Perez, Crosby guide top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas into yet another GMC Tournament Final

St. Thomas Aquinas junior forward Jessica Cooper takes a baseline jumper against East Brunswick in Tuesday night’s GMC Tournament semis. (Photo: Dom Savino)

One offense has been more productive than the rest in the Greater Middlesex Conference.

Tonight was simply more of the same from the juggernaut.

Top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas (20-3) punched its ticket into the Greater Middlesex Conference Girls’ Basketball Tournament Final, handling 5-seed East Brunswick, 72-55, on Tuesday night at Monroe High School. The Trojans will aim for their third consecutive full GMCT title on Friday against 7-seed South Brunswick.

You can hear that game Friday against 7th-seed South Brunswick – an upset winner in the opener over Colonia – on Central Jersey Sports Radio as we broadcast the girls’ and boys’ championship doubleheader starting with the girls’ title tilt at 6 pm. Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the action.

READ MORE: Cinderella South Brunswick continues its run as Vikings knock off Colonia, head to GMC title game

Kayla Perez powered Aquinas’ stellar start, knocking down a pair of threes in the first four minutes as part of the Trojans’ 16-2 run to begin the game. The senior guard led all scorers with a season-high 27 points.

Up 24-5 after the first quarter, Aquinas sustained its up-tempo, transition-focused offense into the second half, building a lead as large as 32 points.

East Brunswick (16-8) put together its best run of the game early in the third quarter, disrupting Aquinas’ offensive flow by switching to a full-court defense reminiscent of Rutgers’ “55” pressure. The Bears put together a 19-2 run over a six-minute span in the period, cutting the deficit to as little as 15.

Yet Aquinas was able to remain comfortably in front throughout the second half thanks to second-chance buckets from forward Leah Crosby. The freshman finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds, earning her fifth double-double of the season and second of the tournament.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino with postgame reaction from St. Thomas Aquinas’ win:

Senior guard Kayla Perez
Head coach Joe Whalen

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