St. Joe’s hangs tough with St. Benedict’s, but Falcons loss gives Hall of Famer milestone victory on bittersweet night

Scroll down for a full replay of tonight’s game broadcast.

There was a lot going on off Plainfield Avenue in Metuchen Monday night.

To begin with, it was a homecoming for Mark Taylor, who is in the St. Joseph-Metuchen Hall of Fame for his efforts both as a player and coach. He was an All-American soccer player, All-State basketball player, and coached Jay Williams and Andrew Bynum.

Monday night, he won his 550th game as a basketball head coach, but this time the victory came against the school where he forged his name in its all-time annals.

Former St. Joseph standout, coach and Falcon Hall of Famer Mark Taylor, middle, poses with his current team, St. Benedict’s, after a win over his alma mater that gave him victory No. 550 in his coaching career, on January 31, 2022. (Photo: Dom Savino)

In a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, despite a 27-point night from Ethan Simmon, the No. 5 Falcons lost 88-54 to St Benedict’s Prep of Newark, where Taylor has coached for over a decade now.

The game also included a more somber moment: prior to tip-off, a moment of silence was held in honor of Bill Kuchar, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 88. Kuchar coached at St. Joe’s, as well as St. Mary’s in Jersey City and Wardlaw-Hartridge in Edison, and has won eight state titles.

Once the game started, the Falcons hung in with the Gray Bees for most of the first half, trailing 25-22 just past the midway point of the second quarter. But Benedict’s went on a 13-0 run to close the half and never looked back.

Click below to hear Dom Savino with postgame reaction from St. Joe’s head coach Jan Cocozziello:

Click below for the full game audio of St. Joseph’s v. St. Benedict’s on Monday, January 31, 2022 from the Vincent Maglio Gymnasium in Metuchen. Dom Savino has the call:

Leave a Reply