St. Thomas Aquinas to Play in 2019 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic

Trojans to Take on Bergen Catholic; First GMC Team to Play in Showcase Since 2015

Former St. Joseph’s standout, Bree Tyree, shown here dribbling the ball against Ramapo in the 2015 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic at Caldwell University. St. Thomas Aquinas will be the first GMC team to participate in the Hoop Group’s annual opening weekend showcase since Tyree and the Falcons defeated Rampo (55-49) four years ago.

ELIZABETH, NJ—After taking on Mater Dei Prep in the nightcap of the 2019 Friends of South Amboy Benefit Showcase on Saturday, December 21st, there will be no rest for the St. Thomas Aquinas Trojans, which will play less than 24 hours later when it takes on 2019 TOC Boys Finalist, Bergen Catholic at the 2019 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic at the Dunn Center.

The Trojans, who will open their 2019-20 season with a road game at GMC Blue Division foe, South River on December 19th, will play Bergen Catholic on the second and final day of the annual showcase, Sunday, December 22nd at 5:00 PM. It will be the fourth game of the day at the Dunn Center, and precede the finale between Elizabeth and Don Bosco Prep.

St. Thomas Aquinas’ appearance in this year’s Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic will be the first time a GMC school has participated in the event since December 2015 when St. Joseph’s, led by Bree Tyree (Ole Miss), Tyus Battle (Syracuse), Alanzo Frink (South Carolina), Branislav Vujadinovic (Assumption), Letrell West (Claflin), and Khalif Battle (Butler), defeated Ramapo at Caldwell University (55-49).

The 2015-16 Falcons were then coached by Dave Turco, the current men’s basketball coach at Middlesex County College, and younger brother of St. Thomas Aquinas head coach, Bob Turco. A total of 9 games will be played over the two days at the Dunn Center including two involving the host school, Elizabeth, which also held the event last season.

Below is a complete schedule of games:

2019 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic Schedule—Day One—Saturday, December 21st

  • Rutgers Prep vs. Seton Hall Prep, 12:00 PM
  • Patrick School vs. Hun, 1:40 PM
  • Elizabeth vs. Neptune, 3:20 PM
  • Patrick School National vs. Blair Academy

2019 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic Schedule—Day Two—Sunday, December 22nd

  • Hudson Catholic vs. CBA, 12:00 PM
  • Newark East Side vs. Manasquan, 1:40 PM
  • Gill St. Bernards vs. Marist, 3:20 PM
  • Bergen Catholic vs. St. Thomas Aquinas, 5:00 PM
  • Elizabeth vs. Don Bosco Prep, 6:40 PM

GMC Hoops, which has covered this showcase almost ever year since 2002, plans to cover action from the second and final day of the event including the contest between St. Thomas Aquinas and Bergen Catholic.