Tag: Bernards

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:

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

They met three times, and each time Bound Brook came away with a victory.

The first time was on the road, the second time was at home, both in the regular season. The third time was Thursday night in the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division semifinals, and Bound Brook pulled out a 47-42 victory as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Quadir Harrell had a game-high 16, while Cam’rom Summers had 12 points and 10 boards to record a double-double.

It was a low-scoring game early, with the teams tied 5-5 at the end of one quarter, a hint we looked headed for another low-scoring affair like the first time the teams met, a 39-33 Crusader victory.

But things picked up, as Bound Brook hit nine threes in the game. Bernards’ senior Jordan Insler hit four of his own, the most of anyone, which got the Mountaineers – who trailed by 13 at the half – as close as a single possession in the fourth quarter, trailing by three more than past the midway point of the final stanza.

But the Crusaders just had the extra edge.

And now Bound Brook has won 22 straight against the Mountaineers; their last loss to Bernards came on January 16th, 2009, a 56-51 road loss.

Fourth-seed Bernards drops to 8-4, while top-seed Bound Brook improves to 13-0, and moves on to the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division Championship Game Saturday at 1 pm against 3rd-seed Immaculata, which had a bye after both its potential semifinal opponents failed to play their first-round game due to separate COVID-related issues; Pingry’s whole athletic department is shut down, while North Hunterdon is in contact tracing protocol due to COVID issues that shut down Ridge.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s postgame reaction with Bound Brook players and coach Anthony Melesurgo:

Junior guard Quadir Harrell
Junior forward Donovan Nwenyi
Senior forward Cam’ron Summers
Head coach Anthony Melesurgo

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

Bound Brook is putting its 12-0 mark on the line.

A trip to the finals is at stake.

Bernards is hoping the third time’s a charm.

There are plenty of story lines when top-seed and undefeated Bound Brook faces 4th-seed Bernards tonight in a Skyland Conference Gold Division semifinal game, which can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – powered by Bellamy & Son Paving – starting with the pregame at 5:15. Game time is 5:30.

Coverage is also sponsored locally by Pops Bike Shop in Somerville, and the LEP Beyond Sports Foundation.

To listen to the game, click here. The game can also be viewed on the Bound Brook YouTube page, with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino providing the commentary.

The teams first met on February 19th in Bernards, with Bound Brook winning 39-33. Last week, just six days later, the Crusaders won again, but this time with more scoring, a 73-61 decision at home.

Now, they’ll meet again with a title game berth on the line.

The winner will play third-seed Immaculata. The Spartans beat 6th-seed Voorhees Tuesday in the first round, but the other opening round mathcup between 2-seed Pingry and 7th-seed North Hunterdon was scrapped, as both teams have COVID issues.

Immaculata picked up an impromptu second-round bye.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko’s conversation with Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo, and Dom Savino’s talk with Bernards skipper Tim Palek:

Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo
Bernards head coach Tim Palek

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:

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

No. 9 Bound Brook seeking sweep of Bernards when Mountaineers come down for a visit

The first time Bernards and Bound Brook met, neither managed 40 points. It was the lowest offensive output of the season for both teams.

Will things be different this time around?

The Mountaineers (5-2) have since dropped to third in the Valley Division (a misnomer for Bernards if we ever heard one) behind Somerville, while the No. 9 Crusaders are looking to finish off a wire-to-wire lead over their peers.

Tonight, they face off in Bound Brook at 5:30 pm, with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino on the air at 5:15 for High School Basketball on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Listen to the game for free, live on Central Jersey Sports Radio by clicking here. The game is sponsored locally by Pops Bike Shop in Somerville and Stan’s Chitch’s Pizzeria in Bound Brook.

You can also watch the game on the Bound Brook Athletics YouTube channel – with commentary by Central Jersey Sports Radio – by clicking here.

Bound Brook already has two wins in the bag this week, the first coming over a 1-9 Linden team whose record isn’t quite indicative of their play, with the Union County Conference one of the most rugged in the state. The Tigers have faced Roselle Catholic, Montgomery and Union, all strong teams this year, and Elizabeth twice.

Bernards, meanwhile, has lost two of its last three games, a 39-33 defeat at the hands of Bound Brook, followed by a ten point win at Warren Hills, and a five point loss at The Ville.

Click below to hear both coaches talk about tonight’s matchup in Bound Brook:

Bound Brook Coach Anthony Melesurgo
Bernards Head Coach Tim Palek

Central Jersey Sports Radio announces “Specialty Awards” for 2020

Everyone gives out Player of the Year and Coach of the Year Awards. So do we.

But sometimes there are players, coaches or circumstances so extraordinary, they necessitate some sort of honor unto themselves.

Introducing Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Football Specialty Awards for 2020.

Tech Wizards of the Year: Bernards Coaching Staff

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said COVID-19 was his team’s Number One opponent. In reality, the same could be said for any sports team.

And it hit the Bernards football team when the coaching staff found out Offensive Coordinator Dave Carmen would have to sit out the Mountaineers’ Week 7 game against St. Thomas Aquinas.

LISTEN: Bernards coaching staff just crushed COVID, with an assist from Zoom

After discussion about options on the staff, Carmon wound up calling the offensive plays from his couch, thanks to the web-conferencing app Zoom. The following week, head coach Jon Simoneau would wind up doing the very same thing.

Listen below to Jon Simoneau talk about his staff’s coaching (tech) wizardry in 2020:

Record Setter of the Year: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin

QB Teddy Gouldin owns seven career records at Bernards.

The Bernards coaching staff wasn’t the only part of the Mountaineer season that was exceptional.

Senior quarterback Teddy Gouldin – a three-year-starter – ended his scholastic efforts as the holder of seven career Bernards records:

  • Passing Yards: 4,733
  • 1,000 Yard Passing Seasons: 3
  • QB Rating: 114.4
  • Completion Percentage: 52%
  • Passing TDs: 54
  • Rushing TDs by a QB: 14
  • Total TDs: 68

Listen below to Teddy Gouldin talk about his stellar career in crimson and white:

Mr. Consistency: Woodbridge RB Ali Lee, Jr.

Ali Lee, Jr., of Woodbridge signs his National Letter of Intent to attend Stony Brook University.

The 5-10, 170-pound senior running back had a stellar career for the Barrons. The things he could do weren’t always measured in the stat column, though his stat column was impressive.

He had electrifying runs. There’s no way to tally that.

He scored momentum-changing touchdowns. There’s no category on MaxPreps for that.

But they do keep track of rushing yards and touchdowns. And of those, Lee had a lot, and was Mr. Consistency.

LISTEN: Ali Lee Jr. of Woodbridge commits to Stony Brook

Try this on for size: Lee played 26 varsity games for the Barrons. In each of his last 18 games, he ran for at least 100 yards, and scored in all of them. That streak dates back to the final game of his sophomore season; he hit the century mark in all 11 games last year, and all 6 this year.

Lee will head to Stony Brook with 3,918 career rushing yards to his name, 44 rushing TDs, and 53 total.

Listen to Ali Lee Jr. recap his career with the Barrons:

Jack of All Trades: North Plainfield’s Khan-Yae Stevens

Kahn-Yae Stevens did a little bit of everything for 7-1 North Plainfield, scoring on offense, defense and special teams.

An Honorable Mention for CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year, that award simply was not enough to encompass everything Khan-Yae Stevens could do.

He plays wide receiver and defensive back, but also returns punts. And he excelled at all of them.

On the offensive side of the ball, he caught 21 passes for 481 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing 22 times for 194 yards and a score. He also threw two passes, completing both for touchdowns, racking up 50 aerial yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, he was disruptive. Stevens logged 6 interceptions – two of them for scores – totaling 244 yards. he also logged 34 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a forced fumble.

Then, there was special teams, to complete the trifecta: 13 punt returns for 248 yards and a touchdown, averaging 19 yards per return.

Stevens was one of many whose efforts contributed to a 7-1 season, the Canucks’ best since 2010, when they finished 9-1.

Listen below to Khan-Yae Stevens talking about his all-around season for North Plainfield:

Medical Comeback Award: Bernards LB Luke Burns

Luke Burns (#34, 2nd from left) and his Bernards teammates.

From nearly losing a leg, to an all-stater who finished his high school career with nearly 300 tackles: that’s the story of Luke Burns in a nutshell.

Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau says the senior “nearly had his leg amputated as a freshman” after he suffered a lacrosse injury that led to compartment syndrome, a condition that occurs when pressure in the muscles reaches dangerous level, dangerously decreasing blood flow.

He rebounded, however, despite suffering another unrelated leg injury this year. That limited him to six of the nine games Bernards played, but he still managers 70 tackles (11.7 per game), 8 TFLs and 4 1/2 sacks.

He finished off his Mountaineer career with 296 tackles (91 solo, 10.6 per game), 19 TFLs, 8 1/2 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles.

Click below to hear Luke Burns talk about recovering from injury to finish off a great high school career:

Sean Levonaitis – Hillsborough’s heart and soul – grabs Longevity Award

by Mike Pavlichko

He got his first varsity touch his freshman year, and his first start in Hillsborough’s first-ever meeting with Colonia his sophomore year.

From start to finish, he compiled 3,169 career rushing yards, and 37 touchdowns, narrowly missing a third straight thousand-yard season that he would have captured had it not been for a global pandemic. (He finished with 958 yards in a season where he was on pace for a career high had it been a normal year.)

And it felt like Sean Levonaitis did all of that in about six seasons in Hillsborough.

He actually did it in four, it just seemed like he was around forever.

Maybe that was because his brother Scot was a Raider standout at wide receiver, who played his senior year in 2014 and finished with 1,811 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

But there were three years between the brothers, lest they be confused, although Scot was always one Sean looked up to.

Sean, a 5-7, 175 pound senior is the first winner of the Central Jersey Sports Radio Big Central “Longevity Award,” given to the conference player who has made significant contributions to his team for at least three seasons at the varsity level, at any position on either side of the ball.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s conversation with Sean Levonaitis about his long Raider career:

Three other players were considered Honorable Mentions for the Longevity Award: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin, Watchung Hills QB Chad Martini, and North Plainfield linebacker Adam Elsais.

Gouldin put together a career for the record books, quite literally. He finished his career with 4,733 passing yards, 54 career TD passes and 68 touchdowns overall in his career, part of a portfolio including more than a half-dozen Mountaineer all time records and/or firsts.

REWIND: Bernards cruises past Johnson behind Gouldin, balanced attack

Martini nearly reached the 5,000 yard mark in the passing game, hurling for 4,941 yards, including 1,544 his sophomore year, as well as 21 career touchdowns. He was a four-year starter, and a captain for the last three, as well as a leader for Rich Seubert’s squad on the field and in the classroom.

Elsais helped lead North Plainfield to its best season in a decade, a 7-1 campaign that may not have happened without him. Elsais stuck through the lean years, with the program going 4-6 last year, but 3-18 combined his freshman and sophomore years. Through it all, he was a defensive stalwart, amassing 323 tackles in three years as a starter. He also led by example in the classroom, ranking third in his class in GPA, according to his head coach, Jimmy DiPaolo.

LISTEN: Elsais, Canucks cruising to best start since 2010

Somerville is Central Jersey Sports Radio’s first “Team of the Year”

Finishing the COVID-shortened 2020 high school football season with a perfect 7-0 mark, the Somerville Pioneers accomplished what they set out to do: beat the best, and finish undefeated.

It was the closest anyone could come to a championship.

Their final game turned out to be a 39-26 road win over then-No. 1 and undefeated Woodbridge, a victory that propelled then No. 2 Somerville into the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten.

They held onto that spot in the final rankings, to earn the first-ever “Team of the Year” award given out by Central Jersey Sports Radio, and also finished No. 1 in the inaugural Big Central Media Poll.

Somerville was the only undefeated team in the Big Central. North Plainfield – with a remarkable turnaround off a 4-6 2019 season and a 7-24 mark over the past three years – had been undefeated until a 30-14 road loss to Linden in Week 8.

The undefeated season is the Pioneers’ fifth overall and first since 1983, when they went 11-0 and won the Central Jersey Group 2 title. They also went 11-0 an route to a state title in 1979. Their first of 11 state titles overall came in a 1953 season that saw the Pioneers go 9-0. They also finished 7-0-1 in 1929, and won the only game they played in 1909, defeating Bound Brook 16-5.

Following are the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten and Big Central Media Poll. A trophy will be presented to Somerville for the honor at a later date.

Wall to Wall Big Central Football will air Thanksgiving Weekend on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Did the high school football season end too soon for you? Not stuffed yet from Thanksgiving Dinner?

Have no fear.

Central Jersey Sports Radio begins a new tradition this year: We’ll air every single one of our high school football broadcasts back-to-back-to-back to…. (you get the idea) … to-back this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Buy a bigger belt!

That’s right: 3 days, 13 games, 20 teams, 30 hours of Big Central Conference Football, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving of Piscataway.

Simply go to our website and click the Listen Live button to tune in any time, morning, noon or night. We’ll be “on the air” practically from sunup to sundown – definitely after sundown!

Here’s the schedule for each day, with original air date, and approximate start time:

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26

  • Somerville vs. South Plainfield, October 2 – 8 am
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Elizabeth, October 3 – 9:45 am
  • Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick, October 9 – noon
  • South River vs. Spotswood, October 10 – 2 pm
  • Bernards vs. Johnson, October 12 – 4:30 pm
  • Bound Brook vs Voorhees, October 16 – 6:30 pm

Friday, November 27 (Now starts at 9 am instead of 8 am)

  • Edison vs. North Brunswick, October 23 – 8 am
  • Manville vs. Bound Brook, October 30 – 11 am
  • Ridge vs. Hillsborough, November 6 – 1:45 pm
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Woodbridge, November 7 – 4:15 pm
  • Metuchen vs. South Hunterdon – 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 28

  • Woodbridge vs. Somerville, November 13 – noon
  • Edison vs. Hillsborough, November 20 – 3 pm