Joseph’s including Owen McLeod. Mike Jensen, one of the two holdovers from last year, has a knack for getting to the basket while Greg Patuto provides some scoring from the perimeter. Senior guard, Tom Duffy has the ability to make plays and score.
Like Ahr, Middlesex had also been playing well for a stretch before suffering several setbacks. Although the Blue Jays are presently hovering around the .500 mark, they look to be more improved this year, especially with Rutgers Prep transfer, Austin Bardaji in the lineup. Prior to Bardaji getting into the rotation, the Jays had won 5 of its first seven games with the only two losses to division contenders Bishop Ahr and Piscataway Tech. Middlesex also defeated Dunellen in a crossover for the 2012 Shello/Santy Christmas Tournament Championship. However, the Jays have stumbled as of late with losses to divsion heavyweights Spotswood and P-Way Tech before falling at home to JFK.
Speaking of the Mustangs, Kennedy is starting to play better. After a 1-4 start the Stangs have split their last six with wins over Metuchen, South Plainfield, and Middlesex while losing to Spotswood, Piscataway Tech, and Point Pleasant Boro. JFK suffered close defeats to Warren Hills (54-47) and Mater Dei (51-47) over the holidays at the Gene Haley Tournament in Edison. Head coach, Chris Banos was hit hard by graduation as he lost his entire starting lineup from last year, but he is not making excuses and hopes his young bunch that includes Kyle Alvarez, Darrin Perez, Mike Weinstein, and Joe Duffy will continue to grow.
Metuchen has struggled in the early going this season, but second year head coach, Jon Korellis pretty much had figured that. He felt his team would start playing better come January. The Bulldogs have only won three games this season, but two of them included the overtime win over Bishop Ahr and a solid win over Group IV Howell of the Shore Conference. Metuchen also gave Piscataway Tech some trouble before falling in overtime (57-51) in the first full week of the season. Artie Flaherty Jr. is playing much like his dad did when he scored over 2,000 points to become the all time leading scorer at the school in the early to mid-1980s. Tom Chalker continues to grow at the point while Brian Eustace, Hunter Clarke, Frank McGuire, and Evan Collier have contributed well.
South Plainfield, which looked to be one of the favorite’s in the division entering the season, conntinues to go through some growing pains under second year head coach, Justin Chiera. The Tigers have lost a ton of close games including to Perth Amboy (48-39 OT), Middlesex (60-53), J.F. Kennedy (57-52), Bishop Ahr (64-57), and Carteret (55-50). Claude Payne has been the bright spot for the Tigers with a solid consistent effort in the paint this season. Justin Glover has also had some solid games while youngsters Jordan Hankerson and Jason Lee have come up from the JV to make key contributions. SPHS has come up with some wins over Metuchen and Highland Park over the last week. Hopefully, they can use the recent successes to turn things around.
Finally, we have Highland Park, which has talent with the likes of football standouts, Nadre Hepburn, Jordan Long, and David Webb, but the Owls have not been able to get it to translate into more victories. HPHS does have a couple recent wins over neighborhood rival Metuchen and South Amboy to hang its hat on.
Here are video highlights from the first half of action between Highland Park and Dunellen in the opening round of the Shello/Santy Tournament at The Faber in Dunellen. The Destroyers jumped out to a 15-7 late first quarter lead before the Owls rallied back with an 11-2 tear to take the lead in the second 18-17 only to have Dunellen finish the half with a 9-4 spurt for a 27-22 halftime lead. The Destroyers would pull away with the third en route to a 53-39 victory. Deon Brown led a balanced Dunellen attack with 12 points while Nadre Hepburn led Highland Park with 11 points.
GMC Hoops Game Notes–Highland Park vs. Dunellen–Opening Round–Shello/Santy Tournament–December 27, 2012December 27, 2012 on 8:49 pm | In Dunellen Hoops, Holiday Tournaments, Highland Park Hoops | Comments Off
DUNELLEN, NJ–In the finale of the opening round doubleheader at the 2012 Shello/Santy Tournament being held at The Faber, Dunellen jumped out to a 15-7 lead, and then wrestled the lead back for good in the second period after a 11-2 run by Highland Park en route to a 53-39 victory. The Destroyers led only 31-25 with 5:15 to go in the third before finishing up with a 23-14 surge for the win. Deon Brown and Matt Heidinger led the way for Dunellen while Nadre Hepburn, Jordan Long, and David Webb stood out in a losing cause for the Owls. Below are game notes from the contest.
6:02–DUN–takes a 5-2 lead on basket by Tony McGuane. #3 opened the game for Destroyers with a trey while David Webb accounted for the only HP points with a layup.
4:58–DUN–Deon Brown converts traditonal three point play for an 8-2 lead.
2:36–DUN–#12–fouled–makes both FTs for a 10-5 lead.
2:20–HP–Nadre Hepburn goes down the right lane for layup, and a 10-7 DUN lead.
1:01–HP–Hepburn blocks shot.
56.0–DUN–Matt Heidinger scores off inbounds underneath for a 12-7 lead.
30.0–DUN–Heidinger converts three point play for a 15-7 lead.
5:21–DUN–30 sec timeout–HP–on a 7-1 run including two scores in the last 20 seconds for a 16-14 DUN lead.
4:37–HP–layup makes score 17-16 in favor of DUN.
3:54–HP–nice pass down low to Webb for layup and a 18-17 lead.
3:21–DUN–Brown dishes to Heidinger for layup and a 19-18 lead.
2:45–DUN–#22 scores on putback for a 21-18 lead.
2:07–DUN–Dylan Hoski–fouled–makes both FTs for a 23-18 lead.
1:56–DUN–Orville Thompson–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 24-18 lead.
1:27–DUN–Brown drives in for layup and a 26-18 lead.
1:19–HP–Harry Landis–fouled–makes both FTs for a 26-20 DUN lead.
1:01–HP–Hepburn deflects pass out of bounds.
48.9–DUN–deflects ball out of bounds.
26.2–HP–Hepburn fouled–missed both FTs.
5.0–HP–gets the ball and passes upcourt to Lesure for layup and a 26-22 DUN lead.
0.0–DUN–Brown’s shot from left wing falls short as time expires for a 26-22 DUN lead at the half.
7::37–DUN–McGuane–scores on short shot from left low block for a 28-22 lead.
7:10–DUN–Brown–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 29-22 lead.
7:04–DUN–deflects ball out of bounds.
6:17–DUN–gets steal, but Brown unable to finish.
6:09–HP–Hepburn fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 29-23 DUN lead.
5:57–DUN–#3–fouled on three point attempt–makes 2 of 3 FTs.
5:54–DUN–Hoski gets offensive rebound, but travels.
5:38–HP–deflects ball out of bounds.
5:15–HP–#13–hits short hook shot as he is fouled–missed bonus FT for a 31-25 DUN lead.
5:04–DUN–Brown dishes to Heidinger for layup and a 33-25 lead.
4:40–DUN–Brown drains triple from right wing for a 36-25 lead.
4:00–DUN–gets steal, but is unable to score.
3:18–DUN–Wenzel fouled. Makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 37-25 lead.
3:09–HP–Long drives to the basket–called for traveling.
2:48–DUN–throws ball away–turnover.
2:43–HP–Long hits Landis on inbounds pass, Landis dishes to Lesure, who is fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 37-26 DUN lead.
2:28–DUN–#12–layup for a 39-26 lead.
1:47–HP–Long–sinks jumper from left side for a 39-28 DUN lead.
1:23–HP–Hepburn gets into open court, and dishes to Webb for layup and a 39-30 DUN lead.
1:05–DUN–layup for a 41-30 lead.
47.7–DUN–gets steal, but loses ball out of bounds.
46.9–DUN–Wenzel deflects ball out of bounds.
29.4–DUN–Wenzel drives to the basket, and is fouled by Webb–DUN in bonus–Wenzel makes both FTs for a 43-30 lead.
22.2–HP–Hepburn misses layup, but pokes ball away from DUN out of bounds–still DUN ball..
0.3–DUN–Hoski gets rebound of missed jumper by Wenzel–tied up underneath–jump ball–DUN keeps possession.
0.0–DUN–Wenzel lobs to Thompson on inbounds, but it is too tall–clock runs out with DUN on top 43-30.
7:28–HP–Long fouled–makes both FTs for a 43-32 lead..
7:15–DUN–basket for a 45-32 lead.
6:58–HP–Hepburn scores on follow of Webb miss for a 45-34 DUN lead.
6:45–HP–Hepburn–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 45-35 lead.
6:16–HP–Long pokes away steal.
6:06–HP–Long–fouled down low–both teams now in the bonus–Long makes both FTs for a 45-37 DUN lead–HP–full timeout.
4:57–DUN–Hoski scores on layin for a 47-37 lead.
4:50–HP–Long fouled in the left low block on layup attempt–misses both FTs–Landis tries to save the ball from going out of bounds, but Heidinger intercepts.
4:23–DUN–Hoski–gets offensive board–draws foul on follow–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 48-37 lead.
4:19–HP–throws ball away–turnover.
4:18–HP–deflects inbounds pass out of bounds.
4:10–DUN–Hoski called for an illegal screen.
3:50–DUN–Wenzel–fouled on the floor by Landis. Makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 49-37 lead.
3:41–HP–Hepburn drives in from the right side for layup, and a 49-39 DUN lead.
3:05–HP–Hepburn gets steal, and passes to Lesure, but he hesitates, and loses the ball out of bounds–DUN ball.
2:40–DUN–McGuane fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 50-39 lead.
2:33–DUN–Wenzel pokes away steal.
1:26–DUN–almost loses the ball, but keeps possession, and draws a foul–#12–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 51-39 lead.
1:22–HP–calls timeout after getting loose ball off missed 2nd FT by DUN.
1:15–DUN–McGuane pokes away steal.
1:10–DUN–Brown fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 52-39 lead.
19.8–DUN–Brown fouled by Hepburn–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 53-39 lead.
0.0–DUN–pokes away steal as time runs out for the 53-39 win.
Balanced Attack Helps Trojans Roll Past Owls
NORTH EDISON, NJ–Like a lot of teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference, the 2012-13 edition of the Bishop Ahr Trojans took significant losses to graduation last year. The team lost all, but one player to graduation from last year’s roster. The most significant of those losses were Roger Kilgore (Yale for football), Dillon Salva (Kean for football), and Kenny Virden (Wesley College for football). So, Ahr has a lot of new faces.
The only player returning from last year is Mike Jensen, who was a standout football player for BGA during the fall. Trojans did get some veteran help with the transfer of Owen McLeod from St. Joseph’s. Now, in his junior year, McLeod played on the St. Joseph’s-Green team that defeated South Plainfield (54-41) in the 2011 Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tournament Championship. In his sophomore year, McLeod was a key player in the JV’s undefeated season that included three victories over East Brunswick. One of those wins over the Junior Bears was for the 2012 East Brunswick/JV GMC Tournament Championship.
In addition to Jensen and McLeod, there is Tom Duffy, Greg Patuto, and Tom Weiler. All five of these BGA players contributed to a balanced scoring attack that helped the Trojans build a 50-24 lead by the late portion of the third quarter, and ultimately to a 62-47 victory over Highland Park. The Trojans also have a very solid sophomore class. Eleven different players scored for Bishop Ahr, which led by 28 points on a couple of occasions in the fourth quarter before Highland Park finished the game by scoring 15 of the last 17 points. Duffy and McLeod led all BGA scorers with 12 points each while Jensen, Patuto, and Weiler each added seven.
Highland Park had the two high scorers in the game in Nadre Hepburn (21 points) and Jordan Long (17 points). However, the Owls only had five players break into the scoring column, and three of them go no more than four points. On top of that, Hepburn scored 11 of his 21 points in the final 2:53 of the game in the midst of the Owls 15-2 tear to close the contest, and make the score more respectable. The Owls have a good deal back from last year including Hepburn, their best player, Long, David Webb (had 3 points in the game), and Harry Landis. Highland Park has some good athletes in Hepburn, Long, and Webb. All three play football during the fall. The Owls need to work better on the defensive side of the ball though. Too much reaching.
Since losing its opener on the road at Carteret, BGA has won three straight to improved to 3-1. All games played by the Trojans so far this season have been within the Blue Division. With the win, Ahr was able to stay within a half game of first place, which is currently owned by three teams: Carteret (3-0), Piscataway Tech (3-0), and Spotswood (3-0). Looks like a fairly good race developing in the division this year. Highland Park fell to 0-4 with the loss. Over the holidays, Bishop Ahr will be playing in the Keith Benovengo Memorial Tournament in Scotch Plains with a first round matchup against the host school Raiders at 4:00 PM on December 27th. Meanwhile, Highland Park will take on Dunellen in the opening round of the Shello/Santy Tournament at the Faber in Dunellen at 7:00 PM on December 27th.
Here are video highlights from the last 9:52 of the GMC Blue Division contest between Bishop Ahr and Highland Park in North Edison. Led by a balanced scoring attack that had 11 different players get into the scorebook, BGA jumped out to a 50-24 lead late in the third, and led by as many as 28 on a couple of occasions in the fourth before Highland Park finished the game with a 15-2 tear for the 62-47 Trojans victory. Nadre Hepburn, who scored 11 of his points in the final 2:53 of the contest, ended up with a game high 21 points for the Owls while teammate Jordan Long chipped in with 17 in a losing cause. Tom Duffy and St. Joe’s transfer Owen McLeod led BGA with 12 points apiece.
NORTH EDISON–After traveling over to Carteret to see the game between the Ramblers and Metuchen, GMC Hoops headed over to Bishop Ahr High School to see the final ten minutes of action between the Trojans and Highland Park. The game was no longer in doubt by the time we entered the gym with Ahr already leading 50-24. BGA led by as many as 28 on two occasions in the fourth before Highland Park closed the game with a 15-2 run over the final four and a half minutes including 11 points by Nadre Hepburn in the last 2:53, but the Trojans still won, 62-47. Hepburn had a game high 21 points while Jordan Long chipped in with 17 for the Owls. Bishop Ahr had a more balanced attack led by Tom Duffy and St. Joe’s transfer Owen McLeod, who scored 12 each, and three other players: Mike Jensen, Tom Weiler, and Greg Patuto scored 7 points. Below are game notes from the final 9:52 of the game.
1:52–arrive–Bishop Ahr leads 50-24.
1:40–HP–Jordan Long gets the ball in the paint, dribbles to his right, and flips up a one handed shot that goes in for a 50-26 BGA lead.
1:31–BGA–Owen McLeod scores on a follow off a missed jumper from the left wing for a 52-26 lead.
1:23–HP–Jordan Long misses layup down low.
1:05–HP-Long gets ball off pick and roll, tries to knife in between two BGA defenders, flips up a shot as he is fouled, and it goes–missed bonus free throw for a 52-28 BGA lead.
0:05–BGA–Mike Viggiano, deflects a pass for a steal, and goes the rest of the way for a layup from the right side to give the Trojans a 54-28 lead after three.
7:25–BGA–McLeod dribbles to the foul line from the left wing, and pulls-up for a jumper and a 56-28 BGA lead.
6:05–HP–Hepburn drives into the foul line area, and dishes a dump pass to Long for a layin underneath, and a 56-30 BGA lead.
5:23–HP–Jarren Miller scores on a shot in the paint for a 56-32 BGA lead.
4:59–BGA–Christian Bader puts in a follow off a missed layup by McLeod for a 58-32 lead.
4:35–BGA–Christian Bader dishes bounce pass from right high post to Casey Damour for a layup from the left low block and a 60-32 lead.
3:43–BGA–McLeod leaves the game.
3:26–HP–James Webb drains triple from the right wing in transition for a 60-35 BGA lead.
2:53–BGA–30 sec timeout–HP–Hepburn–swipes steal and is fouled–makes both FTs for a 60-37 BGA lead.
2:28–HP–Long–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 60-38 BGA lead.
2:15–BGA–Robert Paccitti fouled on the drive–makes both FTs for a 62-38 lead.
1:19–HP–Hepburn draws a crowd of BGA defenders in the left lane before hitting a short jumper for a 62-40 BGA lead.
0:43–HP–Hepburn drives into the paint and hits floater between two defenders for a 62-42 BGA lead.
0:30–HP–Hepburn swipes steal, and goes in for layup from left side for a 62-44 BGA lead.
0:10–HP–Long blocks shot from behind out of bounds.
0:00–HP–Hepburn drains three at the buzzer for a 62-47 final score.
HP–ends game with a 15-2 tear.
Highland Park Scoring
#1–Jordan Long–17 points
#5–James Webb–3 points
#3–Nadre Hepburn–21 points
#4–Jarren Miller–4 points
#10–Harry Landis–0 points
#14–Travis Lesuer–2 points
Bishop Ahr Scoring
#5–Tom Duffy–12 points
#10–Mike Jensen–7 points
#20–Owen McLeod–12 points
#35–Tom Weiler–7 points
#22–Greg Patuto–7 points
#11–Chris Sudowsky–3 points
#13–Patrick Astarita–3 points
#12–Christian Bader–4 points
#14–Mike Viggiano–2 points
#15–Robert Paccitti–2 points
#24–Casey Damour–2 points