On Wednesday afternoon, the East Brunswick Bears traveled down to Freehold, and took on the Colonials of Freehold Boro in a key non-conference matchup. The Bears, which entered the game at 5-0, took on a Colonials team that reached the semifinals of Central Jersey Group III last season before losing to state champion, and T of C quarterfinalist, Neptune.
It took overtime, but the Bears, which can play up to 13 different players in a game, won 72-67 to improve to 6-0. Mike Summerer was the hero this time with eight points in the extra session including two layups and four foul shots. See details courtesy of the Inside the Paint blog from the Asbury Park Press. This was a very important early test for the Bears, which won the Brunswick Classic over the Holidays by defeating North Brunswick in the opening round, 63-61, and then New Brunswick in the Championship, 68-62.
This year’s EB squad is for real. The Bears have plenty of depth, a good blend of young and veteran players, can shoot the three as well as score inside, and are unselfish. The win over Freehold Boro helps make a name for EB outside of Middlesex County, where St. Joseph’s is the GMC team that gets the most notoriety.
Yesterday’s win by the Bears is also a big win for the Greater Middlesex Conference as a whole. The Shore Conference has dominated the GMC in head to head matchups in recent years, and had sectional champions in four different brackets last season including: Central Jersey Group I (Asbury Park), Central Jersey Group II (Manasquan), Central Jersey Group III (Neptune), and Non-Public A South (CBA). The Shore also had a team in the CJ Group IV finals (Freehold Township).
The GMC is 6-2 so far this season in games against the Shore Conference, but this is a win that gives that solid start some respectability. The Conference is now 31-21 against teams outside of Middlesex County including a 26-14 stretch since getting off to a 5-7 start after the first day of holiday tournament action.