by Mike Pavlichko
The Greater Middlesex Conference has its first COVID-related cancellation of the 2021 high school basketball season, and the season hasn’t even tipped off yet.
Monroe’s game at St. Joseph of Metuchen next Tuesday – opening day for high school basketball in New Jersey – has been cancelled due to COVID in the Monroe program, its Athletic Department confirmed Thursday afternoon to Central Jersey Sports Radio.
It’s the first known cancellation in the GMC due to actual COVID cases. However, a number of games were scrapped after Carteret and Perth Amboy opted not to play basketball and most other winter sports this year. And some districts, like Middlesex and Old Bridge, have decided to begin play the first week of February, rather than the NJSIAA first date of competition, which is Tuesday, January 26th.
There was no immediate word on whether the game would be rescheduled, nor on a replacement game for St. Joe’s, which otherwise would open on Thursday night against Roselle Catholic at 5:30 pm at Maglio Gymnasium.
The “Battle of the Falcons” was to be the debut of high school basketball play-by-play on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Instead, we’ll have live coverage of East Brunswick at Dunellen (time TBA).
The Bears and Destroyers – two divisions apart in the GMC – are meeting because the Bears’ opening night game against Old Bridge was nixed when the Knights delayed the start of preseason practice by a week. They won’t start games until week two of the season, which starts February 1.
The opening week of games also includes girls’ basketball Thursday night, as Manville visits Bound Brook.