Tag: Bound Brook

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:

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

Rutgers Prep steamrolls everyone, runs wire-to-wire with No. 1 ranking to be named CJSR Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year

Here are the two numbers you need to know: 31 and 45.

Want us to use them in a sentence? OK.

The Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team allowed a paltry 31 points per game this year, while beating teams by an average of 45 points.

And we did not just pull those numbers out of a hat.

En route to a perfect 13-0 season, and the Skyland Conference Tournament’s top pod title, Rutgers Prep blitzed all comers this season, and finishes 2021 where it began: as the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, earning them the honor of our 2021 Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year.

No one even came close.

How good was Rutgers Prep?

Let’s put it this way. No disrespect to any other team, but if you actually ranked the teams in terms of how good they were, Rutgers Prep would be No. 1, and the next team behind them might be at No. 3.

The Argonauts are also ranked No. 21 in the nation – not the state, the nation – by ESPN, behind No. 13 St. John Vianney, but a spot ahead of Trenton Catholic, which is scheduled to close after this academic year, and to whom Rutgers Prep lost last year in the Non-Public South B finals.

LISTEN: An audio retrospective on Rutgers Prep girls’ dominance in 2021, with Mary Klinger, Christina Dalce, Belle Pellecchia

Monroe – the winner of the Greater Middlesex Conference’s top bracket, the Somogyi Family Pod – checked in at No. 2, avenging its only loss of the season in the Somogyi Pod title game, using a second half rally to beat St. Thomas Aquinas in their second meeting of the year.

Below are the final girls’ basketball rankings for 2021, including postseason achievements:

The goal was: “Get hardware.” They did, and Watchung Hills is the CJSR boys’ basketball 2021 Team of the Year

There were many good boys’ high school basketball teams in the GMC and Skyland Conferences in this COVID-shortened season, but when you beat three of them – including two that you lost two a total of three times this season – en route to winning your league’s top pod trophy, that has to count for something.

For us, that counts for making Watchung Hills the No. 1 team in the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten of the year, and thus the 2021 Boys’ Basketball Team of the Year.

The Warriors finished the year 12-3, their losses coming to Hunterdon Central twice, and once to Gill St. Bernard’s, at the time the No. 1 team in our rankings.

Watchung Hills beat both of those teams in the first two rounds of the Skyland Conference Tournament’s Blue Division pod, then knocked off then No. 5 Rutgers Prep in the finals on the road, on a game-winning baseline bucket by Tyler Bokatch in the final few seconds, holding off one last chance by the Argonauts, who had to go the length of the floor in just under 1.5 seconds.

LISTEN: An audio look back at Watchung Hills boys’ basketball, 2021 CJSR Team of the Year, with Coach Justin Salton, Trevor Bokach, Elijah Lewis

Second in the final rankings was Colonia. The Patriots – in a four-team GMC pod – took down the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in the rankings, respectively: St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the final rankings, including postseason tournament superlatives:

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

The Bound Brook boys’ basketball team on Saturday capped what is believed to be the first perfect season in Crusader history, at least in the modern era, winning the Skyland Conference Tournament’s Gold Division Pod with a 75-68 win over Immaculata.

We do know one thing for sure: the Crusaders were the only undefeated boys’ basketball team in either the Skyland or Greater Middlesex Conferences.

But while we delve deep into the archives – well, we’re not even sure they exist – to put this historical event in perspective, why not take a look at the video highlights from the game.

First, here’s a look at Bound Brook’s win with the play-by-play as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, and seen on the Bound Brook YouTube channel:

Here’s another look at the title game, with narration by Mike Pavlichko:

You can find both videos on Central Hersey Sports Radio’s YouTube channel, by clicking here.

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

Friday Championship Recap: A look back at titles for Colonia boys; Monroe, Rutgers Prep and Bound Brook girls (with audio and photos)

It was a big night for high school basketball in the Skyland and Greater Middlesex Conferences, as the Skyland crowned girls’ pod championships, while the GMC held its boys’ and girl’s finals all on the same night.

Central Jersey Sports Radio covered four title games Friday night; here’s a audio look back at coverage from CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko, Dom Savino and Justin Sontupe:

Spartans have a monumental task: knocking off undefeated Bound Brook

If the Immaculata Spartns – the third seed in the Skyland Conference Gold Division pod – is to win the whole thing, they will have to hand one of the last seven undefeated teams in the state of New Jersey its first defeat.

Immaculata (6-7) has played a tough schedule, with losses to Montgomery, Rutgers Prep and Ridge, so their record may be deceiving.

Bound Brook’s 13-0 record is not. They have played solid basketball all year long and are coming off a third win this season against Bernards, and their 22nd win in a row over the Mountaineers.

The two will face each other Saturday afternoon at 1:00 on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, on our final broadcast of the season. Listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action by clicking here. You can also watch the game on the Bound Brook YouTube stream, with commentary by CJSR, by clicking here.

Click below to hear Immaculata head coach Ryan McKeever talk about the matchup:

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

EDITORS’ NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect the most current records.

As we head into the final day of the New Jersey high school basketball season, Bound Brook has a chance finish the year – albeit a COVD-shortened one – undefeated.

Just one more win – over Immaculata Saturday in the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division Pod Final – would put the exclamation point on a season that would go down well in Crusader history.

And should they accomplish the feat, they’d be in select company. Six other teams remain undefated in the Garden State.

According to the teams’ schedules on NJ.com, Pascack Hills (14-0), Union City (5-0), Dwight-Englewood (9-0), Camden (13-0) and Manasquan (12-0) are done with their seasons. Paterson Charter (9-0) has a 2 pm game Saturday against Manchester Regional.

And Bound Brook (13-0) faces Immaculata tomorrow.

One other team got knocked off Friday night, when Don Bosco knocked off 7-0 Bergen Catholic 56-54 to hand the Crusaders their first loss, dropping to 7-1.

Bound Brook girls take Skyland Gold pod title with victory over Watchung Hills

There may not have been a state tournament for Bound Brook to win its sixth straight Central Jersey Group 1 crown, but no matter. They went out as champions anyway.

In fact, for the second year in a row, the Lady Crusaders went out with a win.

Last year, their season was cut short by COVID, when the NJSIAA shut down the state tournament. Bound Brook found out when they got back from their Group 1 semifinal road win over Woodbury.

This year, the end was more definitive, and they were all smiles.

Senior guard Arianna McCleod capped her stellar career with a season-high 24 points, including a game-high 11 field goals, as top seed Bound Brook took the title in the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division Pod with a 60-49 win over 2nd-seed Watchung Hills.

The Crusaders finish the season 12-1; the Warriors fell to 7-8.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Bound Brook head coach Jen Derevjanik and senior guard Arianna McCleod:

Bound Brook Head Coach Jen Derevjanik
Bound Brook senior guard Arianna McCleod.