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Bound Brook outlasts Bernards – again – to advance to Skyland Gold title game, stay unbeaten

Just one more win. That’s all the Bound Brook boys’ basketball team needs to complete a 14-0 season, and win the Skyland Conference’s Gold Division Championship.

All that was made possible by beating Bernards for a third time this season – and 22nd straight time overall. The Crusaders (13-0) beat Bernards (9-3) at home Thursday night, 47-42 as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Bound Brook hit nine treys in the game, including three each from junior forward Donovan Nwenyi – who scored 11 points – and junior guard Quadir Harrell, who led all scorers with 16.

LISTEN: Postgame reaction: Bound Brook nets clean sweep of Bernards to remain undefeated, earn berth in Skyland Tournament Gold title game

Bound Brook led by eight at the half, and as many as 13 in the third quarter, but Bernards – fueled by four triples from senior guard Jacob Insler – pulled to within a single possession in the fourth quarter, a little past the midway point.

But in the end, it wasn’t enough to hand Bound Brook its first loss of the season.

Click below to listen to the full broadcast:

Rivera makes most of Senior Night as No. 2 Aquinas rolls past Raiders

Senior swing Joshua Rivera – who holds multiple D1 offers – continued to step up in the absence of two starters Monday night, pouring in 23 points to help No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas beat North Brunswick 83-58 on the final night of the regular season, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Rivera scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half for Aquinas (8-4, 5-0 GMC White), which earlier in the day received the top overall seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference’s postseason pods, even if the league isn’t revealing its overall seeds.

North Brunswick dropped to 6-6, 3-3 in the GMC White with the loss. The Raiders were paced by senior center Donovan Crawford’s 17 points, while Jabri Fitzpatrick – fresh off a season high 29 points in an upset of then-No. 2 St. Joseph of Metuchen Saturday – chipped in 15.

Three other players scored in double figures for Aquinas. Kyree Henry and Adam Silas each scored 17, including three treys each. Jalen Jones added 14.

St. Thomas Aquinas – the top seed in the “Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod” – will open postseason play at home Wednesday night at 7 against fourth-seed South Brunswick (10-2).

Click below to listen to Monday night’s game broadcast between No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas and North Brunswick:

Aboulkhier, Cassidy power Dunellen past Spotswood on Senior Night, 47-19

Much can be made of Salma Aboulkhier’s senior season, in which the 5-9 forward/center is averaging a double double, 10 points and nearly 11 points per game.

But was the defense she and her teammates played Friday night that was just as valuable, in a 47-19 drubbing of GMC Blue Division opponent Spotswood heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Aboulkhier scored a game-high 16 points in a balanced effort, while fellow senior Chloe Cassidy scored 12 – nearly spot on her average – including a pair of three-pointers. She also had a 4-of-4 night at the foul line.

But on a night when Dunellen honored it four seniors – including Meghan Green (2 points) and Isabel Parcells (4 points) – the youh of the program shined as well; sophomore forward Alexa Castro chipped in 11 for the Destroyers, who improved to 7-6, 6-5 in the GMC Blue Division.

Spotswood (4-8, 4-7 in the Blue) was held to its lowest point total since a January 4, 2019 loss to at South River, 30-19. Junior forward Ally Clarke was the Chargers leading scorer with 8 points.

Click below to hear the entire Spotswood-Dunellen game from February 26, 2021, with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action:

No. 9 Bound Brook outlasts Bernards 73-61 to win 10th straight, remain unbeaten

Undefeated Bound Brook is a win away from completing a perfect regular season, short as it may be due to COVID-19.

The 9th-ranked Crusaders had balanced scoring in a 73-61 home win over Bernards Thursday night, heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio and powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Junior guard Quadir Harrell led all scorers in the game with 19 points. He had ten in the first half – including a pair of treys – and then added nine straight fourth-quarter free throws to help seal the win.

Junior point guard Davie McLarty and senior forward Cam’ron Summers each scored 16 points, and each had three triples, whuile sophomore center Jordan Summers chipped in 15 points.

Click below to listen to No. 9 Bound Brook’s 73-61 home win over Bernards:

No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s nips No. 4 Franklin in OT to keep perfect record

The Gill St. Bernard’s Knights remain undefeated by the hair of their chinny chin chin.

No. 2 Gill (7-0) needed overtime – and a last-second miss on a layup by Erica Jackson that would have sent the game to a second overtime period – to pull out a 44-42 OT road win over No. 4 Franklin (3-4) heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

It was Elle Fajardo who missed a three with seconds remaining in regulation that would have given the Knights the win, but hit some clutch shots in the extra period. A pair of treys eliminated separate three-point deficits, and she also went 2-of-3 at the foul line in the additional four minutes.

Click below to listen to No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s narrow overtime win over No. 4 Franklin:

Simmon’s clutch free throws put No. 2 St. Joe’s of Metuchen past No. 7 Montgomery

Junior Ethan Simmons hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 2.9 seconds remaining to give St. Joseph of Metuchen its seventh win in a row.

The Falcons (8-2) beat No. 7 Montgomery 46-42 Monday night on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, and were led by Simmon’s 9 points. Six Falcons scored, but none reached double figures in a balanced effort.

The Cougars (7-2) were led by Ryan Curry’s 18 points, while senior Chris Rubayo chipped in 13.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the action from Monday night’s game:

No. 1 Rutgers Prep smothers No. 2 Franklin with defense, 65-33

This one wasn’t about the scoring. It was about the defense.

A Rutgers Prep defense that kept the pedal to the medal – poking, deflecting and tipping basketballs all over the place – forcing Franklin into a slew of turnovers that fed a 27-1 run over the final 12 minutes of the first half to give Rutgers Prep a 35-2 halftime lead that would never get any closer.

No. 1 Rutgers Prep asserted its dominance in the Skyland Conference, finishing off cross-town foe and No. 2 Franklin 65-33, to remain unbeaten at 7-0, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Christina Dalce – the senior Villanova signee – finished the game with 15 point, 13 of them coming in the decisive first half. Rutgers Prep had balanced scoring, as nine other players tallied, but none reached – nor needed to reach – double figures in the game.

The Warriors dropped to 3-2.

Coupled with their 62-53 road loss to Hillsborough back on Tuesday, it’s the first time Franklin has lost to two Skyland Conference opponents in the same week since January 17th and 19th, 2017, when the Warriors lost to Rutgers Prep 69-56, followed by a 44-42 home loss to Hunterdon Central.

Click below to listen to the full game broadcast of No. 2 Franklin at No. 1 Rutgers Prep from February 20, 2016:

No. 5 Aquinas tops No. 3, undefeated Monroe in battle of GMC’s top girls’ basketball teams

The third-ranked Monroe Falcons came into Tuesday night’s GMC Red Division showdown at No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas as one of just two undefeated teams in the league.

They got back on the bus with their first loss of the season – as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – powered by Bellamy & Son Paving – thanks in large part to the efforts of senior guard Akyia Baker. She scored 13 of her game-high 17 points after intermission, to lead Aquinas (6-1) to a 49-41 victory in the only regular season meeting between the teams – for now.

St. Thomas Aquinas is likely to be the top team in the top four-team pod when the Greater Middlesex Conference puts together its postseason matchups. It would be hard to envision a scenario where Monroe (7-1) isn’t in the same pod.

The Falcons were led by senior guard Nina Branchizio, who scored 16 points.

Click below to listen to Dom Savino call all the game action:

No. 6 Colonia uses strong 4th quarter to power past Edison, 68-55

Edison won the GMC White Division title last year.

No. 6 Colonia has put itself in a position to win it this year.

In a GMC White Division battle Thursday night on Central Jersey Sports Radio – powered by Bellamy & Son Paving – the Patriots (5-1) doubled up the Eagles (3-4) in the final stanza, 26-13, to get past Edison 68-55.

The victory means Saturday afternoon’s meeting with St. Thomas Aquinas could determine the GMC White Division winner. They play in North Edison at 4 pm this Saturday, their only meeting of the season.

It was a tight one all the way, with just four lead changes, but no one led by more than six until the fourth quarter. Tied at 42-all after three, Colonia built its lead with defense and transition.

Listen to the entire game below.

No. 1 Gill St. Bernard’s escapes tough test from Hunterdon Central

Fueled by solid second-half defense, and three-quarters of its points from its top two Division 1 prospects, Gill St. Bernard’s won its season opener Thursday night, beating Hunterdon Centtral 77-64 as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Junior point guard Denver Anglin scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half, while 6-8 sophomore combo guard Mackenzie Mgbako – ranked Top Ten in his recruiting class nationally – poured in 31.

Each hit a trio of three pointers in the game.

Head coach Mergin Sina missed the game, continuing in COVID protocol that shut Gill St. Bernard’s last week, and led to the postponement of its opening week of the season. His son, assistant coach Jaren Sina, the former standout Gill and Seton Hall point guard, took the reins and won his coaching debut.

Hunterdon Central fell to 1-0.

Listen to the entire game below, with Mike Pavlichko on the call: