The Chargers, which were making their third trip to the semis in the last five years, battled throughout, but fell victim to two key 9-0 runs in a 53-36 loss. Trailing by only three at the end of the first period, Spotswood gave way to the first run in the second as Lakewood got two threes from Eric Davis to take a 21-9 lead midway through the period. Tyrice Beverette, who ended up with a game high 24 points, then scored six in the last 2:31 of the half as the Piners went into the intermission ahead, 27-16.
Spotswood opened the third with an 8-2 run including two three pointers by junior Jake Dadika to pull within five at 29-24, but Lakewood answered with the second key 9-0 run that included two threes from the right side by Beverette, and a steal for a dunk, and a three point play by Davis with 1:57 to go in the frame for a 38-24 lead. The Chargers would only get as close as 10 points the rest of the way. Davis ended up with 10 points while Dadika finished with 13, and Dalonte Grant chipped in with 11 for the Chargers.
Beverette And Piners Break Chargers With Two 9-0 Runs, 53-36
LAKEWOOD, NJ–For the third time in the last five years, the Spotswood Chargers were playing in the semifinals of the Central Jersey Group II State Tournament. For the second straight year, the Chargers had a tough task in front of them with top seeded Lakewood.
The Piners were coming into this game with an 25-2 record, and looking to add to their recent Shore Conference Tournament Championship with a sectional title. Lakewood, winner of the Shore Conference’s Class B South Division, was the top seed in Central Jersey Group III last year, where it eventually lost to sectional champ and state finalist, Neptune.
Leading the Piners was Tyrice Beverette, who has been one of the top players in Ocean County and the Shore this season. He and the Piners got off to a slow start in this one as they weren’t able to enjoy early success against Spotswood’s 2-3 zone. Big man Ben Watson was bottled up inside while Beverette and his teammates, were unable to connect from the perimeter. This allowed the Chargers to stay close, but they couldn’t take command because they also struggled from the perimeter.
Despite having a 6-0 edge in points scored from beyond the arc, the Chargers missed often, and Lakewood was usually able to get the rebound, head back the other way, and score in transition. The Piners were able to score six points off the fast break in the opening period. In the second period, Lakewood made a substitution and inserted Eric Davis into the game, and the move paid dividends. First Davis netted two threes in a key 9-0 run that raised the Piners lead from three at the end of the first quarter to 21-9 midway through the second.
Davis’ ability to connect from downtown allowed things to open up for Beverette and the rest of the Piners. Beverette, who had just three points early on in the game, finished the first half with six points over the final 2:31 of the second period. The result was a 27-16 Lakewood lead going into the intermission. Spotswood came out with a purpose to start the second half. The Chargers began the third with an 8-2 run including two threes by junior guard, Jake Dadika to pull within five at 29-24. However, the Chargers were unable to get any closer than that as Lakewood had another 9-0 run to put the game away.
Beverette sparked the run with two threes from the right side, and then Davis put the exclamation point on the run with a steal at midcourt that he finished off with a thunderous one handed dunk as he was fouled for a three point play, and a 38-24 lead with 1:57 left in the period. Lakewood went on to win by a final count of 53-36. The two 9-0 runs proved to be the difference in the game. Beverette ended up with 24 points while Davis added 10 points. Dadika ended up with 13 points while Dalonte Grant chipped in with 11. The Chargers outscored the Piners by a margin of 21-12 from beyond the arc, but Lakewood had 17 fast break, or transition points.
Spotswood finished the year at 21-8, which gives the Chargers the most wins under head coach Steve Mate. The Chargers reached the GMCT Quarterfinals for the second time since 2010, and finished second in the GMC Blue behind Carteret, a team they lost to twice during the regular season, but defeated in the quarterfinal round of the CJ Group II State Tourney on Wednesday.
LAKEWOOD, NJ–On Friday night, GMC Hoops traveled down to Ocean County, and Lakewood High School to see the top seeded Piners in action against fourth seeded Spotswood in the Central Jersey Group II Semifinals. Lakewood had a key 9-0 run in the second for a 21-9 lead, and then put together another 9-0 run in the third to break away from a 29-24 lead for a 38-24 advantage late in the period en route to a 53-36 win. Tyrice Beverette led the Piners with a game high 24 points while Eric Davis came off the bench for 10 points. Jake Dadika led Spotswood with 13 points while Dalonte Grant chipped in with 11. Below are game notes from the contest.
7:32–SPOTS–Eric Dadika–three pointer from right wing for a 3-0 lead.
7:01–LAKE–Jared Craddox layup from right low block for a 3-2 SPOTS lead.
6:29–LAKE–Tyrice Beverette–fouled–makes both FTs for a 4-3 lead.
6:02–LAKE–Ben Watson–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 5-3 lead.
5:15–SPOTS–Dalonte Grant–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 5-4 LAKE lead.
5:04–LAKE–Mo Diawara transition layup for a 7-4 lead.
4:37–LAKE–Beverette fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for an 8-4 lead.
4:15–LAKE–Malik Mendez scores on layup in transition for a 10-4 lead.
3:57–LAKE–Ben Watson fouled by Corey Brown–SPOTS–timeout.–LAKE leads 10-4
3:37–SPOTS–Grant–three pointer from left wing for a 10-7 LAKE lead.
1:40–SPOTS–Jake Dadika hits floater from left baseline for a 10-9 LAKE lead.
20.3–LAKE–Diawara steals pass by Brown for layup and a 12-9 lead.
7:09–SPOTS–fouled on floor.
6:25–SPOTS–Brown picks up 3rd foul.
6:09–LAKE–#11–Eric Davis–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 13-9 lead.
5:39–LAKE–Mendez scores on layup in transition for a 15-9 lead.
5:01–LAKE–Davis fires in three from left wing for an 18-9 lead.
4:39–SPOTS–Grant draws charge on Davis.
3:51–SPOTS–timeout after LAKE–three pointer by Davis for a 21-9 lead
3:29–SPOTS–Jamal Lewis gets very kind bounce on shot for a 21-11 LAKE lead.
2:29–LAKE–Beverette layup for a 23-11 lead.
2:21–SPOTS–Grant fouled by Craddox–makes both FTs for a 23-13 LAKE lead.
1:49–LAKE–Beverette scores on floater from right side for a 25-13 lead.
1:39–SPOTS–Grant–three pointer from left wing for a 25-16 LAKE lead.
1:00–LAKE–Beverette scores again on a floater from the right side for a 27-16 lead.
41.8–LAKE–Diawara picks up his 3rd foul.
2.5–LAKE–three attempt by Davis hits iron–ball goes off Beverette out of bounds–SPOTS ball.
0.0–SPOTS–heave by Jake Dadika is off the mark–LAKE leads at half, 27-16.
6:12–LAKE–Beverette–steal for layup and a 29-16 lead.
5:50–SPOTS–Brown–layup from left low block for a 29-18 LAKE lead.
5:28–LAKE–Watson–over the back foul–SPOTS ball.
4:55–SPOTS–Jake Dadika–fakes, fires in three from top of the key fora 29-21 LAKE leda.
4:08–SPOTS–Jake Dadika–fires in three from right wing for a 29-24 LAKE lead.
3:24–LAKE–Beverette–three pointer from right corner for a 32-24 lead.
2:51–SPOTS–Jake Dadika–fouled on floor.
2:12–LAKE–Beverette three pointer from right side for a 35-24 lead.
1:57–LAKE–Davis swipes steal, and throws down one handed slam as he is fouled–SPOTS–timeout–following timeout–Davis makes bonus FT for a 38-24 lead.
47.0–LAKE–Beverette fouled–misses both FTs.
40.0–SPOTS–Brown fires in three from left wing for a 38-27 LAKE lead.
5.6–LAKE–three attempt by Beverette gets stuck on back iron–alternate poss–LAKE ball.
0.0–LAKE–gets a couple shot attempts, but are unable to score–still lead 38-27 after three.
7:06–LAKE–Beverette–fouled on floor–Brown’s 4th.
6:56–LAKE–fouled on drive–Brown’s 5th foul.–Beverette makes both FTs for a 40-27 lead.
5:57–LAKE–Craddox layup from right low block for a 42-27 lead.
5:44–SPOTS–Jamal Lewis–sinks short jumper from left side for a 42-29 LAKE lead.
4:12–SPOTS–30 sec timeout after Grant gets kind bounce on follow up jumper off is own miss fo a 44-31 LAKE lead.
3:55–SPOTS–Jake Dadika fires in three for a 44-34 LAKE lead.
3:12–LAKE–Beverette–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 45-34 lead.
3:00–SPOTS–Jake Dadika hits jumper just inside the arc for a 45-36 LAKE lead.
2:37–LAKE–Beverette layup from left low block for a 47-36 lead
2:24–LAKE–Mendez–fouled–makes both FTs for a 49-36 lead.
2:18–SPOTS–fouled on floor.
1:46–LAKE–30 sec timeout.
1:20–LAKE–Beverette banks in runner from right side for a 51-36 lead.
53.5–SPOTS–Hart daws charge on Beverette–both teams put in reserves.
6.3–LAKE–Tyshon Hamilton scores on follow for a 53-36 lead.
0.0–SPOTS–heav from halfcout by Hart is off the mark–Lakewood wins 53-36.
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).
Seven Teams Still In The Hunt For The Trophy
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–In the closest race ever for the GMC Hoops Trophy, seven teams are still alive in the quest for the elusive trophy including three time defending champion, St. Joseph’s. Currently, there are eight teams that have records of 4-2 or better with six of them still alive in the state playoffs. Old Bridge and Bishop Ahr were eliminated from contention after losing in the opening round of their respective state tournaments.
With its win over Hunterdon Central in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV State Tournament, East Brunswick is ahead of the back with a 6-1 record in the seven games seen by GMC Hoops this year. The Bears have tallied 11 points in the standings, which is three ahead of its nearest competitors: Dunellen, St. Joseph’s, and North Brunswick. The Destroyers, Falcons, and Raiders all have eight points with GMC Hoops planning to see Dunellen this evening against Ridgefield in the North Jersey Section 2 Group I state tournament at The Faber.
North Brunswick managed to get into a three way tie for second thanks to a double-overtime win over Old Bridge on Monday night. Spotswood got itself within striking distance thanks to a come from behind win over Blue Division rival Carteret in the Central Jersey Group II Quarterfinals on Wednesday night. The Chargers have given themselves another chance to enhance their position in the standings with the win over the Ramblers since GMC Hoops plans to see Spotswood in action on Friday night at Lakewood against the top seeded Piners in the semifinal round. South River also has an outside shot for the trophy, but will need to defeat Bound Brook tonight for starters, and get a lot of help.
The GMC Hoops Trophy has been issued every year since 2003 to the team that performs the best when GMC Hoops is in attendance at its games. Teams win based on a simple points system: Two points for a win, and minus a point for a loss. View the past winners of the trophy.
Three Players From The Conference Among Top 25 Scoring Averages In NJ
NEWARK, NJ–On Tuesday, the statewide scoring leaders were posted on nj.com and in the Newark Star-Ledger, and three players from the Greater Middlesex Conference were on the list of the Top 25. North Brunswick’s Iverson Fleming had the highest scoring average, followed by Jake Dadika of Spotswood, and Karl Towns of St. Joseph’s. Below is where they ranked in the state as well as the number of games played, total points scored, and averages.
|Iverson Fleming||North Brunswick|
|Karl Towns||St. Joseph’s|
Stats again are courtesy of nj.com. Players must have played a minimum 13 games so far this season.
Here are some video highlights from the JV contest between Piscataway Tech and Spotswood. Prior to the start of the Blue Division Showdown between P-Way Tech and Spotswood, the JV squads from both schools went at it. Spotswood grabbed a 24-15 lead a little more than midway through the third period before ending the quarter on a 6-3 run including a floater by Eric Dadika. The Junior Raiders tried to put together a rally as they opened the fourth with one of two from the line by Giovani Rios, and then a steal for a layup by Ali Austin to close within 9 again at 30-21, but after a Spotswood timeout, the Junior Chargers put the game away with an 11-5 spurt for the 41-26 win.
Here are highlights from some of the action from Spotswood’s win over Piscataway Tech in a key Blue Division Showdown at the end of Janaury 2013. In this game, Spotswood jumped out to a 14-6 lead as the Chargers connected on three treys, and got fouled on another for three foul shots while the Raiders turned the ball over six times. Spotswood’s lead grew to 16 late in the first half as Aziz Austin and Jordan Lackey went to the bench in foul trouble for the Raiders. Leading 30-18 early in the third, Spotswood embarked on a 17-8 run that included 6 points from Jamal Lewis, a three by Dalonte Grant, and four points by Corey Brown for a 47-26 lead. The Chargers never let P-Way Tech get any closer than 18 points after that.
Jake Dadika led Spotswood with a game high 17 points including a perfect 10 of 10 from the foul line while Grant chipped in with 16. Turell McClendon led the Raiders in a losing cause with 13 points while Aziz Austin chipped in with 10, and Jordan Lackey added 9 before fouling out midway through the fourth. Spotswood was actually a perfect 16 of 16 from the line, and made 7 of 20 three point attempts while outscoring the Raiders by a margin of 21-9 from beyond the arc.
Here is a slideshow from photos taken of some of the action from Spotswood’s win over Piscataway Tech in a key Blue Division Showdown at the end of Janaury 2013. In this game, Spotswood jumped out to a 14-6 lead as the Chargers connected on three treys, and got fouled on another for three foul shots while the Raiders turned the ball over six times. Spotswood’s lead grew to 16 late in the first half as Aziz Austin and Jordan Lackey went to the bench in foul trouble for the Raiders.
Leading 30-18 early in the third, Spotswood embarked on a 17-8 run that included 6 points from Jamal Lewis, a three by Dalonte Grant, and four points by Corey Brown for a 47-26 lead. The Chargers never let P-Way Tech get any closer than 18 points after that. Jake Dadika led Spotswood with a game high 17 points including a perfect 10 of 10 from the foul line while Grant chipped in with 16. Turell McClendon led the Raiders in a losing cause with 13 points while Aziz Austin chipped in with 10, and Jordan Lackey added 9 before fouling out midway through the fourth.
Spotswood was actually a perfect 16 of 16 from the line, and made 7 of 20 three point attempts while outscoring the Raiders by a margin of 21-9 from beyond the arc.
Chargers Defense and Rebounding Helps Stymie Raiders, 57-37
SPOTSWOOD, NJ–Despite a less than spectacular shooting performance by the Spotswood Chargers (17 of 46 for 37 percent), they were able to win easily over Piscataway Tech by the score of 57-37 in a key Blue Division Showdown that will help determine this year’s winner. Spotswood has never won a division title since the inception of the GMC back in the 1985-86 season. The Chargers will have their shot on Monday night when they travel to Carteret. The Ramblers won the last meeting in Spotswood (76-74).
Spotswood jumped out to a 14-6 lead as they took advantage of six first quarter turnovers by the Raiders, who were unable to get into a rhythm throughout the contest. The Chargers got 12 of their 14 first quarter points via the three pointer as Dalonte Grant, Jake Dadika, and Cory Weeks all hit threes while Dadika was fouled on a three point attempt by Jordan Lackey, and he swished all three foul shots. Spotswood ended up going 7 of 20 from beyond the arc and outscored P-Way Tech by a 21-9 margin from three. Another key was rebounding with the Chargers enjoying a 25-18 edge on the boards.
The Chargers also outperformed the Raiders at the foul line by going a perfect 16 of 16 while P-Way Tech was only 8 of 12. Dadika, who ended up with a game high 17 points on the night, led the way with a 10 of 10 showing from the charity stripe. Dalonte Grant added 16 for the winners. Turell McClendon led Piscataway Tech with 13 while Aziz Austin chipped in with 10 and Jordan Lackey added 9 before fouling out about midway through the final period. The Raiders were battling foul trouble throughout much of the first half as Austin and Lackey went to the bench with three fouls while Khari Cain picked up two.
Piscataway Tech, which came into the game riding a 10 game winning streak, had moved up to the Blue after winning two consecutive Gold Division titles, and was tied with Carteret at 12-1 entering the contest. Spotswood was only a half game behind at 11-1 in division play. The Chargers continued to roll in the second quarter as they went ahead by as many as 16 points late in the period before going into the half up 30-16. Then, after McClendon opened the second half scoring with a basket for P-Way Tech, Spotswood scored the next five points including a three by Grant for a 35-18 lead.
Over the next seven minutes or so, Spotswood outscored the visitors by a margin of 12-8 to take its biggest lead of the game at 47-26. Jamal Lewis and Corey Brown each had four points during the run while Marlon Hart and Dadika each added scores as well. From there, Piscataway Tech could get no closer than 18 points the rest of the way while the Chargers equaled their biggest lead on two more occasions in the fourth.