Overshadowed by the GMC Red Division and the Colonias of the world, don’t look now, but here’s South Plainfield, one of the last six teams standing from the Greater Middlesex Conference in the state tournament.
Can a team that’s won 22 games really be under the radar? It’s kind of happened that way for the Tigers.
Granted, they’re not in the middle of the pack in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 bracket. They are, in fact, a No. 2 seed.
That might have raised a few eyebrows, but really, it shouldn’t have for anyone following the GMC this season. They didn’t make the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, but they played well against their division foes in the regular season, and even beat a few Group 4 opponents along the way, like East Brunswick, Old Bridge and Bridgewater-Raritan. They also played up – and lost to – schools like St. Joe’s, South Brunswick and Watchung Hills.
Now, led by Brandon Dean and his nearly 23 points-per-game (he had 28 in a quarterfinal win Thursday night against 10-seed Mount Olive, while Anthony Nigro and Tareak Williams each chipped in a bakers’ dozen), the Tigers are a win away from a sectional final, and it could be an all-GMC final, too, with top-seed Colonia facing 5th-seed Mendham in the other semi.
But first things first, South Plainfield has to get through 3rd-seed West Morris (16-11), in a noon game at home Saturday.
Click below for a preview with South Plainfield head coach John Greco: