GMC Hoops Game Analysis–#10 Middletown North @ #2 Woodbridge–Central Jersey Group III–February 28, 2013March 8, 2013 on 4:04 pm | In Woodbridge Hoops | Comments Off
Hot Shooting Lions Defeat Barrons To Score Another Upset
WOODBRIDGE, NJ–After losing the likes of top scorer, Jason Huelbig to graduation last June, last year’s Central Jersey Group IV champion, Middletown North had a bit of an up and down year. The Lions entered the 2013 Central Jersey Group III State Tournament as the tenth seed with road games in Neptune and Woodbridge facing them.
However, Middletown North has been able to set the tone and dictate tempo with a hot shooting squad that spreads the floor with shooters hovering around the perimeter. As a result, the Lions knocked off seventh seeded Neptune in the opening round by the score of 52-49, and then stormed out to a 25-8 lead in the early second quarter against second seeded Woodbridge, and didn’t let the Barrons get closer than eight points after that en route to a 79-69 win in Barron Country.
Woodbridge, which had its best season in 30 years, had just come off its first playoff win since the 1988-89 season. Despite outrebounding Middletown North by a margin of 33-23, WHS couldn’t overcome the Lions hot shooting. MNHS shot 60 percent (29 of 48) from the floor including 65 percent in the first half. On the other hand, Woodbridge shot only 41 percent (25 of 61 FGs) including 36 percent in the first two periods. The Barrons were unable to get to of their key offensive cogs, Jared Pearson and Eddie Harris involved offensively, especially early on.
Zahneer Shuler led Woodbridge with 21 points while Duquan Bailey added 17 points for the Barrons. Pearson chipped in with 13 while Jaheem Jackson scored 11, and Eddie Harris ended up with 7. Middletown North was led by Cody Thompson with 22 points while Mike Barber made six threes for his 18 points. Will Bowman added 13 points while Ian Wyckoff came off the bench to score 12 points, and John Dini contributed with 10. Middletown North, which finished behind Colts Neck and CBA in the Shore Conference Class A North division this year, had six players get into the scorebook while Woodbridge had only five.
Woodbridge enjoyed more success at the foul line at 82.4 percent (14 of 17 FTs) while Middletown North shot 55.6 percent (10 of 18 FTs). The Lions had fewer fouls (12-16). One key stat though was the three point shot. Middletown North outscored Woodbridge by a 33-15 margin from beyond the arc. The Lions were 11 of 18 from long distance for 61 percent while the Barrons were only 5 of 23 from downtown for 22 percent. Thompson and Barber were a combined 10 of 13 from three for MNHS. The visitors from Monmouth County scored in double figures in each of the four periods while Woodbridge scored in double digits in three of the four quarters.
Middletown North actually scored 20 points or more in three of the four periods while Woodbridge did that in two of the quarters. The Barrons actually outscored the Lions by a margin of 61-56 over the final three periods, but the hole they dug in the first period was too much to overcome. With the loss, Woodbridge finished the season at 22-5.
Here is a slideshow from photos taken of the action between 10th seeded Middletown North and 2nd seeded Woodbridge in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Central Jersey Group III State Tournament. Middletown North jumped out to a 23-8 lead and never looked back in a 79-69 victory. The Lions outscored the Barrons by a margin of 33-15 from long distance, and shot a blistering 60 percent form the field while limiting Woodbridge to just 41 percent.
Five different Middletown North players scored in double figures led by Cody Thompson, who scored a game high 22 points. Mike Barber chipped in with 18 points. Will Boman added 13 points while reserve Ian Wyckoff and John Dini contributed with 12 and 10 points respectively. Woodbridge had four players score double figures led by Zahneer Shuler with 21 points. Duquan Bailey chipped in with 17 while Jared Pearson and Jaheem Jackson added 13 and 11 respectively. Middletown North shot 65 percent alone in the first half while Woodbridge was limited to just 36 percent. The Lions were 11 of 18 from beyond the arc in the contest while Woodbridge was only 5 of 23.
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.
Barrons Trio of Bailey, Pearson, and Harris Lead Woodbridge Past Sayreville, 74-63
SAYREVILLE, NJ–In what could have been a trap game for Woodbridge heading into their GMC White showdown with division leader Norh Brunswick on Thursday night, the Barrons refused to let down against a Sayreville team determined to make a better showing than in the 59-40 defeat suffered at WHS in the first week of the 2012-13 season. Woodbridge got a game high 24 points from Jared Pearson, 22 points from point guard, Duquan Bailey, and 11 points in the second half by Eddie Harris to pull away from Sayreville, 74-63 at the Bomb Shelter.
The Barrons only had one three in the contest, but outscored Sayreville by a margin of 21-3 from the foul line. Woodbridge only had a 25-24 edge in two point baskets while Sayreville outscored the Barrons by a 12-3 margin from beyond the arc. Woodbridge scored in double figures in each period while Sayreville scored in double digits in three of the four periods. The Barrons had four different players score in double figures while the Bombers only had three. Jason Saldiveri led Sayreville with 16 points while Jon Bracero chipped in with 15, and Corey Taite added 10.
Trailing 46-35 with 5:19 to go in the third, Sayreville rallied back with a 16-8 spurt over a span of 4:32 to pull within three at 54-51 with 47 seconds left in the period. The Bombers got four points each from Saldiveri and Brian Gay, who later added a three point play to close the gap again to three at the end of the period. Bracero and Donald Johnson also got scores during the run. Gay scored 9 of his points in the third along with two steals and an assist. Leading 57-54 at the start of the fourth, Woodbridge put the game away with a 13-5 run over the first 6:19 of the fourth including a three point play by Pearson at the 6:39 mark, and a pull-up jumper by Harris at the 5:45 mark.
Sayreville could only get as close as six points after that as Bailey made two free throws for a 67-59 lead at the 2:03 mark, and Harris converted a three point play to put the Barrons up by 11 with 1:41 left. Sayreville led by two after the first period (16-14) before Bailey scored 14 in the second to spearhead a 24-17 showing by the Barrons in the frame for a 38-33 lead at the intermission. Woodbridge then opened the second half with an 8-2 spurt including two free throws by Bailey at the 7:39 mark, a transition layup by Bailey at the 7:13 mark, a foul line jumper by Pearson at the 5:45 mark, and then a missed dunk by Harris that got a kind bounce and went in for a 46-35 lead with 5:19 left in the third.
Woodbridge’s overall size and length along with its athleticism made things very difficult for Sayreville, especially from the perimeter. The Bombers had no threes in the second half while Taite was limited to just four points in the final two periods. With the victory, Woodbridge improved to 12-1 overall on the season, its best start in three decades. A win on Thursday against North Brunswick would clinch the school’s first winning season since the 1988-89 campaign when the 1,000 point scoring duo of Buck Jenkins and Adam McLaughlin led the Barrons to a 17-9 season. The last time Woodbridge won a division title was when it was in the Middlesex County Athletic Conference in 1981-82. Finally, Woodbridge has a Barrons team that they can be proud of.
Barrons Wear Down Spartans To Notch Quality Win, 66-62
SOMERVILLE, NJ–In the finale of games being played at Immaculata High School as part of the GMC-Skyland Challenge to benefit the Braden Carr Foundation, the Woodbridge Barrons took on the host school Spartans. Woodbridge trailed in the contest 52-45 with around five minutes remaining before putting together a decisive 21-10 surge for the 66-62 win.
The Barrons were led by the tandem of Jared Pearson and Eddie Harris, who combined for 40 of their team’s 66 points. Pearson scored a game high 21 points on 10 of 18 shooting from the floor while Harris was only 5 of 12 from the floor, but knocked down 9 of 12 from the foul line including 8 of 8 down the stretch. Duquan Bailey also chipped in for the winners with 13 points before fouling out.
Immaculata was led by Shane Stephens, who scored a team high 19 points while Danny Reilly chipped in with 15 before leaving the game with an injury. Asiah Avent also contributed in a losing cause with 11 points. Reilly connected on 7 of 11 shots from the floor while Stephens made 7 of 15. Avent, the son of former Shabazz HS and Seton Hall Prep standout, Anthony Avent, clicked on 5 of 10 shots. As a team, the Spartans were 24 of 55 from the floor for 44 percent overall, but they were more efficient from inside the arc by going 19 of 32.
On the other hand, Woodbridge, struggled a bit more overall from the field by shooting 26 of 63 for 41 percent. The Barrons were only 3 of 13 from three point range versus 5 of 23 for Immaculata while shooting just below 50 percent inside the arc. At the line, the Spartans held a considerable edge as well perentage wise by going 9 of 10, but Woodbridge got more opportunities in going 11 of 18, and picked up things at the charity stripe in the second thanks to the efforts of Harris down the stretch. The Barrons scored in double figures in each of the four periods while Immaculata did that in only three.
Trailing 37-33 at the half, Woodbridge outscored Immaculata by a margin of 33-25 in the final 16 minutes. According to the shot chart, Woodbridge concentrated a lot of its shooting and scoring from within the arc. Pearson battled mostly in the paint while Harris shot from the foul line, wings, and elbows. Bailey (two threes) and Zahneer Shuler (7 points) accounted for all the three point baskets by the Barrons. Immaculata took almost half of its shots from three point range, especially in the second half when the Spartans were forced to try and catch up. Stephens sank 3 of 10 from long distance while Mike Frauenheim Jr. (8 points) and Tommy Haldeman (5 points) accounted for the other Spartan trifectas.
Woodbridge’s size and most importantly, its length, made it very difficult for Immaculata to find any success from three. Couple that with the athleticism and leaping ability of the likes of Jaheem Jackson, and your team is going to have a tough time shooting over the top of the Barrons defense.This was a very important victory for the Barrons. While Immaculata is down a bit this year relative to recent standards, it is one of the top programs around, and one of the better teams in the Skyland year in and year out. So for Woodbridge, this was quite a notch in the belt. A much needed boost of confidence heading into two important games the following week against Sayreville and North Brunswick.
Coming into the season, GMC Hoops felt that the Barrons would be a tough team to beat with the ton of good talent coming up from the JV and Freshmen levels as well as the additions of Matt Gigliello as head coach and Eddie Harris, a transfer from Roselle Catholic. Gigliello brings a defense first philosophy that he learned from Bob Turco at Monroe, and later from Dave Turco at St. Joseph’s. This year’s Barrons appear to be buying into that philosophy.
Here are some highlights from Woodbridge’s 58-53 win over North Brunswick in GMC White Division JV action on Thursday night. The Junior Barrons had a 40-25 lead in the middle of the third quarter when North Brunswick rallied with a 24-11 surge led by L.J. Williams, Kishan Patel, and Pranay Bhandare to pull within two at 51-49 with under three minutes to play. However, the Junior Raiders were called for a technical foul after an emotional reaction to a traveling call made by the officials moments earlier, and Woodbridge was able to pull away with a 7-4 run by making 7 of 8 from the line down the stretch.
Here are video highlights from the second half of Woodbridge’s win over Sayreville in GMC White Division action. Behind 14 second quarter points by senior point guard, Duquan Bailey, the Barrons took a 38-33 lead at the half. Then, in the third quarter, Woodbridge opened up with an 8-2 run for a 46-35 lead. Sayreville battled back with a 19-11 surge to end the period to pull within three at 57-54 as Brian Gay contributed with 4 points, 2 assists, and 2 steals in the frame.
However, in the final period, Woodbridge pulled away as Jared Pearson converted a traditional three point play at the 6:39 mark, and Eddie Harris came up with a jumper at the 5:45 mark for a 64-56 lead. Harris then added a three point play of his own at the 1:41 mark, and almost another as he scored again while being fouled at the 49 second mark for a 72-61 lead en route to the 74-63 victory. Pearson ended up with a game high 24 points while Bailey added 22 and Harris chipped in with 11 in the second half for the win. Jason Saldiveri led the Bombers in defeat with 16 points while Jon Bracero chipped in with 15 and Corey Taite added 10.
SAYREVILLE, NJ–On Tuesday night, GMC Hoops had a change of plans and went to Sayreville War Memorial High School to see the Bombers in GMC White action against the fifth ranked Woodbridge Barrons. The Barrons had a 38-33 lead at the half, and opened the third with an 8-2 run for their biggest lead of the entire 2nd half at 46-35 before Sayreville responded with a 19-11 tear the rest of the period to pull within three at 57-54 heading into the fourth. However, Woodbridge was able to pull out the win with a 17-9 final period effort sparked by three point play by Jared Pearson at the 6:39 mark and followed by a pull-up jumper from Eddie Harris at the 5:45 mark for a 64-56 lead en route to the 74-63 win. Below are game notes from the second half.
Woodbridge leads 38-33 at the half
7:39–WBG–Duquan Bailey–fouled–makes both FTs for a 40-33 lead.
7:13–WBG–Bailey scores on layup in transition for a 42-33 lead.
6:50–SAY–Jason Saldiveri drives left lane for layup and a 42-35 WBG lead.
5:45–WBG–Jared Pearson hits foul line jumper for a 44-35 lead.
5:19–WBG–Eddie Harris goes in for one handed flush, but misfires. Ball goes in on the bounce for a 46-35 lead.
5:06–SAY–timeout after putback by Saldiveri for a 46-37 WBG lead.
4:01–SAY–Corey Taite passes ahead to Saldiveri for layup and a 48-41 lead.
3:52–WBG–Eddie Harris pulls up for jumper from right side for a 50-41 lead.
3:08–SAY–Taite lobs pass to Jon Bracero for layup and a 50-45 WBG lead.
2:30–SAY–Gay fakes up and scores on layup for a 52-47 WBG lead.
1:45–WBG–Pearson scores down low for layup and a 54-47 lead.
1:08–SAY–Gay dishes to Donald Johnson for layup and a 54-49 WBG lead.
0:47–WBG–timeout after Gay steals and goes in for layup and a 54-51 WBG lead.
0:23–WBG–Pearson fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 55-51 lead.
0:22–WBG–Mika Graham scores on putback of missed FT by Pearson for a 57-51 lead.
0:02–SAY–Gay–drives in from right wing for layup and the foul–makes bonus FT for a three point play and a 57-54 WBG lead.
0:00–WBG–heave at buzzer is off the mark–still leads 57-54.
6:39–WBG–Pearson three point play for a 62-56 lead.
5:45–WBG–Harris hits pull-up jumper for a 64-56 lead.
4:20–SAY–Bracero–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 64-57 WBG lead.
3:11–WBG–Jaheem Jackson fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 65-57 lead.
2:45–SAY–timeout after layup for a 65-59 WBG lead.
2:03–WBG–Bailey–fouled–makes both FTs for a 67-59 lead.
1:41–WBG–Harris converts a three point play for a 70-59 lead.
1:25–SAY–Johnson scores on putback for a 70-61 WBG lead.
0:49–WBG–Harris takes pass ahead from Bailey and scores on transition layup while being fouled–missed bonus FT for a 72-61 lead.
0:36–SAY–timeout after Taite layup off drive along left baseline for a 72-63 WBG lead.
0:14–WBG–Bailey fouled–makes both FTs for a 74-63 lead.
0:00–WBG–Bailey runs out the clock for a 74-63 win.
Good morning everyone. Here is the latest schedule for the GMC-Skyland Challenge set for today. GMC Hoops plans to be at Immaculata for the two games there, and then go over to Bound Brook to see Cardinal McCarrick take on the home town Crusaders.
At Bound Brook
Colonia vs. Warren Hills, 5:00 PM
Cardinal McCarrick vs. Bound Brook, 7:00 PM
At East Brunswick
Timothy Christian vs. Voorhees, 2:00 PM
Piscataway vs. Montgomery, 4:00 PM
Bridgewater vs. East Brunswick, 6:00 PM
South Brunswick vs. Hillsborough, 12:45 PM
North Brunswick vs. Franklin, 2:30 PM
Bishop Ahr vs. Pingry, 3:00 PM
Woodbridge vs. Immaculata, 5:00 PM
At North Plainfield
J.F. Kennedy vs. North Plainfield, 1:00 PM
South Hunterdon vs. Middlesex, 12:00 PM
Hunterdon Central vs. Monroe, 7:00 PM
At North Hunterdon
Edison vs. North Hunterdon, 1:30 PM
At Perth Amboy
Delaware Valley vs. Perth Amboy, 1:00 PM
Old Bridge vs. Phillipsburg, 2:30 PM
Carteret vs. Somerville, 2:00 PM
At South Amboy
Manville vs. South Amboy, 11:30 AM
Bernards vs. Spotswood, 1:30 PM
New Brunswick vs. Ridge, 2:30 PM
Sayreville vs. Watchung Hills, 7:00 PM