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 second half of the 2013 GMCT Preliminary Round game between South Amboy and Bishop Ahr in North Edison. The Trojans led by only three at the half (28-25) and with 4:24 left in the third (34-31), but put the game away with a 37-15 surge over the last 12:24 including 19 of the final 21 points of the contest to win, 71-46. Sophomore Tom Weiler led the way with a game high 26 points including six threes while Mike Jensen added 16 points including two threes. Weiler scored 16 points and got four of his threes in the second half while Jensen scored 8 points including two three point plays in the final two periods. Owen McLeod chipped in with 8 points and 7 rebounds while Greg Patuto got all 6 of his points on two threes in the third. Joe Fruncillo led South Amboy with 24 points.
Bleriot Thompson and Chase Barneys Score In Double Figures To Lead Colonia Past Ahr, 48-29
NORTH EDISON–In a rare night game on this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Colonia and Bishop Ahr renewed their neighborhood rivalry in a crossover contest. The Patriots, led by senior forward, Bleriot Thompson and freshman guard, Chase Barneys, jumped out to a 18-6 lead midway through the second quarter, and never looked back in a 48-29 win. The victory was the third in the last four games for a Colonia team that started the season at 1-9.
The younger Barneys scored 10 points including two threes while the elder Thompson registered a game high 16 points on eight field goals. Jodrell Thompson chipped in with 8 points while James Corbett added 6. Bishop Ahr, which had no players score in double figures, was led by senior guard, Greg Patuto with 9 points including his only three of the game from the left side of the key with 30.3 seconds remaining to help shape the final score. Sophomore Tom Weiler chipped in with 8 points including a three as well. Weiler scored seven of those points in the third quarter when Ahr trailed by nine on several occasions.
Colonia outscored Ahr by a 12-6 margin in points scored from beyond the arc. The Patriots also had more two point field goals (17-8). Ahr enjoyed a 7-5 edge in points scored from the foul line. The Pats scored in double digits in three of the four periods while the Trojans scored in single digits in each period. Eight different players scored for Colonia while only five did for the BGA. Entering the contest with two straight wins after losing three straight, Bishop Ahr struggled to get into the flow offensively as Colonia’s defense kept the Trojans out of sync.
Bishop Ahr got no closer than nine points over the last 19:24 of the contest. The Trojans trailed by that much on six different occasions including twice at the end of the first half, and four times at the start of the third quarter before Colonia put the game out of reach. Leading 29-20 late in the third, the Patriots scored the last four points of that period, and opened the fourth with a 14-6 tear to take a commanding 47-26 lead with a minute left. Bleriot Thompson had at least six points during the run while Chase Barneys added a three, and Corbett made 3 of 4 from the foul line. Amir Allen also got into the act with his only points of the game on a teardrop shot from the right baseline in the waning moments of the third.
The Patriots have gotten off to bad starts in each of the last three seasons. Moving up to the tougher Red Division has been difficult for Colonia. However, head coach Chris Chiera has always found a way to get his Pats playing better in the second half of the season. Perhaps this recent stretch of success is only the beginning of another late season run.
Weiler Fires Trojans Past Guvs In GMCT Action, 71-46
NORTH EDISON, NJ–Entering Tuesday night’s contest against Bishop Ahr, South Amboy was 0-3 in GMC crossover games including a buzzer beater loss at Highland Park. Bishop Ahr defeated Highland Park both times including a game back in the first week of the season at BGA where the Trojans led by as many as 30 in the second half.
However, for the first 19:16 of its GMCT Preliminary round contest against Bishop Ahr, the South Amboy Governors battled much like they did in close losses to White Division foes, Cardinal McCarrick and Sayreville. Led by junior forward, Joe Fruncillo, who scored a team high 24 points, the Guvs trailed by only three at the half, and also midway into the third quarter. After Ahr went up by 14 late in the third, South Amboy rallied back with six straight points including two free throws by Tim Kales to end the third, a layup by Fruncillo to open the fourth, and a layin by Steve Herdman to close the gap to eight at 52-44 with under seven minutes to play.
Unfortunately for the South Amboy fans in attendance, the Guvs wouldn’t get any closer as Bishop Ahr closed the game with a 19-2 run as Tom Weiler netted three pointers, and Mike Jensen made three point plays to put the game out of reach. Fifteenth seeded Ahr’s 71-46 win puts them in the 2013 GMCT Round of 16 against second seeded St. Joseph’s, which got a monster double-double performance of 35 points and 20 rebounds from Kentucky bound, Karl Towns in an 87-70 regular season win over Carteret. Weiler, who had a game high 26 points including six threes, fired in 16 points in the second half including four threes.
Mike Jensen, scored eight of his points in the second half including two three point plays. Greg Patuto fired in his only points of the game in the third quarter with two threes that helped Ahr build up a 52-38 advantage late in the period. Owen McLeod chipped in with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Over the final 12:24 of the contest, BGA outscored South Amboy by a margin of 37-15. The Trojans outscored the Guvs by a margin of 43-21 in the entire second half. On senior night at Ahr, the Trojans had 11 different players get into the game including crowd favorite Ryan Martinelli, and eight of those players got into the scorebook.
Meanwhile, South Amboy only had six different players score, and nobody outside of Fruncillo got into double figures. Herdman, who scored 9 points, fouled out in the fourth quarter. Bishop Ahr outscored South Amboy in three of the four periods, and tallied 11 three pointers versus only two for the Guvs. South Amboy tried to deploy a variety of defenses includng a triangle and two at one point in the second half, but it was to no avail. Meanwhile, Ahr did a solid job on defense by forcing turnovers including five steals in the last 9:11 of the contest. Both teams had entered the game playing well.
The Governors had won 7 of 9 games including a GMCT Play-In Round matchup against East Brunswick Tech on Monday night while Bishop Ahr had won 4 of 6 with an upset over Piscataway Tech last Monday, and two close losses to Carteret and Spotswood. The Trojans also rallied to defeat an improved South Plainfield team in overtime on the road last week.
NORTH EDISON, NJ–On Tuesday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to Bishop Ahr High School for the GMCT Play-In Round between the 15th seeded Trojans and the 18th seeded South Amboy Governors. On Senior Night, the BGA broke away from a 34-31 lead with a 37-15 surge over the final 12:24 of the game to come away with the 71-46 win. Tom Weiler played a huge role with a strong second half that consisted of 16 points and four threes. Mike Jensen added 8 points including two three point plays while Greg Patuto knocked in two triples during the decisive surge. Below are game notes from the second half of the contest.
Bishop Ahr leads 28-25.
7:41–SA–Joe Fruncillo fouled on layup attempt–makes both FTs for a 28-27 SA lead.
6:54–BGA–Tom Weiler fires in three from right wing for a 31-27 lead.
6:45–SA–Dan Murphy fouled–misses both FTs.
5:40–BGA–Greg Patuto fires in three from left wing for a 34-27 lead.
5:11–SA–Fruncillo scores on follow for a 34-29 BGA lead.
4:24–SA–Murphy scores on putback for a 34-31 BGA lead.
4:04–BGA–Weiler hits jumper from left elbow for a 36-31 lead.
3:56–SA–30 sec timeout after BGA traps Kiere Ford in front of the scorer’s table.
3:43–BGA–layup for a 38-31 lead.
3:28–BGA–fouled on the floor.
3:27–BGA–Owen McLeod fouled on inbounds play–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 39-31 lead.
2:50–BGA–Weiler fires in three for a 42-31 lead.
2:43–SA–Fruncillo scores on layup as he is fouled–makes bonus FT for a 42-34 BGA lead.
1:54–BGA–Mike Jensen scores layup in transition for a 44-34 lead.
1:30–SA–basket for a 44-36 BGA lead.
1:11–BGA–Casey Damour–layup for a 46-36 lead.
0:52–SA–Fruncillo–layup for a 46-38 lead.
0:37–BGA–Greg Patuto three pointer from left wing for a 49-38 lead.
0:11–BGA–Jensen three point play for a 52-38 lead.
0:00–SA–Tim Kales fouled–makes both FTs for a 52-40 BGA lead.
7:45–SA–Fruncillo–layup from left low block for a 52-42 BGA lead.
6:50–SA–Herdman scores on layin for a 52-44 BGA lead.
6:02–BGA–Chris Bader–layup from right low block for a 54-44 lead.
5:30–BGA–Weiler three pointer from top of the key for a 57-44 lead.
5:10–BGA–Weiler steal for layup and a 59-44 lead.
4:53–BGA–Bader–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 60-44 lead.
4:38–BGA–Weiler fires in three from left wing for a 63-44 lead.
4:20–BGA–Bader deflects ball out of bounds.
3:07–BGA–Jensen converts three point play for a 66-44 lead.
2:51–SA–Murphy scores on putback for a 66-46 BGA lead.
2:42–BGA–Bader fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 67-46 lead.
2:26–BGA–Damour steal leads to layup off dish from Bader for a 69-46 lead.
2:18–BGA–Chris Sudowsky gets steal.
1:29–SA–Murphy–fouled–misses both FTs.
1:17–BGA–Mike Viggiano–fouled–makes both FTs for a 71-46 lead.
0:00–BGA wins 71-46.
Here are video highlights from the last two plus minutes of regulation, and the overtime of Bishop Ahr’s come from behind win over South Plainfield in a late season Blue Division Clash in the Greater Middlesex Conference. Trailing 51-45 with 2:05 remaining in regulation, Bishop Ahr outscored South Plainfield by an 11-5 margin as they got threes from Greg Patuto, Tom Weiler, and Mike Jensen (at the buzzer) to tie the game up at 56-56. Then, Jensen hit a three pointer to give the Trojans the lead for good at the start of the overtime.
Jensen and Bader Lead Solid Team Effort By Trojans
MIDDLESEX, NJ–After losing the likes of Roger Kilgore, Dillon Salva, and Kenny Virden to graduation last June, the 2012-13 campaign has been one of transition for the Trojans of Bishop Ahr. With only two players returning from last year’s roster, a lot of change was in the air at the BGA. There have been some ups and downs including a recent three game losing streak that included an upset loss in overtime at Metuchen, but Ahr is doing ok.
Led by the efforts of senior Mike Jensen, who scored a game high 17 points and reserve Chris Bader, who gave a spark off the bench with 10 points, the Trojans were able to snap the three game losing streak with a 60-44 victory over Middlesex on the road. Bishop Ahr had 10 players get into the game with 9 of them scoring. Jensen connected on 6 of 8 shots including 2 of 3 from long range while making 3 of 4 at the line. Bader, connected on 3 of 4 attempts from the field while hitting 4 of 8 from the line.
Sophomore Tom Weiler also contributed with 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting including a three pointer. St. Joe’s transfer, Owen McLeod chipped in also with 7 points on 3 of 6 shooting from the floor and a free throw. Greg Patuto sank two threes in the first half to jump start the offense, and ended up with 6 points. Jarret Bogus led Middlesex in a losing cause with 14 points on 6 of 12 shooting while Austin Bardaji chipped in with 10 points on 3 of 7 shooting from the floor, and 4 of 5 from the line.
For the game, Ahr was 22 of 41 from the floor for 62 percent while Middlesex was 18 of 37 for 52 percent. Big difference was three pointers where Ahr dominated with a 6 of 17 effort versus an 0 of 5 showing by the Blue Jays. Free throws were quite even with BGA ending up 10 of 17 from the charity stripe while the Jays were 8 of 13. Fouls were close with BGA having fewer (9 to 11). Bishop Ahr jumped out to an 11-4 lead early, and withstood a run by Middlesex toward the end of the period for a 19-10 lead. The Trojans increased that to 35-19 at the half, and led by as many as 23 on several occasions in the second half.
Ahr did a great job of working the ball around and showing great team work, particularly in the second half when the Trojans made several nice extra passes for layups. While the Trojans are not as good as they have been in recent years, they should be still able to hold its own in a new and more competitive Blue Division. The future also looks bright for the BGA with the likes of Weiler and Pat Astarita leading a solid sophomore class.
On Monday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to North Edison and Bishop Ahr High School to see the Trojans in a GMC Crossover game against Colonia. The Patriots, led by Bleriot Thompson with a game high 16 points, defeated the Trojans, 48-29. Chase Barneys chipped in with 10 points for the winners. Colonia jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first 12:36 of the contest, and never let BGA get closer than 9 points the rest of the way while leading by as many as 21 late in the fourth. Greg Patuto led Ahr in a losing cause with 9 points while Tom Weiler chipped in with 8. The win was the second in a row, and third in the last four games for the Patriots, which began the year at 1-9. Meanwhile, Bishop Ahr had a two game winning streak snapped.
Here are floor cam highlights from Bishop Ahr’s win over Middlesex in GMC Blue action from mid-January 2013. After losing three straight, the Bishop Ahr Trojans got back to their winning ways on by defeating Middlesex in a Blue Division contest. Senior Mike Jensen led the way with a game high 17 points while reserve Chris Bader added 10 and sophomore Tom Weiler chipped in with 9. Jarret Bogus led Middlesex in a losing cause with 14 points while Rutgers Prep transfer Austin Bardaji chipped in with 10 for the Jays. The BGA jumped out to an 11-4 lead midway through the first period, and then outscored Middlesex 16-9 in the second period to take a 35-19 halftime lead. Ahr led by as many as 23 points in the second half before the Blue Jays finished with an 11-4 tear including six points from Bogus.
Here are Bishop Ahr Girls highlights from a loss to Immaculata in the GMC-Skyland Challenge in mid-January 2013. The Lady Trojans, led by Erica Guketlov, who scored a game high 25 points and Brianna Strahm, who chipped in with 13, took a 43-34 lead after three periods only to be outscored by a 28-13 margin over a ten minute span that included a 22-13 showing in the fourth period by Immaculata to tie the game at 56-56, and the first six points of overtime for a 62-56 Lady Spartans lead. BGA battled back though with a 7-0 spurt including two free throws by Strahm with 15.7 seconds left to take a 64-63 lead. Kat Papalski (9 points) gave Immaculata the lead for good though with 6.8 seconds left as she made two free throws for the one point win. Jessica Suk had a team high 19 points while Kylie Blanck chipped in with 16. While the boys teams in the GMC and Skyland played even in 20 contests, the Skyland did have an 11-6 edge in contests played on the Girls side including Immaculata’s overtime win over Bishop Ahr.