NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night, GMC Hoops got out of work late, but still managed to get down to Rebounds to catch Monroe in action at the 2009 Hoop Group Headquarters High School Boys Spring League. Monroe, a late entry into the league, is the only team competing in this league from the Greater Middlesex Conference. Originally, there were no teams in the league from the GMC, but that changed when Red Bank Catholic backed out, and Monroe got in. The Falcons had to take a forefeit for their first week matchup against Manchester of Ocean County, but the Purple Birds were ready to even things up in week two despite a very formidable opponent in the form of Central Jersey Group I Champion, Asbury Park. After falling behind by a three point halftime margin (23-20), the Purple Birds rallied with a 36-30 surge in the second half for the 56-53 win.
After going through a number of years of mediocrity and decline, the Bishops, which hail from the Shore Conference, have returned to prominence with three straight trips to the CJ Group I Championship. In 2007, Asbury Park lost to Create Charter of Jersey City, which reached the Group I State Final before losing to Bloomfield Tech. Then, in 2008, the Bishops lost to another charter school, but this one was closer to home in the form of Academy Charter of Lake Como.
Meanwhile, the Purple Birds of Monroe enjoyed a tremendous season not just at the varsity level in 2008-09, but also at the JV and Freshmen levels as well. The varsity led the way with its second winningest season behind the 2006 team with a 21-7 record overall. The Falcons, like their 2005-06 brethren, also reached the GMCT Final Four. On top of that though, the Junior Varsity completed a solid campaign as well with a Championship in the East Brunswick/GMC JV Tournament. The fourth seeded Junior Falcons defeated Cardinal McCarrick, 70-66 for the title. It was the third time this season that Monroe defeated McCarrick. Not to be left out, the Little Falcons of the Monroe Freshmen team also reached the Final Four of their tournament. Monroe finished fourth after losing to Bishop Ahr in the Consolation game of the 2009 Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tournament.
On this night, Monroe had seven players make the trip to Rebounds including: Timmy Brix, Kenny Pace, Travis Dufner, Danny Brix, Ahmid Williams, Mike Walp, and Mike Mahmoud. GMC Hoops didn’t get out of work until 7:40 PM, and the trip to rebounds took about an hour or so. By the time, the site arrived, and got to the Nets Court, where the game was being played, there was not a lot of time left in the contest. With 3:17 to play, Monroe was holding a tenuous four point, 51-47 lead. Following a timeout, Monroe got a big play from Dufner, who helped spearhead the JV team’s run through the EB/GMC Tourney including a fine effort in a hard fought victory over eighth seeded Hillsborough. Dufner swiped a steal in the Asbury Park backcourt, and drove to the hoop for the layup, and a 53-47 edge with 2:51 to play.
Asbury Park wouldn’t go away easily though, and Monroe made some mistakes that gave the Bishops some signs of life. First the Falcons, coached by Tim Brix, Sr., a fixture at the Raritan Bay Summer Leagues, was compelled to call a timeout at the 2:15 mark in order to avoid a turnover. Unfortunately, the stoppage didn’t prevent Monroe from turning the ball over ultimately. With 1:33 to play, Dufner passed off to Ahmid Williams, coming off a fine freshman campaign that may earn him GMC Hoops Freshman of the Year Honors (although teammate and fellow frosh, Danny Brix may have something to say about that!), was called for traveling. On the very next possession, Asbury Park came down the floor, and scored a layup to pull within four at 53-49 at the 1:16 mark.
Two seconds later, Asbury Park forced Monroe to turn it over on the inbounds, and then the Bishops called timeout. Following the stoppage, Asbury Park closed to within two on a drive into the lane for a scoop shot that went in for a layup, and a 53-51 score with 1:10 remaining. On the ensuing Monroe possession, the Bishops playing with the urgency and desperation of a last second playoff game, picked up another steal, put together another fast break, and drew a foul on the floor at the 58.5 second mark. On the inbounds, the Bishops worked it around, but couldn’t get a good shot against the Purple Birds tough defense as a three point attempt from the left corner ended up being an air ball at the 45.4 second mark.
On the next Falcon possession, Dufner again played a pivotal role by making a nice pass to Danny Brix for the easy layup, and a 55-51 lead with only 39.6 seconds remaining. Appearing to have the game wrapped up, Monroe made things adventurous as Kenny Pace was called for a double-dribble at the 19.6 second mark. However, teammate Timmy Brix picked Pace up by drawing a crucial charge with 17.8 seconds left, and then put the game away with one of two from the line for a 56-51 lead with 12.5 ticks on the clock. Asbury Park would get a quick score inside in the waning moments, but it was too little, too late, in the 56-53 victory by the Purple Birds. Both teams are now 1-1 on the spring.
|Asbury Park (1-1)||23||30||53|
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Thursday evening, GMC Hoops received the latest standings from the 2009 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring Boys High School Players League at Rebounds. This spring is the third straight year that the web site has traveled to Neptune for coverage, and the fourth year of devoting any coverage to the league at all. Below are the Week #2 standings in Division A and Division B:
- Neptune (2-0)
- Manchester (2-0)
- G-Force Gold (1-1)
- Asbury Park (1-1)
- Monroe (1-1)
- St. John Vianney (1-1)
- Manasquan (0-2)
- Toms River North (0-2)
- G-Force Black (2-0)
- Academy Charter (2-0)
- Toms River East (1-1)
- Mater Dei (1-1)
- Second Baptist Church (1-1)
- Ocean Township (1-1)
- Lacey (0-2)
- Jackson Liberty (0-2)
GMC Hoops is going to try and get the results from the first couple weeks of action. If and when we get them, we’ll post them here. In the meantime, notes from Monroe’s win over Asbury Park will be posted shortly.
Video Highlights–Cardinal McCarrick vs. Trenton Catholic–NJSIAA Non-Public B South Championship–3/11/09April 30, 2009 on 6:07 pm | In Video Highlights | Comments Off
Good afternoon. I continue to work on getting video highlights posted to the web site. This set of highlights is from the title game of the 2009 NJSIAA Non-Public B South State Tournament between Cardinal McCarrick and Trenton Catholic. Unfortunately, due to the very early start of the game, I got there with only 3:10 remaining in the first half. Nevertheless, I did pick things up from there, and have most of the highlights from the second half. After closing to within one at 28-27 late in the second quarter, Cardinal McCarrick succumbed to a 14-0 tear by Trenton Catholic for a 42-27 lead in the middle of the third quarter. From there, the Iron Mikes weren’t really threatened in a 70-51 win. Enjoy.
Video Highlights–NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group IV Quarterfinals–Piscataway @ Colonia–March 4, 2009–Fourth QuarterApril 29, 2009 on 8:03 pm | In Colonia Hoops, Video Highlights, Piscataway Hoops | Comments Off
Here are the video highlights from the fourth quarter of action between defending North Jersey Section 2 Group IV and this year’s GMCT Champion, Piscataway, and Colonia in the Quarterfinal round of the 2009 NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group IV State Tournament at CHS. P-Way had an eleven point lead after three quarters only to see Colonia come back with one of the Patriots patented rallies consisting of a 14-3 tear to tie the game at 50-50. After Colonia tied the game for a second time at 52-52, the Chiefs pulled out the hard fought 62-57 win to advance with some clutch defensive play to spark the game deciding 10-5 run. Enjoy.
Video Highlights–NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group IV Quarterfinals–Piscataway @ Colonia–March 4, 2009–Third QuarterApril 29, 2009 on 3:32 pm | In Colonia Hoops, Video Highlights, Piscataway Hoops | Comments Off
Good afternoon. I continue to work on video highlights from games that I saw during the last several weeks of the basketball season. This contest in particular was a good one. Due to the early start of the game, I didn’t get over to Colonia High School until the start of the second half. Nevertheless, I do have highlights from the third and fourth quarter, which were very entertaining. Piscataway held a double digit lead for nearly the entire third quarter before Colonia had an expected rally in the fourth. These highlights are from the third quarter of action. Enjoy.
UNION, NJ–On Thursday, GMC Hoops received word from Kean Coach, and former East Brunswick High School hoops player, Tom Wagenblast, that Kean University will be running a couple of events this summer. Below are the details:
Kean University is hosting two different Summer Team Camps. Both camps are being held at Harwood Arena at Kean University which is an Air Conditioned Facility with full size college courts and high school certified officials. If your team is interest in either event, please contact Coach Tom Wagenblast at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kean Iron Man Challenge: Held Saturday July 18. The Iron Man Challege is a one day Team Camp that guarantees 3 games (although last year some teams played as many as 5) in a tournament format. Choose between the AM session (8:00-3:00) or the PM session (3:30-9:00). The AM session is more of our “elite” session and the PM session is for more of the middle of the road teams. Last year both sessions were sold out and 2 different recruiting services were in attendance. Cost is $275 per team, per session. It is a great way to play a good number of games in a short amount of time for a very fair price.
Kean Summer Team Camp: Held on Monday or Wednesday Nights in June and July. Dates are (June 22, July 1, 6, 16, 20, 27, and one more date TBD). League format where each team plays 1 game per date. Cost is $500 per team which covers 7 games, officials, team shirts, coaches polo and awards.
Again if interested or if you have any questions, please email Coach Tom Wagenblast at email@example.com or call at 908-737-0637. Thanks!
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Monday night after work, GMC Hoops endured the stormy weather as he traveled down to Rebounds to take in the opening night of action in the 2009 Hoop Group Headquarters Boys Spring High School Players League. Unaware that Monroe was competing in the league at the time, the site scrambled to take in some sort of action from a league that appeared to have no GMC teams in it for the first time in four years.
Finally, the site sat down over on the Knicks Court for the remainder of the second half between G-Force Gold, an AAU team based in Union County, and Toms River North, a team from the Shore Conference. Although G-Force Gold is from Union County, there are several players on the roster that compete or have competed in the GMC including Rob Gomulka (Bishop Ahr), Pablo Ozuna (Woodbridge), and Mark Radil (St. Joseph’s). In this contest, G-Force Gold broke away from a 15-15 first half tie with a 30-13 showing in the second half for the 45-28 victory. The web site joined the action with the score still somewhat close at 22-17 in favor of G-Force Gold at the 15:30 mark after a 7-2 start by the Union County squad.
Eight seconds or so after taking a seat, GMC Hoops saw Toms River North, a school that won the 2007 WOBM Classic at the Ritacco Center over this past season’s champion, Point Pleasant Boro, cut the deficit to two on a three pointer from the right side at the 15:22 mark. Radil then answered with 2 of 3 from the free throw line for a 24-20 G-Force Gold advantage with 14:33 to play. A little more than three minutes went by without a score by either team until Ozuna knocked in a three pointer from the left wing to make it a 27-20 G-Force Gold lead at the 11:30 mark.
Ozuna then added one of two from the foul line for a 28-20 lead with 10:55 left in the game, and then almost a minute later, G-Force Gold made it a double digit (30-20) lead with a steal for a layup at about the 10 minute mark. Toms River North then netted a three pointer to close the gap to 32-25 with a layup at the 9:37 mark, and then a three pointer before G-Force Gold answered with the next four points to take their biggest lead yet at 36-25 with 7:15 left. A little more than a minute later, G-Force Gold converted a traditional three point play for a 39-25 edge at the 6:12 mark of the second half.
Following a Mariners timeout at the 5:40 mark, Toms River North could only get as close as 12 points with a jumper from the right wing that made it 39-27 with 5:25 left as G-Force Gold got a steal for a layup from Barr that made it 41-27 at the 3:12 mark, and went on to win, 45-28 to start off the spring at 1-0. In addition, the other G-Force squad, G-Force Black earned a win in Division B action by defeating Second Baptist Church. GMC Hoops plans to be back out at Rebounds on Monday night to watch Monroe take on Asbury Park in an 8:00 PM contest.
|G-Force Gold (1-0)||15||30||45|
|Toms River North (0-1)||15||13||28|
NEPTUNE, NJ–On Friday afternoon, GMC Hoops received the latest standings from the 2009 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring Boys High School Players League at Rebounds. This spring is the third straight year that the web site has traveled to Neptune for coverage, and the fourth year of devoting any coverage to the league at all. Below are the latest up to date standings in Division A and Division B:
- Neptune (1-0)
- G-Force Gold (1-0)
- Asbury Park (1-0)
- Manchester (1-0)
- Monroe (0-1)
- Manasquan (0-1)
- St. John Vianney (0-1)
- Toms River North (0-1)
- Toms River East (1-0)
- G-Force Black (1-0)
- Academy Charter (1-0)
- Mater Dei (1-0)
- Lacey (0-1)
- Second Baptist Church (0-1)
- Ocean Township (0-1)
- Jackson Liberty (0-1)
GMC Hoops is going to try and get the results from the first week of action. If and when we get them, we’ll post them here.
NEPTUNE, NJ–GMC Hoops has obtained the latest scheduling information from the Hoop Group Headquarters Spring Boys High School Players League at Rebounds, and here is the breakdown of Monroe’s ledger for this Spring including the opening night game.
2009 Monroe Falcons Hoop Group Headquarters Spring League Schedule
- Week #1–April 20, 2009–Monroe vs. Manchester, 8:00 PM, Sixers Court
- Week #2–April 27, 2009–Monroe vs. Asbury Park, 8:00 PM, Nets Court
- Week #3–May 4, 2009–Monroe vs. Manasquan, 9:00 PM, Knicks Court
- Week #4–May 11, 2009–Monroe vs. St. John Vianney, 8:00 PM, Knicks Court
- Week #5–May 18, 2009–Monroe vs. Neptune, 8:00 PM, Knicks Court
- Week #6–June 1, 2009–Monroe vs. G-Force Gold, 8:00 PM, Knicks Court
- Week #7–June 8, 2009–Monroe vs. Toms River North, 9:00 PM, Knicks Court
- Showcase Games–June 10, 2009–Monroe vs. Mater Dei, 9:00 PM, Celtics Court
Note: This schedule is subject to change. GMC Hoops plans to make every effort to get out to Rebounds, and catch as much action as possible.
NEPTUNE, NJ–Now, with the scheduling glitch out of the way, GMC Hoops has the full group of 16 teams that are competing in this year’s 2009 Hoop Group Headquarters Spring Boys High School Players League at Rebounds. There are a total of 11 teams from the Shore Conference, 3 AAU teams, one from the GMC, and one independent school. As usual, the league is broken down into two divisions of eight teams each. Division A is where Monroe will be competing, and is usually the stronger league while Division B is the weaker league.
2009 Hoop Group Spring League–Division A
- G-Force Gold
- Toms River North
- Asbury Park
- St. John Vianney
- Monroe Township
2009 Hoop Group Spring League–Division B
- Toms River East
- G-Force Black
- Second Baptist Church
- Ocean Township
- Academy Charter
- Mater Dei
- Jackson Liberty
GMC Hoops has already been out to the opening night of this league, and with the latest developments surrounding Monroe’s membership in the league, the site plans to try and cover the rest of the Falcons contests.