NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, the second week of action took place at the 2008 Rebounds Spring League at the Rebounds facility. GMC Hoops took a trip down for the 8:00 PM game played between the lone GMC representative, East Brunswick, and its opponent from the Shore Conference, Point Pleasant Boro. Simultaneously, on a nearby court, Lakewood and Manasquan, two teams that won their opening night games on April 21st, were competing against each other in an early season showdown. In week one, East Brunswick overcame an 18 point deficit midway through the second half to pull out a last second victory over St. John Vianney of Holmdel while Manasquan notched its first win with a victory over the Mid-Jersey Heat. The main event of the night as far as the GMC was concerned saw EB continue to play hard and compete well with another solid effort despite losing to Point Pleasant Boro.
While East Brunswick was doing battle against Point Pleasant Boro on the Nets Court in other Division A action, Lakewood and Manasquan were squaring off over on the adjacent Sixers Court with the winner getting rewarded with a 2-0 start on the early Spring. In a game that was quite close throughout, GMC Hoops first picked up on the action with Manasquan leading by one at 25-24 with four minutes to go in the first half. Over the next 1:25, the Warriors added to their lead with a field goal for a three point, 27-24 advantage with 2:35 to go before the brief intermission. Seconds later, Manasquan increased its edge to four with a one of two showing at the line for a 28-24 score at the 2:27 mark. However, Lakewood battled back to take the lead with five straight points including a field goal at the 1:45 mark that made it 28-26 in favor of Manasquan, and then a three pointer from the left wing to take a 29-28 lead with about a minute left before halftime. The Piners slight edge wouldn’t last though as the Warriors not only retook the lead, but the way in which they did it gave them a huge boost going into the half. With time running out in the first half, a Manasquan player got the ball to beyond midcourt on the Lakewood side, and put up an off-balance shot from about 35 feet under significant pressure that went in for a three pointer that made the score, 31-29 in favor of the Warriors going into the break. Starting off the second half on somewhat of a quiet note, neither team didn’t get on the board until a little more than a minute and a half into the new period when Lakewood clicked on another three pointer from the left side to regain the lead at 32-31 with 18:27 left in the contest. The Piners then increased their advantage by scoring five of the next eight points over a 2:27 span for a 37-34 lead at the 16:00 mark. Once again though, Manasquan fought back with 6 of the next 10 points including one of two free throws for a 37-35 Lakewood lead at the 15:38 mark, and then five of the next seven points to take a one point lead again at 40-39 with 13:30 to go. Lakewood then came up with a mini-rally that included a 4-0 run for a 43-40 lead, but the Warriors again responded with a 6-1 spurt to take the lead back at 46-44 with approximately nine minutes to play in regulation. About a minute and twenty seconds later, the seesaw battle continued as Lakewood tied the game with a field goal to make the score, 46-46 at the 7:40 mark. Following up on that, the Piners then scored five of the next nine points over a span of 3:41 to take a one point, 51-50 edge with just under four minutes to play. Lakewood then added four more points including a pair of free throws at the 2:52 mark for a 55-50 lead. Manasquan continued to do its best to hang in there, and battle to the end. Over the next 1:51, the Warriors scored 6 of the next 10 points to close the gap to just three at 59-56, but the Piners came up with two free throws at the line for a 61-56 advantage. On the next Manasquan possession, the Warriors were able to get on the board with a field goal that pulled them within three again at 61-58. However, with 35.6 seconds left, Lakewood stepped to the line again, and although it misfired on both free throw attempts, it managed to get the pivotal offensive board, and the Piners took advantage by getting fouled on another scoring opportunity at the 29.4 second mark that resulted in a pair of charity shots for a five point lead again at 63-58. A little more than twelve seconds later, Manasquan trimmed the deficit to three again on a turnaround jumper in the key that made the score 63-60 with 17.0 to play. Nearly two seconds later, the Warriors called for time to try and get the ball back for a chance to pull within one, or better yet tie. Unfortunately, after the timeout, Lakewood was able to draw a foul that resulted in one of two from the foul line for a 64-60 lead with 12.8 to go, and that was how the game ended. With the victory, Lakewood improved its record to 2-0 on the young season while Manasquan dropped to 1-1. Next week, the Piners will take on the NJ Shore Shots over on the Sixers court at 9:00 PM while the Warriors will do battle against Asbury Park over on the Celtics court at 7:00 PM. Prior to Monday night’s action both Asbury Park and the NJ Shore Shots were 0-1 on the spring.
Lakewood Prevails Over Manasquan To Stay Unbeaten, 64-60
While East Brunswick was doing battle against Point Pleasant Boro on the Nets Court in other Division A action, Lakewood and Manasquan were squaring off over on the adjacent Sixers Court with the winner getting rewarded with a 2-0 start on the early Spring. In a game that was quite close throughout, GMC Hoops first picked up on the action with Manasquan leading by one at 25-24 with four minutes to go in the first half. Over the next 1:25, the Warriors added to their lead with a field goal for a three point, 27-24 advantage with 2:35 to go before the brief intermission. Seconds later, Manasquan increased its edge to four with a one of two showing at the line for a 28-24 score at the 2:27 mark. However, Lakewood battled back to take the lead with five straight points including a field goal at the 1:45 mark that made it 28-26 in favor of Manasquan, and then a three pointer from the left wing to take a 29-28 lead with about a minute left before halftime.
The Piners slight edge wouldn’t last though as the Warriors not only retook the lead, but the way in which they did it gave them a huge boost going into the half. With time running out in the first half, a Manasquan player got the ball to beyond midcourt on the Lakewood side, and put up an off-balance shot from about 35 feet under significant pressure that went in for a three pointer that made the score, 31-29 in favor of the Warriors going into the break. Starting off the second half on somewhat of a quiet note, neither team didn’t get on the board until a little more than a minute and a half into the new period when Lakewood clicked on another three pointer from the left side to regain the lead at 32-31 with 18:27 left in the contest. The Piners then increased their advantage by scoring five of the next eight points over a 2:27 span for a 37-34 lead at the 16:00 mark. Once again though, Manasquan fought back with 6 of the next 10 points including one of two free throws for a 37-35 Lakewood lead at the 15:38 mark, and then five of the next seven points to take a one point lead again at 40-39 with 13:30 to go.
Lakewood then came up with a mini-rally that included a 4-0 run for a 43-40 lead, but the Warriors again responded with a 6-1 spurt to take the lead back at 46-44 with approximately nine minutes to play in regulation. About a minute and twenty seconds later, the seesaw battle continued as Lakewood tied the game with a field goal to make the score, 46-46 at the 7:40 mark. Following up on that, the Piners then scored five of the next nine points over a span of 3:41 to take a one point, 51-50 edge with just under four minutes to play. Lakewood then added four more points including a pair of free throws at the 2:52 mark for a 55-50 lead. Manasquan continued to do its best to hang in there, and battle to the end. Over the next 1:51, the Warriors scored 6 of the next 10 points to close the gap to just three at 59-56, but the Piners came up with two free throws at the line for a 61-56 advantage.
On the next Manasquan possession, the Warriors were able to get on the board with a field goal that pulled them within three again at 61-58. However, with 35.6 seconds left, Lakewood stepped to the line again, and although it misfired on both free throw attempts, it managed to get the pivotal offensive board, and the Piners took advantage by getting fouled on another scoring opportunity at the 29.4 second mark that resulted in a pair of charity shots for a five point lead again at 63-58. A little more than twelve seconds later, Manasquan trimmed the deficit to three again on a turnaround jumper in the key that made the score 63-60 with 17.0 to play. Nearly two seconds later, the Warriors called for time to try and get the ball back for a chance to pull within one, or better yet tie. Unfortunately, after the timeout, Lakewood was able to draw a foul that resulted in one of two from the foul line for a 64-60 lead with 12.8 to go, and that was how the game ended.
With the victory, Lakewood improved its record to 2-0 on the young season while Manasquan dropped to 1-1. Next week, the Piners will take on the NJ Shore Shots over on the Sixers court at 9:00 PM while the Warriors will do battle against Asbury Park over on the Celtics court at 7:00 PM. Prior to Monday night’s action both Asbury Park and the NJ Shore Shots were 0-1 on the spring.
Point Pleasant Boro Edges East Brunswick In Overtime, 52-51
The East Brunswick Bears may be .500 at 1-1 on the early spring here at Rebounds, but they have competed well enough to be 2-0. On the flip side they could easily be 0-2. EBHS has had moments where it has struggled such as the point early on in the second half last week against St. John Vianney of Holmdel when the Bears fell behind by as many as 18, or even on this night when they succumbed to a 13-0 tear late in the second half to Point Boro of Ocean County. Nevertheless, East Brunswick has managed each time to overcome the adversity to still make it a game in the end. Unfortunately, the second week encounter ended differently than it did on opening night as the Bears fell in overtime to the Panthers, 52-51 as junior Alec Mayo’s last second shot hit the front of the rim.
GMC Hoops did not arrive at the game until it was a bit more than halfway through the first half. With 8:03 to go in the opening period, the site sat down to see the Bears in front by a 22-13 margin. For the duration of the half, EB pretty much maintained that lead as it led by eight at the brief intermission, 28-20. Within about a half minute of arriving, Point Pleasant Boro went to the free throw stripe, and netted one of two free throws to cut the deficit to eight points at 22-14 with 7:30 left before halftime. Neither team would score for about a minute and a half before East Brunswick scored on a jumper from the right wing for a 24-14 lead at the 5:30 mark. On the next Point Boro possession, the Panthers connected on a short shot to bring the deficit down below double digits.
A little more than a half minute later, Point Pleasant Boro struck for a three pointer from the left corner to close to within five points at 24-19 with 4:29 to go before the half. There was no scoring for a bit more than a minute before EB junior guard, Dustin Schuld, grabbed an offensive rebound, and then kicked the ball out to fellow junior Kevin Johnson for a jumper that made the score 26-19 at the 3:25 mark. The Panthers eventually replied with one of two at the line for a 26-20 EB lead at the 2:38 mark. The Bears had a chance to go up by eight on its next possession, but Schuld misfired on a front end of a one and one with 2:24 left in the half. However, Nick Navara picked his teammate up when he handed out an assist on a jumper by a Bear teammate with 40 seconds left to create the 28-20 margin East Brunswick enjoyed at the break. In the second half, Point Pleasant Boro got on the board first with a three pointer from the left wing that closed the gap to five at 28-23 with just 27 seconds gone by in the period.
Alec Mayo then scored on a floater off the glass for a 30-23 EB lead with 19:06 to go in regulation when things got crazy with the scoreboard. On the next Point Boro possession, the Panthers scored a field goal that should have brought the deficit down to just five at 30-25, but the points were given to the Bears for a 32-23 lead. Eventually, the Panthers would get the points moments later, but the points weren’t taken off the board for EB. As a result, the score now stood at 32-25. A little while later, junior Mauro Tucci stepped to the line, and made two foul shots for a 34-25 lead at the 17:59 mark. Over the next two minutes, Point Pleasant Boro scored the next four points including a pair of free throws at the 16:00 mark to pull within fie at 34-29. On the next Bears possession, EB scored when it got an offensive rebound off a miss by Mayo, and put it back in to make the score, 36-29 with 15:30 to play in the second half. Forty-two seconds later, Point Boro had a basket negated thanks to a turnover at the 14:48 mark, and then almost a minute after that, Mayo clicked on two free throws that increased the Bear lead to 38-29 with inside fourteen minutes left in regulation.
At that point came the biggest swing of the game when Point Pleasant Boro used the next 6:20 to embark on a crucial 13-0 tear that not only got the Panthers back into the contest, but actually also gave them a four point lead. The spurt began quietly with a pair of free throws at the 12:11 mark followed by another pair some 34 seconds or so later that made the score, 38-33 with 11:27 remaining in the second half. East Brunswick had a chance to halt the then fledgling run at 4-0 when the Bears stepped to the line for a couple free throw attempts at the 10:35 mark. However, the Bears failed to capitalized as they missed both foul shots, and the score remained at 38-33. A little more than a minute and fifteen seconds later, the Panthers crept to within three on a drive from the left side for a layup that made the score, 38-35 with 9:16 to go in regulation. Then, the game was tied up about a little more than a minute later as Point Boro canned a three pointer from the left side that knotted the score at 38-38 with 8:10 to play in the second half.
After stopping East Brunswick on its next possession, Point Pleasant Boro took its first lead since GMC Hoops arrived a little more than halfway through the first half as the Panthers netted a three pointer from the right corner while drawing a foul for the unconventional four point play that catapulted them in front, 42-38 with 7:36 to go in the second half. About a half minute or so later, East Brunswick got a huge score as Nick Navara netted a jumper to close the gap to two again at 42-40 at the 7:04 mark. Neither team would score for nearly 3:15 before Point Boro connected on a short baseline jumper from the left side that widened its margin to four again at 44-40 with 3:50 to go in regulation. Then, on a subsequent, EB possession, Mayo made a nice play with a fine entry pass inside that led to a score in the paint for a 44-42 Panther lead at the 3:09 mark. However, on the Panthers next possession, they were able to get another field goal that put them back up by four points at 46-42 with 2:40 to go in the second half.
Fortunately for the Bears, they got a huge break when with under two minutes to play, Point Pleasant Boro committed a key turnover. Mayo then took advantage by connecting on a three pointer that followed a free throw, and tied the game at 46-46 with 1:25 left. The Bears then got a stop, and had a chance to win when they called timeout with 40.5 seconds to play in regulation. Following the timeout, East Brunswick set up a play, but when Schuld drove down the right side in the Bears frontcout, he threw the ball away on a kick out to Tucci in the left corner with 6.5 to go in the period, and the two teams then went to overtime tied at 46-46. In the extra session, Tucci came up with a huge defensive play just seconds in when he drew a charge on a Point Boro player at the 1:47 mark. Taking advantage, EB then took the lead as the Bears kicked out to Johnson for a jumper from the left side for a 48-46 advantage with 1:29 to play.
Scoring the next five points, Point Pleasant Boro retook the lead with a three pointer from the right wing that made it 49-48 at the 1:08 mark, and then another field goal with about 35 seconds to play for a three point, 51-48 lead. However, East Brunswick persisted, and tied the game up on a deep three by Navara with 11.3 seconds left for a 51-51 score. Moments later though, Point Boro took the lead for good by making one of two at the line for a 52-51 lead, and withstood a last second desperation three point attempt by Mayo with a second left for the one point victory. With the win, the Panthers improved to .500 at 1-1 while the Bears dropped to .500 at 1-1. Both teams will be back in action again next Monday when East Brunswick squares off against Neptune at 9:00 PM on the Celtics court while Point Pleasant Boro faces St. John Vianney at 8:00 PM on the Celtics court.
|Point Pleasant Boro (1-1)||20||26||6||52|
|East Brunswick (1-1)||28||18||5||51|
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Over the past couple weeks, GMC Hoops has been looking into former players from around the Greater Middlesex Conference to see how they have been doing at the college level. Coupled with the work done on other former players earlier in the season, the web site has found that there is quite a group of former standouts succeeding, or even more importantly, trying to play hoops at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. Take a look below at the list we’ve compiled to this point. If you know of someone, who is not on this list, please e-mail Greg Machos at email@example.com.
Former GMC Standouts Competing In NCAA Division I And Division II Hoops
- Marqus Blakely–University of Vermont
- Sean Baptiste–FDU
- Kofi Genfi–Rutgers
- Darren Smith–University of Pennsylvania
- Zach Rosen–Signed with University of Pennsylvania this fall
- Marquis Jones–University of Rhode Island
- Brandon Hall–Signed with St. Peter’s College
- Chineme Usuwa–St. Peter’s College
- Dan Stonkus–NJIT
- Jonathan Dixon–NJIT
- Nick Smith–Stonehill College
- A.J. Rudowitz–Stonehill College
- Vince Rosario–Stonehill College
- Darrell Carroll–Stonehill College
- Jermaine Clark–St. Rose
- Devon Young–Felician College
- Shamai Santiago–Gannon University
- Kyan Hines–St. Augustine’s College
Good evening everyone. Over the course of the past two weeks, GMC Hoops has been working hard on updating the GMC News section with all kinds of information including the latest on summer leagues. Among these news stories have been five articles on GMC players that are graduating this June, and have made their decisions as far as what college they will be going to in the fall. Players include, Brandon Hall of Colonia, Mike Williamson of Bishop Ahr, Mark Simko and Larry Lenahan of South Amboy, and James White of Piscataway. GMC Hoops is looking for more of this kind of information. So if you know of a player that has already committed to a school, please drop a line to Greg Machos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good evening everyone. It’s been almost a week since the GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game was played, but I haven’t forgotten about it. I’m always very happy to see this game because the kids have such a fun time playing it. When you see top notch players from a state finalist team such as Piscataway like James White, Omar Smith, and J.D. Griggs getting the ball to small school guys like Larry Lenahan for scores, you can see the respect and appreciation that those big school kids have for a guy like Lenahan. This contest also gives the fans an opportunity to see players like Kevin Uszenski of Bishop Ahr and Arman Wilson, who tended to be overshadowed by players that were either on better teams, or others that garnered more headlines in the GMC, show their stuff on the court, and both didn’t disappoint.
Uszenski ended up being the game MVP with 13 points (although I thought he had more) for the Dark Team, and Wilson scored 22 points for the Light Team. Although Cardinal McCarrick’s Mike Burwell scored in double figures, and came up clutch in the overtime with all six of the Dark Team’s points, he shared the spotlight with other players such as Uszenski and Will Roman of J.F. Kennedy, who had all eight of his points in the second quarter of play. For a player such as Roman, who was on a team that didn’t qualify for the state tournament, and didn’t get far in the GMCT, it was a chance to show the fans that he belonged. Paul Konopacki (9 points) showed great athleticism while coming up with huge traditional three point plays during his time on the floor with the Dark Team. Byron Merricks, who is more known for his defense, quickness, and playmaking ability for the Ramblers of Carteret this past season, showed a flair for scoring with 10 points including a three pointer in the second half.
Like Roman, crosstown rival player, Anthony Graham of Woodbridge showed the folks at Perth Amboy on Thursday night, that he is a talented player in spite of his teams struggles in 2007-08. Graham, who also played football during the fall, registered 15 points for the Light Team on three field goals, a three pointer, and 6 of 7 from the foul line including three clutch free throws at the 5:52 mark to pull his team to within two at 81-79. Lenahan scored in double figures as well with 10 points on five field goals as he demonstrated that he wasn’t in all of the field of talent he was on the floor with, and battled for rebounds and putbacks like he had all season with the Guvs of South Amboy. Another overlooked talent in the GMC that came to play in the All-Star Game was Perth Amboy’s Edwin Guerra. After having a bit of a shaky start with a couple misses early on, Guerra, who seemed to come up with double-doubles at will during 2007-08, ended up with 8 points on four field goals. Some nice teamwork was shown between Lenahan and Mark Simko of South Amboy and Middlesex’s John Stockton as the latter scored two baskets off feeds by the two Guv players.
While the talent was not as strong as it was in 2006, or even in the first All-Star classic covered by the site in 2001, it was still a fine performance by the two teams. It was very competitive, especially when the Light Team showed some fortitude, and overcame a 14 point deficit midway through the second half to force a 90-90 tie at the end of regulation. There was only three dunks in the game: one by Griggs, one by Arman Wilson, and one by Uszenski, and there were moments where the fans wondered when the All-Stars were going to show up, but despite the lack of showtime that usually is the theme of these games, both teams battled down to the final seconds of overtime before the Dark Team prevailed by two, 96-94. Neither team had a lead bigger than 14 points, and there were a total of 10 lead changes and 6 ties over the course of the night. It was a game that lived up to the fine play and competitive spirit that has characterized the spirit of this showcase event over the years.
Even more important though, is to come and watch these All-Star games, and watch the kids, which have been going tooth and nail at each other all season long in both division and conference play, and see them show the great deal of respect for one another on the sidelines, and on the court. A few of the parents approached me during the course of the game, and made note of that, and indicated how good that made them felt to see that. With the development of AAU teams over the years, these kids have more of an opportunity to get to know one another, and appreciate each others talent and ability. This game has always reflected that. After the contest was over, I had the chance to speak to a few players although I hoped to talk to more, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to. It’s great to talk to the players, and get to know them. You can also see that they have appreciated the coverage the site has given without them saying a word about it.
In the eight years, GMC Hoops has been in operation, the site has only managed to see three of these All-Star Games, and it has been one of the big disappointments of the coverage the site has given since its inception. Hopefully now that I’ve graduated Rutgers within the past year, and the changing work schedule, I will be able to see more of these contests in the future. I really don’t want to miss out on the special game anymore.
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops traveled down to the Rebounds facility to catch the opening night of action in the 2008 Rebounds Spring League. The league opener marked the first time that the web site caught opening night action. Last year was the first season that GMC Hoops came down to cover the league at all as it made two appearances over the final three weeks of action in 2007.
The focus of the site’s coverage was the first set of games that were taking place at 7:00 PM. In particular, the two matchups that were happening on the Knicks and Celtics courts at the facility. On the Knicks court, East Brunswick was battling St. John Vianney of Holmdel while on the adjacent Celtics court, the Mid-Jersey Heat was facing off against Manasquan. GMC Hoops did not arrive to the gym until moments before halftime in both games, but still managed to catch quite a bit of fine action, especially in the EB vs. SJV contest.
Manasquan Holds Off Mid-Jersey Heat Rally, 48-39
While GMC Hoops was focusing primarily on East Brunswick’s efforts in its game against Vianney, it still managed to take a gander at the action over on the court nearby between the Warriors of Manasquan and the Mid-Jersey Heat. The Mid-Jersey team has two teams in this year’s league with one in Division A and another in Division B. The game looked like it would be a rout early on. Upon arrival for Monday night’s festivities, Manasquan led by a 24-9 margin with 2:30 to go in the first half. Mid-Jersey then scored four of the last seven points to close the gap to 27-13 at the intermission.
In the second half, the Heat opened things up with a 3-0 run in about the first minute and a half to pull within 27-16 before two free throws were made by the Warriors at the 18:31 mark. A bit more than a half minute later, Manasquan scored on a field goal for a 31-16 lead. Mid-Jersey then rallied with a 6-2 spurt over the next 1:26 that closed the gap to eleven again at 33-22 before the Warriors got a turnaround jumper from the left side for a 35-22 lead with 16:34 remaining. Over the next four minutes, the Warriors began to chip into the lead with a 6-5 showing during the stretch to cut the deficit to 40-28 at the 12:35 mark.
Manasquan’s lead then continued to shrink as the Heat registered the next six points including a field goal at the 11:22 mark, a putback off a missed jumper at the 10:38 mark, and then another field goal at the 9:30 mark to expand their run to 12-5, and pull within six at 40-34. Unfortunately, Mid-Jersey was unable to get any closer as the Warriors came up with a very pivotal 8-0 spurt over the subsequent 3:57 to negate the Heat’s advances, and build a 48-34 advantage with 5:33 to play. Mid-Jersey did its best to keep fighting with the final five points of the battle, but ran out of time as Manasquan prevailed with a 48-39 victory. Next week, the Warriors are scheduled to face Lakewood at 8:00 PM on the Sixers court while the Heat are going to face NJ ShoreShots at 7:00 PM on the Knicks court.
|Mid-Jersey Heat (0-1)||13||26||39|
East Brunswick Rallies To Top Vianney, 54-53
In the GMC Hoops featured matchup of the night, the East Brunswick Bears were looking to start their journey toward the 2008-09 season on the right foot. This past season, EB was only 4-18 with victories coming against Old Bridge, Asbury Park, Edison, and South River. However, there is plenty of good things to hope for a better showing next year. For starters, the Bears have starters such as Dustin Schuld and Alec Mayo coming back as well as reserves Mauro Tucci, and Kevin Johnson all returning. Furthermore, both the freshmen and JV teams enjoyed a great deal of success during 2007-08. The EB frosh squad earned the top seed, and reached the Championship Game of the 2008 Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tournament while finishing at 19-4. Meanwhile, the JV squad reached the Final Four of the East Brunswick/GMC JV Tournament before losing to eventual champion, Cardinal McCarrick.
Last year, East Brunswick was one of three teams in addition to Monroe and South Amboy that participated in the 2007 Rebounds Spring League. The Bears got off to a sluggish start, but finished strongly including a victory over Monroe late in the season. EB also participated in the 2007 Rebounds Fall League, and again, after a difficult start including an opening night loss to South Amboy, the Bears rebounded to finish at .500. The problem with EB this past season was the fact that it lost so much in terms of veteran talent to graduation not only in 2006-07, but also from 2005-06. Both of those teams reached the GMCT Elite Eight.
Even in losing though, the Bears showed some promise. Take for instance the game East Brunswick played in the final day of action at the 2007 Vaughn Stapleton Classic versus the host school, Bridgewater. Ultimately, the Panthers won the contest easily with their superior talent and experience, but the Bears were competitive, and even made things very interesting for two and a half quarters. In that game, Mayo and Schuld connected on three pointers along with junior Mike Kvidahl while senior forward, Scott Stolzenberg played a superb game. While Stolzenberg along with fellow senior Mike Mello are graduating in June, Schuld and Mayo as well as Kvidahl are returning for their senior seasons. And, Schuld and Mayo showed some of the same form against St. John Vianney of Holmdel on Monday night that they did against Bridgewater over the holidays this past season. Both junior guards came up with three treys each, and combined for 20 points over the final 12:17 of the game while Nick Navara came up with two clutch medium range jumpers to pull out a come from behind victory over the Lancers in opening night action.
After Vianney had taken a 29-17 lead at the intermission on a one of two showing from the foul line after being fouled as time ran out in the first half, the Lancers then scored 10 of the first 14 points of the second half to build up a seemingly commanding lead at 39-21 with 13:38 left. However, the Bears rallied to the tune of a 33-14 surge the rest of the way to pull out the one point, 54-53 victory. Despite sitting out the first few minutes of the second half, Schuld ended up with 11 points on his three treys and two free throws while handing out an assist. Mayo picked up his nine on the three treys that included one that capped a unconventional four point play, and all occurred during a pivotal 1:46 span to close the gap to five at 51-46. Prior to Mayo’s clutch shooting, Vianney had thwarted a previous rally by the Bears that was sparked by Schuld. The Lancers lead had dwindled to just 42-36 when the Holmdel based school scored four straight points for a 46-36 edge with about six minutes to play.
However, the Bears, which only had one field goal in the first 5:56, and was scoreless for nearly three minutes of that span, first got a point on a free throw by Tucci at the 5:36 mark. Then, when Tucci missed the second foul shot, Navarra grabbed the rebound, and kicked out to Mayo at the top of the key for a trey that gave EB life by trimming the deficit back down to 46-40. About 45 seconds later, Mayo struck again for a three pointer for a 46-43 SJV lead with 4:48 left following a Vianney violation on a preceding inbounds play. The Bear rally again hit a bump in the road as the Lancers posted the next five points including a layup at the 4:36 mark, and then a three pointer from the top of the key at the 4:06 mark for a 51-43 advantage. East Brunswick would not be denied though with a 11-3 tear for the win. Mayo sparked the final assault with a three pointer from the left wing at the 3:50 mark for a 51-46 score.
Continuing where Mayo left off, the Bears were able to repel scoring attempts by Vianney over the next two minutes or so before getting a fast break opportunity that was cashed in as Tucci made a nice sharp pass to a teammate for a layup that made the score, 51-48 with 2:04 to go. The Bears then pulled within one as Mayo penetrated into the key, and then kicked opposite to Navarra on the left baseline for a jumper that was true for a 51-50 score at the 1:32 mark. St. John Vianney had an opportunity to get some much needed breathing room on its next possession, but misfired on a one and one at the 1:21 mark. Eight seconds later, Schuld netted his two free throws for a 52-51 lead at the 1:13 mark. The Lancers pulled into the lead with a baseline drive from the left side for a layup, and a 53-52 score at the 38.5 second mark. However, on the next EB possession, Tucci made a play similar to Mayo over a minute earlier as he penetrated into the key, and kicked to Navarra in the left corner for another jumper that was nothing but net for the 54-53 edge at the 20.6 second mark.
Navarra then followed things up with a steal, and promptly drew a foul with nine seconds left. The Lancers then fouled several more times in an attempt to stop the clock, and force EB to the line. However, the Bears didn’t go to the line until the 1.1 second mark, and even though Schuld missed the front end of the bonus, Vianney didn’t have enough time to get off a shot after calling timeout with 0.7 seconds left, and East Brunswick won on its fine come from behind effort. Early on in the second half, St. John Vianney scored 10 of the next 12 points after East Brunswick opened the new half with a basket on a layup by Navarra off an assist by Tucci at the 19:15 mark. EB also made some nice defensive plays including a charge by Mayo at the 17:55 mark. However, the Bears were unable to take advantage as Navarra failed to capitalize on an earlier steal as he had his shot blocked at the 18:42 mark. The Lancers didn’t get on the board in half number two until the 17:30 mark when Vianney put together a transition basket off an air ball fired at the other end by Mayo moments earlier. A little more than a half minute later, St. John Vianney scored again on an offensive rebound and follow for a 33-19 lead.
Both teams then exchanged free throws with the Bears getting two at the 16:19 mark, and Vianney replied with two of their own at the at the 14:55 mark for a 35-21 lead. The Lancers then scored the next four points including an offensive rebound and putback off a missed three point try at the 14:32 mark, and then a short shot in the paint as SJV’s height advantage in the middle appeared to be taking its toll on the visitors from the GMC for the 39-21 edge. On the precipice of defeat, the Bears showed great fortitude with the beginnings of a key rally. Starting with a runner in the lane for a field goal at the 13:04 mark, EB then got three treys from Schuld over a span of 5:46 including one at the 12:17 mark off an assist by Johnson, another at the 9:17 mark, and the final one at the 7:18 mark. The junior guard also handed out an assist on a nice dish for a layup at the 11:42 mark.
This all helped East Brunswick close the gap to six with seven plus minutes to go, and ultimately led to the comeback victory. Next Monday, the Bears are scheduled to play Point Pleasant Boro in an 8:00 PM contest over on the Nets court while Vianney takes on Asbury Park at 9:00 PM on the same court.
|East Brunswick (1-0)||17||37||54|
|St. John Vianney (0-1)||29||24||53|
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday afternoon, GMC Hoops learned that the 2008 Rebounds Spring League will have its opening night of action tonight (April 21st) starting at 7:00 PM at the Rebounds facility in Neptune. For the second straight year, the web site will be covering the league, which will take place every Monday night with games at 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM, and 9:00 PM from April 21st to June 12th with a Monday off for Memorial Day on May 26th.
This year, there are 20 teams in the league split into two divisions of ten. The only team from the GMC competing this spring is East Brunswick, which is a member of Division A. Both the G-Force AAU teams (Black and Gold), which feature some players that compete in the GMC during the regular season, are in Division B. In the opener, East Brunswick will play in its only 7:00 PM game of the spring when it takes on St. John Vianney of Holmel and the Shore Conference. Of the 20 teams in this year’s league, 12 of them are from the Shore Conference while 6 are AAU teams. GMC Hoops intends to provide a bit more coverage of this league than it did last year. Take a look at the teams and official schedule.
- Asbury Park
- East Brunswick
- Mid Jersey Heat (Hayes)
- NJ Shoreshots (Gray)
- Point Boro
- St. John Vianney
- St. Rose
- 2nd Baptist Church
- Academy Charter
- Brick Township
- G-Force Black
- G-Force Gold
- Mater Dei Hotshots
- Mid Jersey Heat (Brown)
- Toms River East
PERTH AMBOY, NJ–On April 17th, the coaches association of the Greater Middlesex Conference, the GMCBCA, held its annual Senior All-Star Boys Basketball game at Perth Amboy High School. In a game that saw 10 lead changes and 6 ties in addition to neither team having a lead bigger than 14 points, the Dark Team almost let an 80-66 advantage midway through the second half get away. After the Light Team rallied with a 24-10 surge to end regulation, the Dark Team got all six of its points from Cardinal McCarrick swingman, Mike Burwell, including a three pointer for a 95-92 lead with 25 seconds left to hang on for the 96-94 victory in overtime. Below are the video highlights from the Player Introductions. Game Highlights will be forthcoming.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–The long wait is over! After the date of this event was pushed back a couple times, the 2008 GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game is on for tonight. Coverage of this showcase marks the third time GMC Hoops will be attending. The first time was at the end of the site’s inaugural season in 2000-01. The second and last time was in 2006. Once again, as it has been over the past several years, the game will be held at Perth Amboy High School with a Girls/Boys Doubleheader. First, the Girls will take to the court at 6:00 PM followed by the Boys, which, according to McCarrick’s Joe Lewis, will start at about 7:45 PM. View the rosters of both the Dark and Light teams for the Boys Game. It is an opportunity for all to see some of the finest hoops players in the GMC for the past several years play in their final high school game.
Good afternoon everyone. After a bit of a delay, I have good news for all of you GMC fans. I have received the rosters from Cardinal McCarrick head coach, Joe Lewis for Thursday night’s GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game to be held at Perth Amboy High School. As in recent years, the teams are not split along divisional lines. As a matter of fact, there are players for the same school that are actually on different teams. One team will be the Dark team (players will wear their dark or road uniforms) and the Light team (players will wear their light or home uniforms). There are 15 players on each team. So, without further ado, here are the rosters for both teams:
- Mike Burwell–Cardinal McCarrick
- Will Snider–Cardinal McCarrick
- Brandon Hall–Colonia
- Jeff Mentzel–Colonia
- Mike Williamson–Bishop Ahr
- Kevin Uszenski–Bishop Ahr
- Alex Cacoilo–J.P. Steven
- Ricky Harding–Sayreville
- Quinton Crawford–Old Bridge
- Jeff Ashamole–North Brunswick
- Byron Merricks–Carteret
- Nick Olesinski–Spotswood
- Paul Konopacki–St. Joseph’s
- Will Roman–J.F. Kennedy
- T.J. Wenzel–Dunellen
- Coaches: Joe Lewis–Cardinal McCarrick, Chris Chiera–Colonia, and Dennis O’Keefe–Bishop Ahr
- J.D. Griggs–Piscataway
- Omar Smith–Piscataway
- James White–Piscataway
- Mark Simko–South Amboy
- Larry Lenahan–South Amboy
- Arman Wilson–South Brunswick
- John Stockton–Middlesex
- Justin Mitchell–Monroe
- C.J. Brathwaite–North Brunswick
- Bennie Gibson–South Plainfield
- Edwin Guerra–Perth Amboy
- Anthony Graham–Woodbridge
- Barry Holmes–Edison
- Eddie Dumas–South River
- Javon Harrison–Highland Park
- Coaches: Guy Jensen–Piscataway, George Krzyzanowski–South Amboy
Good evening everyone. I have gotten a few e-mails from people around Middlesex County in regard to the rosters for both teams in the upcoming GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, April 17th at Perth Amboy High School. Here is the latest of what I know: The rosters have not been determined yet. Here’s why. Last week, on April 9th, I received an e-mail from Cardinal McCarrick head coach, Joe Lewis, who is expected to be one of the coaches of the two squads later this week since he was in the GMCT Final.
In the e-mail, Lewis disclosed that all the boys basketball head coaches in the Greater Middlesex Conference need to be talked to about their players so that the final list of players on both teams is that…final rosters. What that means is that nobody wants to have players on the rosters that end up not being able to play, and others that take their spots in the game not appearing on the roster. We want to have a complete roster so that no one player gets overlooked. When I get any new information on this situation, I will try to post an update as soon as possible.