SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–On Friday afternoon, GMC Hoops learned from Cardinal McCarrick head coach, Joe Lewis, that Saturday night’s scheduled showdown between the third ranked Eagles, and second ranked Piscataway has been postponed due to the impending Winter Storm approaching the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
On Friday morning, a Winter Storm Watch was issued for Middlesex County as well as much of Northern New Jersey and Northeastern Pennsylvania. The watch was been since upgraded to a warning. Snow is expected to start falling early Saturday morning, and continue through Saturday night into Sunday morning with a final expected accumulation of between 4 and 7 inches. No make up date has been scheduled yet.
Good afternoon everyone. Sorry again for not updating the site late last night, and earlier this morning, but I had a tough time sleeping on Wednesday night, and was tired on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Anyway, what a game last night at Spotswood! During the off-season, I had bumped into Middlesex head coach Brian Feath at a Blue Jay football game against Highland Park, and then saw Spotswood head coach, Steve Mate at Rebounds a short time later, and mentioned to both how intriguing a matchup Middlesex and Spotswood would be this year. Both teams were coming off solid off-seasons with the Blue Jays doing well in the Elizabeth Summer League, Linden Team Camp, and Kean Ironman Challenge while the Chargers performed admirably at the TBSA Summer League, and Rebounds Fall League.
Both squads had a good deal returning from successful seasons last year. Middlesex, the top seed last season in Central Jersey Group I, has several starters returning on this year’s roster including: Mark Stockton, Mike Perone, Mike Colacci, and Ryan Farley. Meanwhile, Spotswood, which finished the season strong in 2007-08 including an upset win over Old Bridge in the preliminary round of the 2008 GMCT, has players such as Cody Pace, Ross Gerhart, Pat Dwyer, Tyler Osofsky, and the Pareti twins all returning.
Each team has a solid perimeter game while Middlesex has the edge inside as indicated by the 34-23 advantage on the boards including a 16-12 showng on the offensive glass in Thursday night’s matchup. Both teams aren’t afraid to take on, and do well against tough teams in competition. Over the summer, Middlesex defeated St. Joseph’s at the Elizabeth Summer League, and forced Scotch Plains to overtime before losing at the Kean Ironman Challenge. Likewise, Spotswood defeated Perth Amboy, a Group IV school, in the Quarterfinals of the TBSA Summer League while knocking off the likes of Asbury Park, Marlboro (Group IV), Ocean Township (Group III), and West Windsor-Plainsboro South (Group IV) at Rebounds in the fall. The Chargers also lost to South Brunswick (GMC Red and Group IV) in overtime in the fall league.
The game itself saw 11 lead changes and 5 ties with neither team having a lead bigger than 12 points. Down the stretch, the lead changed hands five times including a buzzer beating finish while the game was tied twice. Both teams handled the ball well although the Blue Jays had some difficulty in the first three periods (16 turnovers) before doing a stellar job in the final stanza. Each team had a player with a solid game as Cody Pace knocked in 10 of 15 shots overall from the field for 24 points while Mark Stockton recorded a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds. While Spotswood controlled the game mostly, Middlesex showed heart and determination despite not playing its A game.
There were a number of clutch plays including two three point plays by Pace at the end of the first half for the 23-20 lead at the intermission, a four point play by Mike Colacci, who was fouled on a three pointer with 4:47 to go, and almost another three point play by Pace (missed bonus free throw) at the 3:41 mark of the fourth. Pace also had a couple key three pointers as did Colacci. Each team had a major spurt, or run in the game with Spotswood going on a 10-0 spurt over a 2:20 span of the third while Middlesex had an 8-0 run to close the same frame. Each team had a great deal of fan support although it was a Spotswood home game. Both schools had cheering sections with some in the Middlesex section wearing costumes in the traditional blue and white colors. Most importantly though, both sections were loud especially Middlesex’s. It was quite an atmosphere, and I was glad to be a part of it.
Patriots Strong 2nd Half Sinks Raiders, 51-40
PISCATAWAY, NJ–In another edition of this fierce Gold Division rivalry, the Patriots of Perth Amboy Tech outscored Piscataway Tech by a margin of 29-16 in the second half to overcome a 24-22 halftime deficit for the 51-40 victory. Keying the strong second half finish that included a 15-6 showing in the fourth quarter was senior guard Alex (A.J.) Sanz, who led the Amboy Tech attack with 16 points 5 assists 4 steals and 4 deflections. Senior Joey Castro, saddled with early foul problems, tallied 9 of his 11 points in the 2nd half.
Castro added 6 rebounds 3 steals 2 assists and 4 deflections. Castro and Jon Aquije combined for 10 3rd period points to give the Patriots the lead. Freshman Rashad Adams scored 10 points and pulled down 8 rebounds. Wilson Lopez led the defense with 5 deflections 3 steals, while also contributing 6 points and 2 assists. Amboy Tech improves to 3-2 overall on the season, and 1-1 in GMC Gold play while Piscataway Tech falls to 1-4 on the season including 0-2 in the Gold Division.
|Perth Amboy Tech (2-1)||16||6||14||15||51|
|Piscataway Tech (1-2)||10||14||10||6||40|
Destoyers Prove To Be Too Much For Tigers, 65-54
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–In a big test for the East Brunswick Tech Tigers, Dunellen’s pressure defense proved just too much to handle as they opened up a 20 point third quarter lead. Destroyer senior guard, Rembert Armistad, had the hot hand with 18 points. East Brunswick Tech staged a valiant fourth quarter rally led by Homer James and Robert Brown that cut the lead to 11 before time ran out. The win gave Dunellen it’s first division win while the Tigers dropped to 1-1 in the GMC Gold. Both teams are now 3-2 on the young season.
Dunellen: Rembert Armistad–18 points, Luke Francisco–12 points, Erick Orellana 12 points, and Nick Francisco–11
East Brunswick Tech: Homer James–17 points and 3 steals, Robert Brown–17 points and 12 rebounds, Kevin Powell–11 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
|East Brunswick Tech (3-2)||13||12||9||20||54|
MONROE, NJ–On Thursday afternoon, GMC Hoops received the final dates for the 2009 Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament from Monroe head coach, Bob Turco. Again, these dates are final unless there is a problem with the weather. See the dates below:
- Saturday, February 14, 2009–GMCT Play-In Round
- Tuesday, February 17, 2009–GMCT Preliminary Round
- Thursday, February 19, 2009–GMCT Round of 16
- Saturday, February 21, 2009–GMCT Elite Eight at Middlesex County College
- Tuesday, February 24, 2009–GMCT Final Four at South Brunswick High School
- Friday, February 27, 2009–GMCT Championship at Rutgers Athletic Center
GMC Hoops will try to cover as much of this tournament as possible depending on his future work schedule.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ–On Thursday morning, GMC Hoops learned in an article from the Star-Ledger that the NJSIAA has begun the process of including teams with records below .500 in the state tournament for eleven different sports including boys basketball.
A plan for a one year trial that would fill the brackets for 4, 8, or 16 teams for the 2009-10 season. The brackets would be filled with teams that didn’t make the state playoffs because their record was below .500 at the time of the cutoff. This would provide teams that play very difficult schedules an opportunity to compete in the Big Dance. Some committees have already voted unanimously in favor of the plan according to the article, and this would eliminate byes for top seeded teams in any of the various playoff brackets affected. This measure is to coincide with the plans for realigning Northern New Jersey into Super Conferences much like that of the GMC or Shore Conference.
It is a move in the right direction by the NJSIAA, but it should also consider making the cutoff date for the state tournament later in the season. This kind of move would also give more teams a chance to qualify, and a greater odds of the brackets being filled.
Middlesex Asserts That This Is “Their” Christmas Tournament With Combined 4-0 Showing
MIDDLESEX, NJ–From the time I began to attend MHS was a girls school athletically. Softball pitcher Erica Lordi was a NJ All State 1st Team player on a softball team ranked #9 in the entire state of New Jersey. Dana Ferraro had just finished up blowing up the MHS record books in leading the Lady Jays in multiple division titles. And finally the Middlesex competitive cheerleading squad was 6th in the nation and could be seen on ESPN. So after the Lady Jays rolled through Manville and Dunellen en route to their tenth straight Christmas tournament title; it didnt really suprise me. This entire expository paragraph aside, its time to take a step back and look at just how far the Middlesex boys teams have stepped up.
From the football team which went 9-2 advanced to the semifinals and finishing with the most wins in the division, to the baseball team winning a Group I state title only a year and a half ago. Lastly the basketball team, last year had finally ended years of “were gonna be good” to “we are good.” They finished up with 18 wins, they were the best public school in their division, grabbed the top seed in Central Jersey Group I, and advanced to the semifinals.
Middlesex Holiday Tournament–Opening Round
For the first time in quite a while, the Christmas tournament was being held at Middlesex High School this year. Dunellen, Middlesex and Manville remained the longime mainstays with Cranford taking over for Princeton Day. The Cougars went on to beat Dunellen by a score of 44-32 in the first game of the opening round.
Middlesex jumped quickly on an overmatched Manville squad en route to an easy victory. With 18-7 and 18-9 showings respectively in the first two quarters the game never really was in doubt. Mike Colacci led all scorers with fifteen points.
Middlesex Holiday Tournament–Consolation And Championship Round
In the consolation game Dunellen beat Manville to take third place for the second straight year.
In the final, however, there would be two teams vaugely familiar with each other, Middlesex and Cranford scrimmaged every year in the recent past. So this game would not be a repeat of last year when an 8-0 Princeton Day squad didnt know what hit them in a blowout loss. Although it seemed like the same would occur with Middlesex jumping out to a 7-0 lead. The Cougar defense held well enough to allow them to close out the quarter only trailing by a point 11-10. Again in the second quarter, Middlesex showed every indication of pulling away but Cranford continued to stay tough, and the Jays headed to the locker room with a 21-16 halftime advantage.
In the third quarter, however, Middlesex took a 14-4 quarter victory and began to dictate the game further. Cranford was able to push into the Jays lead temporarily in the fourth quarter with Middlesex’s erratic preformance at the charity stripe. It would be short lived though as the Blue Jays defense proved too tough and they finished off a 50-39 victory, and earned their second consecutive Christmas tourney title
Following the tourney, here is how the two Holiday Tournament Champion Game teams have done. For the Jays, a 67-37 dismantling of Highland Park on Saturday, January 3rd, was next on the ledger while Tuesday night’s game versus J.F. Kennedy was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday night. Cranford has since lost to Union Catholic by a score of 55-47, and then played Roselle Catholic yesterday with the Cougars winning on an Adam Fanelli 3 pointer at the buzzer 53-51.
Good afternoon. Just finished pouring through and compiling the team stats for all the schools in the Greater Middlesex Conference, and found an interesting statistic. If you look at the team defense section, you’ll find that there are 12 teams in the GMC that have given up an average of less than 50 points per game. Of those twelve teams, nine of them have a winning record, eight are currently in the GMC Hoops Top Ten, one is .500, and only two are below .500. Combined, these teams have a record of 47-16, and have given up an average of 45.6 points per game. Take a look at the breakdown below:
In addition, there are seven more teams that have given up less than 55 points per contest, and they have a combined record of just 12-26. In most cases, fewer points allowed mean more wins.
Tigers Win First Gold Division Game In Almost Three Seasons, 65-38
PISCATAWAY, NJ–On Tuesday night, the Tigers of East Brunswick Tech traveled over to Piscataway Tech for their first scheduled Gold Division game of the 2008-09 season. On the road, East Brunswick Tech made a big statement that not only was their season ending winning streak last year not a fluke, but also that they are looking to make some noise in the GMC Gold.
Opening up a 14-5 first quarter lead, the Tigers led 33-14 at halftime, and 49-22 after three quarters as they never looked back in a 65-38 victory over Piscataway Tech. The victory marked East Brunswick Tech’s third victory in four games to start the season for their best start in recent times. More importantly though, it was the first divisional win for EBVT since the 2005-06 season. Next, East Brunswick Tech will face a very tough Dunellen team at home on Thursday in East Brunswick at 4:00 for the varsity followed by the JV game at 5:30pm.
East Brunswick Tech- Homer James–22 points and 8 steals, Robert Brown–15 points and 14 rebounds, Kevin Powell–14 points and 10 rebounds, Mark DeMaio–10 points, and Corey Ragland 11 assists and 4 steals.
Piscataway Tech- Louis Mota–14 points and 12 rebounds, and Mohammed Conteh–8 points.
|East Brunswick Tech (3-1)||14||19||16||16||65|
|Piscataway Tech (1-3)||5||9||8||16||38|
Latest Round of Winter Weather Claims Another Game on the GMC Schedule
MIDDLESEX, NJ–On Wednesday morning, GMC Hoops learned from Middlesex head coach Brian Feath as well as J.F. Kennedy head coach, Chris Banos, that the game scheduled last night between the Mustangs and the Blue Jays at Middlesex High School was postponed due to bad weather. Another winter storm brought in a mixed bag of precipitation including snow, sleet, and freezing rain that wreaked havoc with rush hour traffic in the afternoon, and early evening. Last night’s contest became a casualty as a result. However, the two teams will make up the game on Wednesday night at MHS at 7:00 PM.