Category: Girls Basketball

NJSIAA chief Colleen Maguire talks about plan to scrap Tournament of Champions

In 2014, St. Joseph of Metuchen became the first boys’ basketball team from Middlesex County to win the Tournament of Champions, beating East Side out of Newark in the finals down in Trenton.

Only two other county teams had done it in basketball, on the girls’ side: Hoffman (now South Amboy) in 1989 – the very first such event – and St. Peter’s in New Brunswick in 1992.

But after this season, there may never be that opportunity.

The NJSIAA’s Executive Committee has passed on first reading a proposal to eliminate the T of C in the six sports which currently use it: basketball, lacrosse, tennis, bowling, softball and field hockey.

A final vote is set to take place in December. Should the measure pass, the current school year would be the last to feature a Tournament of Champions.

Proponents of eliminating the event say it would typically benefits the same teams every year, and generally is won by parochial schools – Camden was the last public school to win the boys’ basketball TOC, 21 years ago. They also say getting rid of the Tournament would allow for extra weeks in the regular season that would benefit hundreds of teams, not just the six that make the TOC.

But some think the unique event – no other state does anything similar – should be kept, and is a unique opportunity.

Click below to hear Colleen Maguire talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the future of the Tournament of Champions:

Fledgling New Brunswick women’s football team provides opportunities for camaraderie and empowerment, and they’re seeking new players

The following is sponsored content.

You probably didn’t know it, but there’s a women’s football team – 11-on-11, full contact – right under your nose.

Or at least there will be come April, when the New Brunswick-based Tri-State Warriors take the field at the city’s Memorial Stadium.

Yes, it’s regular football alright. The Women’s Football Alliance launched in 2009, and there have been a few teams in New Jersey, but they’ve all gone away.

Enter Rich Harrigan and his best buddy from their college days, Lybrant “LB” Robinson, a former standout defensive end at Delaware State who was drafted in 1989 by Washington.

Scroll down to hear Harrigan talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the team, and their upcoming open tryouts.

The two are franchise co-owners; Harrigan serves as head coach and offensive coordinator, while Robinson is the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Harrigan has coached with various teams in the league for years.

Over the next few weeks, the team is holding open tryouts. Women must be at least 18 years of age, but Harrigan stresses no experience is necessary. Click on the graphic below to go to the tryout page:

Tri-State Warriors’ co-owner and head coach Rich Harrigan talks with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about the team, his background, end empowering women to play football just like the guys.

Barrons have great success on the field and off, exceeding their fundraising goals with Fundraising University

The following is paid content from Central Jersey Sports Radio founding sponsor Fundraising University New Jersey.

The Woodbridge Barrons have only lost two regular season games in the last three seasons under head coach Joe LaSala.

Even when the coronavirus pandemic threatened the high school football season in 2020, they were still able to have a successful season.

There have been great players, and there has been sound coaching. Behind it all has been top-notch fundraising, but LaSala has had very little to do with it.

With COVID keeping fans from games and restricting contact, a traditional door-to-door or other in-person fundraiser just wouldn’t be feasible. And that’s when he remembered seeing several posts on social media about Fundraising University’ “Fund-U-Now” program.

READ MORE: In 2020, Fundraising University supported the Big Central Conference with a $500 “Unsung Hero Scholarship Award”

In the first year, Woodbridge exceeded its goals with a quick “Fund-U-Now” fundraiser that required very little work from the coach, and minimal amount of time from the players. They even got to compete against each other for bonuses, and the money was in LaSala’s hands before the ink was dry on the check.

The fundraiser done in a flash, they could get back to doing what Woodbridge does so well: winning football games.

Click below to hear Joe LaSala explain how Fundraising University works, and why the Barrons are now working on their third fundraiser with the company:

For more information on Fundraising University, visit their website by clicking here. You can find New Jersey franchisee John Tuohy on Twitter, and follow him at @NJFundU. Or call John at 732-772-3354.

Tell John Tuohy you heard about Fundraising University through Central Jersey Sports Radio and receive extra incentives for your players who win fundraising competitions among their teammates!

Weekend GMC charity soccer festival to support pediatric cancer, children and families in need

Girls’ soccer teams from throughout the Greater Middlesex Conference will take the field this weekend to support a number of local charitable organizations.

The 20201 “Soccer for a Cause Charity Festival” will feature 14 girls’ teams from the Blue and White Divisions, totaling 300 players.

The event will be held this Saturday, October 9th – with a rain date of Sunday, October 10th – at Metuchen High School.

Fans are asked to bring nonperishable food items to benefit REPLENISH, Nourishing Neighboors, an regional food bank serving Middlesex County previously known as MCFOODS.

Metuchen Athletic Director John Cathcart and girls’ soccer coach Mike Knoth helped organize the event, which also will benefit Go4theGoal and the Marisa Tufaro Foundation.

Go4theGoal aims to improve the lives of children across the country who are battling cancer, providing monetary support, developing unique hospital programs, and funding research.

The Marisa Tufaro Foundation assists pediatric patients and children throughout the Middlesex County area, and is run by former longtime Home News Tribune sportswriter Greg Tufaro.

Scroll down to see the full schedule of games.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with Metuchen girls’ soccer coach and event organizer Mike Knoth:

Schedule of Games (Saturday, October 9)

10:00 AM

  • South Plainfield vs. Woodbridge – Turf Field
  • Spotswood vs. Edison – Varsity Field
  • Middlesex vs. Sayreville – JV Field
  • JFK vs. New Brunswick – Front Field

1:00 PM

  • St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Colonia – Turf Field
  • Metuchen vs. North Brunswick – Varsity Field
  • Carteret vs. Perth Amboy – JV Field

NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire looks back on unique first year at the helm, with hopes for a “normal” second

Taking over a new job can be daunting enough, but throw a pandemic on top of it, and you’ve got a real challenge on your hands.

But that was the hand Colleen Maguire was dealt in 2020, when she took over as the Executive Director of the NJSIAA.

And yet, the state’s high school athletics association was able to provide a year in which some sports had state championships, and everyone was allowed to play, if they so chose.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko caught up with Maguire as the high school football season got set to kick into high gear this week, to talk about the year gone by, what 2021 will look like, NJSIAA finances, participation and more.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with NJSIAA Executive Director Colleen Maguire:

Part Two of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Top Ten Moments of Year One

A dominating performance in battle of two powerhouse girls’ basketball teams. A standout performance by one of the top ’21 returnees in the Big Central. A walk-off win in a big rivalry game. A gutsy TD and two-point run in a wild, high-scoring game. And a battle of two of the BCC’s best that everyone wanted to see.

Those five games made the Top Ten of Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first year on the air.

But that’s only Nos. 10 through 6.

If you missed them, click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino run them down, complete with audio highlights.

But what about the Top 5?

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you..

Click below to hear Mike and Dom run down Nos. 5 through 1:

With Year One in the books, CJSR looks back at our Top Ten moments

Central Jersey Sports Radio launched in August 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, with no one really knowing what high school sports would look like in the 2020-21 school year.

Some doubted they would even play at all.

As the school year would move along, the NJSIAA shortened the fall and winter seasons. Football didn’t have playoffs for the first time since they began in 1974. There was no state basketball tournament. But spring sports – entirely wiped out in 2020 – were kept as close to normal in 2021, including baseball.

Central Jersey Sports Radio began on the premise of covering high school football. And we had so much fun, and so many good stories to tell, we decided to keep it going year-round. That included boys’ and girls’ high school basketball, and baseball.

And they all provided classmates, fans, parents, and anyone else who would listen with plenty of memorable moments.

So, we decided to pick our Top Ten moments of the first year of Central Jersey Sports Radio, all games broadcast on

It was so long, we broke it into two segments.

So, here’s No. 10 through No. 5, hosted by Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino:

Coming soon: CJSR’s Top Moments of Year One

There were big hits, touchdowns, and shots. There were championships and outstanding performances. There were great stories, too.

In a year dominated by a polarizing election and a worldwide pandemic, high school sports gave all of us – student-athletes, coaches, parents, fans, and the media – a much needed distraction from it all.

And despite shortened seasons – some with playoffs, some without – there was a sense of normalcy, and there were so many great stories.

As we approach the first anniversary of Central Jersey Sports Radio going live with our first post on August 14, 2020, we’ll take a look back at some of the top stories and games we covered during the school year gone by. We’ll go day-by-day, up to the top of the list, with some audio highlights sprinkled in as well.

So keep an eye out for it on over the next few weeks.

And of course, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our site in the coming days, weeks and months for all the latest preseason football news and analysis.

AUDIO: Bound Brook’s Melesurgo says shorter season takes opportunity away from hoops players

The 2021 basketball season was an unusually short season, but it was an anomaly as New Jersey worked its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2023, things could look very different again, but intentionally so, and Bound Brook boys’ basketball head coach Anthony Melesurgo isn’t a fan.

He’s been among the more vocal coaches on social media opposed to an NJSIAA proposal that’s halfway to the finish line, one that aims to have consistency among seasons, equity for all sports and student-athletes, and allow schools greater scheduling flexibility.

And while football wouldn’t be affected – since that’s getting its own overhaul – it would slash the basketball season from 26 to 22 games – not counting the state tournament and TOC – and shorten the length of the season overall to make it uniform with the fall and spring seasons.

That would leave gaps between seasons, ostensibly for multi-sport athletes to recover and take some time off. But Melesurgo says that gives some kids nothing to do, and that they would be better off around their sports.

The NJSIAA says the changes would increase the opportunities for multi-sport athletes who don’t need to worry about missing the first few weeks of practice for their next sport while finishing up another.

For a complete look at the original proposal, click here to download a PDF document.

The proposal – which the NJSIAA’s Executive Committee passed Wednesday on a first reading with only one vote in opposition – will come up for a final vote next month. If approved, it would go into effect for three years, starting with the 2022-23 school year.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s interview with Bound Brook boys’ basketball coach Anthony Melesurgo:

40 teams from across New Jersey set to compete, raise awareness at Autism Challenge this weekend

When it started in 2008, there were just eight Greater Middlesex Conference teams taking part.

Thirteen years later – after a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 – this weekend’s Autism Awareness Challenge at North Brunswick’s Community Park will feature 40 high school baseball teams from all over the Garden State – including 16 from the GMC and another five from Somerset County.

The theme is “More than just a game,” says Mike Garlatti, who heads up Baseball Warehouse in Highland Park, is a Colorado Rockies scout, and is a former Rutgers assistant under the late Fred Hill on the team that was a win away from the College World Series in 1990).

Garlatti started the Teamwork Unlimited Foundation a couple of years after the 2008 event, which didn’t even have a fundraising component; it was simply dedicated to raising awareness about autism, after his son was diagnosed and found to be on the spectrum.

The Foundation now distributes money raised to autism support services and related groups. Scholarships are also handed out.

Garlatti spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio about this weekend’s event. Click below to listen, and scroll down for a YouTube video about the event, as well as this weekend’s full schedule:

Mike Garlatti of Teamwork Unlimited Foundation talks with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko about the 2021 Autism Awareness Challenge.

2021 Autism Awareness Challenge

Friday, April 23

4 pm: Piscataway Tech vs Carteret, St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Spotswood
7 pm: South Plainfield vs. Millburn, Somerville vs. St. Joseph-Metuchen

Saturday, April 24

10 am: JP Stevens vs. Governor Livingston, Metuchen vs. Bernards
1 pm: Cranford vs. South Brunswick, Voorhees vs. West Morris
4 pm: Red Bank Catholic vs. Delbarton, Ridge vs. Mendham
7 pm: Randolph vs. Jackson, Middletown South vs. Ramapo

Sunday, April 25

10 am: Rahway vs. South Amboy, East Brunswick Tech vs. South River
1 pm: Gill St. Bernard’s vs. Livingston, Edison vs. Barnegat
4 pm: Holy Spirit vs. Pope John, Don Bosco Prep vs. Old Bridge
7 pm: Passaic* vs. Elizabeth, North Brunswick vs. Hillsborough

*Passaic was a late replacement for Sayreville.
Dates, times and matchups subject to change.

All games will be streamed on GameKast Live.

Follow Team Work Unlimited Foundation on Twitter at @teamworkunlimit for schedule updates and more, including how to make a donation.