St. Joseph’s Standout Scores 30 Points to Lead Team White in GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game
WOODBRIDGE, NJ—On Tuesday night, the 2021-22 GMC boys basketball season officially came to a close. The 2022 GMCBCA Senior All-Star Game served as a fitting finale to a terrific season. Players on both Team White and Team Black combined to score 235 points in the showcase. With an up and down, back and forth pace, you had a hard time keeping up. In the end, Ethan Simmon powered Team White to a 122-113 victory.
The St. Joseph’s standout, who has several D1 and D2 schools interested in him, scored a game high 30 points. Teammate Niko Barnes, the recently crowned all time leading scorer at Edison, chipped in with 18 points. South Plainfield’s Anthony Nigro and Perth Amboy’s Justin Quintero also scored in double figures for the winners with 14 and 10 respectively. Eli Scott of J.P. Stevens led Team Black with 27 points.
Statistical Edge Powers Team White to Victory
Scott’s teammates, Samar Abdullah, Saivon Pressley of Colonia and Timothy Christian’s Gian Wagner also scored in double figures with 19, 12 and 10 respectively. Team White connected on 54 total field goals including 13 from long distance. Meanwhile, Team Black had 50 total field goals including 11 treys. Looking more closely at the numbers, Team White outscored Team Black by a margin of 82-78 inside the arc, and 39-33 from downtown. There weren’t two many fouls in the contest as Team Black had more free throws (2-1).
Team White also enjoyed a 28-17 edge in assists. Team Black enjoyed a 25-17 advantage in rebounds. Both teams had 12 different players score in the contest. Both teams also had four different players score in double figures. Simmon scored 11 in the first, 4 in the second, 9 in the third, and 6 in the fourth to tally his game high 30 in the contest.
Team White Pulls Away After Back and Forth Start
Meanwhile, Scott scored 13 in the first, 6 in the second, 6 in the third, and two in the fourth. Simmon had 14 total field goals including a three pointer and a foul shot. Scott had 12 total field goals including three treys and two dunks. The game started off with both teams exchanging leads for much of the first period. Team White began the game by scoring 7 of the first 9 points including a trey from Nigro.
Team Black fought its way back into the game with six straight points including a trey by Saivon Pressley for an 8-7 lead. The contest then went back and forth for a while with what ended up being 9 lead changes and 2 ties. After Team Black took a 23-22 lead, Team White finished the period with the final 9 points including of the opening period for a 31-23 lead
First Quarter Finish Helps Team White Pull Away
Highlighting Team White’s strong first quarter finish was a score by Woodbridge’s Nick Hilenski (9 points), a three from South Brunswick’s Yathin Vemula (8 points), and a layup by Dunellen’s Ben Hernandez (8 points). Team Black chipped into the lead a bit in the second, but another Nigro three kept Team White up at the half, 66-59. Despite two dunks in the third from Aquinas’ Abdullah, Team Black fell behind by double digits, 98-87.
In the final period, the game went into showtime mode as both teams looked to put in some highlight reel material. Other players such as Metuchen’s Dom Schiappa (6 points), Spotswood’s Roman Carone (8 points), and Josiah Brown (6 points) of New Brunswick got into the scoring act. Team White led by as many as 20 points late in the fourth before Team Black put together a strong finish to only lose by 9.
Simmon and Scott Earn GMC Hoops Game MVP Honors
Earning GMC Hoops game MVP honors was Simmon for Team White and Scott for Team Black. Simmon also recently represented the GMC in the 2022 NJSCA Senior All-Star Game at Rider University. He and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Adam Silas competed for the South Senior All-Stars in a 135-104 loss to the North All-Stars.
GMC HOOPS FACTS: Simmon, Abdullah, and Pressley were all teammates at St. Thomas Aquinas as freshmen. All three played some varsity during the 2018-19 season under current head coach Bob Turco. The Trojans finished 21-7 that season including a 12-0 mark in the GMC Blue to win the division. Aquinas, then Bishop Ahr lost to Piscataway in the 2019 GMCT Elite Eight before winning its first state playoff game in 38 years. The trio ended their careers by scoring a combined total of 2,857 points.