SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–After being delayed one day, and having another round of games scrapped due to last minute scheduling snafus, the 2008 Raritan Bay Summer League finally got underway on Tuesday night at South Amboy Middle/High School. Marking the official start to the GMC Hoops Summer League season, Raritan Bay began with a full slate of games that commenced at 5:30 PM with Milltown defeating the Scarlet Nets in the first contest of the quadrupleheader, 40-30. In the second game of the opening night schedule, the Breakers took on G-Force in the first high school game of the season, and the Breakers came away winners with a 47-31 victory. GMC Hoops then arrived for the final two games of the night including Monroe versus Matawan at 7:30 PM, and Metuchen against Parlin at 8:30 PM.
Matawan Rolls Past Monroe, 46-14
For the past two seasons at the Raritan Bay Summer League, the Monroe Falcons 7th and 8th Grade team has been one of the more dominant teams in their division. However, their opening night matchup with Matawan may have revealed that their reign could be in a bit of trouble. The Northern Monmouth County team scored 22 of the first 25 points over the opening 16:30 of the game, and only allowed three more points the rest of the half to take a 22-6 lead. Then, in the second half, the visitors from Route 34 scored 18 of the first 19 points of the second half to take a commanding 40-7 lead before the Falcons made things a bit more respectable with four of the final ten points in a 46-14 loss.
Matawan used its size advantage, and made Monroe pay for its mistakes with easy baskets. After claiming the 16 point halftime lead, Matawan opened the scoring in the second half with a steal for a layup that made it 24-6 at the 19:15 mark. About a minute and forty-five seconds later, Matawan added another field goal for a twenty point edge with 17:30 to play. Getting a stop on its next defensive series, Matawan made a 6-0 run to begin the second half with an offensive rebound and putback that made the score, 28-6 with 17:07 to go. The Falcons continued to have problems handling Matawan’s pressure, and coughed up another turnover, which turned into a fast break opportunity that was converted into a layup. Fouled on the play, Matawan failed to convert the traditional three point play by missing the bonus free throw, but the score still stood at 30-6 with 16:41 left.
Almost a minute later, Matawan was back at it again with yet another transition opportunity that they executed very well thanks to some nice passing for a layup that made it 32-6 at the 15:49 mark. Matawan would add another score while Monroe wouldn’t get on the board until the 12:02 mark of the second half on a one of two free throw shooting effort by Browne that made the score, 34-7. The visitors from Monmouth County then reeled off six more points to take an insurmountable, 40-7 lead before Stolte netted a three pointer from a left wing that made the score, 40-10 with 7:15 to go. The Falcons then added four of the next six points including a layin at the 4:12 mark, and then a pair of foul shots by Stolte at the 2:48 mark for a 42-14 Matawan advantage. The winners then closed out the game with the final four points for a 46-14 victory to go 1-0 on the season while Monroe fell to 0-1.
Parlin Edges Metuchen In Low Scoring Barnburner, 21-20
Prior to the start of the nightcap game on opening night, GMC Hoops happened to notice some familiar faces arrive at the South Amboy Middle/High School Gym to see the Metuchen Bulldogs in action. DeJuan Miller and Phil Lewis, standouts on the Metuchen varsity team this past season came to see their younger brothers in action against Parlin. Dorian Miller, a behemoth in the middle for the younger Bulldogs was quite a force in side with just his physical presence alone. Meanwhile, Aaron Lewis showed quite a bit of hustle and quickness on the floor. Bottom line, these two along with several other players who made nice plays for Metuchen have the future of the high school program looking up. With the departure of the elder Miller, who ironically played his final game on South Amboy’s court in a opening round loss in the Central Jersey Group I State Tournament, it’s good to see the Bulldogs have some good talent down at the lower levels to compliment the likes of Cody Preston, Evan Carberry, Elijah Sellers, and the elder Lewis.
Moving on to the game, Metuchen started the game strong with 8 of the first 10 points over the first 10:08 for a six point lead only to have Parlin rally with the final eight points of the half to take a two point lead into the brief intermission. The Bulldogs took advantage of Dorian Miller’s presence down low to take a 6-2 lead in the first eight minutes, and then Miller, who missed two free throws moments earlier, capped the opening spurt with a layup at the 9:52 mark. Then, Parlin, where Sayreville War Memorial High School is actually located, began to chip away at the deficit with one of two from the line at the nine minute mark that made the score, 8-3. Neither team got on the board for nearly the next four minutes until Parlin scored a basket off a pass to the left side for a layup that closed the gap to 8-5 at the 5:07 mark.
Fifty seconds later, Parlin was knocking on the door again as a player was fouled. When he misfired on both free throw attempts, the team managed to take advantage of Miller going to the bench with his second foul by grabbing the offensive board, and putting it back in for an 8-7 Metuchen lead with 4:17 to go before the half. Nearly two minutes later, Parlin tied the game up with a one of two showing at the foul line to make the score, 8-8 with 2:22 to go until halftime. On the next Metuchen possession, a player came up with a nifty dribble move that even drew a reaction from DeJuan Miller, and set up a drive from the right sideline to draw a foul. Unfortunately, he couldn’t cash in on the fine effort because he missed two free throws, and the score remained tied at 8-8 with exactly two minutes left in the first half.
Parlin then took the lead on a drive for a layup with 22 seconds left in the half to make the score, 10-8 as both teams went to their respective sidelines for the brief break. The second half saw a bit more scoring than in the first 20 minutes, but it was still lacking in offensive firepower. Metuchen continued its scoreless drought into the second half as it ended up being a 14:07 span between baskets. With 18:30 to go in the contest, Parlin made one of two from the line for a three point, 11-8 lead. Parlin then got on the board again with a bank shot over the hands of Dorian Miller for a five point lead at 13-8 with 17:47 to go. The Bulldogs finally ended the drought with a nice drive through the key for a shot that got a kind roll for a 13-10 Parlin lead with 15:35 left. Parlin would get another bucket to go back up by five at 15-10 when Metuchen called timeout with just inside 13 minutes to play in regulation.
Over the next 5:51, the Bulldogs rallied with nine straight points including a basket at the 12:07 mark, a three pointer that banked in at the 10:33 mark following a block by Miller, a finish by Miller with 9:03 left, and then another score down low on the right low block at the 7:05 mark that made the score, 19-15. The next 4:51 saw Parlin claw right back into the lead with six straight points including two foul shots at the 5:47 mark, a jumper from the left wing with 4:05 to go, and a pair of one of two free throw efforts by the same player following fouls on drives from opposite sides of the floor that made the score, 21-19 at the 2:14 mark. Miller then got the final points for Metuchen when he grabbed an offensive board, and drew a foul on the follow that resulted in one of two charity shots with 1:46 left.
Down the stretch, the Bulldogs had numerous opportunities to pull out the win. However, they failed to capitalize. With 39 seconds left, Miller missed a shot in the left low block. Eleven seconds later, Metuchen got a stop, and Miller grabbed the board. He then threw an outlet pass upcourt that couldn’t be converted when the Bulldogs threw the ball away with 28 seconds to go. Metuchen then made another miscue with 13 seconds left, and then after getting the ball back on a steal, the Bulldogs failed to make the layup with 1.5 to go. Fortunately for the time being, the ball went out of bounds off of Parlin so Metuchen had one more chance. Following a Bulldog timeout with 1.3 left, the inbounds pass went to Miller, who then misfired on the layup attempt as time expired with Parlin winning, 21-20. With the victory, Parlin improved to 1-0 while Metuchen, which will compete on Thursday against St. Stan’s, fell to 0-1.