EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ–On Wednesday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to East Brunswick High School for the final two sets of games in the Main Gym and Lower Gym from the third night of action at the 2011 East Brunswick Team Camp. The site saw four teams from the GMC in action including: Bishop Ahr, East Brunswick, Perth Amboy, and South Brunswick. The most competitive game of the night covered by the site was between Amboy and Matawan, which went down to the final seconds before the Panthers came away with the 48-45 win. The other three games were not as close as East Brunswick rolled past a undermanned Notre Dame squad, Bishop Ahr cruised past Freehold Boro, and Freehold Township soundly defeated South Brunswick squad that wasn’t at full strength either.
Rogers Leads Amboy Past Matawan, 48-45
The summer is just getting underway, and already Perth Amboy basketball, which has made some great strides in the past few seasons, was hit hard not only by the graduation of talented players such as Kearny Canela, Victor Verdecia, Yoelbin Sanchez, and Chael Hernandez, but also by the sudden departures of standout sophomores Jonathan Rodriguez and Hamilton Cappellan.
However, the Panthers and their head coach, Edwin Santana aren’t feeling sorry for themselves, and are playing hard this so far this summer. Amboy has a squad that doesn’t have a player with varsity playing experience, but this has given Santana a chance to experiment with some of the younger players as well as give some JV talents such as David Rogers an opportunity to develop. Rogers didn’t disappoint in the Panthers came against Matawan.
Rogers was a force down low for the Panthers with a post play, and rebounding, but he and his teammates had their hands full with Matawan’s Larry Smith, a former transfer from South River. The Huskies, which are trying to get back on the map in the Shore Conference basketball picture has had the likes of Corey Soanes, who played at St. Anthony’s early on in his high school career. In a contest that saw neither team have a lead bigger than five points throughout, and there were at least eight lead changes and five ties.
Both teams had a tough time scoring early on, but Matawan got on the board first with a transition layup by Smith at the 18:15 mark, and then the Huskies added another layup from the left side at the 17:45 mark before Amboy got its first bucket of the game at the 17:05 mark on a putback by Rogers.
The Panthers tied it up on a short jumper at the 16:30 mark, but then Matawan got another layup from Smith at the 15:05 mark for a 6-4 lead before the Panthers called for time at the 15:03 mark. Amboy tied the contest up again at 6-6, but then Smith converted a three point play for a 9-6 lead. The Panthers crept to within one at 9-8, but then Smith scored a layin off a steal at the 12:57 mark for an 11-8 lead.
Amboy actually took its first lead of the game at 12-11 with a 4-0 run including a layin by Rogers, but the Huskies took the lead back at 13-12 on a layup off a nice assist by Smith. Matawan had a chance to go up by even more, but failed to finish after a steal. PAHS went back out in front on a layup at the 8:57 mark. Up to this point in the contest, there were three lead changes and three ties hile neither team had a lead bigger than four points.
The game continued to be a back and forth affair into the intermission with the score reading 20-17 in favor of the Huskies as they finished with a 7-3 run over the final 8:57. The second half began with Amboy attacking thhe basket for a couple trips to the foul line that yielded four free throws to take a 21-20 lead at the 18:30 mark before Matawan went back out in front with a baseline jumper from the left side at the 18:22 mark for a 22-21 advantage. Amboy went back in front at 23-22 a jumper from the left wing.
The lead went back and forth several times with the Panthers going ahead 26-24. Matawan got one of two free throws by Smith at the 16 minute mark, and had other opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert. Amboy then cashed in on an offensive rebound with a hook shot for a 28-25 lead. The Panthers added another score underneath by Rogers before Smith connected on a trey from the right wing at the 13:13 mark for a 30-28 Amboy lead. Up to this point, there were five lead changes in the half with the Panthers having the biggest lead at five points.
After Perth Amboy went on a 5-2 run to take a 35-30 lead, Matawan rallied to tie things up at 35-35 with five straight points including a three pointer from the right side, and then two free throws at the 9:57 mark. Amboy would jump out in front again with a score only to have Matawan answer to knot the score again at 37-37. The Panthers went on a 7-5 run over the next five minutess for a 44-42 lead. Then after a timeout, Rogers put the Panthers up by four at 46-42 with a hook shot at the 2:34 mark.
The Huskies wouldn’t go away though as they forced a key turnover on Amboy after the Panthers got a stop at the defensive end. The Huskies then converted a three point play with 1:51 remaining to close the gap to one at 46-45. Matawan then tried to apply some halfcourt pressure with a trap, and the Panthers called for time with exactly 50 seconds to go. Following the timeout, Matawan almost forced a steal at the 49 second mark, and had a steal at the 40 second mark only to have Rogers swipe a pass back at the 37 second mark. Amboy then made two free throws with 26 seconds left for a 48-45 lead.
With a chance to tie the game, Matawan settled for a last second shot that came up short when Smith misfired on a three point attempt from the right wing that went out of bounds with a second to go. Perth Amboy then inbounded to run out the clock for the 48-45 win.
Freehold Township Rolls Past Shorthanded South Brunswick, 62-22
South Brunswick had their JV squad, and Freehold Township took advantage with a 27-10 lead over the first 17:50 before South Brunswick rang up a three pointer from the left wing for a 27-13 lead. The Patriots then got a defensive stop that set up a transition opportunity finished off by a layup for a 29-13 lead at the 1:30 mark.
Freehold Township then added a charge at the 57.3 second mark, and then two free throws at the 29.3 second mark for a 31-13 lead. The Pats had another chance to score when they drew a foul, and converted despite missing both free throws with a putback at the 19.1 second mark for a 33-13 lead at the intermission.
Freehold Township continued to pull way in the second half with a 21-7 surge over the first 14:35 for a 54-20 lead. The Patriots then added a bucket and a pair of free throws for a 58-20 advantage at the four minute mark. Freehold Township went on to cruise from there to a 62-22 victory.
Reserves Lead East Brunswick To Easy Win Over Undermanned Notre Dame, 65-22
With Notre Dame not having their varsity squad at EB on this day, Bears head coach, Bo Henning decided to give his reserves the start, and plenty of playing time in this one. It gave GMC Hoops an opportunity to take a better look at these youngsters, who were instrumental in the undefeated 21-0 season that the East Brunswick Junior Varsity had this past winter. Top players from that team included Garry Baumer, Jake Krantz, Avi Oren, and Ethan Folz. They joined up with soon to be sophomore Amir Bell to put on a clinic in the first half.
Baumer scored the first eight points of the game including a traditional three point play, a layup, and a three pointer while handing out an assist to help East Brunswick score 18 of the first 19 points of the contest by the midway point of the first half. The Bears cruised from there taking a 29-12 halftime lead, and then opening up the second half with a 28-6 explosion to take a commanding 57-18 lead en route to an easy 65-22 victory. Besides Baumer’s eight points, Folz added two points and three blocks, Oren chipped in with a basket while Bell swiped a steal for another layup to pace the 18-1 spurt over the game’s first ten minutes.
Baumer opened the game with a transition layup from the left side as he was fouled for a three point play, and a 3-0 lead at the 19:50 mark. Folz then blocked a shot at the 18:12 mark, and Baumer picked up a steal for a layup. Baumer then spotted up for a three from the left wing for eight straight points. Notre Dame didn’t get on the board until they drew a foul on a fast break layup attempt, and make one of two from the line at the 17:41 mark.
The Bears, which were resting their starters at the beginning of the game, added another bucket for a 10-1 lead before Folz swatted away another block, and the Irish called for time at the 16:21 mark. Folz had a chance to give EB an even bigger lead when he swiped a steal, but he couldn’t finish the ensuing layup attempt. The Bears guard redeemed himself though with another block that Krantz rebounded and outletted to Baumer on the left side. Baumer then drove in, and dished a no look pass for a layup and a 12-1 lead.
After a layin by Folz for his first points of the game, Bell got into the act with a steal at midcourt, and drive for a layup, and a 16-1 lead with 13:05 left. The Bears cooled off for a few minutes before they got another steal for a fast break opportunity that was cashed in by Oren at the 10:30 mark for a 18-1 lead. Both teams then ended up with 11 points each the rest of the half as Notre Dame mustered up some offense for a 29-12 EB lead at the intermission.
Over the first 12 plus minutes of the second half, the Bears went right back to work with a 21-5 tear to take a commanding 50-17 advantage. EB then scored seven of the next eight points over a 2:30 span including a three pointer from the right wing with under five minutes remaining for a 57-18 lead. East Brunswick then added five more points including a three pointer and another basket while Notre Dame came up with two pairs of free throws to make it a 62-22 score before Folz closed out the game with a triple from the right wing for the 65-22 victory.
Salva And Kilgore Boost Trojans Past Freehold Boro, 66-44
Bishop Ahr did take a hit from graduation with the losses of Pat Widdoss, Rashad Kilgore, and Ryan Blakely, but the Trojans still look formidable with talented juniors Roger Kilgore, Kenny Virden, and Dillon Salva all returning. All three have been hitting the weight room not only for basketball, but also for the upcoming football season. Salva has been impressive on the AAU circuit this spring by competing very well against the likes of talented players such as Plainfield’s Justin Sears. Earlier in the day, BGA soundly defeated Notre Dame, 75-51.
The Trojans, which were playing without the services of Kenny Virden, were looking to come away with their second win of the night when they matched up against the Colonials of Freehold Boro. BGA jumped out to a 36-23 lead. The second half began with Dillon Salva taking a pass in the left high post, and driving through the middle for a layin. The Trojans added another basket off a steal by Daniel Timi, and then Roger Kilgore drove the right baseline for a layup, and a 42-23 lead with 18:00 left in the game.
Freehold Boro didn’t get on the board until the 17:20 mark with a drive from the left wing for a 42-25 BGA lead. Kilgore then put the Trojans back up by 19 with a drive through the middle for a layup, and a 44-25 score. Bishop Ahr added another three points before calling a timeout at the 13:47 mark of the second half with a 47-25 lead. After the stoppage, BGA worked the ball into Salva who scored on a layup as he was fouled, but missed the bonus free throw for a 49-25 lead with 13:13 left.
The Colonials scored their first points in a span of 4:37 with a putback from the left low block before calling for time at the 11:43 mark. Salva then put back his own miss from the right low block for a 51-27 lead with 11:20 remaining. Kilgore then followed with a steal in the BGA backcourt, and scooted his way for another layin at the 10:40 mark. After another Trojans stop, Salva drove in from the right corner for another layup and a foul, but missed the bonus free throw for a 55-27 lead with 9:45 left. Kilgore then fired in a three pointer from the right wing at the 9:20 mark for a 58-27 lead.
Freehold Boro ended the game with a 17-8 spurt, but BGA came away with the 66-44 victory. GMC Hoops plans to be back out at EB to see action from Hammerskjold Middle School on Thursday night.
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