EDISON, NJ–After winning the Championship Game of the 2008 TBSA Summer League, some of the players on the J.P. Stevens Hawks were wondering about what GMC Hoops thought about its upcoming pre-season Top Ten. The Hawks, most notably Tahir Swinton and Kenny Bland were hoping for us to give them our blessing with the top spot in the upcoming poll. Unfortunately, the site hasn’t had the time to think much about polls, and doesn’t plan on having such a poll until at least late September like last year. However, if it did, it would be a little reluctant to give the Hawks the nod yet, especially after having to hang on to defeat Bishop Ahr for the TBSA Summer League title.
Stevens jumped out to a 21-10 first half lead, but the Trojans, which have much more depth and size off the bench didn’t quit as they battled back to pull within two late only to fall, 47-41. The second half charge by Ahr clearly had JPS a bit worn down and frustrated at times. You could see it in their faces at points down the stretch. Now, clearly the Hawks are one of the favorites to win the title this season. After the fine season that J.P. Stevens put in last year, it should be strongly considered to wear the conference crown. However, South Brunswick and Piscataway will be quick to tell you that the top spot is nothing to wish for since it is not a guarantee of a GMCT Championship come late February as the 2007 and 2008 tourneys have proven.
And for those in the GMC Blue like Middlesex, who think that Bishop Ahr may not be as formidable last year, and capable of winning the division crown, think again. There was that same feeling early last season before Ahr beat McCarrick in South Amboy too. The Trojans have had solid JV and Freshmen teams the past three seasons, and that talent is coming up to the varsity level if it is not already there now. It showed in this game. True, the BGA has to be more battle tested during the season with more games outside the division, and conference against formidable opponents so that come tourney time, it’s prepared to make that next step into the ranks of the GMC elite, but this team is still the team to beat in the Blue for now.
In this battle of North Edison, the web site didn’t arrive until the 3:09 mark of the first half with Stevens ahead 19-9. Bishop Ahr then got on the board with a one of two showing from the foul line by Widdoss that made the score, 19-10 at the 2:25 mark. The Hawks then got their final points of the half when Myles Reuben drove in for a bank shot from foul line to put his team up by 11 at 21-10. Stevens, which did some heavy lifting to get to this game by defeating Piscataway in the semifinals, had a chance to go up by more before the intermission, but after Bland was fouled on the floor with six seconds left, Reuben’s long three point attempt from way out on the right wing hit back iron as time expired.
The second half started with JPS picking up right where it left off as Nick Pol got into the act with a trifecta from beyond the arc for a 24-10 lead with 19:50 to go. Less than a minute later, Ahr got on the board with a field goal at exactly the 19 minute mark for a 24-12 score. A scoring drought by both teams would ensue over the next 3:49 before Jordan Smith found Matt Melnick, who did a pump fake, and then took a foul line jumper that rattled in for a 24-14 JPS lead at the 15:11 mark. The Hawks responded though with a jumper from the left corner to go back up by a dozen at 26-14 with 14:50 mark. Unwilling to go away, Bishop Ahr came back down on a subsequent possession, and netted a jumper for a 26-16 with 14:09 remaining. The Hawks would continue to keep Ahr at arm’s length by promptly responding with a layup for a 28-16 edge with just inside 14 minutes to play.
Nearly two minutes would go by before another score, and that would come from Ahr as soon to be senior Matt Sheehy used some of his football ability, and intercepted a pass for a steal at halfcourt. He then drove to the basket on the right side, where he was intentionally fouled, and that resulted in two free throws for a 28-18 score in favor of JPS with 12:07 remaining. Another minute and a half or so would go by before Matt Fiorino stepped up to the line, and made a pair of free throws for a 28-20 lead at the 10:39 mark. Reuben would give the Hawks a double digit lead again at 30-20 with a layup on Stevens next possession, but Ahr kept coming. Widdoss netted two free throws at the 9:38 mark for a 30-22 score, and then connected for a three pointer from the left wing after Swinton stole a side out of bounds on the left side, and drove in for a layup. With the score now at 32-25, the Ahr faithful began to sense the game was turning in their direction.
Nearly forty seconds later, Stevens was back on the board thanks to Pol, who curled to his right from the left wing for a floater, and a 34-25 advantage with 6:46 left. Then, the soon to be senior guard netted two foul shots for a 36-25. Seemingly caught in another precarious situation, the Trojans began to untangle themselves with seven straight points including three free throws by Fiorino, who was fouled by Swinton on a three point attempt, and a trey from the top of the key by Smith for a 36-32 Hawk lead with 4:15. At this point, you could see Stevens appeared to be pressing a bit. Nearly a minute afterward, soon to be junior forward, Manny Kroggman put in a layup, and suddenly the BGA was within two at the 3:22 mark. Bland gave JPS some breathing room with one of two free throws for a 37-34 lead at the 2:56 mark. Then, the Stevens forward came up with an offensive rebound and putback attempt that drew a foul, and resulted in a pair of free throws for a 39-34 advantage at the 2:30 mark.
Forty-five seconds later, Bland put the final nail in Ahr’s coffin by picking up a loose ball down low, and scoring a layup for a 41-34 lead with 1:45 to play. Following a BGA timeout with 1:43 to play, Kroggman came back with a pump fake and bucket in the left low block for a 41-36 score at the 1:22 mark. Ahr would call a timeout two seconds later, but couldn’t get any closer as Rueben passed to Swinton, who handed out an assist on a bounce pass to Bland for a score underneath on the right side, and a 43-36 lead at the 1:01 mark. BGA would outscore JPS by a slim 5-4 margin, but the Hawks came away with the title in a six point, 47-41 victory.
Ahr has nothing to hang its head over though. The only thing that the Trojans need to work on is putting together a solid 32 minutes of basketball game in and game out. Against Edison in the Quarterfinal round of the playoffs, Bishop Ahr got off to a huge lead only to nearly lose it late. Here, the opposite happened. If BGA can get off to a good start, and maintain it throughout, it will be able to have a chance to finally break through and reach the GMCT Final Four, where it hasn’t been since the days of Anthony Rosa, Greg Fowler, Darren Nicholas, and Gerard Wilson.
EDISON, NJ–Recently, The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive, held the playoffs in the 2008 TBSA Summer League. GMC Hoops obtained the seeds playoff brackets courtesy of Mike Allocco and former South Amboy standout, Nick Shaw. J.P. Stevens wound up winning the league after defeating Piscataway in the semifinals, and then holding off Bishop Ahr in the Championship, 47-41. Below were the seeds in the recent playoff round. Brackets were courtesy of bracketmaker.com.
- Bishop Ahr
- J.P. Stevens
- Perth Amboy
- South Brunswick
- St. Joseph’s
- Piscataway II
GMC Hoops hopes to catch some of the action at the TBSA Fall League starting in September.
EDISON, NJ–On Thursday, July 24th, GMC Hoops ventured out to The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive in Edison to take in a couple games from the first round of the playoffs in the 2008 TBSA Summer League. During the visit, the web site had a chance to touch base with a number of people including Piscataway’s site runner, Dennis Wells, who also is very active in coaching the team during the summer, Woodbridge’s new head coach, Antoine Patterson, Perth Amboy’s new head coach, Edwin Santana, and New Brunswick’s head coach, Antoine Allen. First we’ll talk about our two new coaches in the GMC that have recently become a part of the always revolving coaches carousel in the conference.
Coach Patterson was recently hired at Woodbridge after it was announced earlier this summer that former Barrons head coach, Scott Sienkiewicz was stepping down. Patterson, who had previously served as an assistant coach at Roselle, played high school basketball in the Buffalo, New York area, and then went to college at St. Francis of Pennsylvania, now a member of the Northeastern Conference. There, Patterson played for Jim Baron, who happens to be Marquis Jones head coach at the University of Rhode Island. According to the official press guide for this year’s St. Francis of Pennsylvania team, the school was 7-20 prior to Patterson’s arrival although the Barrons new coach stated that the team was actually 5-24.
Regardless of record, Patterson has had great experience in turning things around at places that he has been to, and it all began at St. Francis of Pennsylvania. Within three years, St. Francis was 24-8, and playing Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the 1990-91 campaign, St. Francis was 13-3 in the Northeast Conference, and won the post-season tournament that year with victories over St. Francis of New York (96-70) and FDU (97-82). The Red Flash then won a Play-In game over Fordham by a score of 70-64 before falling to Arizona (93-80). The 1990-91 St. Francis team still owns the school record for most wins in a single season, and is the only team in school history ever to reach the NCAA Tournament. The team also produced an NBA Draft, Mike Iuzzolino, 2nd Round, Dallas Mavericks. Patterson went on to lead the team in field goal shooting percentage the following season (1991-92) by going 137-254 for a 53.9 percentage.
Prior to arriving at Woodbridge, Patterson assisted Mike Smith over at Roselle. The Runnin’ Rams have come a long way after the dual departure of standout Jesse Holle (played football and even basketball at North Carolina) and long time head coach, Stan Kokie. The program struggled for several years, but with the help of those like Patterson, Smith began to turn things around by building the program up from the lower levels. For the past several years, Roselle has had teams competing in the Raritan Bay Summer League. In addition, Roselle has been competing in the HawksBasketball Fall-Ball Classic. The hard work and patience paid off this season as the Rams not only thumped GMC White Division contender Carteret in the state tournament, but also defeated Weequahic for the Central Jersey Group II Championship. Patterson sees that he has talent on the team with the likes of Gerard Bullock and Blair Dolphin returning, and youngsters such as former Carteret legend Keith Hughes’ son coming up. However, he is trying to instill in the Barrons the idea that defense must come first. Patterson’s background in coaching Union County hoops these past several seasons will go a long way in trying to turn the fortunes of Woodbridge, which hasn’t had much success over the years.
Moving on to the Bayway portion of Northern Middlesex County, the next new coach hails at Perth Amboy High School. The Panthers are long linked to success in Middlesex County and Greater Middlesex Conference Tournaments. In the 40 plus years of the MCT/GMCT, Perth Amboy has appeared in the Championship game 13 times, and won 9 of those times. The Panthers also own the best all time record in tournament play with an overall mark of 84-34 (.712). However, the program has been in a state of transition for the past several years. Long time head coach, John Mazurek, stepped down a few seasons ago, and his replacement, Neil Kennett, who actually had coached at Amboy during the 1998-99 season, and guided it to a Cinderella run to the GMCT Final Four that season, just stepped down this spring.
Looking to go with someone younger, Perth Amboy decided to go with Edwin Santana, who has been the JV coach at the school for a number of years now. Santana’s youthful exuberance, and energy is a good fit for a program trying to restore its glory. Santana was on the staff during the last great Amboy team back in 2002-03 with the likes of Jermaine Clark (St. Rose), Brett Brown, Marcus Carty, Jefferson Mwango, and Damien Beasley. That season, the Panthers reached the Quarterfinals of the GMCT before losing to eventual semifinalist, South Plainfield. With the closing of St. Peter’s High School, and programs like New Brunswick also trying to rebuild, Perth Amboy’s renaissance in high school hoops would be much welcomed. Santana is excited about the team. Despite losing the likes of Edwin Guerra and Jamar Bridgeforth to gradaution, the first year head coach is enthused about youngsters coming up including his sophomore class.
This past season, Perth Amboy’s freshmen team reached the Quarterfinals of the 2008 Perth Amboy Freshmen Tournament before losing to the eventual tourney champion, St. Joseph’s. In addition to the influx of talented sophomores, Amboy got former McCarrick point guard, Eliazar Landeo, who transferred to the school. The Panthers do not have much in the way of size, but with the addition of a couple football players to the roster, Santana feels they’ll be ok. Amboy will also have the likes of Reggae Rojas, Brian Paulino, Justin Madden, and Alex Nemeth all returning next year. Although the Red Division is always tough with the likes of Piscataway, St. Joseph’s, and J.P. Stevens being the creme of the crop for 2008-09, Amboy has been competitive, but just hasn’t been able to find ways to win games in the end. Hopefully, Santana will help the Panthers figure out how to win again.
With a brief discussion of our two new coaches out of the way, we can now get to the matter at hand, which were the two featured games of the evening between Bishop Ahr and Edison, and J.P. Stevens and Ridge. Both contests were intense battles living up to the theme of playoff basketball. Each game saw one team jump out in front only to have the other team rally, and either make it interesting in the end.
Bishop Ahr Hangs On Despite Valiant Edison Rally, 38-33
It was a tale of two halves in this one. The Trojans, led by soon to be seniors, Matt Sheehy and Matt Fiorino, took a 16-0 lead over the first 13:36 of the first half, and led at halftime 20-5, but Edison rallied to make things interesting at the end. In the second half, the Eagles, who look to have some talent this year, but are still learning how to win, showed flashes of the potential they have this season. Outscoring Ahr by a 26-12 margin over the first 17:39 of the second half, EHS actually pulled within one point of the lead at 32-31 with 2:21 left in the game, but both Fiorino and Sheehy came up with huge free throws down the stretch to help BGA keep Edison just at arm’s length in a thrilling, 38-33 victory.
Arriving at TBSA with 11:55 to go in the first half, Bishop Ahr had already staked itself to a 7-0 lead. Less than a half minute later, the Trojans were on the board again with a score at the 11:30 mark. Almost exactly a minute later, BGA got another field goal to take an 11-0 lead, and then added a three pointer for a 14-0 advantage with nine minutes to play in the first half. Meanwhile, Edison continued to have problems just getting themselves going. For example, with 7:07 to play in the first half, the Eagles traveled, and then with 4:40 to go before the break, EHS committed a backcourt violation. Manny Kroggman then capped the Trojan run with a layup from the left side for a 16-0 lead at the 6:24 mark.
Edison would go scoreless for approximately 18:16 of the first half until it knocked in an off-balanced shot in the key for the first field goal and points of the game. The Eagle bucket began to open up the flood gates as Ahr, which had been scoreless for 4:40 at this point, began to lose the momentum it had built up for the majority of the half. Prior to Edison getting on the board for the first time, Matt Melnick lost the handle on the ball, and ended up getting tied up, which resulted in a foul, and Edison getting possession at the 4:07 mark. Jordan Smith did what he could to prevent that by scoring on a fadeaway jumper with 1:04 to go in the half. Sheehy then added a layup from the right side some 29 seconds later for a 20-2 lead before the Eagles got a three pointer with 15 seconds remaining for the 20-5 halftime score.
After watching a bit of the contest between J.P. Stevens and Ridge, GMC Hoops returned to the action with 6:24 left to play, and Bishop Ahr only leading by five. The Eagles had climbed all the way back into the contest with a 19-6 second half surge, and a 24-13 run over a span of exactly 20 minutes since Ahr led 16-0. Edison continued to creep closer with a field goal at the six minute mark for a 29-26 BGA lead. EHS had an opportunity to get closer with a great move that got the attention of a number of people on the sidelines including New Brunswick head coach, Antoine Allen, but it didn’t produce a score with 4:43 remaining. The Eagles refused to go away though with a 5-3 run over the next few minutes to pull within one on the three pointer at the 2:21 mark.
However, on a subsequent BGA possession, Fiorino netted two free throws with 1:33 to go in the game for a 34-31 lead. Then, after an Edison timeout at the 1:29 mark, the Trojans came up with a huge defensive play as Sheehy drew a charge on Steve Migliore with just inside a minute to play. Five seconds later, Jordan Smith failed to connect on a front end of a one and one, but his teammates picked him up by making two critical foul shots with 28 seconds remaining for a 36-31 lead. The Eagles would pull to within three again on a field goal before calling a timeout with 15 seconds to play, and a 36-33 BGA lead. Sheehy misfired on a front end of a one and one with 13 seconds left, but the Trojans forced an Edison turnover, and Fiorino drew a foul that resulted in a pair from the charity stripe with six seconds remaining for the final, 38-33 margin.
Stevens Comes From Behind To Down Ridge, 57-50
While there wasn’t the same wide disparity in the lead in this one, the Red Devils gave the Hawks all they could handle before Stevens pulled out the hard fought win. Early on in this one, the game went back and forth, but then Ridge embarked on an 8-0 run that included back to back three point plays at the 13:03 and 12:23 marks respectively for a 14-6 lead. Stevens eventually climbed back into the contest with first an unconventional three point play at the 10:30 mark on one of two free throws, and then an offensive rebound and putback of the missed second shot by Kenny Bland for a 14-9 score, and then a 14-12 showing over the next 10:09 to pull within three at 26-23. However, Ridge got a free throw with no time on the clock for a four point, 27-23 advantage at halftime.
After watching some more action from the contest between Bishop Ahr and Edison over on the other court, GMC Hoops returned to the action with 11:40 to go, and Ridge still clinging to a two point, 40-38 lead. Fifteen seconds later, the Red Devils netted a pair of free throws to lead again by four at 42-38 with 11:25 to play. The Hawks, which actually had a 9-1 run over a span of 5:15, got things going their way when Bland came up with a huge block that Nick Pol rebounded and drove down the left side with for a layup attempt that resulted in a pair of free throws, and a 42-40 Ridge lead at the 10:26 mark. Stevens then committed a turnover at the 8:40 mark, and its bench was assessed a technical with eight minutes left in the game that resulted in one of two at the line by Ridge for a 43-40 lead. The Hawks then used the emotion of the technical foul to continue its rally.
Myles Reuben drew a foul on a shot attempt, and netted one of two from the line. On the missed second free throw, the soon to be senior grabbed the offensive board, and put it back in for a 43-43 tie with 7:27 remaining in regulation. JPS then produced a steal on defense that resulted in a layup, and a 45-43 lead at the 6:32 mark. Reuben then capped the 9-1 run, and padded the Hawk lead with two free throws at the 6:10 mark that made the score, 47-43. The Devils would finally get a field goal to pull within two again at 47-45, but then Pol quickly responded with a floater at the other end for a 49-45 lead at the 5:05 mark of the second half. The Hawks would then get another stop, and Bland then dished to Reuben for a layup attempt that drew another foul, and produced a one of two showing at the foul line for a 50-45 lead with 4:28 remaining in regulation.
Ridge then pecked away some more with one of two from the line at the 3:40 mark, and another one of two at the line with 1:57 left to close the gap to two again at 50-48. Stevens then turned the ball over at the 1:30 mark, but after Ridge called for time with 1:17 left, the Hawks made amends on its miscue by first forcing a Devil turnover at the 1:10 mark, and then essentially putting the game away on a three point play by a reserve with exactly a minute to go. From there, Stevens outscored Ridge, 4-2 including a pair of free throws by Pol to ice the 57-50 win.
EDISON, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops took a trip over to The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive in Edison in order to not only get some information on the summer league being run there, but also to chat with Big Mike Allocco. Allocco, who has been helping out a little bit with former South Plainfield head coach, Jeff Lubreski, at Plainfield, has not decided yet on whether he is going to join Lubreski’s staff. In other news, the web site has learned that Thursday’s Championship Game in the TBSA Summer League will be held at 7:00 PM between J.P. Stevens and Bishop Ahr. The Hawks advanced to the title game by knocking off Piscataway in the semifinals while BGA downed Blue Division rival Spotswood.
EDISON, NJ–On Thursday, July 10th, GMC Hoops traveled over to the TBSA Summer League for the first time to take in action there. The site managed to get over to the facility for the start of the nightcap round of games including J.P. Stevens versus South Brunswick on Court #2, and Dunellen versus Edison on Court #5. Both games were quite competitive, but the contest between the Eagles and the Destroyers was the barnburner of the evening. With 2:03 remaining in the second half, Steve Migliore netted a three pointer from the right wing for a 46-43 lead only to have Dunellen make one of two at the line with 1:41 left, net two free throws by Reggie Thorpe with 16 seconds left, and then score on a steal and a drive the length of the floor for a layup as time expired by Eric Orellana, to cap a dramatic 48-46 victory.
Dunellen Last Minute Rally Tops Edison, 48-46
After watching much of the first half of the game between J.P. Stevens and South Brunswick, GMC Hoops came over to the other court where the Destroyers and Eagles were renewing acquaintances they usually make during the pre-season in scrimmages. The web site picked up the action with 13 minutes to go in the first half, and Dunellen leading 13-11. Edison tied the game up a short time later at 13-13 with 12:30 remaining before the intermission, but the Destroyers went back up by two, 15-13 at the 11:56 mark. Over a minute and a half later, the Eagles went to the line, and made one of two for a 15-14 Dunellen lead, but the Destroyers then came up with a steal that was converted into a layup for a 17-14 lead with 9:47 to go in the first half.
On a subsequent Edison possession, Migliore then came up with a jumper from the left wing to close the gap to 17-16 at the 9:08 mark. Edison then took the lead on a layup attempt that drew a foul, and resulted in two free throws at the 7:56 mark for an 18-17 score. The foul shots sparked what would become a 9-3 spurt for a 25-20 lead when the site returned to action with 1:25 left in the half after watching more of the Hawks and Vikings for a while. The Destroyers put in a score to close the gap to three again at 25-22 with 45 seconds to go in the half, but the Eagles got the last word in before halftime thanks to an offensive rebound and putback that resulted in a three point play at the 13 second mark, and then a steal for a layup to close out the half with the score, 30-22 at the break. EHS had ended the first half with a 14-4 showing over the final 8:03 to gain the halftime advantage.
In the second half though, Dunellen roared back for the win thanks to a 26-16 showing. By the time GMC Hoops returned to action with 7:18 to go in the contest, the Destroyers had already climbed back into the game with 17-9 showing over the first 12:42 to tie the game at 39-39. The two teams then went back and forth over the next 3:59 by exchanging baskets for a 43-43 tie at the 3:19 mark. Neither team then scored over the next 1:16 before Migliore netted his three for Edison’s final points of the game, and a three point lead with a little more than two minutes left to play in regulation. Dunellen then got one of two from the charity stripe on its next possession to close the gap to two at 46-44. Edison then had a chance to go up again by four points when it got a steal, but failed to make the layup attempt at the 1:24 mark.
Giving Dunellen some more life, Edison turned the ball over with 26 seconds left, and Thorpe cashed in with his two foul shots at the 16 second mark to tie the score at 46-46. With an opportunity to close the game with the final shot, the Edison coughed up the ball again thanks to some tenacious pressure underneath by Dunellen, the ball got into the hands of Orellana with five seconds left, and he went the length of the floor for a layup as the buzzer sounded to give the Destroyers a come from behind thriller of a win, 48-46.
Stevens Fast Start Propels It Past South Brunswick, 55-47
Although the game between Edison and Dunellen ended up being the most dramatic of the two seen by GMC Hoops on this night, the site focused much of its attention on the battle between the Hawks and the Vikings, especially in the first half. During the halftime and much of the second half, Greg Machos had a chance to sit down and chat with Mike Allocco, who had recently been released from the hospital after complications related to hip surgery. Allocco is doing much better, and has been deliberating on the idea of returning to coaching on the staff at Plainfield, where his protege, Jeff Lubreski was recently hired. GMC Hoops had received word about the hiring prior to the start of the game between Stevens and SBHS when former SPHS Athletic Director and SPHS freshman hoops coach, Al Czech spoke with Machos.
Getting back to the contest, the Hawks raced out to an early 4-0 lead, and the edge grew to 9-0 before the Vikings got on the board with 16:08 to go in the first half. JPS continued to pour it on in the early going with a 6-1 burst for a 15-3 advantage at the 13:14 mark. At that point, GMC Hoops headed over to the other court to watch Dunellen and Edison go at it for a bit. Returning at the 5:33 mark, the web site saw that South Brunswick had settled down, and although Stevens had enjoyed an 11-10 advantage during the near eight minute stretch the site was away, the Vikings were not being blown out of the gym with the score reading 26-15. From that point on, the Vikes, which were coached by 2007 graduate, and current Felician standout, Devon Young, managed to stay within striking distance, but couldn’t get any closer than seven points in the second half as the Hawks went on to victory, 55-47.
Over the first 1:38 of the first half, J.P. Stevens jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Tahir Swinton then drove along the left side, and dished to teammate, Kenny Bland for a layup, and a 6-0 lead with 18:04 left in the half. A little more than a half minute later, Nick Pol got into the act with a three pointer for a 9-0 lead at about the 17:30 mark. Almost four full minutes would go by before South Brunswick would get on the board, and it would come in the form of an offensive rebound and putback at the 16:08 mark for the first field goal and points of the game for the Vikes. With the score now reading 9-2, Stevens went back to work as Bland made one of two at the line with 15:25 left before halftime to make the score, 10-2. Myles Reuben then got into the act with an offensive rebound and follow for a 12-2 lead at the 14:30 mark SBHS would finally get on the board again with a one of two showing at the foul line for a 12-3 Hawks lead, but JPS would close out its initial tear with a three point at the 13:14 mark for a 15-3 advantage.
South Brunswick then scored right away on its very next possession to close the gap to ten again at 15-5 before the Hawks outscored their Red Division foe by an 11-10 margin over the next 7:27 for a 26-15 lead. Upon returning to the action GMC Hoops saw South Brunswick trim the deficit to nine with a steal and drive down the length of the floor for a layup, and a 26-17 score at the 4:13 mark. J.P. Stevens then gave the Vikings more momentum by turning the ball over on a subsequent possession, and SBHS took advantage by converting the miscue into a score on a three pointer from the right wing for a 26-20 Hawks lead at the 3:17 mark. The Vikes then added one of two at the line with 2:37 to play in the half for a 26-21 lead. On its next possession, the Hawks went back up by seven as Pol grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed jumper by Bland, and followed with a floater for a 28-21 score at the 1:57 mark.
Neither team scored for the next 1:11 before Pol took a feed on the inside, and drew a foul that resulted in a perfect 2 of 2 at the line for a 30-21 lead with 46 seconds left in the first half. South Brunswick then responded with a jumper on its next possession to close within seven again at 30-23, but Bland scored a layup at the 17 second mark, and Swinton made one of two at the line for a ten point, 33-23 advantage going into the brief intermission. In the second half, South Brunswick was able to chip into the lead slightly, but when GMC Hoops returned to the action with 1:10 to play, Stevens appeared well on its way to victory with a 49-40 lead. Seven seconds later though, South Brunswick closed to within seven on a field goal at the 1:03 mark for a 49-42 Hawk edge. JPS answered though with a score for a nine point lead again at 51-42. The Vikings kept their very faint hopes alive with a steal off an inbounds pass by Bland, which led to a reverse layup, and a 51-44 score at the 31 second mark.
Despite the miscue, the Hawks continued to keep South Brunswick at bay, and closed out the victory with two scores in the final twenty seconds of action. Following a basket at the 20 second mark, Stevens finished off the win with a Swinton lob to Rebuen for a tip in to round out the 55-47 victory. The win helped Stevens stay in contention with Piscataway and Bishop Ahr for the top seed in the upcoming playoff round at TBSA. GMC Hoops plans to be back out at this league more in the coming weeks.
EDISON, NJ–On Saturday afternoon, GMC Hoops received the latest standings from the TBSA Summer League that is taking place over at The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive in Edison. These standings are as of the completion of play on Thursday night. The web site plans to be back out at TBSA sometime next week.
- Piscataway “A” (7-0)
- Bishop Ahr (7-1)
- J.P. Stevens (5-1)
- Perth Amboy (5-3)
- Spotswood (4-3)
- Dunellen (4-3)
- South Brunswick (3-4)
- Ridge (2-3)
- Edison (2-5)
- Woodbridge (0-3)
- Piscataway “B” (0-5)
Note: Woodbridge and Ridge are splitting nights in the TBSA Summer League. So, that is why Woodbridge has only played three games to this point.
EDISON, NJ–On Thursday night, GMC Hoops wrapped up its big night of summer league coverage by traveling over to The Basketball Shooting Academy to take in the final round of games starting at 8:00 PM. After being at the Middlesex County College Summer League, and then the Bound Brook Summer League, the web site still managed to capture the final 13 minutes or so of the second half between Piscataway and Spotswood. For the second straight night, the web site got a look at Spotswood, and this time it was a bit better one.
On Tuesday night, GMC Hoops saw Spotswood take on J.P. Stevens in the nightcap game, but only for the final three minutes of action. Well anyway, the site arrived with about 13 minutes to go in this one, which was already in hand at that point. With 12:30 remaining, the Piscataway Chiefs were on top by a score of 46-25. About thirty seconds later, P-Way got a layup to increase its lead to 48-25. On its next possession, Spotswood got on the board with a jumper to close the gap to 21 again at 48-27. The Chiefs then quickly answered with a field goal to go up by 23 once more at 50-27 with 11:30 left. Then, P-Way, which continued to pressure Spotswood in its backcourt, got the ball back, and drew another foul that resulted in a one of two showing at the line for a 51-27 lead.
Piscataway then made it a 7-0 run with two more baskets for a 55-27 advantage at the 9:26 mark before Spotswood’s Ross Gerhart netted a three pointer from the left side at the 8:45 mark to make the score, 55-30. The trifecta then sparked a 9-2 run as the Chargers scored 6 of the next 8 points to cut the deficit to 57-36 with four minutes to play. Spotswood then scored 7 of the next 9 points after that including a three pointer from the right wing to pull within 59-41 at the 1:45 mark. Alex Dorwani then closed out the scoring with a layup to close the gap to 16, but unfortunately, time wasn’t on the side of the Chargers as Piscataway came away with the 59-43 win.
GMC Hoops plans to head out to TBSA on either Tuesday or Thursday next week.
EDISON, NJ–Following work on Tuesday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to The Basketball Shooting Academy on Carter Driver after being at Middlesex County College to see action, and get results from that particular summer league. The web site managed to catch a little bit of the action from the nightcap round of games. Actually, one of the contests between Dunellen and South Brunswick wasn’t played since the Vikings did not show. Instead, the Destroyers played a pickup game. However, on an adjacent court, J.P Stevens was taking on Spotswood in a hard fought battle.
Prior to going over to see the action between JPS and Spotswood, GMC Hoops took time out to speak with former South Amboy standout, and current assistant for the Guvs, Nick Shaw, who indicated to the site that there has still yet to be a replacement for the recently retired George Krzyzanowski at the school. For those, who don’t recall, Shaw scored over 1,000 points at South Amboy including 73 in one game his senior year against Perth Amboy Tech in the 2002-03 season. Shaw then went on to play at Ramapo for a year, and then two seasons at FDU-Florham with former Stevens standout, Andrew Biancosino.
Getting over to the action, GMC Hoops arrived with less than three minutes to go in the contest, and J.P. Stevens leading by ten, 44-34. There was a very good crowd in attendance for both Stevens and Spotswood. Among those were the usual array of familiar faces of parents of players on both squads. Moments after arriving, Nick Pol put Stevens ahead by an even dozen with a field goal at the 2:35 mark that made the score, 46-34. Ten seconds later though, the Chargers would answer thanks to Ross Gerhart, who netted a jumper that closed the gap to ten again at 46-36 with 2:25 left. Following a JPS timeout, both teams had opportunities to score, but didn’t for about 1:08. Spotswood had a chance to get within single digits again following a James Pareti steal, but Cody Pace committed a turnover when he threw the ball away squandering that opportunity.
Eleven seconds later, the Hawks got the final points of the game as Myles Rueben scored on a putback off a missed layup by Pol at the 1:17 mark for the 48-36 lead. Despite being down by double digits with very little in the way of time left, Spotswood, led by Pace and Pareti as well as Gerhart, continued to fight, and refused to give up. Pace had a chance to put the Chargers on the board again, but missed the layup attempt with 40 seconds to play. J.P. Stevens tried to go over the full court pressure by Spotswood late as Tahir Swinton threw a baseball pass downcourt from underneath his own basket that went out of bounds at the 33 second mark. Both teams then missed out on scoring opportunities down the stretch as J.P. Stevens maintained its twelve point margin in the 48-36 victory.
The game didn’t start out that easily though for the Hawks. Spotswood opened the game strong with 11 of the first 12 points, and actually led 13-2. However, J.P. Stevens, which defeated South Brunswick on Thursday, July 10th at TBSA, took advantage of the Charger reserves, and rallied to take an eight point lead into the brief intermission. GMC Hoops plans to be back out at the TBSA Summer League sometime on Thursday.
EDISON, NJ–On Thursday night, July 10th, GMC Hoops ventured out to The Basketball Shooting Academy on Carter Drive to finally catch some action over in that league. This league is mostly a varsity league with St. Joseph’s putting their JV squad in competition here. There are 12 teams competing in this league including 11 from the GMC. Take a look at the list below of the squads playing at TBSA this summer.
- St. Joseph’s
- J.P. Stevens
- Bishop Ahr
- J.F. Kennedy
- Perth Amboy
- South Brunswick
GMC Hoops finally got out to this league on July 10th, and ventured out again on Tuesday night. Results and summaries coming soon.