GMC Boys Games of Interest – February 2, 2023

Sophomore Myles Dickerson goes up for a shot against Spotswood in Timothy Christian’s 66-61 victory over the No. 9 Chargers last Friday night. The Tigers have a key GMC Blue match-up against Middlesex on Thursday afternoon in Piscataway.

A Few Games on Thursday Could Impact GMCT Seeding on Friday

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – On the eve of the 2023 GMCT boys and girls seeding meeting at Spotswood High School on Friday morning, there are several GMC boys basketball games of interest.  Four games on Thursday:  Two in the GMC Red, one in the GMC Blue, and a Red-White crossover match-up are games that could play a role in determining what order the teams will be seeded in.

Perhaps the most important game of them all will be in Piscataway on Thursday afternoon when Timothy Christian hosts Middlesex in a battle of two GMC Blue teams for third place in the division.  Currently, Middlesex is in third with a record of 13-7 overall, and 8-5 in the Blue.  Timothy Christian is right behind at 9-10 including a 7-6 mark in division.  Carteret is also 7-6 in divisional play, and take on South River today.

Entering the contest, Timothy Christian has won 5 of its last 8 including a 73-72 win over J.F. Kennedy in double overtime on January 18th, and a 66-61 victory over Spotswood this past Friday.   The Tigers have actually swept the season series against the Chargers, which could come into play with a win today over the Blue Jays.  Middlesex has lost 4 out of its last 6, and lost to Spotswood twice.

A victory for Middlesex would leave it in sole possession of third place going into the seeding meeting tomorrow with a possibility of getting a Top 16 seed.  However, a Timothy Christian win would put the Tigers and Blue Jays in a tie for third place.  Couple that with a Carteret win over South River, and you could have a three way tie for third.

If there is a two-way or three-way tie for 3rd in the GMC Blue, the GMCT seeding committee would have to first determine, which of the three teams would come out of the Blue.  If TCS wins, the Tigers would have split the season series with Middlesex.  If Carteret beats South River, the Ramblers would have also split their two games with the Jays and the Tigers.

Middlesex does have two wins over Kennedy and Metuchen while Carteret split with JFK, and TCS split with the Mustangs and Bulldogs.  However, Timothy Christian does hold a card up its sleeve, and that is the two wins over Spotswood.  By the time these teams come up, Spotswood would already be off the board as the second place team in the Blue.  TCS has two wins over the Chargers, which would likely mean the Tigers have the advantage to come out of the tiebreaker first.

Keep in mind though that the GMC coaches also have a vote on which team would go first as well.  The coaches will meet in a separate meeting tonight, and determine how they think the seeding should go.  Their vote will be also considered in the process of determining seeds as well.  Middlesex does have a better overall record than Timothy Christian at 13-7 as supposed to the Tigers 9-10, but TCS has also played a stronger schedule.

As of today, TCS’ out of division schedule includes:  Piscataway Magnet (won 60-26), Sayreville (won 76-52), and J.P. Stevens (lost 63-45).  Out of conference, the Tigers have played Keyport (lost 73-70), Franklin (lost 65-37), and Pingry (lost 69-39). 

Meanwhile, Middlesex’s crossover schedule was just its season opening win over Perth Amboy Magnet (72-21).  Outside of the GMC, the Blue Jays have played Great Oaks Charter (won 85-58), Bound Brook (lost 60-57), South Hunterdon (won 62-58), Roselle Park (won 55-40), Manville (won 51-43), and Bridgewater-Raritan (lost 74-48).

In addition to the big GMC Blue game in Piscataway, there is a key GMC crossover game between Old Bridge and Edison that could play a role in the seeding.  Currently, GMC Hoops has Old Bridge sitting at No. 12 and Woodbridge sitting at No. 13.  Edison is currently No. 18.  Both the Knights and Eagles have defeated Perth Amboy in the last week while Edison has also split with Woodbridge.

An Old Bridge victory in this one would solidify the Knights chances of likely landing in the Top 12 ahead of Woodbridge since the Knights would have defeated both Perth Amboy (55-48 on January 23rd) and Edison while Woodbridge split with both the Panthers and Eagles. 

In addition, Old Bridge also lost to North Brunswick by single digits (66-59) on Monday afternoon while the Barrons have lost to the Raiders both times by double digits including a 67-55 loss on Tuesday night at the Investors Games in Clark.

A win for Edison would give the Eagles 6 victories in their last 9 games including wins over Woodbridge (57-55), Perth Amboy (53-47), and the Knights.  Sitting at No. 18, Edison may have an argument to be seeded higher than Middlesex or perhaps Timothy Christian.  However, it may be tougher to get higher than No. 17 since the Eagles lost head to head to East Brunswick (55-38) on January 7th in Edison.

Two games in the GMC Red could have impact too.  No. 2 Colonia hosts top ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Thursday evening, and a win for the Patriots would solidify their position as the No. 2 seed since they would have a win over Aquinas, which will likely be off the board as the boys tourney’s top seed.  Another Red Division game could have some bearing as well when J.P. Stevens hosts No. 8 Piscataway in North Edison.

Both the Hawks and Chiefs have played brutal schedules.  For instance, P-Way has played the likes of South River, Robbinsville, Plainfield, Franklin, Trenton, Patrick School, Lawrenceville Prep, Immaculata, Bridgewater-Raritan, and Newark Eastside in addition to its already challenging GMC Red slate.  Meanwhile, JPS has also played the likes of Westfield, Franklin, Watchung Hills, Timothy Christian and Woodbridge.

Each team has also dealt with plenty of adversity.  At the start of the season, Piscataway dealt with injuries to key players like Jalen Thomas, and lost 8 of its first 11.  Meanwhile, J.P. Stevens has lost 7 out of its last 10 including a 38-36 loss to South Brunswick, a 50-43 loss to Old Bridge, and a 53-47 loss to East Brunswick last week.  The Hawks are 2-0 in GMC crossovers, and 2-1 in non-conference games while Piscataway is 1-0 in GMC crossovers, and 2-7 versus non-conference foes.

Now, Stevens will not be able to pass Piscataway in the Red Division pilot standings since that is set in stone and the Chiefs are 4-4 while the Hawks are 2-6.  However, a JPS win over P-Way would help solidify it at No. 10 since Piscataway defeated Old Bridge (64-46) on December 20th and South River on January 14th (49-48) in Rams Country.  The Rams also swept Spotswood.  

The Hawks also have a win over Timothy Christian (63-45) this week, and the Tigers also swept Spotswood.  A win by Edison over Old Bridge today would also help Stevens since the Hawks defeated the Eagles (51-35) at Cangelosi Gymnasium on January 9th.  Bottom line, there are some games on Thursday that could play a role in the seeding on Friday morning.