Spring League To Start In Late April; Two Iron Man Challenges This Summer
UNION, NJ–Kean University is planning to run several team camps this off-season. A spring league is scheduled to start in late April while the popular Iron-Man Challenges are set for June and July. All of the Team Camps are played at Kean University’s Harwood Arena with 3 full length college courts, air-conditioning, and full digital scoreboards. At both Spring League and the Iron Man’s we hire high school and college certified officials to officiate every game. Kean takes pride in attempting to run the most efficient and beneficial team camps in the state that are directed towards helping your team improve.
2013 Kean Spring League
APRIL 22-May 20 Monday and Wednesday Nights.
Price: $500 for a minimum of 8 games, plus playoffs.
The Spring League is pretty self explanatory. Games are every Monday and Wednesday Night, and you play a different team every night. Top 8 teams make the playoffs in a single elimination tournament. Registration cutoff is April 15!
IRON MAN I & IRON MAN II
June 29 & July 27 AM/PM
Price: $300 for a minimum of 3 games
The Iron Man has been our trademark here at Kean for the past 6 years. It’s a tournament style team camp that offers an AM and a PM session. The AM session runs from 8AM-3PM and the PM sessions runs from 3:30 PM-10PM. Teams typically play in a game on game off format and can play 3-4 games within 6 hours or so. In times when its hard to get your team together because of AAU and outside interests, the Iron Man allows teams to play a good number of games, in a short period of time for a very fair price. The PM session is typically stronger than the AM session, which may help you when selecting which session to play in.
If you should have any questions about either team camp or you would like us to hold your spot please contact head manager, Ross Talbert at either 908-698-1039, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–With the summer league winding down, GMC Hoops took some time to put together all of the playoff schedules, results, and brackets, and post them here. Below are all the brackets from playoffs in leagues that we were able to get info on.
2011 Summer League Playoff Brackets
- Bound Brook Summer League
- Colonia JV Summer League
- Elizabeth Summer League
- Kean Spring League
- Middlesex County College Summer League
- Monroe Sports Center Summer League
- Rahway Summer League
GMC Hoops are still trying to get results from a couple of these leagues.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–This week, GMC Hoops made a couple stops over to the Raritan Bay Summer League in South Amboy as the Summer Tour 2011 rolls on. This is the third league that the site has already seen during this off-season. There is many more stops to go as we’ll be going all the way until the second week of August or so. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:
- Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League
- Kean Spring League
- Raritan Bay Summer League
Next week, the site plans to be back out at the Raritan Bay Summer League for more action. Two weeks from now, the summer league season kicks into full gear with the Montgomery and Linden Team Camps as well as the Bound Brook and Monroe Sports Center Summer Leagues starting up.
Great Competition Highlights League Play
UNION, NJ–With the completion of the semifinals and championship game on Wednesday night, the 2011 Kean Spring League came to a conclusion. In the 55 games that were played, GMC Hoops got results from 41 of them. Of those 41 games, 20 of them, just under half were decided by nine points or less. At least four games went to overtime with two of those coming in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
Shabazz, which qualified for the Central Jersey Group II playoffs as the fifth seed, and lost in the quarterfinals at Governor Livingston, earned the top seed, and was undefeated in eight games that the site covered, or got results of including a hard fought 56-50 win over eventual fourth seeded Scotch Plains on May 11th. The Bulldogs and Raiders seemed to be primed for a rematch in the semifinals of the playoffs, but Notre Dame derailed those hopes with a double overtime, 52-48 victory over Scotch Plains in the quarterfinal round. Shabazz defeated Piscataway twice including a 49-37 win on May 2nd as well as the 59-51 victory over the Chiefs in the Championship Game.
Another Newark team, Newark Central, qualified for the playoffs as the second seed before falling in overtime to seventh seeded Piscataway (66-62) in the opening round. The Blue Devils, led by Brandon Waiters, are looking to retool after having a very successful 2010-11 campaign where they won the Group II State Championship, and reached the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions before losing to the eventual winner, St. Anthony’s of Jersey City. With Patrick Cole, Kameen McPleasant, and Ramon Johnson all graduating this year, Newark Central got to work right away on the 2011-12 season.
Roselle earned the third seed, and reached the semifinals of the post-season tournament before falling to Piscataway. The Running Rams from Union County began working toward a successful run in 2011-12 this spring, and have a good deal of talent coming back. The folks at Roselle have done a great job building up the team that they’ve assembled. I can remember seeing a number of these youngsters back when they were in the 5th and 6th Grade playing at the Raritan Bay Summer League in South Amboy. This past season, Roselle qualified for the Central Jersey Group II playoffs, and reached the quarterfinal round before losing to second seeded and eventual champion, Ewing of Mercer County and the Colonial Valley Conference.
Scotch Plains was one of the favorites in this league coming in. The Raiders qualified for the North Jersey Section 2 Group III state playoffs, and after surviving a frantic second half rally to defeat J.F. Kennedy in the opening round, they upset second seeded Newark East Side in the quarterfinals before losing to Mendham in the semis. The Raiders, led by Dom Gonzalez edged Piscataway (56-51) on opening night, and then defeated J.F. Kennedy (57-55) in overtime in the final game of the regular season to dash any hopes for the Mustangs to qualify for the post season. They also defeated South Plainfield by a score of 41-34 back on May 2nd. Hoping for a rematch against Shabazz in the playoffs, the Raiders may have been caught looking ahead as they lost to Notre Dame in overtime (52-48) in the opening round.
Notre Dame will be a program to watch in the coming years. After former Monroe head coach, Bob Turco took over the program toward the end of the summer league season, there have been some bumps in the road, but the Irish are making progress. This past season, Notre Dame qualified for the Non-Public A South state tournament, and lost in the opening round to last year’s sectional champ and Tournament of Champions finalist, Camden Catholic. The Irish followed that up with a fine spring not only qualifying as the fifth seed in the playoffs, but putting together a surprising run that landed them in the semifinals before losing to eventual champion, Shabazz.
Sayreville and Piscataway were the sixth and seventh seeds in this year’s playoffs, and were the only two teams from the GMC to reach the playoffs. The Bombers edged the Chiefs for playoff positioning thanks to a forfeit win over P-Way back on May 11th. However, Piscataway had the better run in the playoffs as they lived up to their expectations by reaching the Championship Game with wins over Newark Central and Roselle in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds respectively. The Chiefs also gave Shabazz a good fight before bowing out in the finals. Some players that really stood out for the Chiefs this spring were Donovan Kirkland, Thaddeus Dalton, Greg Davis, Jelani Jackson, and Marcus Freeney.
Meanwhile, Sayreville faltered against Roselle in the opening round of the playoffs, but made a much better representation of itself against the Rams than it did in the regular season finale. Back on May 18th, Roselle defeated the Bombers by a score of 53-38. Sayreville has a good group coming back for 2011-12 with the likes of Joe Saitta, Trey Johnson, Corey Taite, Cody Van Note, and Danny Wojcik all returning. The Bombers have a good deal of superb guard play including great perimeter shooting coming back. The question is, how well will Sayreville’s interior game hold up with a lack of size in the frontcourt.
Rounding out the eight playoff teams that qualified was Millburn out of the Super Essex Conference. The Millers, which reached the North Jersey Section 2 Group III State Tournament in 2010 before bowing out against eventual Group III state champ, Mendham, had a rebuilding year this past season, but still managed to qualify as the 16th seed in this year’s tournament before losing to Somerville. Millburn didn’t play in the playoffs at Kean despite qualifying. Playing in its place was another GMC team in J.F. Kennedy.
The Mustangs didn’t make the playoffs originally, but still made a good representation of themselves. Some good moments this spring was the first half showing in a loss to Newark Central in week one, a come from behind victory against South Plainfield on May 11th that was highlighted by a game ending 31-9 surge, and a two point loss in overtime to Scotch Plains on the final day of the regular season. J.F. Kennedy will take some hits to graduation this year losing the likes of Daishon Robinson, A.J. Pichalski, Jordan Toczynski, and A.J. Williams. However, JFK still has a good deal of talent coming back with Josh Kamenas, Steve Alvarez, Shabas Clarke, Vik Pawar, and Kurt Lorentzen returning for 2011-12.
Westfield and South Plainfield rounded out the 10 high school teams that were competing in the league this year. The Tigers had some good moments, but had trouble sustaining that for a whole game. SPHS will need to sustain those good moments for a full 32 minutes so that they can improve on this past season’s 6-15 finish next season. The Tigers will also have to fill the void left behind by graduating seniors Denzel Mensah, Bryant Rosario, Sharif Ross, and Troy McNair. There is good talent returning though with the likes of Ray Perez, Joe Skwiat, Justin Glover, Claude Payne, Jordan Lackey, and Malik Cisson among others.
The Blue Devils of Westfield are always a very competitive team. Playing in the always tough confines of the Watchung Division of the Union County Conference, Westfield started off on the wrong foot with a 70-48 defeat to Notre Dame on opening night, but played tough the rest of the way with three losses by eight points or less including a 50-47 decision to Piscataway in the last game of the regular season, and a 65-58 victory over Sayreville back on May 4th. Rounding out the 13 teams that competed in the league were two squads from the AAU team, the Raritan Roundballers.
The Somerset County squad made up of players from schools such as Rutgers Prep, Ridge, and Immaculata, were led by the likes of Jack Kerwin and Dylan Kerwin of Ridge as well as Brandon Patton of Rutgers Prep. The Roundballers, coached by Kean men’s basketball coach, Rob Kurzinsky, had three losses by eight points or less including a 59-57 defeat to Roselle, a 49-41 loss to Westfield, and a 56-50 overtime loss to Shabazz. The AAU squad also soundly defeated Notre Dame by a score of 78-48.
On a final note, GMC Hoops would like to thank Kean men’s assistant basketball coach, and former EB player, Tom Wagenblast for his assistance and hospitality this spring.
Solid Run By Seventh Seeded Chiefs Comes Up Short In The Final
UNION, NJ–On Wednesday night, the 2011 Kean Spring League came to an end with its two semifinal games and championship game in the playoff round. The lone GMC team still remaining, Piscataway, continued to finish strong as it advanced to the Championship Game against Shabazz. However, the Chiefs were unable to overcome the Bulldogs’ size, athletic ability, and defense.
Building on the momentum from its quarterfinal win over Newark Central on Monday night, P-Way took on Roselle on one of the two semifinal games. Seeded third, the Rams from Roselle gave the Chiefs all they could handle. The Union County school trailed Piscataway by a score of 24-16 late in the first half, but closed out the period with the final seven points, and then struck for a three pointer at the 19:45 mark to open the second half with a 26-24 lead. From there, there were 17 lead changes and two ties while neither team had a lead bigger than four points.
Trailing the Rams by a score of 35-31 with 14:23 left, P-Way finished the game with a 19-12 surge including the final five points from sophomore Thaddeus Dalton to come away with the 50-47 victory. Dalton had 8 points in the second half while junior Jelani Jackson led all scorers in second half scoring with 10 points on four field goals, and had two conventional three point plays that turned a 35-31 deficit into a 37-36 lead. Donovan Kirkland also chipped in with 4 points over the final 20 minutes.
Dalton was the hero though with a three point play of his own at the 39.9 second mark for a 48-47 lead. Then, he came up with a huge rebound at the 28.8 second mark, and then after Marcus Freeney missed a front end of a one and one, and Kirkland missed on the follow, Dalton put it back in with 13.5 seconds left for the 50-47 victory. In the final against Shabazz, the Chiefs took an early 5-2 lead at the 17:31 mark of the first half, but the Bulldogs surged back out in front with a 13-5 spurt over the next 2:36 to take a 15-10 lead. The South Side Newark school would never trail after that.
Sophomore Marcus Freeney fought off first half leg cramps to lead the way with 15 points including seven in the opening half, and eight in the final period. Jackson chipped in with 14 points including 10 in the first half. Four came on a rare four point play when the junior was fouled on a three point attempt with 1:11 to go in the first half to close the gap to 34-29. Fellow junior, Greg Davis chipped in with 8 points including two threes. Piscataway trailed 45-31 with 14:13 to go, and was behind 46-33 with 12:29 left, but didn’t give up.
With sophomores such as Clarence Morris contributing with energy and coming up with scores on offense and nice plays on defense, the Chiefs rallied with an 18-10 surge over the next 13 minutes to pull within five at 56-51 with 1:13 to go. Morris then got a steal to give P-Way a chance to pull within one possession, but Jackson didn’t get a kind roll on a shot attempt with 50 seconds to go, and Shabazz scored the final three points for the 59-51 win. The size advantage down low for the Bulldogs limited the Chiefs to just eight points in the paint.
Despite the loss in the Championship Game, Piscataway had a superb run through the eight team field in the Kean Spring League playoffs. The run actually started with the Chiefs getting a hard fought 50-47 victory over Westfield in the final game of the regular season last week to lock up the seventh seed in the playoffs. P-Way then got a nice team effort to defeat Newark Central in overtime (66-62). Donovan Kirkland continued to have an impressive spring with 17 points in the win while Davis led the way with 23 points including six three pointers.
Freeney chipped in with 9 points while he and Jackson came up with big steals and nice dishes for assists. Davis buried back to back threes for a 54-46 lead with 5:52 left, and the Chiefs led by eight again at 58-50 with 2:30 to go. However, a problem that plagued Piscataway all game came up again at the worst possible time. The Chiefs had a lot of turnovers against Newark Central’s fullcourt pressure, and it led to a number of rallies. With 14:30 to go, P-Way led 40-28 only to just about give it back with several turnovers coming in the way of Blue Devil steals for a 12-2 run over a span of just 2:27 to close the gap to 42-40 at the 12:03 mark.
Then, after the Chiefs reasserted their control with a 10-4 spurt including Davis’ threes for the 58-50 lead with 2:30 left, Newark Central battled back again with nine straight points over the next minute and a half for a 59-58 lead with just under a minute to go. Davis would bail out his teammates with one of two from the line at the 2.6 second mark for a 59-59 tie heading into overtime. In the extra session, Jackson got a basket, and handed out an assist on a basket by Dalton for a 63-60 lead with 1:24 to go. Davis then put the game away with a trifecta that made the score 66-60 with 48 seconds left.
This game was perhaps the best one of the playoffs involving the Chiefs. There were only four lead changes and three ties in the contests, and Piscataway had the biggest lead of the contest at 12 points, but P-Way couldn’t put the Blue Devils away. Brandon Waiters led all scorers for Newark Central with 27 points.
UNION, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops received the seeds and schedule for the upcoming Kean Spring League playoffs from Kean assistant coach, Tom Wagenblast. Eight teams are competing including two from the Greater Middlesex Conference. Below is the schedule for the opening round:
2011 Kean Spring League–Playoff Schedule–Opening Round–May 23rd
- #8 Millburn vs. #1 Shabazz, Court #1 at 7:00 PM
- #6 Sayreville vs. #3 Roselle, Court #2 at 7:00 PM
- #5 Notre Dame vs. #4 Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Court #1 at 8:00 PM
- #7 Piscataway vs. #2 Newark Central, Court #2 at 8:00 PM
2011 Kean Spring League–Playoff Schedule–Semifinals and Championship–May 25th
- Semifinals at 7:00 PM
- Championship at 8:00 PM
Sayreville And Piscataway Represent GMC In Post-Season At Kean
UNION, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops received the seeding for the upcoming playoffs at the 2011 Kean Spring League, which begin on Monday night, May 23rd. Eight teams qualified for the post-season including two from the GMC: Piscataway and Sayreville. Below are the seeds for the tournament:
- Newark Central
- Scotch Plains
- Notre Dame
Chiefs Get Back To Work This Spring After Reaching Tourney Final
UNION, NJ–Not until this past Wednesday has GMC Hoops gotten a good look at the Piscataway Chiefs. A large part of that had to do with the fact that a great deal of talent is coming back from this past season’s team. The group of soon to be seniors won the Perth Amboy/GMC Tournament as Freshmen back in the 2008-09 campaign. Many of them were on the P-Way JV team that reached the finals of the 2010 East Brunswick/GMC JV Tourney.
In addition, the Chiefs have some nice up and coming talent as well including soon to be juniors Marcus Freeney and Chauncey Morris as well as Thaddeus Dalton. The Chiefs are gearing up for another crack at the GMCT Championship. In the four Wednesdays that GMC Hoops was up at Kean’s Spring League, P-Way was 3-1 with the lone loss being a forfeit to Sayreville. The Chiefs usually have a good turnout of players in off-season games, and with the exception of the Sayreville game, they have had a good number of players show up. As a result, Piscataway managed to qualify for the playoffs as the seventh seed, and will take on second seeded Newark Central in the opening round of the playoffs on Monday.
The Chiefs and Sayreville were the only two teams from the Greater Middlesex Conference to qualify for the playoffs. The Bombers managed to get a slightly higher seed at sixth. P-Way managed to get a hard fought win over Westfield to finish out the regular season. In that game, the Chiefs trailed by the score of 43-36 with 4:55 left, but rallied with a 12-0 spurt to take a 48-43 lead with 18.4 seconds remaining, and held off a frantic charge by the Union County school for the 50-47 victory. Piscataway got fine efforts from Vik Singh, Donovan Kirkland, Jelani Jackson, Freeney, and Dalton to withstand 10 three pointers by the Blue Devils.
One key to the victory was the free throw shooting down the stretch. The Chiefs got 6 of 7 free throws combined from Jackson and Freeney over the last 36.3 seconds of the game. For the game, the Chiefs were 12 of 15 from the foul line. Better free throw shooting this year helped P-Way reach the GMCT Championship. Kirkland ended up with 13 points, Singh chipped in with 11 points, Freeney had 10 points, and Jackson had six points. Kirkland has always been very active on the boards, and he didn’t disappoint here. He was tenacious on the boards in this game as well as Dalton. Tyjohn Young also brought a presence down low in games that he participated in this spring.
Greg Davis struggled from the perimeter in this game, and only scored three points, but he will be a key weapon next season after his solid effort in the GMCT. The Chiefs are competing at Kean for the second year in a row, and continue to put in the off-season work that makes them one of the top programs in the GMC every year.
Mustangs Put In Work This Spring To Take Big Step In Building Toward More Success In 2011-12
UNION, NJ–This past season, the Mustangs of J.F. Kennedy had a great deal of success. JFK had its first winning season since 2001-02. In addition, Kennedy reached the quarterfinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament for the first time since winning it all in 1990.
The Mustangs and their head coach, Chris Banos are not settling for that though. After winning 10 games or more in three out of the past four seasons, J.F. Kennedy is looking to be just as successful, or better next year as well. The Woodbridge Township school is losing the likes of Daishon Robinson, A.J. Pichalski, Jordan Toczynski, and A.J. Williams from this past season’s roster to graduation, but still have some good players returning including Steve Alvarez, Josh Kamenas, Shabas Clarke, and Vik Pawar. Banos is also high on a couple of youngsters coming up from the freshman and sophomore levels.
While J.F. Kennedy was one of the two GMC teams not to make the playoffs at Kean, they did show some progress this spring. In week one, the Mustangs went toe to toe with Newark Central over the first 13:10 of the contest. Without Kamenas, JFK still managed to tie the Blue Devils at 20-20 before the 2011 Group II State Champion closed the game with a 42-20 surge for a 62-40 victory. After having a tough loss to another Newark school in Shabazz the following week, the Mustangs showed its true potential in a comeback win over South Plainfield on May 11th.
With the likes of Kamenas, Clarke, and Pawar crashing the boards, and Alvarez making clutch three pointers late, Kennedy was able to overcome a 32-16 second half deficit with a 31-9 surge over the last 16:05 for a 47-41 victory over the younger Tigers. The Mustangs followed that up the following week with a solid effort in an overtime loss to Scotch Plains. In a rematch of a first round game in the 2011 North Jersey Section 2 Group III state tournament, Kamenas came up with several big scores underneath to help JFK take a 49-42 lead with several minutes to go in regulation.
Scotch Plains would rally though with eight of the next nine points to force overtime tied at 50-50, and then outscored Kennedy by a margin of 7-5 in the extra session for the two point victory. The Mustangs had a good turnout of players this spring, and also have the likes of sophomore Zach Buchholz (playing baseball) returning. J.F. Kennedy has some size and athleticism coming back next season with Kamenas, Clarke, and Pawar on the front line. Kurt Lorentzen is also a nice role player. The only thing that it is lacking right now is some more perimeter scoring punch to supplement Alvarez. The upcoming freshmen and sophomores may help fill that void.
The Bombers Follow Up Solid Finish To Regular Season With Playoff Berth At Kean
UNION, NJ–Bomber Basketball is not quite back yet, but it is well on the road to recovery. After starting the year at 1-13, Sayreville won five out of its last nine games, won a GMCT play-in round game, and gave Gold Division champion, Piscataway Tech all it could handle before falling in the preliminary round. Now, Sayreville is in the playoffs at the Kean Spring League.
The Bombers earned the sixth seed at Kean, and will face Roselle in the opening round of the playoffs on Monday at 7:00 PM. Sayreville got the higher seed over Piscataway (seeded seventh) thanks to a forfeit win over the Chiefs. Sayreville and P-Way are the only two GMC teams to qualify for the playoffs. Eight teams out of the 13 competing in the league managed to qualify with the Roundballers AAU teams not making it since they weren’t a high school squad. J.F. Kennedy, South Plainfield, and Westfield also didn’t make it in.
Sayreville was able to get into the playoffs without having the likes of standout sophomore guard, Joe Saitta in the lineup until this past week, and a lack of size up front. Only Trey Johnson returns in the frontcourt. However, the Bombers live up to their namesake with a plethora of guards that can shoot the basketball. Besides Saitta, the Bombers have the likes of Cody Van Note, Corey Taite, and Danny Wojcik leading a solid perimeter game. Two weeks ago against South Plainfield, the Bombers netted nine three pointers including seven in the first half en route to a 34-15 lead, and then hung on for a 53-48 victory.
Van Note, who joined the varsity ranks in mid-January, has continued to flourish as he netted five threes in the victory over South Plainfield. Saitta drained a couple threes in the second half of a loss to Roselle this past Wednesday. Diminutive in statute, but big on heart, Corey Taite shows no fear in playing with the big boys with some fine playmaking ability along with good long range shooting. Wojcik, the younger brother of head coach John Wojcik, and former Sayreville standout, Tim Wojcik, is a fiery competitor that has a knack of making clutch jumpers.
The Bombers have a long way to go before getting to the level they had a couple seasons ago when they made the semifinals of the GMCT for the first time since winning it all back in 2000. However, by playing this spring at Kean, and enjoying a fair level of success, Sayreville has made one big step in its rebuilding process.