South Brunswick boys, Middlesex girls fall in sectional finals

The South Brunswick boys’ basketball team congratulates Trenton in the handshake line, after the Tornadoes beat them for the Central Jersey Group 4 title on February 28, 2023. (Photo courtesy South Brunswick Athletics)

The GMC got swept in sectional title games Tuesday night, as the South Brunswick boys were ousted in the Central Jersey Group 4 title game, while the Middlesex girls lost in the Central Jersey Group 2 final.

That’s in addition to the South River boys, which lost 60-52 to Manasquan at home in the Central Jersey Group 2 final 60-52, the Rams stopped in their quest to win their first sectional trophy since 1991.

Colonia is now the last remaining public school from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area to be alive in the state tournament. The North 2, Group 3 champion Patriots take on North 1, Group 3 winner Ramapo at Phillipsburg Thursday night at 7, a rematch of last year’s sectional semi, won by the Raiders.

Boys’ Central Jersey Group 4 Final: #1 Trenton 53, #6 South Brunswick 37

The sixth-seeded Vikings – who pulled off numerous upsets late in the year en routr to the GMC Tournament final, and now the CJ4 title game – gave top-seed Trenton (29-1) a valiant effort in a tough, hostile environment in the state capitol. In fact, South Brunswick led 12-11 after one quarter, and despite a run by the Tornadoes over the next eight minutes, only trailed 29-25 at halftime.

But Trenton further extended the lead in the third quarter, and pulled away for good in the fourth. They’ll now move on to face Egg Harbor Township, the third-seed out of South Jersey Group 4 – which upset top-seed Lenape Tuesday night, 41-36 – Thursday night at 7:00 at Central Regional High School in Bayville.

The Vikings (20-7) were led by Kalani Antoine’s 10 points, while Daniel Swirad chipped in nine, and Hamrehar Chhabra added six.

Girls’ Central Jersey Group 1 Final: #1 Shore Regional 62, #2 Middlesex 31

Shore came out hot to a 16-4 lead at the end of one quarter, and continued over the next 16 minutes, going into the locker room with a 32-12 lead thanks to a stifling defense.

Jaclyn DeShields led Middlesex (20-9) with 14 points, while Jessica Devine added 10, but senior Neysa Aguilar – the team’s leading scorer – was held to just two points in the game.

Shore (23-6) now moves on to the Group 2 semifinals against South Jersey Group 1 winner Woodstown. The top-seeded Wolverines (22-8) were 57-30 winners over Wildwood Tuesday night, and move on to the semis at Deptford High School Thursday at 7 pm.

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