Tag: boys' basketball

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

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

The Watchung Hills boys basketball team didn’t like how they left 2021: with losses in the Somerset County Tournament Final to Rutgers Prep, and in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finals to Elizabeth.

So, they did something about it. They won the only tournament in which they could play in the 2021 season: they Skyland Conference Tournament’s top pod, the Blue Division.

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

They did it by beating the only two teams they lost to in the regular season, and then avenged last year’s loss in the SCT finals.

Click below to hear head coach Justin Salton, senior guard Trevor Bokach and junior guard Elijah Lewis talk about their season, from beginning to end:

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.

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.

Colonia gets crowned as Patriots tame Trojans to win top GMC boys’ pod

Second-seed Colonia used an 11-0 run at the start of the the second quarter to pull ahead of top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas nearly for good, en route to winning the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament top boys’ grouping.

They beat the Trojans 80-64 Friday night in North Edison, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, to win the Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod.

Senior guard Ruben Reyes scored a game-high and matched a career-high set earlier this year against Passaic with 25 points for Colonia (11-4), including 17 in the second half, and a 7-for-7 effort from the foul line.

Three other Patriots scored in double-figures, as senior do-it-all guard Jordan Derkack poured in 18, junior guard Saivon Pressley added 11, and Malik Kabia fouled out with ten.

Aquinas (9-5) was led by Tristian Jeffries, the senior who came back from an ankle injury Wednesday against South Brunswick to score 19 points. He had 20 Friday night in a losing cause.

With the defeat, St. Thomas Aquinas – which swept the GMC Tournament titles last season – was swept itself: by Colonia on the boys’ side and Monroe on the girls, while playing on their home floor.

Click below to listen to postgame reaction from Colonia’s win in the Towns/Williams pod final:

Colonia senior guard Ruben Reyes
Colonia head coach Jose Rodriguez

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

In a normal year, unless you’re one of those teams knocked out of the county tournament early and don’t make the states, everyone’s last game is a loss – unless you’re win the whole shebang, the Tournament of Champions.

That’s not the case in 2021, just like everything else affected by COVID.

With no state tournament, the county-level pods – like the seven- and eight-team groupings in the Skyland Conference – give dozens of teams around the state to go out on a double high note: with a trophy, and a win.

For 13-0 Bound Brook, add to that the opportunity to have a perfect season.

The top-seeded Crusaders host third-seed Immaculata (6-7) Saturday afternoon for the championship of the Skyland Conference Tournament Gold Division pod, the middle of the three league groupings. The game can be heard live and free of charge on Central Jersey Sports Radio – powered by Bellamy and Son Paving – by clicking here. Air-time is 12:45 and the game begins at 1:00.

You can also watch the game on the Bound Brook Athletics YouTube channel by clicking here.

LISTEN – POSTGAME REACTION: Bound Brook outlasts Bernards – again – to advance to Skyland Gold title game, stay unbeaten

Interestingly, should Bound Brook win the game, they would finish the year 14-0 – undefeated, and county pod champions – but it would be the fourth lowest win total in 16 years under Anthony Melesurgo as head coach, yet one of their most successful.

The Crusaders enter the game off an opening round win over 8th-seed Bridgewater-Raritan 66-54, and a semifinal win Thursday night heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, 47-42 over Bernards, their 22nd straight over the Mountaineers dating back more than eleven years.

The Spartans, meanwhile, beat 6th-seed Voorhees in their opening round game, 63-54. But they had a bye in the second round because both their potential opponents were out with COVID-related issues; the Pingry program is shut down, and North Hunterdon is in contact tracing after playing Ridge, which was also shut down.

Immaculata picked up an extra game with Franklin Thursday, which they lost at Franklin, 64-40.

Click below to hear Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo talk about the Bound Brook season, and their title game Saturday against the Spartans:

Colonia boys will have to avenge losses to Aquinas to win GMC’s top pod

Though both play in the GMC White Division, St. Thomas Aquinas and Colonia only met once this season, a victim of the COVID-shortened scheduled.

But for the second year in a row, the Greater Middlesex Conferene’s top championship will go through North Edison.

Last year, Colonia bowed out of the GMC Tournament in the quarterfinals, via a 53-43 defeat.

This year, the two met at Colonia with the Patriots dropping a 75-63 decision.

Tonight, top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas (9-4) and 2nd-seed Colonia (10-4) will meet off Tingley Lane for the championship in the Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The game will be joined in progress immediately following the Skyland Conference Tournament Girls Blue Division title game between Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s.

Click below to hear Colonia head coach Jose Rodriguez talk about the Patriots and tonight’s matchup:

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:

Aquinas boys’ tough out-of-conference slate paying dividends as it looks to win another title

It may not be the traditional GMC Tournament, but the Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod title game is the top title game in the league this year.

It’s the top pod, and the teams in it are the top teams.

Just like the rest of St. Thomas Aquinas’ schedule.

They’ve played – and lost to – the likes of Trenton Catholic, Montclair-Immaculate, and Patrick School, and beat Hudson Catholic – in double overtime.

More recently, they beat North Brunswick this week in regular season game – handily. That’s the same Raider team that knocked of St. Joeseph-Metuchen.

And they’ve beaten South Brunswick, ranked in the statewide Top 20 earlier this season.

The challenging schedule has paid off.

Tonight, top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas (9-4) and 2nd seed Colonia (10-4) square off at 7 pm for the Towns/Williams Pod title. Central Jersey Sports Radio will bring you the play-by-play, joining in progress immediately following the Skyland Conference Tournament Blue Division title game between top-seed Rutgers Prep (11-0) and Gill St. Bernard’s (10-1).

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Aquinas head coach Bob Turco about tonight’s game: