SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–On Tuesday night, GMC Hoops once again headed out to the Raritan Bay Summer League after work to take in the nightcap game of the quadrupleheader. The featured game by the web site was between Roselle and St. Ambrose from the 7th and 8th Grade Division. Prior to coming into the gym to cover the action from the finale, GMC Hoops had time to chat with Gary Lange one of the co-directors of the league. For those, who may not be aware, Lange was a 1,000 point scorer at South Amboy in the late 60s and early 70s. His older brother played on the 1963 Group I State Championship team that upset Woodridge in the title game. The older brother also went on to play at a Military Prep school with none other than Pete Maravich, a member of the NBA All Century team.
Getting back to the game, the web site joined the action in this contest with 16:50 to go in the first half, and Roselle already leading 6-2. Twenty seconds later, the Runnin’ Rams scored on a layup that made the score, 8-2 at the 16:30 mark. Nine seconds later, Roselle was back on the board again thanks to a steal for a layup that made the score, 10-2 at the 16:21 mark. The Union County team continued its onslaught with an offensive rebound and reverse layup on the follow for a 12-2 lead at the 15:54 mark. Roselle would ultimately take a 14-2 lead before St. Ambrose, which is based in Old Bridge, scored the next three points including two free throws at the 14:24 mark that made the score, 14-5. St. Ambrose would call a 30 second timeout at the 13:39 mark, but the stoppage wasn’t the tonic as Roselle just picked up right where it left off. At the 13:05 mark, Roselle went up by double-digits again with a dish down low for a layup that made it 16-5. About 2:20 later, the Runnin’ Rams were on the board again with an offensive rebound and follow off a missed layup for an 18-5 lead at the 10:45 mark.
Both teams would score seven points each over the final 10:45 of the half for a 25-12 Roselle lead at the half. St. Ambrose finished the half with a hard drive up the left side of the floor for a layup as time expired. In the second half, there wasn’t as much scoring with both teams combined for 22 points. Roselle got the lion’s share of the points in the 13-9 showing to preserve its lead, and get the victory. St. Ambrose got on the board first to close to within eleven at 25-14, and then the Rams were called for traveling at the 16:25 mark. Roselle would get on the board finally in the second half for a 27-14 lead, and then blocked a shot at the 14:40 mark. The Rams went up by 15 with a jumper from the left side that got a kind bounce, and forced St. Ambrose to call for time at the 11:27 mark with Roselle in front, 29-14.
Following the timeout, Roselle went up by 17 with an offensive rebound and follow off a missed breakaway layup that made the score, 31-14. The next 4:12 saw a dearth in scoring with the stretch ending on a blocked shot to set up a fast break opportunity that ended with a missed layup. The missed layup attempt was grabbed for an offensive rebound, and putback attempt that resulted in two free throws, and a 33-14 lead with 6:39 to go. Roselle wrapped up the game with an offensive rebound and follow after a free throw for a 36-15 lead, and then St. Ambrose scored six of the last eight points for the final 38-21 margin. GMC Hoops plans to be back out at the Raritan Bay Summer League next week for the final two days of action this summer.
SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops headed over to the Raritan Bay Summer League at the South Amboy Middle/High School after work to catch the nightcap game of the quadrupleheader in that league between Matawan and Sayreville. It also did manage to catch the very end of the third contest of the evening between South Amboy and the Scarlet Nets from the 5th and 6th Grade Division. As always, the web site was treated to the fine hospitality provided by both Gary Lange and Tom Reilly. We’re always treated to refreshments including the world class Lange Dogs, which can hold their own against the likes of Sabretts, Nathans, and those you may find at a Yankee or Met game.
South Amboy Edges Scarlet Nets In 5th And 6th Grade Action, 26-21
This game was a close one throughout with the Guvs taking a 13-8 lead at halftime, and both teams coming to a 13-13 draw in the second half for the 26-21 final score. For the game, South Amboy connected on 12 field goals as well as made 2 of 9 free throws for its 26 points. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Nets clicked on 8 field goals, and fared better at the line with a 5 of 12 showing for its 21 points. GMC Hoops arrived with 1:07 left in the game, and South Amboy clinging to just a three point lead at 24-21. The Guvs then closed out the scoring with a follow at the 13.8 second mark for the five point victory.
Matawan Cruises Past Sayreville In 7th And 8th Grade Action, 52-33
This was the featured game of the evening. Both of these teams compete in the 7th and 8th Grade Division. Matawan, which features St. Anthony’s bound, Cory Soanes, has played well in games seen by the web site. Some of the players on the team including Soanes also do double duty by playing for the Monmouth Breakers. Sayreville on the other hand has enjoyed a bit of success this summer as well with an upset come from behind victory over Roselle back on May 29th. In this game, Matawan jumped out to a 25-14 first half lead, and was never really threatened after that with a 27-19 showing in the second half for a 52-33 victory. Sayreville got things going early with a pair of free throws at the 19:06 mark for a 2-0 lead, but Matawan would tie things up again with a field goal at the 18:13 mark.
Sayreville would take the lead for the last time in this one though with a field goal at the 18:08 mark. Soanes then started to percolate as Walt “Clyde” Frazier often says as a color analyst for the Knicks with a scoop shot for a layup, and a 4-4 tie with 17:49 to go in the first half. The Huskies then took the lead for good when Soanes got hold of a loose ball, led the break, and dished out an assist for a layup, and a 6-4 score at the 17:25 mark. Twenty five seconds later, Soanes spearheaded another break for a layup, and an 8-4 lead with 17 minutes to go. A minute later, Matawan was on the board again thanks to a hook shot in the key for a 10-4 lead with 16 minutes left in the half. Soanes then added two free throws at the 14:45 mark for a 12-4 lead, and then had a nice no look pass to his left for a layup that ended a 4-0 run by Sayreville, and made the score, 14-8 with 13:49 remaining before halftime.
After the Huskies called a 30 second timeout with 12:59 left in the half, both teams exchanged scores for a 16-10 Matawan lead, and then proceeded to miss on a couple of easy layup opportunities. Sayreville then missed two free throws at the 7:39 mark, and Matawan broke the scoring malaise with a basket at the seven minute mark for a 18-10 lead. The scoring drought would resume as neither team scored over the next four minutes including a fruitless appearance at the line for the Huskies with three minutes to go before the brief break. The offenses finally started to take the lid of their baskets as Sayreville got on the board with a kickout to the left side for a jumper for an 18-12 Matawan lead with 1:52 to go in the half. The Huskies then scored seven unanswered points including a three pointer at the 1:35 mark, a feed inside for a layup at the 1:08 mark, and then a score with 40 seconds left in the half for a 25-12 lead.
Sayreville would get a score before halftime, and Matawan went into the intermission with a 25-14 lead. At the half, Matawan connected on 11 field goals, and a three pointer while Sayreville made 6 field goals and two free throws in the opening half. In the second half, Sayreville began things just as it had for the game, with a bucket. The score was a bank shot at the 19:48 mark for a 25-16 Matawan lead. However, the Huskies went back into game face mode with seven straight points including a three pointer from the left of the top of the key for a 28-16 lead at the 19:07 mark, a layup at the 18:45 mark, and an offensive rebound and putback with 15:51 left in the contest for a 32-16 lead. Over the next 3:47, Sayreville would score 8 of the next 11 points before Soanes came up with an offensive rebound and putback for a 37-24 lead at the 12:04 mark.
Matawan would follow that up with another score at the 11:39 mark for a 39-24 lead as Sayreville called timeout. Following the stoppage, the Huskies scored four of the next six points over the next four minutes for a 43-27 lead at the 7:39 mark, and eventually won the game, 52-33.
PISCATAWAY, NJ–On Saturday night, GMC Hoops ventured over to the Rutgers Athletic Center to take in some of the action from the second night of play at the second Rutgers Overnight Team Camp this summer. A couple schools from the GMC did take part in this weekend event including Piscataway and East Brunswick, but the web site was unable to see them in action due to work commitments. Nevertheless, the site saw two of the final games that evening including Bound Brook taking on Watchung Hills, and Ridge battling Point Pleasant Boro.
Last year, Watchung Hills had a season to remember with a Somerset County title as well as a 23-4 final record. The Warriors magical ride in the SCT included a memorable buzzer beating shot against eventual Tournament of Champions semifinalist, Immaculata. However, with most of its starters graduating, and coach, Gene McAteer moving on to Skyland rival, Bridgewater-Raritan, to replace Tim Ortelli, Watchung Hills has a lot to replace heading into 2008-09. On the other hand, Bound Brook, coached by Anthony Melesurgo, has made some strides in the past few years. Steadily improving, the Crusaders have won back to back Skyland Conference Valley Division Championships, and finished the regular season at 8-0 in its summer league. The town of Bound Brook itself has been through a lot in the last year thanks to the floods from a Nor’east in April 2007.
This game saw David come up short against Goliath. In a contest of two Somerset County teams, Watchung Hills, which had last won an SCT title in 1974 before winning it all this year, defeated Bound Brook, which last won a county title back in 1990, the last time a small school ever won the SCT, by a score of 62-46. GMC Hoops arrived at the RAC with 2:44 remaining in the contest, and Watchung Hills leading comfortably, 57-44. The Warriors, which were eliminated from the North Jersey Section 2 Group IV State Tournament by eventual winner, Piscataway in the Quarterfinals, then got a basket, and a foul, but missed the bonus free throw for the traditional three point play so the score stood at 59-44 with 2:13 left. On the very next Bound Brook possession, Jordan Hawkins scored on a floater that closed the gap to 59-46 at the 2:08 mark. Neither team would score for about a minute and a half before the Warriors closed the scoring in the affair with a three pointer for a 62-46 final score.
First Half Tear Propels Ridge Past Point Pleasant Beach, 40-30
The second game featured another team from the Skyland Conference in Ridge, which was facing off against Point Pleasant Beach from the Shore Conference. The Devils of Ridge, which also happen to have competed in the TBSA Summer League two days a week this summer, have come such a long way in just a short time under the guidance of former St. Joseph’s head coach, Mark Taylor. Prior to Taylor’s arrival in 2006, the school was 6-19. This past season, the Devils had improved so much that they reached the Championship Game of the Somerset County Tournament before falling to Watchung Hills. Now competing in the Delaware West Division of the Skyland Conference, Ridge was a member of the Mountain Valley Conference for many years. In addition, the school was a team that always competed in Central Jersey Group II. However, within the past two years, the school has grown to Group IV, and now competes in North Jersey Secton 2.
For about the first 12:20 of the game, Point Pleasant Beach held its own with Ridge. Despite being a small Group I team, the Garnet Gulls actually held a 12-8 lead with 8:40 to play in the half. However, Ridge, which was using one of the three squads that it had in the team camp, began to take over the game. Utilizing a decisive 13-0 tear over a span of 6:53, Ridge turned the four point deficit into a nine point lead, and ultimately won the game, 40-30. In a half the saw a combined total of 40 points, the Devils were the first to get on the board with a layup just 12 seconds into the 18 minute half. Point Beach then took the lead with a three pointer from the left wing at the 17:08 mark. The game, which actually had six lead changes and two ties all coming in the first 15:14 of the contest, saw the Gulls go up by three on a bank shot from the left side of the key at the 16:09 mark for a 5-2 score.
The Devils responded with a nice no look feed to the right for a reverse layup, and a 5-4 Point Beach edge at the 15:24 mark. Over two minutes later, Ridge grabbed the lead with a score that made it 6-5 at the 13:07 mark. Less than twenty seconds later though, Point Beach had a three point play for an 8-6 edge at the 12:50 mark. Ridge then answered once again with a pair of free throws to tie things up at 8-8 with 12:15 to go in the first half, but the Garnet Gulls took the lead back on an offensive rebound and putback attempt that resulted in two free throws, and a 10-8 lead at the 11:08 mark. Point Pleasant Beach then went up by four on a feed underneath for a two handed layup, and a 12-8 score at the midway point of the first half. Nearly a minute and a half went by before there was another score, and Ridge was the team to get it with a layup from the left side for a 12-10 Point Beach lead as the Devils called for time with 8:40 to go in the half.
Almost two minutes after the timeout, Ridge tied the game up with a steal for a layin that made the score, 12-12 with 6:52 left before halftime. The Devils then essentially took the lead for good on another steal for a layup, and the foul for a traditional three point play, a 7-0 run, and a 15-12 edge at the 4:46 mark. Ridge then made it a 10-0 tear with a three pointer from the left wing after forcing a turnover for an 18-12 lead at the 3:37 mark. The Somerset County team then added another trey to complete the run, and take a 21-12 lead at the 2:15 mark. Point Beach finally ended the run with a spin for a bank shot from the left low block for a 21-14 Ridge lead at the 1:47 mark, and then Ridge ended the half with a 3-2 showing for the eight point, 24-16 lead at the brief intermission. In the second half, Ridge didn’t let Point Beach get any closer than five points although there were some scoreboard discrepancies.
Point Beach opened the second half scoring with a pass into the key for a layup attempt that drew a foul, and produced one of two from the line for a 24-17 at the 17:20 mark. The Gulls had a chance to get closer, but Ridge committed a smart foul on the floor to prevent a fast break layup at the 14:51 mark. The Devils then got a layup while being fouled, but missed the bonus foul shot for a 26-17 lead with 13:40 remaining. On a subsequent possession, Point Beach got a layup underneath for a 26-19 Ridge edge with exactly 13 minutes left. The Garnet Gulls then added another score to pull within five, but then Ridge came up with a critical three point play at the 11:24 mark for a 29-21 edge. Neither team would score for almost three full minutes before Point Beach made a free throw, and then after a Ridge timeout, sank another to pull within six at 29-23 with 8:33 to go.
Over two minutes later, Ridge went back up by eight thanks to solid defense that forced a steal, and was converted when a fast break opportunity was capped by a dish left for a layup, and a 31-23 lead at the 6:26 mark. Point Beach then made their closest approach to the lead with a three pointer from the right wing for a 31-26 score at the 5:25 mark. Ridge then made a layup at the 4:30 mark, and stole the ball away again for a pass upcourt that was converted into a layup, and made the score, 35-26 with 4:12 to play. The Devils then sealed the win with a pair of free throws at the 1:43 mark as they won by ten, 40-30.
|Point Pleasant Boro||16||14||30|
EDISON, NJ–On Thursday, July 24th, GMC Hoops ventured out to The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive in Edison to take in a couple games from the first round of the playoffs in the 2008 TBSA Summer League. During the visit, the web site had a chance to touch base with a number of people including Piscataway’s site runner, Dennis Wells, who also is very active in coaching the team during the summer, Woodbridge’s new head coach, Antoine Patterson, Perth Amboy’s new head coach, Edwin Santana, and New Brunswick’s head coach, Antoine Allen. First we’ll talk about our two new coaches in the GMC that have recently become a part of the always revolving coaches carousel in the conference.
Coach Patterson was recently hired at Woodbridge after it was announced earlier this summer that former Barrons head coach, Scott Sienkiewicz was stepping down. Patterson, who had previously served as an assistant coach at Roselle, played high school basketball in the Buffalo, New York area, and then went to college at St. Francis of Pennsylvania, now a member of the Northeastern Conference. There, Patterson played for Jim Baron, who happens to be Marquis Jones head coach at the University of Rhode Island. According to the official press guide for this year’s St. Francis of Pennsylvania team, the school was 7-20 prior to Patterson’s arrival although the Barrons new coach stated that the team was actually 5-24.
Regardless of record, Patterson has had great experience in turning things around at places that he has been to, and it all began at St. Francis of Pennsylvania. Within three years, St. Francis was 24-8, and playing Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. During the 1990-91 campaign, St. Francis was 13-3 in the Northeast Conference, and won the post-season tournament that year with victories over St. Francis of New York (96-70) and FDU (97-82). The Red Flash then won a Play-In game over Fordham by a score of 70-64 before falling to Arizona (93-80). The 1990-91 St. Francis team still owns the school record for most wins in a single season, and is the only team in school history ever to reach the NCAA Tournament. The team also produced an NBA Draft, Mike Iuzzolino, 2nd Round, Dallas Mavericks. Patterson went on to lead the team in field goal shooting percentage the following season (1991-92) by going 137-254 for a 53.9 percentage.
Prior to arriving at Woodbridge, Patterson assisted Mike Smith over at Roselle. The Runnin’ Rams have come a long way after the dual departure of standout Jesse Holle (played football and even basketball at North Carolina) and long time head coach, Stan Kokie. The program struggled for several years, but with the help of those like Patterson, Smith began to turn things around by building the program up from the lower levels. For the past several years, Roselle has had teams competing in the Raritan Bay Summer League. In addition, Roselle has been competing in the HawksBasketball Fall-Ball Classic. The hard work and patience paid off this season as the Rams not only thumped GMC White Division contender Carteret in the state tournament, but also defeated Weequahic for the Central Jersey Group II Championship. Patterson sees that he has talent on the team with the likes of Gerard Bullock and Blair Dolphin returning, and youngsters such as former Carteret legend Keith Hughes’ son coming up. However, he is trying to instill in the Barrons the idea that defense must come first. Patterson’s background in coaching Union County hoops these past several seasons will go a long way in trying to turn the fortunes of Woodbridge, which hasn’t had much success over the years.
Moving on to the Bayway portion of Northern Middlesex County, the next new coach hails at Perth Amboy High School. The Panthers are long linked to success in Middlesex County and Greater Middlesex Conference Tournaments. In the 40 plus years of the MCT/GMCT, Perth Amboy has appeared in the Championship game 13 times, and won 9 of those times. The Panthers also own the best all time record in tournament play with an overall mark of 84-34 (.712). However, the program has been in a state of transition for the past several years. Long time head coach, John Mazurek, stepped down a few seasons ago, and his replacement, Neil Kennett, who actually had coached at Amboy during the 1998-99 season, and guided it to a Cinderella run to the GMCT Final Four that season, just stepped down this spring.
Looking to go with someone younger, Perth Amboy decided to go with Edwin Santana, who has been the JV coach at the school for a number of years now. Santana’s youthful exuberance, and energy is a good fit for a program trying to restore its glory. Santana was on the staff during the last great Amboy team back in 2002-03 with the likes of Jermaine Clark (St. Rose), Brett Brown, Marcus Carty, Jefferson Mwango, and Damien Beasley. That season, the Panthers reached the Quarterfinals of the GMCT before losing to eventual semifinalist, South Plainfield. With the closing of St. Peter’s High School, and programs like New Brunswick also trying to rebuild, Perth Amboy’s renaissance in high school hoops would be much welcomed. Santana is excited about the team. Despite losing the likes of Edwin Guerra and Jamar Bridgeforth to gradaution, the first year head coach is enthused about youngsters coming up including his sophomore class.
This past season, Perth Amboy’s freshmen team reached the Quarterfinals of the 2008 Perth Amboy Freshmen Tournament before losing to the eventual tourney champion, St. Joseph’s. In addition to the influx of talented sophomores, Amboy got former McCarrick point guard, Eliazar Landeo, who transferred to the school. The Panthers do not have much in the way of size, but with the addition of a couple football players to the roster, Santana feels they’ll be ok. Amboy will also have the likes of Reggae Rojas, Brian Paulino, Justin Madden, and Alex Nemeth all returning next year. Although the Red Division is always tough with the likes of Piscataway, St. Joseph’s, and J.P. Stevens being the creme of the crop for 2008-09, Amboy has been competitive, but just hasn’t been able to find ways to win games in the end. Hopefully, Santana will help the Panthers figure out how to win again.
With a brief discussion of our two new coaches out of the way, we can now get to the matter at hand, which were the two featured games of the evening between Bishop Ahr and Edison, and J.P. Stevens and Ridge. Both contests were intense battles living up to the theme of playoff basketball. Each game saw one team jump out in front only to have the other team rally, and either make it interesting in the end.
Bishop Ahr Hangs On Despite Valiant Edison Rally, 38-33
It was a tale of two halves in this one. The Trojans, led by soon to be seniors, Matt Sheehy and Matt Fiorino, took a 16-0 lead over the first 13:36 of the first half, and led at halftime 20-5, but Edison rallied to make things interesting at the end. In the second half, the Eagles, who look to have some talent this year, but are still learning how to win, showed flashes of the potential they have this season. Outscoring Ahr by a 26-12 margin over the first 17:39 of the second half, EHS actually pulled within one point of the lead at 32-31 with 2:21 left in the game, but both Fiorino and Sheehy came up with huge free throws down the stretch to help BGA keep Edison just at arm’s length in a thrilling, 38-33 victory.
Arriving at TBSA with 11:55 to go in the first half, Bishop Ahr had already staked itself to a 7-0 lead. Less than a half minute later, the Trojans were on the board again with a score at the 11:30 mark. Almost exactly a minute later, BGA got another field goal to take an 11-0 lead, and then added a three pointer for a 14-0 advantage with nine minutes to play in the first half. Meanwhile, Edison continued to have problems just getting themselves going. For example, with 7:07 to play in the first half, the Eagles traveled, and then with 4:40 to go before the break, EHS committed a backcourt violation. Manny Kroggman then capped the Trojan run with a layup from the left side for a 16-0 lead at the 6:24 mark.
Edison would go scoreless for approximately 18:16 of the first half until it knocked in an off-balanced shot in the key for the first field goal and points of the game. The Eagle bucket began to open up the flood gates as Ahr, which had been scoreless for 4:40 at this point, began to lose the momentum it had built up for the majority of the half. Prior to Edison getting on the board for the first time, Matt Melnick lost the handle on the ball, and ended up getting tied up, which resulted in a foul, and Edison getting possession at the 4:07 mark. Jordan Smith did what he could to prevent that by scoring on a fadeaway jumper with 1:04 to go in the half. Sheehy then added a layup from the right side some 29 seconds later for a 20-2 lead before the Eagles got a three pointer with 15 seconds remaining for the 20-5 halftime score.
After watching a bit of the contest between J.P. Stevens and Ridge, GMC Hoops returned to the action with 6:24 left to play, and Bishop Ahr only leading by five. The Eagles had climbed all the way back into the contest with a 19-6 second half surge, and a 24-13 run over a span of exactly 20 minutes since Ahr led 16-0. Edison continued to creep closer with a field goal at the six minute mark for a 29-26 BGA lead. EHS had an opportunity to get closer with a great move that got the attention of a number of people on the sidelines including New Brunswick head coach, Antoine Allen, but it didn’t produce a score with 4:43 remaining. The Eagles refused to go away though with a 5-3 run over the next few minutes to pull within one on the three pointer at the 2:21 mark.
However, on a subsequent BGA possession, Fiorino netted two free throws with 1:33 to go in the game for a 34-31 lead. Then, after an Edison timeout at the 1:29 mark, the Trojans came up with a huge defensive play as Sheehy drew a charge on Steve Migliore with just inside a minute to play. Five seconds later, Jordan Smith failed to connect on a front end of a one and one, but his teammates picked him up by making two critical foul shots with 28 seconds remaining for a 36-31 lead. The Eagles would pull to within three again on a field goal before calling a timeout with 15 seconds to play, and a 36-33 BGA lead. Sheehy misfired on a front end of a one and one with 13 seconds left, but the Trojans forced an Edison turnover, and Fiorino drew a foul that resulted in a pair from the charity stripe with six seconds remaining for the final, 38-33 margin.
Stevens Comes From Behind To Down Ridge, 57-50
While there wasn’t the same wide disparity in the lead in this one, the Red Devils gave the Hawks all they could handle before Stevens pulled out the hard fought win. Early on in this one, the game went back and forth, but then Ridge embarked on an 8-0 run that included back to back three point plays at the 13:03 and 12:23 marks respectively for a 14-6 lead. Stevens eventually climbed back into the contest with first an unconventional three point play at the 10:30 mark on one of two free throws, and then an offensive rebound and putback of the missed second shot by Kenny Bland for a 14-9 score, and then a 14-12 showing over the next 10:09 to pull within three at 26-23. However, Ridge got a free throw with no time on the clock for a four point, 27-23 advantage at halftime.
After watching some more action from the contest between Bishop Ahr and Edison over on the other court, GMC Hoops returned to the action with 11:40 to go, and Ridge still clinging to a two point, 40-38 lead. Fifteen seconds later, the Red Devils netted a pair of free throws to lead again by four at 42-38 with 11:25 to play. The Hawks, which actually had a 9-1 run over a span of 5:15, got things going their way when Bland came up with a huge block that Nick Pol rebounded and drove down the left side with for a layup attempt that resulted in a pair of free throws, and a 42-40 Ridge lead at the 10:26 mark. Stevens then committed a turnover at the 8:40 mark, and its bench was assessed a technical with eight minutes left in the game that resulted in one of two at the line by Ridge for a 43-40 lead. The Hawks then used the emotion of the technical foul to continue its rally.
Myles Reuben drew a foul on a shot attempt, and netted one of two from the line. On the missed second free throw, the soon to be senior grabbed the offensive board, and put it back in for a 43-43 tie with 7:27 remaining in regulation. JPS then produced a steal on defense that resulted in a layup, and a 45-43 lead at the 6:32 mark. Reuben then capped the 9-1 run, and padded the Hawk lead with two free throws at the 6:10 mark that made the score, 47-43. The Devils would finally get a field goal to pull within two again at 47-45, but then Pol quickly responded with a floater at the other end for a 49-45 lead at the 5:05 mark of the second half. The Hawks would then get another stop, and Bland then dished to Reuben for a layup attempt that drew another foul, and produced a one of two showing at the foul line for a 50-45 lead with 4:28 remaining in regulation.
Ridge then pecked away some more with one of two from the line at the 3:40 mark, and another one of two at the line with 1:57 left to close the gap to two again at 50-48. Stevens then turned the ball over at the 1:30 mark, but after Ridge called for time with 1:17 left, the Hawks made amends on its miscue by first forcing a Devil turnover at the 1:10 mark, and then essentially putting the game away on a three point play by a reserve with exactly a minute to go. From there, Stevens outscored Ridge, 4-2 including a pair of free throws by Pol to ice the 57-50 win.
NEPTUNE, NJ–Although GMC Hoops did not cover the 2008 Rebounds Summer League this year, it did get some information from Joe Stein at Rebounds including the list of teams and schedule for this year’s league. This summer, the Rebounds League ran from Wednesday, June 18th to Monday, July 21st, and there were a total of 38 teams all from the Shore Conference with the exception of Academy Charter from Belmar. There were no teams from the Greater Middlesex Conference that participated in the league this year. It was the first time since at least 2004 that there were no teams from the GMC competing. Below are all the teams that participated in this year’s league:
- Rumson Fair-Haven
- Brick Memorial
- Southern Regional
- Asbury Park
- Point Pleasant Boro
- Colts Neck
- Toms River East
- St. Rose
- Jackson Memorial
- Henry Hudson
- Middletown South
- Academy Charter
- Monmouth Regional
- Ocean Township
- St. John Vianney
- Toms River South
- Wall Township
- Freehold Boro
- Freehold Township
- Long Branch
- Middletown North
- Point Pleasant Beach
- Red Bank Regional
- Jackson Liberty
- Toms River North
GMC Hoops plans to be out at the 2008 Rebounds Team Camp as well as the 2008 Rebounds Fall League later this year.
EDISON, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops took a trip over to The Basketball Shooting Academy over on Carter Drive in Edison in order to not only get some information on the summer league being run there, but also to chat with Big Mike Allocco. Allocco, who has been helping out a little bit with former South Plainfield head coach, Jeff Lubreski, at Plainfield, has not decided yet on whether he is going to join Lubreski’s staff. In other news, the web site has learned that Thursday’s Championship Game in the TBSA Summer League will be held at 7:00 PM between J.P. Stevens and Bishop Ahr. The Hawks advanced to the title game by knocking off Piscataway in the semifinals while BGA downed Blue Division rival Spotswood.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–Earlier this week, GMC Hoops obtained the seeds for the playoffs at the 2008 Star-Ledger College Summer League taking place over at the College Ave Barn on the main campus of Rutgers University. Games in the tournament have already been played with the Championship Game set for Thursday night, July 31st at 7:30 PM. Below are the playoff seeds courtesy of Jay Gomes from NJ Hoops. Brackets are available at bracketmaker.com
- D’Annunzio & Sons (8-2)–earned a first round bye
- AXA Advisors (7-3)–earned a first round bye
- Bignell Planning (4-6)
- Nelligan Sports Marketing (4-6)
- VP Builders (4-6)
- Scarlet Fever (3-7)
GMC Hoops hopes to be out at the Barn on Thursday night to see the Championship Game from this league.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–With the completion of regular season play on Thursday night in the 2008 Star-Ledger College Summer League, D’Annunzio & Sons and AXA Advisors earned the top two seeds in the playoffs while Bignell Planning, Nelligan Sports Marketing, VP Builders, and the Scarlet Fever all had first round playoff dates. GMC Hoops was able to obtain the final regular season standings for this league courtesy of Jay Gomes of NJ Hoops. Below are the final standings:
- D’Annunzio & Sons (8-2)
- AXA Advisors (7-3)
- Bignell Planning (4-6)
- Nelligan Sports Marketing (4-6)
- VP Builders (4-6)
- Scarlet Fever (3-7)
GMC Hoops came out to the Barn on Sunday to take in the nightcap game between Nelligan Sports Marketing and VP Builders in the first round of the playoffs.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The final day of the regular season took place at the 2008 Star-Ledger College Summer League over at the College Avenue Barn on the main campus of Rutgers University. As always, there was a doubleheader of action from this league with the opener at 6:30 PM and the nightcap at 8:15 PM. Once again, due to scheduling conflicts, GMC Hoops was unable to attend any of the action from this league. However, Jay Gomes from NJ Hoops was kind enough to provide information on the contests played.
In the first game, VP Builders won its second straight contest to enhance its position in the final standings, and the playoffs with a 102-95 victory over the Scarlet Fever. St. Augustine Prep’s own Anthony Farmer, who now stars at Rutgers, collected a team high 20 points for the winners while former St. Joseph’s standout, Sean Baptiste (FDU) tallied a game high 33 in a losing cause for the Fever. In the rebounding department, recent graduate, and 7-footer Ian Chiles (12 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks) of Paterson Catholic pulled down a team high 11 rebounds while Jamil Goodwin of Bloomfield (26 points and 16 boards), and soon to be Notre Dame Prep, collected a game high 16. Rob Delaney dished out a game high 7 assists for the losers while Rashod Calloway (Tampa) passed out six for the winners. Other notable efforts from the game were by Jonathan Jones of Kean, who picked up 18 points and 6 rebounds, and Sayreville’s Kofi Genfi, who compiled a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
In the finale, Nelligan Sports Marketing kept pace with VP Builders thanks to a surprising 98-89 decision over Bignell Planning, which had once been the league leaders, and now limped into the playoffs with five losses in its final six games. Sharpshooting guard, Pedro Burgos (Mercer County College) led Nelligan with a game high 27 points while Jheryl Wilson (NJIT) had a team high 18 points for Bignell. Paul Nelson (12 points and 21 rebounds), who has collected a whopping 112 rebounds in his past 6 games for an average of 18.7 per game for Nelligan, pulled down another 21 on this night for a game high yet again. Rodland Pierre of Kean collected double digit boards with 10 for Bignell. Former St. Joseph’s player and Plainfield standout, Anthony Nelson (Niagara) handed out five assists while Colin Aldridge passed out three for Bignell. Other notable efforts were from Linden’s own Daryl Lampley (St. Peter’s) with 17 points and 4 rebounds, Eric Wilkins (Miami) with 14 points and 7 rebounds, and Charles Funchess with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
GMC Hoops plans to be back out at the Barn on Sunday night for the finale of the opening round Playoff Doubleheader.
BOUND BROOK, NJ–On Tuesday night, the semifinals of the 2008 Bound Brook Summer League took place at Bound Brook High School. In the first game, third seeded Piscataway took on second seeded Somerville, and the Chiefs were at full strength with the likes of soon to be senior, and lone returning starter from the 2008 North Jersey Section 2 Group IV Champions, Tristian Benjamin returning to the lineup. Benjamin along with Thomas Bennett scored 18 points to lead the Chiefs to a 68-38 victory, and a date with top seeded Bound Brook in the final. The Crusaders, which went through the regular season undefeated at 8-0, easily defeated fourth seeded Warren Hills by a score of 51-31. There will be no consolation game as originally scheduled. Instead, the Championship Game will take place on Thursday night, July 31st at 8:45 PM.