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).
GMC Hoops Game Notes–Weequahic @ Carteret–Central Jersey Group II State Playoffs–Opening Round–February 25, 2013February 25, 2013 on 9:02 pm | In Carteret Hoops | Comments Off
CARTERET, NJ–On Monday afternoon, GMC Hoops headed over to Carteret High School to see the fifth seeded Ramblers in action against 12th seeded Weequahic of Newark in the opening round of the 2013 Central Jersey Group II State Tournament. Trailing 14-7 late in the first period, the Ramblers ended the half with a 28-10 surge including 17 of the last 20 points of the second period for a 35-24 lead at the half, and then hung on to win 64-61 despite a late rally by the Indians. Below are some game notes from the contest.
7:45–WEEQ–blocks shot by Andrew Stam.
7:32–CAR–deflects ball out of bounds.
7:30–WEEQ–scores on layup for a 2-0 lead.
7:17–CAR–Stam drills three from left wing for a 3-2 lead.
7:01–CAR–swipes steal, but Stam misses layup.
6:47–WEEQ–layup for a 4-3 lead.
6:32–CAR–Jaquan Robertson scores on layup for a 5-4 lead.
4:19–WEEQ–layup for a 6-5 lead.
3:57–CAR–steal leads to layin by Joe McRae for a 7-6 lead.
3:42–WEEQ–drives left lane for layup and an 8-7 lead.
3:17–WEEQ–Jumper from left elbow for a 10-7 lead.
2:57–WEEQ–layup from left low block on follow for a 12-7 lead. 6-0 run.
2:41–OFF–timeout–clean up floor.
2:18–WEEQ–gets layup and the foul on Anthony Spinelli–misses bonus FT.
1:49–CAR–Stam scores on floater for a 14-9 WEEQ lead.
1:17–CAR–McRae scores on transition layup for a 14-11 WEEQ lead.
1:00–CAR–Brandon Gilder draws charge on WEEQ player
44.3–WEEQ–putback for a 16-11 lead.
32.1–CAR–Stam–fouled–makes both FTs for a 16-13 WEEQ lead.
0:00–WEEQ–hits three from right side at the buzzer for a 19-13.
Team fouls–WEEQ 8–CAR 3.
7:49–CAR–Stam–three pointer from left wing for a 19-16 WEEQ lead.
7:30–CAR–Elijah Torres swipes steal for layup and a 19-18 WEEQ lead.
6:28–WEEQ–layup from left low block for a 21-18 lead.
6:19–CAR–Jaquan Robertson layup for a 21-20 WEEQ lead.
4:53–CAR–after WEEQ misses a couple shots, Tyrell Lockley pushes ball upcourt, and goes in for a layup, and is fouled–goes down–shaken up–Gilder makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 21-21 tie.
4:26–WEEQ–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 22-21 lead.
4:19–CAR–Gilder fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 22-22 tie.
3:50–CAR–McRae knocks in triple from right
3:41–CAR–Gilder goes high and onto the scorer’s table to deflect ball out of bounds.
3:30–CAR–Lockley scores on putback of blocked shot by WEEQ for a 27-22 lead.
3:08–WEEQ–steal for layupfor a 27-24 lead.
2:58–CAR–McRae scores on layin for a 29-24 lead.
2:46–CAR–Spinelli draws charge on WEEQ player.
1:52–CAR–blocked shot leads to layup by Gilder at the other end for a 31-24 lead.
1:19–WEEQ–calls timeout after Spinelli steal generates fast break that results in layup by McRae for a 33-24 lead. CAR on 15-3 tear over last 5:09.
53.0–CAR–after WEEQfails to capitalize on three offensive rebounds, Torres gets the ball, and pushes it upcourt for layup and a 35-24 lead.
45.0–CAR–Torres gets steal, but CAR can’t score.
0:0–CAR–McRae misses three from right side of the key at the buzzer. CAR still leads 35-24 at the half.
6:19–CAR–Gilder hits three from left side of the key for a 39-26 lead.
5:56–CAR–Lockley gets layup as he is fouled for a three point play, and a 42-26 lead.
5:45–WEEQ–basket for a 42-28 CAR lead.
5:12–CAR–Stam just misses layup.
4:57–CAR–nice passing between Lockley, McRae and Stam leads to layup by Stam for a 44-28 lead.
4:38–WEEQ–steals ball back and scores easy layin fora 44-30 CAR lead.
4:16–WEEQ–gets rebound off missed three by Gilder–goes length of floor for layup and foul–missed bonus FT for a 44-32 CAR lead.
4:05–WEEQ–gets steal and scores on layup for a 44-34 CAR lead.
3:54–WEEQ–deflects ball out of bounds.
3:49–CAR–Spinelli–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 45-34 lead.
2:41–CAR–Gilder hustle leads to save to McRae, who dishes to Lockley for layup and a 47-36 lead.
2:11–WEEQ–layup off steal for a 47-38 lead.
1:36–WEEQ–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 47-39 CAR lead.
51.8–CAR–steals errant pass by WEEQ.
12.2–WEEQ–misses two layup attempts.
1.2–WEEQ–makes layup for a 47-41 CAR lead.
CAR leads 47-41 after three.
7:54–CAR–Torres–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 48-41 lead.
7:19–CAR–Torres fouled on floor–CAR in double bonus already–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 49-41 lead.
7:04–WEEQ–#2 three pointer from right corner for a 49-44 CAR lead.
6:35–CAR–timeout after another three by #2 for a 49-47 CAR lead.
6:29–CAR–Stam–fouled–makes both FTs for a 51-47 lead.
6:08–WEEQ–putback for a 51-49 CAR lead.
6:01–CAR–Stam fouled on layup attempt–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 52-49 lead.
5:52–WEEQ–fouled on floor.
5:43–WEEQ–fouled on shot attempt–misses both FTs.
5:05–WEEQ–#2–fouled makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 52-50 CAR lead.
4:56–CAR–McRae–fouled–misses both FTs–Gilder gets offensive rebound.
4:37–CAR–Lockley scores on layup from right low block for a 54-50 lead.
4:21–WEEQ–#12–layup and foul–missed bonus FT for a 54-52 CAR lead.
3:55–CAR–McRae scores on breakaway layin for a 56-52 lead.
3:30–WEEQ–layup for a 56-54 CAR lead.
3:21–CAR–Gilder fouled–makes both FTs for a 58-54 lead.
2:44–WEEQ–nice up and under move for layup and a 58-56 CAR lead.
2:28–OFF–timeout–breakup both teams–avoid scuffle.
2:18–CAR–Stam steals pass–fouled–makes both FTs for a 60-56 lead.
1:57–WEEQ–misses shot–CAR gets rebound.
1:34–CAR–gets loose ball off rebound of missed shot by WEEQ–calls 30 sec timeout.
1:04–CAR–gets steal–Gilder fouled on follow–makes 1 of 2 FTs.
1:00–CAR–Spinelli and Gilder force jump ball–CAR possession.
43.7–CAR–Gilder hustles to get steal, goes in for layup, and is fouled–missed bonus FT for a 63-56 lead.
30.0–WEEQ–layup for a 63-58 CAR lead.
11.0–WEEQ–three pointer from left wing by #2 for a 63-61 CAR lead.
8.6–CAR–Gilder fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 64-61 lead–WEEQ–timeout.
0.0–WEEQ–misses three from right wing, and loses ball out of bounds as time runs out for a 64-61 CAR victory.
Here are video highlights from the Blue Division contest between the Ramblers and the Highland Park Owls. Carteret started out strong with a dunk by Joe McRae, and had a 9-0 lead in the first 2:19 as HPHS turned the ball over 7 times. The Owls didn’t get on the board until the five minute mark of the period, and trailed at one point the first by a score of 22-4 before ending the period with an 8-4 spurt to narrow the deficit to 26-12 after one.
Ramblers Roll As Five Players Score In Double Figures
CARTERET, NJ–Friday afternoon’s game between Highland Park and Carteret had an ominous beginning, especially if you are an Owls fan. Less than a minute into the game, the Ramblers Joe McRae stole the ball, and went in for a one handed slam from the right side. Not too long after that, Andrew Stam converted a steal with a layup at the 7:02 mark. It was going to be that type of night for Carteret.
By the time Highland Park called a timeout with 5:41 to go in the first period, the Ramblers were already up 9-0 as the Owls had already committed 7 turnovers. Tyrell Lockley then got into the act with a couple threes, and Jaquan Robertson added a few scores for a 22-4 lead at one point in the period. The only blemish on Carteret’s performance to this point was back to back 0 of 2 showings at the foul line by McRae at the 6:35 mark, and Robertson at the 6:33 mark.
The Owls, led by senior Jordan Long, who had a team high 11 points including 9 in the first half, did try to make a game of it for a while with an 8-4 spurt to end the opening quarter to close the gap to 26-12. However, the effort was feudal as Carteret scored 25 of the 28 points in the second period. Elijah Torres had three field goals including a three point play for 7 of his 9 first half points to lead the barrage. Lockley and Robertson chipped in with 4 points apiece. Reserves Anthony Spinelli and Sean Kenney got into the act also with a three and a field goal respectively.
In the first half, Carteret compiled a 51-15 lead by the intermission on 19 FGs, 3 three pointers, and 4 of 9 from the foul line. Meanwhile, the Ramblers only allowed three different Highland Park players to score while limiting the Owls to just 6 field goals and 3 of 5 from the foul line for 15 points. The Ramblers had eight different players get into the scorebook including two that were already in double figures with Lockley having 14 while Robertson added 10. The game continued to get out of hand in the second half with Carteret outscoring Highland Park by a margin of 41-18 including a 28-8 showing in the third for a 79-23 lead.
The Ramblers wound up outscoring the Owls in each period en route to a 92-33 victory. Five different Carteret players ended up scoring in double figures led by Lockley with 18, Robertson with 16, Torres with 15, McRae with 14, and Stam with 12. Brandon Benjamin almost broke into double figures with 8 points along with 3 blocks while Spinnelli added 5. Jaren Miller scored all 8 of his points in the second half for the Owls to provide a bright spot while James Webb scored four points in the second half to end up with 7 and Harry Landis added 3 to finish with 6. Only five Highland Park players got into the scorebook.
Carteret put on a similar display in the first half of its game against Metuchen at the end of the first full week of the season back before the holidays. The Ramblers may not be as physical as they have been in the past on defense, but they don’t have to grind games out on offense either. They are very athletic and have the ability to score points in bunches.
CARTERET, NJ–On Friday afternoon, GMC Hoops traveled over to Carteret High School to take in the first half of the Blue Division contest between the Ramblers and the Highland Park Owls. Carteret started out strong with a dunk by Joe McRae, and had a 9-0 lead in the first 2:19 as HPHS turned the ball over 7 times. The Owls didn’t get on the board until the five minute mark of the period, and trailed at one point the first by a score of 22-4 before ending the period with an 8-4 spurt to narrow the deficit to 26-12 after one.
Highland Park wouldn’t get any closer after that as Carteret put togethert a 25-3 onslaught in the second for a 51-15 lead at the intermission en route to a 92-33 victory. Five Ramblers scored in double figures including Tyrell Lockley, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half. Jaquan Robertson scored 10 of his 16 points in the first two periods while Elijah Torres scored 9 of his 15 in the first 16 minutes. Jordan Long scored 11 points in a losing cause for the Owls including 9 in the first half. Below are game notes from the contest, most of which were from the first half.
7:02–CAR–up 4-0 after a steal for a dunk by Joe McRae and another steal for layup by Andrew Stam.
6:35–CAR–McRae swipes steal, misses layup, fouled on follow–misses both FTs.
6:33–CAR–Jaquan Robertson gets offensive rebound–fouled–misses both FTs.
6:17–CAR–Tyrell Lockley–three pointer from left wing for a 7-0 lead.
5:41–HP–30 sec timeout–follows CAR putback by McRae for a 9-0 lead. HP–7 turnovers.
5:00–CAR–Lockley scores on three pointer for a 12-2 lead.
4:40–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 14-2 lead.
2:41–CAR–on an 8-2 run capped by a putback from Robertson for a 22-4 lead.
2:23–HP–Harry Landis scores on floater for a 22-6 CAR lead.
1:40–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 24-6 lead.
1:25–HP–Jordan Long converts traditional three point play for a 24-9 CAR lead.
58.7–HP–Landis–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 24-10 CAR lead.
28.0–CAR–Brandon Benjamin scores on putback for a 26-10 lead.
3.0–HP–Long scores on layup off dish by Landis for a 26-12 CAR lead.
0.0–CAR–Stam just misses heave at buzzer–CAR leads 26-12 after one.
Highland Park First Quarter Scoring
Jordan Long–3 FGs and a FT for 7 points
James Webb–FG for 2 points
Harry Landis–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Totals–5 FGs and 2 of 3 FTs for 12 points
Carteret First Quarter Scoring
Tyrell Lockley–2 3s and 2 FGs for 10 points
Jaquan Robertson–3 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 6 points
Joe McRae–2 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 4 points
Andrew Stam–FG for 2 points
Elijah Torres–FG for 2 points
Brandon Benjamin–FG for 2 points
Totals–10 FGs and 2 3s and 0 of 4 FTs for 26 points
6:22–CAR–Stam–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 4-0 run, and a 30-12 lead.
5:41–CAR–McRae scores on putback for a 32-12 lead.
5:22–HP–Webb–fouled–makes 1 of 2 FTs for a 32-13 lead.
5:14–CAR–Elijah Torres scores on a transition layup for a 34-13 lead.
4:22–CAR–Torres converts a three point play for a 37-13 lead.
2:27–CAR–Stam scores on putback for a 41-13 lead.
1:57–CAR–Lockley scores on breakaway layup for a 43-13 lead.
1:30–CAR–Stam drives and dishes to Robertson for layup and a 45-13 lead.
1:15–HP–Long scores on follow for a 45-15 CAR lead.
1:03–CAR–Lockley scores on follow for a 47-15 lead.
30.0–CAR–Sean Kenney–basket for a 49-15 lead.
2.5–CAR–Ramblers end the half with two FTs by Robertson for a 51-15 lead.
0.0–HP–Long heave at buzzer is off the mark.
Highland Park Second Quarter Scoring
Jordan Long–FG for 2 points
James Webb–1 of 2 FTs for 1 point
Totals–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Carteret Second Quarter Scoring
Elijah Torres–3 FGs and 1-1 FT for 7 points
Tyrell Lockley–2 FGs for 4 points
Jaquan Robertson–FG and 2 of 2 FTs for 4 points
Andrew Stam–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Anthony Spinelli–3 PTR for 3 points
Joe McRae–FG for 2 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points
Totals–9 FGs, a 3 PTR, and 4 of 5 FTs for 25 points
Highland Park First Half Scoring
Jordan Long–4 FGs and 1 of 1 FTs for 9 points
James Webb–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Harry Landis–FG and 1 of 2 FTs for 3 points
Totals–6 FG and 3 of 5 FTs for 15 points
Carteret First Half Scoring
Tyrell Lockley–4 FGs and 2 3s for 14 points
Jaquan Robertson–4 FGs and 2 of 4 FTs for 10 points
Elijah Torres–4 FGs and 1 of 1 FT for 9 points
Joe McRae–3 FGs and 0 of 2 FTs for 6 points
Andrew Stam–2 FGs and 1 of 2 FTs for 5 points
Anthony Spinelli–3 PTR for 3 points
Brandon Benjamin–FG for 2 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points
Totals–19 FGs, 3 3s, and 4 of 9 FTs for 51 points
Carteret outscored Highland Park by a margin of 28-8 to take a 79-23 lead.
Carteret outscored Highland Park by a margin of 13-10 to close out the 92-33 victory.
Highland Park Scoring–2nd Half
Jordan Long–FG–2 points
James Webb–2 FGs for 4 points
Harry Landis–FG and a FT for 3 points
Jaren Miller–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
Travis Lesuer–FT for 1 point
Totals–7 FGs and 4 FTs for 18 points
Carteret Scoring–2nd Half
Tyrell Lockley–2 FGs for 4 points
Jaquan Robertson–3 FGs for 6 points
Elijah Torres–3 FGs for 6 points
Joe McRae–FG, 3 PTR, and 3 FTs for 8 points
Andrew Stam–2 FGs and a 3 PTR for 7 points
Anthony Spinelli–FG for 2 points
Brandon Benjamin–2 FGs and 2 FTs for 6 points
Totals–15 FGs, 2 3s, and 5 FTs for 41 points
Highland Park Scoring–Game
Jordan Long–5 FGs and a FT for 11 points
Jaren Miller–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
James Webb–3 FGs and a FT for 7 points
Harry Landis–2 FGs and 2 FTs for 6 points
Travis Lesuer–FT for 1 point
Totals–13 FGs and 7 FTs for 33 points
Tyrell Lockley–6 FGs and 2 3s for 18 points
Jaquan Robertson–7 FGs and 2 FTs for 16 points
Elijah Torres–7 FGs and a FT for 15 points
Joe Mcrae–4 FGs, a 3 PTR, and 3 FTs for 14 points
Andrew Stam–4 FGs, a 3 PTR, and a FT for 12 points
Brandon Benjamin–3 FGs and 2 FTs for 8 points
Anthony Spinelli–FG and a 3 PTR for 5 points
Sean Kenney–FG for 2 points.
Totals–34 FGs, 5 3s, and 9 FTs for 92 points
Here are video highlights from the final 9:32 of the contest between Carteret and Middlesex in GMC Blue action. Leading 44-32 with 1:32 remaining in the third, Carteret went on an 18-5 tear sparked by a steal for a layup and a three by Anthony Spinnelli, and continued with scores by Jaquan Robertson and Brandon Gilder, and capped by a three and a pair of free throws by Andrew Stam for a 62-37 lead en route to a 66-47 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
Carteret’s Win Over Spotswood Makes It A Three Team Scramble In Blue While Four Teams Separated By One Game In Gold
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Prior to the season, I had indicated that the Blue and Gold Divisions were going to be tough. With the additions of Piscataway Tech and South Plainfield in the Blue, and the exit of P-Way Tech from the Gold, competitive races were expected this year in these two divisions. So far the season hasn’t disappointed. At the midway point we have a three way tie in the GMC Blue, there are three teams separated by one game.
If there is any parity in the GMC, it lies in these two divisions mostly. For instance, of the seven games that were played on Wednesday, five of them were decided by single digits, and six were determined by 10 points or less. Oh, by the way, the sixth game, the one that was decided by ten points, went to overtime. South River needed an extra session to defeat Timothy Christian, 72-62.
Gold Division Free For All
Speaking of the Rams, they have come back from the dead in divisional play. After losing its first three league games, South River has battled back with victories over Wardlaw (57-36), East Brunswick Tech (78-44), Amboy Tech, and TCS. A big part of that was the play of Tyler Harris, who had a monster week in week four with 89 points in three games.
Besides the rally in the GMC Gold, the Rams also have beaten a very good Group I school from the Shore in Keansburg twice. First time was a come from behind overtime victory in the Genevieve Hawley Tournament Championship (73-71) at Henry Hudson Regional HS over the holidays, and the second time was last Saturday at home (79-77). Matt Martinez has also played very well for the Rams. He pumped in 27 points in the win over Timothy Christian, and had a double-double in the first win over Keansburg with 16 points and 10 assists. Martinez has a great handle, shoots the ball well, and plays with great confidence. He is probably the best point guard at South River since this site was launched in 2000.
Let’s not forget Sean Darrar, who was the hero in the first win over Keansburg. The younger Darrar scored all 11 of his points in the final 5:35 of the contest including three treys. One of the threes tied the game at the buzzer to force overtime, and then another was the game winning with 18.7 seconds remaining. Against East Brunswick Tech, South River opened the game with a 28-6 first quarter rampage that included five threes. Two of those treys were by Harris, who scored the first 9 points of the game for the Rams, and had 14 of the points in the period. He ended up with 22 in the first half, and 30 for the game. Another of the two treys came from Bobby Applegate, who can provide scoring from the perimeter as well as length on defense, and rebounding.
Back to the rest of the Gold Division, there is a lot more competitive balance this year with the departure of Piscataway Tech. For instance, even though Amboy Tech is 2-5 in the league, they have lost a number of close games including a one point loss at home to Dunellen, and overtime losses to Timothy Christian and East Brunswick Tech. They also suffered a loss to South Amboy without two top players in Agnel Etienne and Jonathan Sosa. Jordan Little is a solid player in the middle for the Pats while Kelvin Perez has been the most consistent. Wardlaw is also 2-5, but they have been a strange team.
The Rams have lost twice to Amboy Tech by four and defeated Dunellen. Wardlaw also lost by one in non-conference play to North 13th Street Tech of Newark in the Joe Silver Holiday Tournament. Justen Davis is a solid rebounding and scoring combination, who is closing in on 1,000 points. Noah Ganz gives the Rams some perimeter punch while Ish Menns and John Newman provide athleticism. Matt Rosado gives much needed experience at the point while John Pohopin gives additional scoring from the outside. East Brunswick Tech has struggled since a 2-0 start with six losses in its last 10 games. Mark Alston and Brett Carmen have been solid for the Tigers.
Moving up to the top half of the Gold, Dunellen, South Amboy, and Timothy Christian are all locked in a three way battle for first place at 5-2. The Guvs appeared to have control of the division late last week, but three straight single digit losses including one at the buzzer to Highland Park, have brought them back down to .500. Thankfully, South Amboy only has won loss in the division during this recent tough stretch, a 50-42 defeat at the hands of Dunellen on Wednesday. The Governors are led by a group of juniors that includes Steve Herdman, Joe Fruncillo, Nick Kales, and Dan Murphy. They also have sophomore Tim Kales and senior Matt Lavan in the rotation.
The Guvs could easily be 9-3 at least if it weren’t for tough crossover losses to Cardinal McCarrick (54-51 in OT on December 15th), Sayreville (54-46 on January 12th), and the buzzer beater to Highland Park. In all three games, South Amboy had the held including an 11 point advantage on McCarrick. If this group begins to figure out how to close out close games against these bigger schools from the upper divisions of the GMC, they could make a bit of a rumble in the county tournament. Herdman, who recently had his 37 consecutive game streak with at least one three pointer broken, came back the next game with four in the first period as the Guvs defeated Wardlaw, 60-38. Fruncillo has had game high in each of the last three games.
Despite losing two 1,000 point scorers in Dan “Triple” Decker and Kristian Svendsen to graduation, and another key player from last year’s team in Devon Johnson, who transferred to Edison this year, the Tigers of Timothy Christian are still a factor in the GMC Gold. Led by senior Jeff Parker and junior Brandon Summers, this edition of the Tigers are a solid shooting bunch that still play solid defense and great team ball. Trailing by four near the end of regulaton and in overtme at Amboy Tech last week, TCS found a way to win (54-51) as Summers came up with two scores to tie the game with a minute to go in overtime and Parker won it with a three from the left wing with 31.8 seconds to go.
Jarret Locke is a nice little playmaker, who was just a split second shy from winning the contest in regulation with a heave just inside halfcourt. He also had a runner that tied the contest. Mike DiLeo provides some additional scoring punch while reserve Zach Coyle helped the Tigers stay in front for a while in the third against the Patriots with a trey from the left wing. Evan Waldron clogs up the middle, and gives TCS some much needed size down low. Head coach Chris Hobbs has some help on the bench this year with an assistant, and that has helped him find ways to keep the Tigers in the hunt despite the turnover from last year.
Finally, we get to Dunellen, which could be the most intriguing team of all in this division. The Destroyers did take some hits to graduation by losing the likes of Sean Gibney and Jeff Puckett, but they still had a lot back this year with Deon Brown, Dylan Hoski, Matt Heidinger, Tony McGuane, and Orville Thompson. However, DHS has had some struggles that included losses to Wardlaw, Middlesex, and more recently, Timothy Christian. Keep in mind though that Dunellen has always gotten off to tough starts under head coach Bernie Buniak only to come on strong and either win or challenge for the division crown in late January and February.
Three Way Horse Race In GMC Blue
While four teams are in the hun in the Gold Division of the Greater Middlesex Conference, three teams are battling for first place in the Blue. Carteret moved into sole possession of first at 8-1 with a come from behind, 75-72 win over Spotswood on the road on Wednesday night. The Chargers, which came into the week undefeated in both division and conference play suffered two straight conference losses including a 74-59 defeat to North Brunswick at home on Monday night.
Tied with Spotswood, and only a half game back of Carteret in the standings is Piscataway Tech at 7-1. The Raiders rolled over Bishop Ahr, and have a tie breaker over Carteret thanks to a thrilling, 54-52 win on the road at CHS on January 4th. Spotswood defeated the Raiders at P-Way Tech to start the new year. Despite moving up a division, and losing the likes of Galen Smith, Khairi Mosely, and Mo Pierre to graduation and the likes of Will Joyce and Jalen Jackson to transfer, Piscataway Tech has managed to not only stay in contention, but get some early season quality wins on the road at Carteret and over Group IV schools, Passaic and Paterson Kennedy in the Jingle Bells Jubilee over the holidays.
Turell McClendon, Jordan Lackey, and Aziz Austin carry much of the load for PVT, but role players Robby Pierre, Inderpaul Pingahila, and Willie Patterson have contributed nicely as well. Head coach Karl Towns has also made some defensive adjustments, and now he is looking like a strong GMC Hoops Coach of the Year candidate. He may have mellowed a bit on the sideline as well, but he was very close to top form in the win over Carteret two weeks ago. Carteret also took some heavy losses to graduation by losing the likes of Avery Carter, Tanveer Dosanjh, Joe Nigro, and Kevin Van Dyke among others, but still had the likes of sophomores Jaquan Robertson and Brandon Gilder back along with senior Elijah Torres.
Younger brother Zach Torres has also contribued off the bench while newcomers Tyrell Lockley and Joe McRae provide athleticism and versatility. Forward Andrew Stam gives CHS some length and scoring ability from the perimeter. The team in the Blue with the most experience back is Spotswood. Even though the Chargers lost 1,000 point scorer, Tommy Soulias, who is now playing well at Kean, they had the likes of Jake Dadika, Dalonte Grant, Jamal Lewis, Corey Brown and Kevin Fox all back this year. In addition they have some solid newcomers such as freshmen Marlon Hart and Eric Dadika coming off the bench. Jake Dadika is one of the top scorers in the GMC this year whle Grant provides additional scoring punch to make this one of the best backcourts in the conference.
Lewis may be undersized, but his athletic ability and tenacity help him compensate for that as he has put up a number of double-digit scoring games recently including 18 in a victory over Bishop Ahr. Corey Brown brings his football toughness on the boards while scoring from either the perimeter or by going to the basket. Kevin Fox demonstrated a nice knack of perimeter shooting to help the Chargers put the game out of reach against BGA. Hart and the younger Dadika also find ways to contribute any way they can.
For a while, Bishop Ahr appeared to be a contender with five wins in six games after an opening night loss to Carteret, but since then, the Trojans have come back down to earth with three straight losses including an overtime defeat at Metuchen, and double digit setbacks to division frontrunners Spotswood and Piscataway Tech. The BGA was hit hard by graduation with all but two players graduating last June. However, head coach Dennis O’Keefe has a solid sophomore class headed by Tom Weiler, and a couple transfers from St. Joseph’s including Owen McLeod. Mike Jensen, one of the two holdovers from last year, has a knack for getting to the basket while Greg Patuto provides some scoring from the perimeter. Senior guard, Tom Duffy has the ability to make plays and score.
Like Ahr, Middlesex had also been playing well for a stretch before suffering several setbacks. Although the Blue Jays are presently hovering around the .500 mark, they look to be more improved this year, especially with Rutgers Prep transfer, Austin Bardaji in the lineup. Prior to Bardaji getting into the rotation, the Jays had won 5 of its first seven games with the only two losses to division contenders Bishop Ahr and Piscataway Tech. Middlesex also defeated Dunellen in a crossover for the 2012 Shello/Santy Christmas Tournament Championship. However, the Jays have stumbled as of late with losses to divsion heavyweights Spotswood and P-Way Tech before falling at home to JFK.
Speaking of the Mustangs, Kennedy is starting to play better. After a 1-4 start the Stangs have split their last six with wins over Metuchen, South Plainfield, and Middlesex while losing to Spotswood, Piscataway Tech, and Point Pleasant Boro. JFK suffered close defeats to Warren Hills (54-47) and Mater Dei (51-47) over the holidays at the Gene Haley Tournament in Edison. Head coach, Chris Banos was hit hard by graduation as he lost his entire starting lineup from last year, but he is not making excuses and hopes his young bunch that includes Kyle Alvarez, Darrin Perez, Mike Weinstein, and Joe Duffy will continue to grow.
Metuchen has struggled in the early going this season, but second year head coach, Jon Korellis pretty much had figured that. He felt his team would start playing better come January. The Bulldogs have only won three games this season, but two of them included the overtime win over Bishop Ahr and a solid win over Group IV Howell of the Shore Conference. Metuchen also gave Piscataway Tech some trouble before falling in overtime (57-51) in the first full week of the season. Artie Flaherty Jr. is playing much like his dad did when he scored over 2,000 points to become the all time leading scorer at the school in the early to mid-1980s. Tom Chalker continues to grow at the point while Brian Eustace, Hunter Clarke, Frank McGuire, and Evan Collier have contributed well.
South Plainfield, which looked to be one of the favorite’s in the division entering the season, conntinues to go through some growing pains under second year head coach, Justin Chiera. The Tigers have lost a ton of close games including to Perth Amboy (48-39 OT), Middlesex (60-53), J.F. Kennedy (57-52), Bishop Ahr (64-57), and Carteret (55-50). Claude Payne has been the bright spot for the Tigers with a solid consistent effort in the paint this season. Justin Glover has also had some solid games while youngsters Jordan Hankerson and Jason Lee have come up from the JV to make key contributions. SPHS has come up with some wins over Metuchen and Highland Park over the last week. Hopefully, they can use the recent successes to turn things around.
Finally, we have Highland Park, which has talent with the likes of football standouts, Nadre Hepburn, Jordan Long, and David Webb, but the Owls have not been able to get it to translate into more victories. HPHS does have a couple recent wins over neighborhood rival Metuchen and South Amboy to hang its hat on.
Here are video highlights from the second half of action between Piscataway Tech and Carteret from the GMC Blue. This game was the top game of the week for GMC Hoops, and one of the best games of the still young season. Neither team had a lead bigger than eight points over the final 22:18 of the contest while there were 9 lead changes and 5 ties before a winner was decided.
Eight of the lead changes and four of the five ties occurred in the final quarter alone as each team seemed to have an answer for the other. In the end though, Piscataway Tech found a way to win as Aziz Austin hit two threes from the right side including the game winner with 43.2 seconds left for a 54-52 win.
Austin ended up with 9 points while senior Turell McClendon led the way for the Raiders with 21 points while junior forward Jordan Lackey chipped in with 13 points. Brandon Gilder led Carteret in a losing cause with 14 points while Andrew Stam chipped in with 13, and Jaquan Robertson and Tyrell Lockley each added 10 for the Ramblers.
Here are some floor cam highlights from two of the four games seen on Friday, January 4th. The first contest was a non-conference battle between Monroe and Elizabeth from the Dunn Center. The second game was a GMC Blue Division contest between Piscataway Tech and Carteret at CHS. In the first contest, the Minutemen raced out to a 26-6 lead by the 5:00 mark of the second quarter, and never looked back in a 66-23 win over Monroe. Then, the second contest was much closer with 9 lead changes and five ties with all but one lead change coming in the from the very end of the third quarter on. Piscataway Tech emerged victorious though as Aziz Austin knocked down a three pointer from the right side with 43.2 seconds to go for the 54-52 win.