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 North Brunswick’s GMCT Round of 16 win over Colonia. In the contest, the third seeded Raiders of North Brunswick put together a solid team effort to overcome a Colonia team that played tough throughout. The result was a 52-43 North Brunswick win to punch a ticket to Middlesex County College for the third time in four years. It wasn’t easy though. The Raiders struggled from the field shooting only 31 percent overall including 19 percent from three point range. Colonia shot 50 percent overall from the floor, and had a solid game from senior forward Bleriot Thompson with 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field. However, North Brunswick limited the Colonia big man to just two points in the second half while getting three players scoring in double figures including Iverson Fleming with a team high 11 points.
Raiders Balanced Scoring Attack Overcomes Colonia, 52-43
NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ–In the only remaining GMCT Round of 16 contest, the third seeded Raiders of North Brunswick put together a solid team effort to overcome a Colonia team that played tough throughout. The result was a 52-43 North Brunswick win to punch a ticket to Middlesex County College for the third time in four years. It wasn’t easy though.
The Raiders struggled from the field shooting only 31 percent overall including 19 percent from three point range. Colonia shot 50 percent overall from the floor, and had a solid game from senior forward Bleriot Thompson with 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field. However, North Brunswick limited the Colonia big man to just two points in the second half while getting three players scoring in double figures including Iverson Fleming with a team high 11 points.
Eight players got in the game for the Raiders, and seven of them scored. Colonia just had eight players dress for the contest. All eight got in the game with only five scoring. Nick Sidotti chipped in for North Brunswick with 10 points including seven down the stretch including a three pointer and a perfect 4 of 4 from the line. Virgil Boykin continued to play well in the paint for the Raiders with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Gonzalez, who only had two three pointers on the year coming into today, hit two in the game en route to his 8 points while Dennis Ford added 7 points including two dunks in the third that helped NBTHS regain momentum.
Colonia had three players score nine points including freshman Chase Barneys, older brother and senior Trent Barneys, and sophomore J.J. Corbett, who sat out the game against Wardlaw on Wednesday night, and came off the bench in this contest. Chris Siletti rounded out the Patriots scoring with two points. Both Bleriot Thompson and younger brother Jodrell Thompson fouled out. For the game, North Brunswick shot only 17 of 54 from the floor including 5 of 26 from three point range. Colonia shot 17 of 34 overall including 2 of 12 from three.
A big difference in the game was at the line, the Patriots shot just 7 of 13 while the Raiders shot 13 of 19. Sidotti and Fleming were a combined 10 of 10 from the charity stripe including 8 of 8 in the fourth quarter. Colonia did a solid job of stopping Fleming from having a breakout game. The Hofstra bound senior was only 2 of 11 from the field including 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. Fleming’s only three came in the first period when North Brunswick jumped out to an 8-2 lead. Following a smart timeout by Colonia head coach, Chris Chiera, the Patriots rallied with the final six points of the first, and then began the second with a three point play by Corbett for an 11-8 lead.
The visitors from the Red Division led by as many as six points in the second period before the Raiders rallied with the next six points to tie the game at 18-18. Colonia retook control though by ending the half with a 5-2 burst that included a three point play by Bleriot Thompson, and Chris Siletti’s only points of the game on a driving layup that helped the Pats take a 23-20 lead into the locker room. Colonia shot 50 percent in the first half while limiting North Brunswick to just 27 percent shooting. However, the Raiders turned the tables in the second half with a 32-20 showing in the final two periods for the win.
In a moment reminiscent of the Raiders win at South Brunswick in the opening round of the 2012 Brunswick Challenge over the holidays, Dennis Ford opened second half with a one handed rim rocker after getting a steal. Gonzalez followed with a score before Ford, who had six of his points in the third, scored again for a 26-23 lead. Then, after Colonia fought back with a 6-3 run to tie the game twice at 26-26 and 29-29 on a three by Trent Barneys, Ford gave the Raiders the lead again at 31-29 with a two handed jam on a follow. Bleriot Thompson then tied the game at 31-31 to end the third with his only points of the second half.
The fourth period saw North Brunswick continue to take charge with a 21-12 showing for the win. After Colonia scored four of the first five points of the final stanza including another three by Trent Barneys for a 35-32 lead, the Raiders responded with 13 of the next 15 points including a bank shot by sophomore forward, L.J. Williams, a three by Gonzalez, a basket by Boykin, and a huge three and two free throws by Sidotti for a 45-37 lead. From there, Sidotti and Fleming sealed the win at the line as the Raiders made 7 of 8 from the line in the final two minutes.
This game gave the Raiders a much needed test. With losses to sub .500 teams such as Franklin and Piscataway in recent weeks, North Brunswick couldn’t overlook a Colonia team that had been playing better after a rocky start. North Brunswick continued to have some struggles against big men with a 14 point performance by Colonia’s Bleriot Thompson. However, the Raiders did lock down in the paint in the second half. Things won’t get any easier for the trio of Boykin, Ford, and L.J. Williams with Old Bridge’s Sultan Aminu looming in the quarterfinals at MCC on Sunday. Aminu shot 12 of 14 and scored 25 points in the Knights win over South Brunswick on Thursday night.
Colonia played a terrific game. Despite playing with a limited bench, the Patriots hung tough throughout. The Pats recovered nicely after falling behind early, and played well for about 28 of the 32 minutes. North Brunswick did what all good teams do though, and that is find a way to win and advance.
Here are video highlights from the 2013 GMCT Preliminary Round contest between 30th seeded Wardlaw, an upset winner over Timothy Christian in the play-in round, and 14th seeded Colonia. The Patriots trailed 9-6 in the first quarter before closing the opening half with a 17-6 tear for a 23-15 lead. Then, Colonia broke the game open in the third with a 24-4 showing to take a commanding 47-19 lead en route to a 56-32 win. Chase Barneys led the way with 14 points while Jodrell Thompson chipped in with 12, and Trent Barneys added 11. Justen Davis led Wardlaw in a losing cause with 14 points while Mike Newman chipped in with 8.
Here is a slideshow from some photos and video captures taken of the action in the 2013 GMCT Preliminary Round contest between 30th seeded Wardlaw, an upset winner over Timothy Christian in the play-in round, and 14th seeded Colonia. The Patriots trailed 9-6 in the first quarter before closing the opening half with a 17-6 tear for a 23-15 lead. Then, Colonia broke the game open in the third with a 24-4 showing to take a commanding 47-19 lead en route to a 56-32 win. Chase Barneys led the way with 14 points while Jodrell Thompson chipped in with 12, and Trent Barneys added 11. Justen Davis led Wardlaw in a losing cause with 14 points while Mike Newman chipped in with 8.
Third Quarter Spree Lifts Colonia Past Wardlaw, 56-32
COLONIA, NJ–After pulling off one of the big surprises in the early rounds of the 2013 GMCT, 30th seeded Wardlaw was looking to continue the magic against 14th seeded Colonia on Senior Night at CHS. For the Rams to do that, they would have to play 32 minutes of solid basketball.
In three of the four periods in this contest, Wardlaw played competitvely, only trailing by four points in those periods including a 13-9 showing in the final period. Unfortunately, by then, the game was already out of reach as Colonia blitzed the Rams with a 24-4 showing in the pivotal third frame that broke open a 23-15 game at half for a 47-19 lead en route to a 56-32 victory, and a date with third seeded North Brunswick at NBTHS on Friday afternoon at 4:00 PM.
One of the big keys in the game was three point shooting. The Patriots shot a blistering 8 of 13 from beyond the arc for 62 percent, and outscored the Rams by a 24-0 margin. Overall, Colonia shot 18 of 38 for 47 percent while Wardlaw shot 12 of 28 for 43 percent. At the foul line, the Patriots went 12 of 17 for 71 percent while Wardlaw shot 8 of 14 for 57 percent. Leading the way in victory for Colonia was freshman guard, Chase Barneys, who scored 14 points including 3 of 5 from three point land, and 5 of 8 from the foul line. Jodrell Thompson was 4 of 5 from the floor including 2 of 3 from long distance for 12 points. Trent Barneys chipped in with 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting.
Justen Davis led Wardlaw in a losing cause with 14 points as he connected on 6 of 10 shots from the floor, and made 2 of 3 at the line. Sophomore Mike Newman chipped in with 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting from the floor, and 2 of 4 from the foul line. The Rams got off to a good start as they got the first points of the game on a bucket by Davis, and then went on a 5-0 run that turned a 6-4 deficit into a 9-6 lead. Davis, who scored 7 points in the period, sparked the burst with a three point play, and then Newman capped it with a steal for a layup that forced Colonia to call timeout, and the Wardlaw bench to let out some emotion.
Following the timeout, Colonia took control for good by scoring the next 12 points from the end of the first to the middle of the second. Trent Barneys and Bleriot Thompson each got scores to end the period for a 10-9 Patriots lead, and then the Pats opened the second with the first eight points including a basket by Trent Barneys, a score by Dan Zalink, two free throws by Bleriot Thompson, and then a bucket by Chris Siletti for a 18-9 lead. Wardlaw finished the quarter with a 6-5 edge to narrow the deficit to eight at 23-15 going into the intermission, but would never get closer after that. Colonia exploded with its 24-4 surge in the third as the Pats connected on five threes including two by Chase Barneys.
From there, Colonia coasted to the easy win. Wardlaw did show some fight, especially in the first half, but turnovers proved costly as well as a lack of production from beyond the arc. The Rams also limited Colonia big man, Bleriot Thompson to just 7 points. In the three other Colonia games covered by GMC Hoops, the senior Patriot forward, has been a solid contributor by putting up either 16 or 18 points. After starting the season at 1-9, Colonia has won 7 of its last 12. The Pats are now 8-14 on the season while Wardlaw fell to 5-16 on the season.
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.
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.
NORTH EDISON, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to Bishop George Ahr High School after work to take in the final 19:24 of the crossover contest between the Trojans and Colonia. The Patriots won their second straight game with a 48-29 decision over Ahr. Colonia led 17-6 when I arrived, and the BGA trimmed the deficit to nine points at the end of the first half, and the start of the third quarter, but couldn’t get any closer than that as the Pats led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter before winning by 19. Below are the game notes from the last two and a half quarters of the contest.
3:24–arrive–COL up 17-6
3:15–COL–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for an 18-6 lead.
2:30–BGA–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for an 18-7 COL lead.
2:02–COL–James Corbett fouled–misses both FTs.
30.0–BGA–Owen McLeod takes inbounds pass in BGA backcourt, dribbles up court, down the right lane, and dishes a bounce pass left to Mike Jensen for layup and an 18-9 COL lead.
17.0–COL–Trent Barneys–nice entry pass to Jodrell Thompson for layup from right low block for a 20-9 lead.
7.0–BGA–Pat Astarita–scores for a 20-11 COL lead.
0.0–COL–Corbett foul line jumper–off the mark as time expires for a 20-11 COL lead.
5:57–BGA–McLeod sinks jumper from right corner for 22-13 COL lead.
5:44–COL–Barneys hits three from left wing for a 25-13 lead.
5:20–BGA–Tom Weiler sinks three from left side of the key for a 25-16 COL lead.
4:18–COL–Corbett scores on layup underneath for a 27-16 lead.
3:53–BGA–Weiler–layup for a 27-18 COL lead.
3:12–COL–#2–draws charge on Casey Damour
2:12–BGA–Weiler–layup from right low block.
1:52–BGA–Damour deflects pass out of bounds.
1:17–BGA–Jensen misses jumper, but ball goes off COL out of bounds–BGA ball.
1:14–COL–deflects ball out of bounds.
40.8–COL–Bleriot Thompson picks up steal, goes to basket, and draws foul on floor.
15.5–COL–timeout to avoid turnover.
3.0–COL–Amir Allen hits teardrop shot from right baseline for a 33-20 lead.
5:53–COL–Bleriot Thompson–transition layup for a 35-20 lead.
5:40–BGA–McLeod–fouled–makes both FTs for a 35-22 COL lead.
5:31–COL–Corbett–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 36-22 lead
5:02–BGA–McLeod–fouled–misses both FTs.
4:52–COL–timeout after another transition layup by Bleriot Thompson for a 38-22 lead.
4:24–COL–Chase Barneys three pointer for a 41-22 lead.
3:30–BGA–basket for a 41-24 COL lead.
3:00–COL–scores for a 43-24 lead.
2:30–BGA–basket for a 43-26 COL lead.
1:55–COL–Corbett–fouled–makes both FTs for a 45-26 lead
1:39–COL–Bleriot Thompson swats Weiler shot out of bounds.
1:00–COL–basket for a 47-26 lead.
30.3–BGA–Greg Patuto hits three from left side of the key for a 47-29 COL lead.
12.7–COL–#34–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 48-29 lead.
0.0–BGA–Weiler jumper from corner hits rim–COL wins 48-29.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–GMC Hoops will be back in action on Tuesday with another trip to Sayreville High School’s Bomb Shelter to see the Bombers in GMC White action against Monroe. There eight games involving GMC teams on tap including two non-conference contests. Below is the schedule for Tuesday afternoon and evening:
GMC Boys Basketball Schedule–Tuesday, January 15, 2012
- St. Joseph’s @ Old Bridge, 5:30 PM
- Perth Amboy @ Colonia, 6:00 PM
- Monroe @ Sayreville, 7:00 PM
- East Brunswick @ Piscataway, 7:00 PM
- J.P. Stevens @ New Brunswick, 7:00 PM
- Cardinal McCarrick @ Woodbridge, 7:00 PM
- Edison @ Scotch Plains, 7:00 PM
- New Egypt @ Metuchen, 7:00 PM
GMC Hoops plans to cover Monroe at Sayreville on Tuesday night, a JV/Varsity Doubleheader between St. Joe’s and EB on Thursday, and some of the contests from the GMC-Skyland Challenge on Saturday.