St. Joseph’s to Battle Union Catholic in Hearts 2 Hands Invitational

Falcons to Clash with Vikings at Johnson Regional on January 26th

CLARK, NJ—Earlier this week, GMC Hoops learned that St. Joseph’s is scheduled to participate in the 2020 Hearts 2 Hands Showcase scheduled for Sunday, January 26th at Johnson Regional High School. The Falcons will be taking on Union Catholic on that day at 3:00 PM.

Both teams recently competed in the 2020 SFIC Festival at Kean University on Sunday, January 5th. The Falcons battled St. Thomas Aquinas in what could be a 2020 GMCT Championship Game preview while Union Catholic followed up with a contest against top 20 ranked Hudson Catholic of Jersey City.

The Falcons and the Vikings came away with upsets as St. Joe’s defeated St. Thomas Aquinas for the 8th time in the last 12 meetings between the two schools in a thriller, 70-65 while Union Catholic rode the hot hand of Isaiah Hill to defeat the Hawks of HC, 53-44.

Union Catholic enters play on Friday with an 8-3 overall record with losses to only Snyder of Jersey City (71-66) on December 23rd, Seton Hall Prep (55-44) on January 11th, and at Westfield (65-61) on Thursday night. Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s is coming off an 84-70 victory over South Brunswick in the GMC Hoops Game of the Week presented by RD Plex on Thursday night.

The win over SBHS was the fifth in a row for the Falcons after opening the season with some ups and downs at 3-3 as of January 4th. However, St. Joe’s is back in a familiar place at the top of the GMC Hoops Top 10 after defeating Aquinas. The Falcons have played the likes of West Morris Central, Randolph, and CBA in addition to Aquinas and its usually rugged GMC Red schedule en route to an 8-3 overall mark including a 6-0 mark in the Red Division.

K-Shawn Schulters, the son of former professional football player, Lance Schulters, scored a season high 23 points in the win over 6th ranked South Brunswick on Thursday night. He also scored 15 including two clutch fourth quarter threes in the victory over Aquinas as well as 16 in a 79-52 victory over Piscataway, and 15 in an opening night, 50-47 win over East Brunswick. Tyree Ford, who recently scored his 1,000th career point, has scored in double figures in 5 of his last 6 games.

Sophomore Amari Campbell has made a big impact on this year’s Falcons team by averaging 11.5 points per game and scoring in double figures 7 times to date this season including a career high 23 points in a 55-50 loss to CBA in the Shore Classic at Brookdale College on Saturday, January 4th. East Brunswick transfer, Ethan Simmons, has also made a key impact with a clutch 12 point performance against Aquinas.

Junior forward, Maurice Johnson has scored in double figures in 4 of his last 7 games according to including an 18 point effort in the victory over South Brunswick. The Falcons also have a solid supporting cast that includes Adam Slawinski, Andrew Olden, Demarcus Shepard, Eric Amponsah, Calson Goodwill, Martin Greene, and Kody Robinson. In addition, St. Thomas Aquinas transfer and sophomore, Ethan Simmon will be eligible soon.

The Falcons and Vikings have not competed against each other since the 2016-17 Non-Public A South Quarterfinals won by the Falcons at Maglio Gymnasium on March 2, 2017 (57-52). Prior to that, the two schools played each other twice in a span of the final month of the 2014-15 boys basketball season. The Vikings won both times including on February 14, 2015 at the Metro Classic (65-55) played at Kean University’s Harwood Arena, and on March 6, 2015 in Metuchen (81-63).

A couple former GMC players are on the 2019-20 Union Catholic roster including East Brunswick transfer, Isaac Holmes, who is no stranger to playing the Falcons, and St. Thomas Aquinas transfer, Austin Squeri. Holmes, who has played in 10 of UC’s 11 games so far this season, is averaging 7.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 assists while Squeri has played in 6 games this season and had a season high 14 points versus Passaic on December 28, 2019, and has averaged 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per contest.

The contest between the Falcons and the Vikings will be the third game of the day on January 26th. There will be a total of 6 games on that day after three on Saturday, January 25th at Kean University’s Harwood Arena. Top teams competing in this showcase include: Hudson Catholic, Ranney, Roselle Catholic, St. Benedict’s, Gill St. Bernard’s, Union, St. Peter’s Prep, Linden, Hightstown, Olympus Prep, Our Savior Lutheran, and Trenton Catholic.

Below is the schedule for the 2020 Hearts 2 Hands Invitational:

2020 Hearts 2 Hands Invitational—Kean University—January 25th

  • Hudson Catholic vs. Ranney, 5:30 PM
  • Roselle Catholic vs. St. Benedict’s, 7:00 PM
  • Gill St. Bernards vs. Brooklyn Collegiate, 8:30 PM

2020 Hearts 2 Hands Invitational—Johnson Regional HS—January 26th

  • Union vs. St. Peter’s Prep, 12:00 PM
  • Linden vs. Hightstown, 1:30 PM
  • Union Catholic vs. St. Joseph’s, 3:00 PM
  • Roselle Catholic vs. Olympus Prep, 4:30 PM
  • Gill St. Bernard’s vs. Our Savior Lutheran, 6:00 PM
  • St. Benedict’s vs. Trenton Catholic, 7:30 PM

GMC Hoops will not be covering this event.