Tag: Anthony Melesurgo

CJSR Boys’ Coach of the Year: Bound Brook’s Anthony Melesurgo steered Crusaders through much more than an undefeated season

Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for more coverage on Bound Brook’s 2021 season:

Basketball coaches – the best ones – are often revered by their former players, sometimes even more when they become former players.

That’s because it’s not just what their coaches taught them about Xs and Os, but about life, or even just the idea of perseverance, battling through adversity, lessons that can be used in all walks of life, not just in basketball.

Like all head coaches, life was about more than basketball in 2021, even after last season ended normally for Bound Brook, as it does for so many teams: with a loss, not a COVID shutdown – though that came soon later. Life became about dealing with the pandemic. Throw on that the killing of George Floyd, and the Black Lives Matter movement that continued to grow in its wake, and it made for a difficult, scary and unsure path to navigate.

To come through all of that, get through a (shortened) basketball season with no self-inflicted COVID shutdowns – though they had a brief pause due to contact tracing with another team – and go through it undefeated, winning a championship, Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo has been named the 2021 Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year.

Click below to hear Anthony Melesurgo talk with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko:

MORE ON BOUND BROOK:

VIDEO RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS: A look back at Bound Brook’s Championship, and perfect finish

PERFECT! Bound Brook holds off frantic ‘Lata rally to win Skyland Gold Championship, finish 14-0

Bound Brook one of a handful of boys basketball teams still perfect as Crusaders head into finale

Bound Brook boys chasing basketball immortality when Crusaders face ‘Lata for title, perfection Saturday afternoon

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

Bound Brook and Bernards set to meet for third time in two weeks, with trip to the Gold finals on the line

Boys’ regular season wrap-up: Bound Brook heads into Skyland Tourney as lone unbeaten area team, and other notes of interest

Harrell, McLarty, Melesurgo talk No. 9 Bound Brook’s gut-check win over Bernards

Bound Brook’s 4-0 start is best in Skyland, but now it’s time for a break

PERFECT! Bound Brook holds off frantic ‘Lata rally to win Skyland Gold Championship, finish 14-0

The game was less than perfect, but their season was.

The top-seeded Bound Brook Crusaders coughed up a 21-point third quarter lead in the fourth, but took it back and beat third-seed Immaculata 75-68 to win the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division Championship, heard Saturday afternoon on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

The win put the exclamation mark on a Bound Brook season that ends up at 14-0, believed to be the Crusaders’ first-ever undefeated season, at least in the modern era.

After the first quarter ended with a 15-all tie, Brook took a nine point lead into the half, 36-27. They extended it to 21 midway through the third quarter, but Immaculata (6-8) started chipping away, and trailed only be 12 heading into the final quarter.

The Spartans kept chipping and chipping, until they tied the game at 60 with just under five minutes to go, and took a 62-60 lead soon after. Bound Brook pulled back ahead on a three by Cam’ron Summers, and went ahead by three with 3:22 to play on a Donovan Nwenyi steal and transition bucket.

Click below to listen to the sequence that game Bound Brook the lead for good:

Cam’ron Summers – a senior – finished with 16 points, all but one of which came in the second half, and 13 of them came in the fourth quarter.

Junior Quadir Harrell led all scorers with 21 points, 14 of which came after intermission, and despite not hitting a single three-point basket. He had hit three each in the first two games of the tournament.

Immaculata was led by junior Darren Tuck’s 15 points, including a pair of treys.

The win also gave Bound Brook a postseason sweep, as the Lady Crusaders took the girls’ Gold Division Pod Championship Friday night, beating Watchung Hills.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Bound Brook’s win in the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division Championship game:

Head Coach Anthony Melesurgo
Senior forward Cam’ron Summers
Junior guard Quadir Harrell

Harrell, McLarty, Melesurgo talk No. 9 Bound Brook’s gut-check win over Bernards

In a back and forth game, Quadir Harrell took charge – from the foul line.

The junior guard hit nine straight fourth-quarter free throws – and finished with a game-high 19 points – to help the Crusaders get past Bernards 73-61, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

It was quite the turnaround from the first meeting between the teams, which came less than a week prior – just last Friday – and saw both teams score season lows in points, in a 39-33 Bound Brook victory.

By contrast, it was the third-highest point total of the year for each team.

Bound Brook kept its undefeated season alive with the win, improving to 10-0, and 8-0 in the Skyland Conference Valley Division, while Bernards dropped to 5-3, and 3-3 in the division.

The Crusaders have one more opponent to face, with a win giving them an undefeated regular season. They face Voorhees Saturday. Then, it’s off to the Skyland Conference “Gold Division” bracket of the Skyland Conference Tournament, the top-seed in the eight team field, facing 8th-seed Bridgewater-Raritan (0-10) Tuesday night in the first round.

Click below to hear postgame reaction for Bound Brook’s big win over Bernards:

Junior guard Quadir Harrell
Senior point guard Davie McLarty
Head coach Anthony Melesurgo

OPINION: NJSIAA should allow season extension if snow delays postseason games

The NJSIAA has shown immense flexibility since the start of the school year, doing everything it can to give kids a chance to play the sports they love. That’s all anyone really asked.

A few districts chose not to play, and that’s their perogative. But the decision was left up to them. And that’s another sign of the “new” NJSIAA.

Even in this truncated 40-day high school basketball season, the NJSIAA loosened restrictions on how many games can be played in a week, becoming even more flexible than a typical non-COVID season by allowing two four-game weeks in the regular season. Generally, one such week is allowed.

The problem is, no one has been able to take advantage yet.

According to NJ.com’s standings on Feb. 17 at 10:30 pm, in the Greater Middlesex Conference, on Day 23 of the season – that’s three weeks and change for the math-challenged – only 27 of 61 teams have played eight or nine games, meaning no one is averaging three or more games per week.

On the boys’ side, 11 of 30 teams have played more than seven games, while 16 of 30 have done so on the girls’ side. Only 12 have played fewer than 6.

In the Skyland Conference, as we say, “fugghedaboutit!” Only 11 of the 41 teams overall have even played seven games. None have played more than seven.

In fact, on the boys’ side, 14 of the 24 teams have managed fewer than six games. That’s less than two games a week.

On the girls’ side, 10 of the 27 haven’t gotten to the six-game plateau.

This week, NJSIAA Assistant Director for Basketball Tony Maselli told Central Jersey Sports Radio that “at this point no extensions” are planned. The key words there are “at this point,” so anything is possible after we get more snow dumped on us tomorrow.

There are calls from some to extend the season, at least by a few days, due to all the snow that has fallen, affecting the schedule even more, like it really needed it, already looking like Swiss cheese due to COVID-19 stoppages all over the place. Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo has been among the most vocal on social media.

So here’s a good compromise – if it actually comes to that: the NJSIAA should extend the season, but only to allow postseason play to wrap up.

Look, there’s no state tournament, and I get that. Based on the widely-varying amounts of games played, massive amounts of games missed, lack of comparable schedules that make even county postseason scheduling an arduous task, not having the state tournament, with all the extended travel, was probably the way to go.

But let’s let the kids play something – anything where a winner can call themselves champions. Championships are part of sports.

Otherwise, we’re just playing scrimmages.

So here’s what the NJSIAA should tell its 15 basketball leagues and conferences across the state: “You can’t push back your postseason to get in more regular season games, but if snow – key word: snow, not COVID – affects your postseason tournament, you can go past March 6 to finish it.”

Who knows next week’s forecast? Who knows tomorrow’s forecast? Remember that historic ice storm we were supposed to get Monday night? Exactly.

But let’s not take the chance that we could start yet another postseason and have to shut it down because of a date on the calendar.

We already did that last year when COVID hit. Let’s not yank another chance at a championship from these kids.

Let the postseason finish, regardless of Old Man Winter.