EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–Recently, the Greater Middlesex Conference decided to realign for football in the 2010 football season according to an article on MyCentralJersey.com. The conference will revert back to the traditional three division format with Monroe moving up to the Red Division while J.P. Stevens and Edison are returning to the Red. Bishop Ahr moves up to the Red along with J.F. Kennedy while South Plainfield and Colonia return to it. Finally, the GMC Blue will be the same as the Gold Division was this past season. The conference has also agreed to another season of crossover games with the Shore Conference.
Here is how the revamped GMC will look next football season:
- East Brunswick
- J.P. Stevens
- Old Bridge
- South Brunswick
- Bishop Ahr
- J.F. Kennedy
- New Brunswick
- North Brunswick
- Perth Amboy
- South Plainfield
- Cardinal McCarrick
- Highland Park
- South River
Besides that, St. Joseph’s will play a junior varsity schedule in 2010 with varsity games in 2011. The only stipulation with that is the Falcons will play an independent schedule since the conference would realign again until 2012.
With the holiday tournaments drawing to a close, GMC Hoops took a look back on what has transpired already in the first two weeks of the season. One of the early trends that has caught our attention is the fine start that all of the teams in the GMC Blue are having.
Of the eight teams from the Greater Middlesex Conference that claimed holiday tourney gold this season, five of them came from the GMC Blue including the following:
- J.F. Kennedy–Gene Haley Tournament
- Metuchen–Roselle Park Tournament
- Middlesex–Shello/Santy Tournament
- South River–South Amboy Tournament
- Spotswood–Bound Brook Crusader Classic
In addition, Highland Park also reached the final of their tournament, but unfortunately they lost to Middlesex in that title tilt. After the first two weeks of play, the Blue Division Standings show all seven teams in the division are above .500 with two teams having four wins, four having three, and one having two. These seven teams have also performed well in crossover games against other GMC teams, and versus non-conference foes.
Blue Division teams have been involved in 13 games against schools from other conferences, and have posted a combined mark of 11-2 so far this season. Meanwhile, the GMC Blue is currently undefeated in crossover games at 5-0. There are a lot of talented players on all seven teams in the division. Here’s a list of some of them:
- Bishop Ahr–Darius Griffin, Justin Peoples, and Rob Gomulka
- Highland Park–David Webb, Frank Husslein, and Mike Long
- J.F. Kennedy–Joe Marciano, Rasheed Howard, and Daishon Robinson
- Metuchen–Mike Crusco, Elijah Sellers, and Evan Carberry
- Middlesex–Avery Barnes, Adam Wells, and Terrell Mayers
- South River–Brandon Walsh, Shawn Fenton, Xavier Foster, and Larry Smith
- Spotswood–Cody Pace, Tyler Osofsky, James Pareti, and Allen Kuiper
Bishop Ahr and Spotswood appeared to be favorites to win the division, but Metuchen, Kennedy, Highland Park, and South River have made gains this past offseason, and it shows already. Meanwhile, Middlesex got a big break with Avery Barnes returning to the lineup after being out with a back injury since August. Over the past several years, the GMC White has been the most solid from top to bottom. This season, the Blue Division may be able to claim that distinction.
Here are the video highlights from the fourth quarter of play between South River and Henry Hudson in the Championship Game of the 2009 South Amboy Tournament. The Rams entered the fourth behind by five after leading at the intermission. However, led by Xavier Foster, who scored 10 points in the final period, and Larry Smith, who gave South River the lead for good on a layup late in the game, propelled the Rams to a tourney title, 65-57. Enjoy.
Raiders Edge Sayreville To Win Championship, 48-45
HILLSBOROUGH, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops wrapped up its holiday tournament coverage with a trip to Hillsborough High School for its tourney, which involved two GMC teams including Sayreville. The Bombers were taking on the hometown Raiders for the tournament championship. This was a nip and tuck battle that saw 13 lead changes and 2 ties while neither team had a lead bigger than five points. Hillsborough overcame a tough start to pull out the hard fought, 48-45 victory for the title.
Despite sixteen points from senior guard, Tarif Jackson, the Bombers weren’t able to get over the hump against Hillsborough, which was led by Frank Mitchell, who had a game high 18 points while tournament MVP, Kyle Banfield chipped in with 11 points. The Bombers got their 45 points on 12 field goals, four three pointers, and nine free throws while the Raiders got 9 field goals, three treys, and 21 foul shots for their 48 points. Things started off well for Sayreville as it jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the first 3:57. Highlighting the early run was a steal by Jackson, who passed to Jarrell Smith (8 points) in the left corner for a baseline drive that drew a foul, and produced two free throws.
Hillsborough responded though with a 9-2 run over the final 4:03 including a three pointer by Jason Jolliffe (10 points) from the right wing, and a steal for a layup to get out in front, 11-9 before Smith replied with a three pointer from the right wing for a 12-11 Bombers lead after one period. The second quarter started off with Hillsborough getting the first four points on two free throws, and a steal for a layup that broke a lull in the scoring of several minutes, and put the Raiders in front again, 15-12. Sayreville fought back again though with scores by Smith and Dave Milewski (6 points) for a 16-15 lead at the 3:32 mark.
The two teams continued to go back and forth as the Raiders got a basket for a 17-16 lead before Milewski replied with a basket of his own for an 18-17 advantage. Hillsborough netted two free throws to go ahead again 19-18, but Darryl Stephenson (6 points) tied the game at 19-19 with a one of two showing of his own from the line at the 59.5 second mark. The Raiders then closed out the half with the final points on a steal for a layup with 28 seconds left in the period as the two teams went into the locker room with Hillsborough ahead, 21-19 at halftime. There were a total of eight lead changes and one tie in the first 16 minutes.
In the third quarter, Hillsborough started things off with a jumper from the right side for a 23-19 lead at the 7:33 mark. Following a thirty second timeout by Sayreville with 7:13 to go in the third, Mark Keir swiped a steal, and drove in for a layup attempt that drew a foul, and produced one of two free throws from the foul line at the 6:51 mark. Forty-seven seconds later, Keir was back at it again with a drive and kick to Jarrell Smith for a three pointer from the right side to tie the game at 23-23 with 6:04 left in the half. The Raiders went back out in front with a pair of free throws at the 5:02 mark that capped a 4-0 run, and made the score, 27-23.
The Bombers retaliated with four of the next five points to draw to within a point at 28-27 before the Raiders went back up by three on a layup at the 3:07 mark for a 30-27 lead. Sayreville then closed out the third period with a floater by Jackson at the 2:29 mark, and an offensive rebound and putback attempt by Syd Holt (6 points) that resulted in two free throws that closed the gap to 32-31 entering the fourth. Jackson gave the Bombers the lead early on in the fourth with a floater, and then the Sayreville defense forced a five second call that coerced Hillsborough head coach, Ian Progin to call for time at the 6:46 mark with the Bombers ahead again, 33-32.
Following the timeout, Hillsborough connected on a Jolliffe three pointer from the right side to go out in front, 35-33 at the 6:17 mark. A short time later, the Raiders entered the bonus, and made two free throws at the 5:32 mark after missing the front end of a one and one at the 5:49 mark. Trailing by four, the Bombers got the ball inside to Stephenson, who registered a traditional three point play at the 4:47 mark for a 37-36 Raiders lead. There was a lull in the scoring for a minute and a half before Jackson sank a three pointer at the 3:17 mark for a 39-37 Sayreville lead.
On Hillsborough’s next possession, Jolliffe struck for a three from the top of the key that got a kind bounce to put the Raiders back in front, 40-39 with under three minutes to go. The Raiders then added two free throws at the 2:11 mark for a 42-39 lead before Sayreville coach, Shawn Currie, called for time. Sayreville got to within one on several occasions including a Milewski score at the one minute mark, a running one hander by Jackson at the 45 second mark, and two free throws by Keir at the 6.7 second mark, but it couldn’t get over the hump as Hillsborough went 10 of 10 from the line in the fourth period to seal the 48-45 victory.
With the victory, the Raiders improve to 4-0 on the young season while Sayreville falls to 3-2 overall. Video highlights courtesy of my cell phone will be posted soon.
East Brunswick Hangs On To Win Championship Despite Last Minute Rally By Zebras
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–On Wednesday evening, GMC Hoops headed over to East Brunswick High School to catch the remainder of the Championship Game of the Brunswick Classic between New Brunswick and the hometown Bears. The site was able to capture the last 8:32 of the game including the entire fourth quarter, which had quite a finish. Mauro Tucci, who collected 10 points on a three pointer and seven free throws, made two charity shots with 19 seconds left to seal a 68-62 victory over the Zebras.
Junior Carl Thomore collected his second straight double-double for EB with 10 points and 10 rebounds while teammate Anthony Guisti added three treys and a field goal for 11 points. Guisti netted seven three pointers over the two days of the tournament. New Brunswick’s Jaquan Cook had game high for the second straight game with 16 points on seven field goals and two foul shots while senior Nigel Scott added 14 points on two field goals, a three pointer and seven foul shots. For the game, East Brunswick made 18 field goals, 6 threes, and 14 foul shots while New Brunswick connected on 22 field goals, 3 treys, and 16 free throws.
GMC Hoops joined the action with 32 seconds to go in the third with East Brunswick leading 56-49. The Bears quickly had a chance to score moments later when Miles Colmon swiped a steal that led to a missed shot attempt by Mike Weber (6 points). Tucci grabbed the offensive rebound, but missed the jumper. Anthony Gudzak (3 points) got another offensive and set up for a final shot of the period. With seconds remaining, Tucci went in for a layin, but the shot didn’t fall as time expired in the third with EB still leading by seven. In the fourth, NBHS outscored EB by a margin of 13-12, but it wasn’t enough as the Bears led at one point by nine before the Zebras rallied two trail by two.
Scott opened the fourth period scoring with a layup at the 7:46 mark for a 56-51 EB lead. The Bears answered almost a minute later as Weber fed sophomore Mike Summerer (6 points) for a layup that made the score 58-51 with 6:54 remaining. The Zebras responded quickly as Milton Pittman (12 points) netted his only two free throws of the game for a 58-53 score with 6:44 left. Following an East Brunswick timeout at the 5:39 mark. Joe Ross, the hero of the opening round victory over North Brunswick on Monday, swiped a steal that eventually was converted into a layup by Thomore at the 4:55 mark for a 60-53 lead. New Brunswick tried to climb back within five, but Fuquan Rogers (12 points) penetrated too far, got trapped, and ended up traveling at the 4:19 mark.
However, Zebra teammate, Simuel Williams (13 points) picked up his teammate by getting one of his six field goals when he swiped a steal and went in for a layup at the 4:13 mark. After a 30 second timeout by the Zebras, Guisti drove and dished to Colmon for a layup and a 62-55 lead at the 4:07 mark. Following a timeout by EB at the 3:32 mark, and a traveling violation by Colmon at the 3:22 mark, the senior forward redeemed himself by driving in from the left wing for a layup in the right low block for what seemed to be a commanding 64-55 lead with 2:30 left. New Brunswick didn’t give up though. Despite a Rogers pass that went off the hands of Scott out of bounds at the 2:18 mark, the Zebras rallied with a frantic 7-0 flurry over the next 1:02 to make things interesting again.
Pittman sparked the rally when he took in a Williams pass, and scored a layup as he was fouled (missed the bonus free throw) at the 1:34 mark. New Brunswick then forced a turnover that was converted by Scott in the form of a three pointer that was banked off the glass and in with 1:24 remaining. Pittman then swiped another steal off a trap in the right corner, and passed to Williams for a layup that suddenly made the score, 64-62 with 1:16 to play. However, NBHS was unable to get any closer. Following an East Brunswick timeout with 1:15 left, the Bears scored the final four points as Mike Weber drove in from the right wing for a layup as he was fouled (missed the bonus free throw) to make the score, 66-62 at the 46 second mark. Tucci then sealed the championship with his two foul shots for the 68-62 final.
With the victory, EB improves to 4-0 overall and in conference play while New Brunswick falls to 1-4 overall and in the GMC. Earlier, in the consolation, North Brunswick junior, Tait Pirkle, scored 30 points including 12 in the fourth quarter to lead the Raiders to a 63-57 victory over South Brunswick. NBTHS is now 4-1 on the season while SBHS slips to 1-3.
ATLANTA, GA–The St. Joseph’s Falcons ended up finishing fourth out of eight teams in the St. Pius X Christmas Classic over the holidays. After winning their first round game over Sandy Creek, Georgia (56-38), the Falcons lost in the semifinals to Archbishop Moeller from Ohio (67-55), and then fell in the consolation game to the host school, St. Pius X (42-37). In the game versus Moeller, St. Joe’s jumped out to a 21-4 first quarter lead, but was outscored 43-19 in the middle two periods. Against St. Pius X, the Falcons had a 32-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but was outscored 16-5 in the final frame. Steve Rennard did his part over the three games by scoring an average of 17 points per contest to up his career total to 1,124 points.
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–Every year after the holiday tournaments are done, GMC Hoops lists the teams from the conference that won holiday tourney championships. In total, there were eight teams that won championships, or the most games in round robin play. Below is this year’s list of winners:
- Spotswood Chargers–Bound Brook Crusader Classic
- J.F. Kennedy Mustangs–Gene Haley Memorial Tournament
- Metuchen Bulldogs–Roselle Park Tournament
- Middlesex Blue Jays–Shello/Santy Tournament
- South River Rams–South Amboy Tournament
- East Brunswick Bears–Brunswick Classic
- East Brunswick Tech Tigers–East Brunswick Tech Tournament
- Cardinal McCarrick Eagles–Joe Silver Holiday Tournament Round-Robin
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On top of all the games covered by the web site, there was a lot of ground covered as well. Over the course of the five days of holiday tournament action, GMC Hoops saw contests in 13 different tournaments including the following:
- Len Sepanak Tournament
- Cardinal McCarrick Freshmen Christmas Tournament
- Cardinal McCarrick JV Christmas Tournament
- Roselle Catholic Freshmen Christmas Tournament
- Roselle Catholic JV Christmas Tournament
- Randolph Roundball Festival
- Joe Silver Holiday Tournament
- Gene Haley Memorial Tournament
- Brunswick Classic
- Shello/Santy Tournament
- South Amboy Tournament
- Anthony J. Cotoia Tournament
- Hillsborough Holiday Tournament
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–With the completion of the holiday tournament season, GMC Hoops has already seen 29 games this season. Over the past five days, the site saw 20 games in various holiday tournaments involving GMC teams. As of now, the web site has covered games involving 23 of the 29 teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference including nine teams twice, and one team three times.
Here are some of the video highlights from the second half of the consolation game of the first annual Anthony J. Cotoia Tournament held at South Plainfield High School on Tuesday evening. The hometown Tigers took a 20-9 halftime lead over J.P. Stevens and extended it to 33-17 on three treys by junior guard Bryant Rosario. From there, the Tigers went on to win 39-27. Enjoy.