EDISON, NJ–On Sunday night, GMC Hoops traveled down to The Basketball Shooting Academy on Carter Drive after work to see the final half of action between both J.P. Stevens and Watchung Hills, and Manville against the NJ Extreme. It was the final day of games in the 2008 TBSA Fall League, which completed its most successful season yet in its brief three year history. Despite all the struggles, and schedule changes, the web site managed to see more action from this year’s league than last year’s. All in all, the site showed up five out of the eight weeks versus only four in 2007.
J.P. Stevens Finishes Strong With Impressive Win Over Watchung Hills, 62-47
The featured game that the GMC Hoops site was paying attention to was the battle between J.P. Stevens of North Edison, and the Greater Middlesex Conference’s Red Division, and Watchung Hills, defending Somerset County Champions, and currently undefeated in this year’s fall league at 7-0. One of the victories that Watchung Hills had was over Piscataway by six just last week. It was the only loss the Chiefs had entering play on Sunday. The web site had previously seen the Warriors in action against Metuchen on October 5th, and in a game that was halted with a minute to go, Watchung Hills prevailed by nine.
A win like this to end the fall season would be big for the Hawks, which had their share of struggles this fall starting with two straight losses to Weequahic (50-45) and Plainfield (at the buzzer 67-66). Recently, J.P. Stevens also suffered a defeat at the hands of Trenton by 10 on October 19th. Coming into Sunday night’s action, JPS had earned a pre-season top ten ranking of 3rd in the GMC Hoops Top Ten. However, there will be more revisions of the poll as we go along toward the start of the season. With perhaps the best returning starting five in the GMC, the Hawks are definitely a contender to win their first GMCT crown in 20 years.
After being at work, GMC Hoops hurried down to TBSA to catch the final minutes of action between the Hawks and the Warriors. Leading 27-20 at the half, the Hawks went up by 12 at 54-42 with 2:21 remaining. Kenny Bland then grabbed an offensive rebound off his own miss, and put it back in underneath for a score, and a 56-42 lead at the 2:14 mark. Thirty-two seconds later, with Bland now sitting on the bench, the Hawk reserves went to work with a layup at the 1:42 mark, and then a short jumper for a 60-42 lead with 1:29 remaining. Watchung Hills then got a three pointer at the other end to close the gap to 60-45, but then JPS got a jumper from the right side of the foul line with 40 seconds to go for a 62-45 lead. The Warriors then closed out the scoring to cap their 5-2 run for the 62-47 final score.
With the victory, Stevens ended the fall at .500, or 4-4 while Watchung Hills recorded their only loss at 7-1. GMC Hoops would like to thank the folks at TBSA for their help this fall.
|J.P. Stevens (4-4)||27||35||62|
|Watchung Hills (7-1)||20||27||47|
Manville Cruises Past NJ Extreme, 51-33
In a game that saw some emotions boil over, and some trash talking dominate the ending, Manville won its second game of the fall league season over the NJ Extreme by a score of 51-33. The Mustangs, which lost a close affair to Hackettstown a week earlier, 38-37, rebounded with another solid performance to end the fall on a positive note. Manville, which competes in the Valley Division of the Skyland Conference, took a 26-18 lead at the half, and then outscored the NJ Extreme by a 23-14 margin over the first 18:18 of the second half to lead by a score of 49-32 with 1:42 to play.
Frustration began to set in on the Extreme, and the squad and Manville exchanged words, which resulted in a Mustang technical foul and one of two free throws by the Extreme for a 49-33 score. The AAU squad was unable to score on the side out after the technical free throws, but forced a Manville turnover at the 1:16 mark. The Mustangs got the ball back, but the Extreme then swiped a steal at the 1:07 mark. Unfortunately, the AAU squad was unable to cash in since the layup attempt went off the front of the rim. Manville then got the rebound, and drew a foul. At the 56 second mark, the Mustangs were in the bonus, but missed the front end of a one and one.
Fortunately for Manville though, the ball went off a New Jersey Extreme player out of bounds. Thirteen seconds later, the Mustangs had another scoring opportunity with a drive down the middle of the that drew a foul, but again, the Somerset County school that is located near the banks of the Raritan River, failed to score by missing another front end of a one and one. On the next Extreme possession, the AAU team took a three point attempt from the left wing, and missed. Manville got the rebound, and drew a foul, which resulted in the final points of the game with two charity shots at the 22 second mark. With the 51-33 victory, Manville finished up the fall at 2-6 while the NJ Extreme ended up at 4-3 after missing the first week of play.
|NJ Extreme (4-3)||18||15||33|