2nd Seeded Edison Hoping Third Time’s the Charm to Crack Bishop Ahr
EDISON, NJ—On Friday night, GMC Hoops will be at Middlesex County College to cover both the 2019 GMCT Girls and Boys finals. We will be both live tweeting and live streaming from MCC. To follow the live stream of both games, go to the GMC Hoops Facebook page. For following the tweets during the contest, go to the GMC Hoops twitter feed @gmchoops.
Now, with those internet streaming and social media preliminaries out of the way, we can now start to look at the 2019 Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament Girls Championship Game between 2nd seeded Edison and top seeded Bishop Ahr. Both teams reached the 2018 GMCT Girls Final Four a year ago. BGA fell in the semis to Piscataway, and then the Chiefs took care of the Eagles in the Championship Game.
Both teams got back this year, and will finally break the hold Piscataway has had on the GMCT Girls title for over a decade. P-Way, this year’s fifth seed, fell to upstart 4th seeded Middlesex in the Elite Eight round. It was the second time this season that the Lady Blue Jays, the Blue Division Champion, defeated Piscataway, which finished second behind J.P. Stevens in the GMC Red.
The Lady Trojans had some struggle with Middlesex in the nightcap semifinal, but proved to be too much in the end. Thanks mostly to the efforts of Kelsey Ransom, who led BGA with a game high 28 points, the top seeded team from North Edison, was able to pull away from a 30-25 lead midway through the third with a 37-19 surge to end the game for a 67-44 victory.
Ahr did put together a dominant first half for the most point building a 28-6 lead at one point before Middlesex rallied with the last six points of the 2nd, and 13 of the first 15 points of the third to pull within five, but couldn’t get any closer. Ransom, who didn’t become eligible to play until mid-season after transferring in, is not the only weapon of concern on this Ahr team.
Emma Boslet, who reached 1,000 points for her career as a sophomore a year ago, returned as is joined by the likes of sharpshooter Madison Ruddy, center Megan Herka, and Akiyah Baker. Ahr went wire to wire undefeated in the GMC White with a 16-0 record including two victories over Edison during the regular season. The Lady Trojans are 23-3 overall with the only losses coming to Trenton Catholic, Winslow, and NJ’s top ranked girls basketball team in Franklin. BGA also recently defeated defending TOC champion, Manasquan.
Meanwhile, Edison enters tonight’s Championship Game at 19-5 with two of those losses coming at the hands of Bishop Ahr. However, the Lady Eagles have still beaten some solid competition in 3rd seeded Stevens (twice), 5th seeded Piscataway, and 6th seeded Sayreville twice. The Lady Eagles are led by all time leading scorer, Samira Sargent and have a supporting cast consisting of Daniella Marmol, Angella Consolazio, Kenisha Chester, Latayjah Jenkins, and Ciana McQuiller.
The Lady Eagles are coached by former Edison boys hoops standout, Frankie Eckert, who played alongside the likes of Thomas Johnson Sr. (Felician) and Tim Banos on the 2000-01 Edison boys basketball team that finished 17-8, and pulled off the upset of previously undefeated and top ranked St. Joseph’s at Cangelosi Gymnasium that John Haley called his Game of the Year for that season. Edison’s girls basketball actually reached the final the following year, but lost in the 2002 GMCT Championship at South Brunswick HS.
Edison High School reached the Championship Game last year after defeating the top seeded East Brunswick Lady Bears in the 2018 GMCT Girls FInal Four at Spotswood HS. The Lady Eagles were actually the fifth seeded team a year ago. So, Eckert has the program now among the elite in GMC Girls Basketball. The Lady Eagles will need to hang around for as long as possible, and Eckert will need to manage the game well.
A very important key will be stopping Ransom, and also making sure that Ruddy and Boslet are limited in their scoring as well. Marmol must win the battle in the middle with Herka, and Latayjah Jenkins will have to do a solid job of helping Sargent stretch the floor with her three point shooting. Edison must take this game possession by possession, minute by minute, and quarter by quarter. The Lady Eagles cannot afford to let Ahr get to far out in front, or it will be an uphill battle the rest of the way.
GMC Hoops Pick: Bishop Ahr 57—Edison 47.