Middlesex County College Summer League–June 22, 2010

EDISON, NJ–On Tuesday night, GMC Hoops traveled over to Middlesex County College after work to take in all three 8:00 PM round of games from the third night of action at the 2010 Middlesex County College Summer League at the Physical Education Center on the main campus of MCC. All three contests involved teams from the Greater Middlesex Conference as East Brunswick played Timothy Christian on Court #3, Bishop Ahr took on Keansburg on Court #2, and in perhaps the best game of the evening, South Hunterdon battled East Brunswick Tech in what could be a preview of a playoff game in Central Jersey Group I next season.

East Brunswick Cruises Past Timothy Christian, 41-24

Like last season, and many times before, East Brunswick has its JV team playing in this league for the most part. The only exception to this point was on opening night when it played Monroe. The Bears had Anthony Guisti and John Genco among others that participated in a 80-26 rout. One of the big reasons why EB was so deep this past season was because of the young talent that it has brought up to the varsity level. The Bears have a solid junior class that includes the likes of Genco, Guisti, Dan Sclafani, Carl Thomore, Bobby Fullem, and Nick Gudzak. EBHS also has a nice group of sophomores that includes Joe Ross, Mike Summerer, and Abanoub Bestawros.

Part of the reason for that success has been the work done at the freshmen and JV levels. East Brunswick has had at least Elite Eight Berths in both the Perth Amboy/GMC Freshmen Tourney and the East Brunswick/GMC JV Tourney in each of the last three seasons including a finals berth in the Freshmen Tourney back in 2008 and a semifinal berth in the JV tourney that same year. Consequently, the varsity has turned around from a 4-18 team back in 2007-08 to a team that went 20-5 this past season.

Mark Motusesky, the JV coach for EB has guided the Junior Bears for a long time. Since GMC Hoops began covering the EB JV tourney back in the 2001-02 season, he has guided East Brunswick’s JV to eight Elite Eight berths, two Final Four berths, and a championship over top seeded South Brunswick in the 2004 tourney. In 2003-04, the Junior Bears were 18-7, but most importantly, that season helped build the foundation for success that EB’s varsity had for the next several seasons. East Brunswick would reach the GMCT Elite Eight for the first time since 2000-01 in 2005-06, and then followed that with another quarterfinal berth in 2006-07. East Brunswick led 23-11 at the half in this one, and never looked back en route to a 24-11 victory.

EBHS picked up right where it left off in the first half with a layin at the 19:45 mark of the second half followed by a layup at the 18:33 mark of the period for a 27-11 lead. Timothy Christian then converted a three point play at the 18:14 mark for a 27-14 EB advantage. The Tigers then followed that up with another score that closed the gap to 27-16 before the Bears got a layup underneath at the 15:23 mark for a 29-16 lead. Over the next five minutes or so, East Brunswick scored four of the next seven points for a 33-19 lead at the 10:24 mark. A little more than two minutes later, the Bears got a layup in the right low block for a 35-19 advantage. Timothy Christian tried to battle its way back into the game with a 4-0 run over the next 2:18 including a foul line jumper at the 5:53 mark for a 35-23 score, but East Brunswick would get a layup off an inbounds play at the 5:03 mark for a 37-23 advantage.

From there, EB, which improved to an unblemished 3-0 on the summer at MCC, ran time off the clock, and outscored TCS by a margin of 4-1 the rest of the way including two free throws at the 3:18 mark to round out the 41-24 victory. With the loss, Timothy Christian, which will be joining the GMC this upcoming season, dropped to 0-3 on the season.

Team 1 2 Total
East Brunswick (3-0) 23 18 41
Timothy Christian (0-3) 11 13 24

Keansburg Rolls Past Bishop Ahr, 58-30

Like East Brunswick, Bishop Ahr has its JV squad competing in this league. The Trojans have also built a foundation of success in recent years thanks to the development of good talent at the lower levels. This was the first season since the 2004-05 campaign that Bishop Ahr didn’t have a team in the Final Four of the Freshmen Tournament, or the Elite Eight of the JV tournament. Consequently, BGA has had teams consistently in the GMCT Elite Eight for three straight years until being upset by North Brunswick in the Round of 16 this season. Bishop Ahr looks to have some good youngsters coming in this coming season as well. With the likes of South Amboy natives Steve Herdman and Nick Kales leading the way, BGA’s underclassmen look to get back to the top at the freshman and JV levels.

On this day, the Trojans, which entered this contest at 0-1, fell behind early, and despite some good runs in both the first and second half, weren’t able to overcome the experience of the older Keansburg squad. The Titans jumped out to a 14-3 lead over the first 11:01 of the first half. Keansburg, which competes in the Class B Central league along with the likes of Keyport, got a field goal at the 8:40 mark, and a three pointer from the left wing at the 7:01 mark for a 19-3 lead. Kales tried to get the BGA squad going with a steal, but he was unable to convert the turnover as he missed the layup attempt with 6:16 left in the first half. Herdman picked up his friend as well as the rest of the team by driving baseline and dishing for a layup attempt that resulted in a foul, and produced two free throws for a 19-5 Titans lead at the 5:20 mark.

Bishop Ahr continued to chip away with three more points over the next 1:18 to close the gap to 19-8 in favor of Keansburg. Herdman then connected on a jumper from the left side for a 19-10 Keansburg lead with 3:23 remaining in the first half. Ahr added another field goal at the 2:03 mark to pull within seven, and then Kales netted two foul shots with just under two minutes to go in the half for a 19-14 Titans lead. Keansburg put some distance between itself and BGA with a 6-0 run to close the half for a 25-14 lead at the intermission. The Trojans opened the second half with four of the first seven points to close within ten at 28-18 with 17:48 to go. Keansburg then got a layup at the 16:47 mark for a 30-18 lead. Fifty seconds later though, the Titans scored again on an offensive rebound and follow of a missed jump shot for a 32-18 advantage with 15:57 remaining.

Keansburg, which also entered the game winless, extended their run to 8-0 for a 36-18 lead. Bishop Ahr ultimately put a halt to the run, and countered with a 7-1 spurt over the next 4:33 to pull within a dozen again at 37-25. However, despite a three pointer from Herdman late in the game, Keansburg put together a 21-5 surge to end the game for the convincing 58-30 victory. With the win, Keansburg improved to 1-2 on the summer while Bishop Ahr dropped to 0-2.

Team 1 2 Total
Keansburg (1-2) 25 33 58
Bishop Ahr (0-2) 14 16 30

South Hunterdon Hangs On To Beat E.B. Tech, 52-47

We’ve saved the best for last in today’s blog post on the MCC Summer League. These two schools have their varsity squads in this year’s league. South Hunterdon entered the contest at 1-1 with a loss to J.P. Stevens (59-40) on opening night, and a victory over Timothy Christian (52-38) on day two. East Brunswick Tech did not play on opening night, but did compete in day two of action with a loss to East Brunswick (33-23). This game could have very well been a preview of what’s to come in the Central Jersey Group I State Tournament next March. Both teams have qualified for the state tourney in each of the past two seasons. The Tigers lost Homer James to graduation, but still have Rob Brown, Mike Hardy, Quincy Ross, and Elijah Ford all returning for next season.

East Brunswick Tech jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 2:33 of the game before South Hunterdon got on the board with a layup at the 17:19 mark for a 4-2 score. The Eagles then tied the game at 4-4 by swiping a steal, and putting in a follow of a missed layup at the 16:20 mark. Brown, who plays football at Perth Amboy in the fall, connected on a baseline jumper for a 6-4 lead with 16:01 remaining in the first half. South Hunterdon drew within one by making one of two free throws for a 6-5 score at the 15:24 mark. On the Tigers next possession, Brown connected on a field goal at the 14:41 mark for an 8-5 lead, but the Eagles countered with a layup for an 8-7 E.B. Tech lead with 14:20 to go in the half.

East Brunswick Tech went up by four thanks to a three pointer at the 13:30 mark for an 11-7 lead. The Tigers could have gone up by more, but South Hunterdon came up with a big steal for a score to draw within two again. Brown put his team back up by four as he pulled down two offensive rebounds, and put in a follow of his own miss for a 13-9 lead at the 12:11 mark. Brown did his best on the defensive end as he blocked a shot with 11:03 to go in the half, but the Eagles responded with a block of their own at the other end of the floor at the 10:49 mark, and eventually came back down for a 13-11 Tigers lead with 9:26 remaining in the first half. South Hunterdon made one of two free throws to pull within one, and then got the offensive board, but couldn’t put it back in as E.B. Tech continued to lead at 13-12.

East Brunswick Tech went back ahead by three at 15-12 on a reverse layup at the 8:03 mark, but they gave the points right back by letting South Hunterdon score an easy layup at the other end for a 15-14 score with 7:45 remaining in the half. GMC Hoops spent some time watching the other games being played during the 8:00 PM hour including Bishop Ahr and Keansburg on Court #2, and East Brunswick against Timothy Christian on Court #3, but returned to see that the Eagles put together a 10-8 rally the rest of the first half for a 24-23 lead at the intermission. The game continued to go back and forth as the Tigers put together a 13-10 run over the first 11:37 of the second half to take a 36-34 lead with 8:23 left. This game was creating a lot of attention as the fans, and players on both teams showed a great deal of enthusiasm with every play.

Forty seconds after returning, South Hunterdon tied the game up at 36-36 with a pull-up jumper at the 7:43 mark. The Eagles then went out in front by swiping a steal and converting it into a layup while being fouled. Then, after an East Brunswick Tech timeout at the 7:12 mark, South Hunterdon converted the bonus free throw for a 39-36 lead. The Eagles then got another stop on defense with a steal off an errant pass, and scoring on a putback of a missed layup at the 6:45 mark for a 41-36 lead. The Lambertville based school got another stop on defense, and created an opportunity at the other end with a pump fake and layup attempt that drew a foul that produced one of two from the line for a 42-36 lead with six minutes left. E.B Tech drew within four by connecting on a jumper at the 5:08 mark that ended South Hunterdon’s 8-0 run for a 42-38 Eagle lead.

Brown then came up with an apparent big play on defense by blocking a shot at the 4:50 mark, but South Hunterdon went back up by six with a drive for a layup that made the score, 44-38 at the 4:35 mark. The Tigers then cut the deficit in half at 44-41 with a three pointer from the left corner at the four mnute mark. Following a timeout at the 1:56 mark, South Hunterdon made one of two from the line to highlight a 4-3 run in the time GMC Hoops was away watching other games for a 48-44 lead. The Eagles then went up by six at 50-44 with two free throws at the 1:21 mark. Hardy then came up with an offensive rebound and follow of a Ross miss while drawing a foul for a traditional three point play to again cut the deficit in half at 50-41 with exactly a minute to go.

The Eagles gave the Tigers some life by missing two free throws at the 45 second mark, but E.B. Tech couldn’t take advantage. South Hunterdon then finished off the victory with a layup underneath at the 22 second mark to seal the hard fought, 52-47 win. With the victory, the Eagles improved to 2-1 on the summer while the Tigers fell to a winless 0-2.

Team 1 2 Total
South Hunterdon (2-1) 24 28 52
East Brunswick Tech (0-2) 23 24 47

GMC Hoops plans to be back out at Middlesex County College next Tuesday night.