Tag: boys basketball

Union Catholic too big for St. Joseph as Falcons fall in Non-Public South A finals

St. Joseph-Metuchen beat Union Catholic in late January with both teams missing a key piece. The Falcons were without Jeremy Clayville, and UC was without Chimeziri Okeoma.

The second time, Okeoma turned out to be the difference, scoring a game-high 26 points – eight better than his season average – to help his team to an 86-72 win in the Non-Public South A championship game at Lenape High School.

Joe’s fell behind early, down 26-13 after one quarter and never fully recovered, playing catch-up all night. They trailed by 14 at the half and 63-41 after three.

They cut it to 11 on and and-one opportunity by Jeremy DeCaro with 1:24 left, but he missed the foul shot and the Falcons got called for a flagrant foul near their bench that resulted in an ejection and four free throws for Okeoma, who made the first three, and squashed any comeback attempt.

St. Joseph was led by Clayville’s 15, nine of which came in the final quarter. Senior Josh Ingram had 12, but was held to just four points – all on free throws – in the first half, a result of UC’s defense.

Union Catholic will face either Bergen Catholic or St. Peter’s Prep, the North A winner, with that game close late at Franklin HS as of this writing.

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Rutgers Prep, Gill, Aquinas, St. Joe’s all advance to sectional semifinals Monday, while Colonia knocks off top-seed South Plainfield

There’s a pretty mammoth matchup brewing in the Non-Public North B section, and it’s not even for a trophy.

Top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas and 4th-seed Roselle Catholic – both top five teams statewide – will meet in the sectional semifinals Monday night in North Edison, after both won Friday evening games in the quarterfinals.

Aquinas (25-3) blew past Timothy Christian (14-13) in an all-GMC matchup, 99-40. The Trojans pulled ahead early on the strength of a 27-11 first quarter, and led 57-26 at the half. Seven players scored in double digits for Aquinas, which was led by Terrell Pitts and Jaden Kelly, each with 16 points. Point guard Michael “Deuce” Jones added 14.

Now, they get to host national power Roselle Catholic in their own gym Monday night for a trip to the sectional title game Wednesday night, 5 pm in Franklin. The Rams beat 5th-seed Morris Catholic 98-63 Friday evening.

In the other side of the bracket, 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (19-7) won its quarterfinal game over 7th-seed Saddle River Day, 64-59. The Knights trailed 28-24 at halftime, and 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter before outscoring SRD 30-16 over the game’s final eight minutes. Mario Castro-Sanchez led the way with 19 points and six rebounds, while big man Ebrahim Kaba added 15 points and seven boards.

Gill will play host to 6th-seed Montclair-Immaculate in the other semifinal Monday night, after they beat 3rd-seed St. Mary-Rutherford 81-45.

In Non-Public South A, 6th-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen and 7th-seed Rutgers Prep will play in one semifinal. The Falcons (17-10) were 71-68 winners over 3rd-seed Immaculata (19-6) in Somerville Friday night, as Josh Ingram put up a big 33 points in the win. Seventh-seed Rutgers Prep (22-7) won in deep South Jersey Friday night, beating 2-seed St. Augustine on the road, 78-74 in overtime, behind a 33-point night from Jadin Collins.

Prep and Joe’s played each other in a GMC-Skyland crossover just three weeks ago, with St. Joe’s Coming out with a 73-61 win in Somerset on February second.

Meanwhile, in the only game involving two local public schools, 4th-seed Colonia knocked off top-seed South Plainfield 64-45 in the North 2, Group 3 semifinals. Click here for a full recap of the game including postgame interviews by CJSR’s Chris Tsakonas. Now, the Patriots will play for a second straight sectional title when they host 6th-seed Snyder out of Jersey City Monday night. Snyder beat 7th-seed Payne Tech of Newark, 76-62.

Below are full results from Friday night in sections involving area teams. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule:

North 2, Group 3
#4 Colonia def. #1 South Plainfield, 64-45
#6 Snyder def. #7 Payne Tech, 76-62

Non-Public South A
#1 Camden Catholic def. #8 red Bank Catholic, 62-33
#5 Union Catholic def. #4 Paul VI, 64-58
#6 St. Joseph-Metuchen def. #3 Immaculata, 71-68
#7 Rutgers Prep def. #2 St. Augustine, 78-74

Non-Public North B
#1 St. Thomas Aquinas def. #8 Timothy Christian, 99-40
#4 Roselle Catholic def. #5 Morris Catholic, 98-63
#6 Montclair-Immaculate def. #3 St. Mary-Rutherford, 81-45
#2 Gill St. Bernard’s def. #7 Saddle River Day, 64-59



Central Group 4 Semifinals
#4 Jackson Memorial at #1 Trenton
#7 Marlboro at #6 South Brunswick

Central Group 2 Semifinals
#4 Bound Brook at #1 South River
#3 Raritan at #2 Manasquan

North 2, Group 4 Semifinals
#8 Newark East Side at #5 Westfield
#3 Hillsborough at #2 Linden


North 2, Group 3 Final
#6 Snyder at #4 Colonia

Non-Public South A Semifinals
#5 Union Catholic at #1 Camden Catholic
#7 Rutgers Prep at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen

Non-Public North B Semifinals
#4 Roselle Catholic at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas
#6 Montclair-Immaculata at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s

South River's gym

Par for the course this year, South River expecting a packed gym for C2 semifinal against Bound Brook

They met back on January seventh in Bound Brook with both teams undefeated. South River came away with a tight, 66-61 win over the home team Crusaders.

But now, with a trip to the Central Jersey Group 1 title game on the line, they will meet again – this time at top-seed South River, 1:00 Saturday afternoon.

And there won’t be a seat to be had.

READ MORE: No. 10 South River frustrates No. 6 Bound Brook in unbeaten clash at GMC-Skyland Challenge

The South River band box fits 500. Fourth-seed Bound Brook has been allotted 180 tickets. Both schools will be selling them after school Friday, and Rams’ Athletic Director Carl Buffalino says if they sell out, the doors will be closed. That’s it. No one else gets in.

My money is on a sell-out, and it’s going to be one helluvan atmosphere.

Spotswood at South River
South River and Spotswood square off before a packed house, with the students on their feet the entire game, in a GMC Blue Division matchup on January 20, 2023 (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

South River tickets are on sale from 2:15 to 4 pm in the high school’s main office. Even at tiny South River, a small Group 2 school, those 300-plus tickets will go fast.

Bound Brook is selling tickets at the attendance office at the high school from 2:30 to 4:30, with permission slips for student buses making the trek down River Road and Route 18. They’ll be lucky to have any tickets left by 3:00.

The Rams (25-3) have been the darling of the GMC all year, since they knocked off St. Joseph-Metuchen the day after Christmas. m They earned the three-seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, but lost 53-41 in the semifinals to South Brunswick, the seven-seed. (The Vikings also are in a sectional semifinal – Central Group 4 – Saturday afternoon.)

They have a senior-laden team that has grown up together, including standouts Laz Rodriguez, Roman Santos, Gavin Franco and Jeremy Grospe, whose sophomore brother Alex runs the point and is a sharpshooter like his sibling.

Bound Brook (22-4) is coming off a revenge win over Rumson-Fair Haven at their place Thursday night, against the team that blew them out down the Shore last year in the Central Jersey Group 2 title game. The Crusaders don’t go deep into their bench, but Jordan Summers has been a four-year monster for The Brook, with senior Jordan Robinson and sophomore Jackson Morrison right behind him in scoring.

The Crusaders may be a bit more physical, but both can unleash the three-ball. To wit, Bound Brook has nailed 177 from beyond the arc this season. South River has hit 166 treys.

It’s gonna be a helluva game.

NJSIAA announces boys’ state tournament brackets, four CJSR-area teams earn top seeds

A total of 36 boys’ basketball teams from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area – the GMC and Somerset County – have qualified for the NJSIAA state tournament, with four of them – Ridge, South Plainfield, South River and St. Thomas Aquinas – earning top seeds in their respective sections.

State tournament play begins on Monday, February 20th, with first round sectional games at higher seeds in Groups 1 and 3, while Group 2 and 4 begin the following day. All non-public sections begin play on Wednesday, February 22nd. There is no Tournament of Champions this year, so the state tournament will conclude with four public group champions and two non-public champions.

Following are all the first-round games in each section involving CJSR-area teams, with those squads in bold. Times are determined by the higher seed, the host school.

#16 Sayreville at #1 Trenton
#9 Montgomery at #8 West Windsor-Plainsboro South
#12 Manalapan at #5 Middletown South
#13 East Brunswick at #4 Jackson Memorial
#14 Princeton at #3 North Brunswick
#11 Old Bridge at #6 South Brunswick
#10 Hightstown at #7 Marlboro
#15 Howell at #2 Freehold Twp.

#16 Freehold Boro at #1 Ewing
#9 Hopewell Valley at #8 Ocean Twp.
#12 Lawrence at #5 Colts Neck
#13 Burlington Twp. at #4 Brick Memorial
#14 Somerville at #3 Hamilton West
#11 Allentown at #6 Robbinsville
#10 Carteret at #7 Matawan
#15 Red Bank Regional at #2 Nottingham

#16 East Brunswick Magnet at #1 South River
#9 Point Pleasant Boro at #8 Spotswood
#12 Roselle Park at #5 Rumson-Fair Haven
#13 Holmdel at #4 Bound Brook
#14 Johnson at #3 Raritan
#11 Bordentown at #6 Delaware Valley
#10 Middlesex at #7 Roselle
#15 Monmouth at #2 Manasquan

#16 STEMCivics at #1 Eagle Academy
#9 South Hunterdona at #8 Keansburg
#12 Brearley at #5 Highland Park
#13 Asbury Park at #4 Keyport
#14 Somerset Tech at #3 Point Pleasant Beach
#11 South Amboy at #6 Manville
#10 Henry Hudson at #7 Florence
#15 Dunellen at #2 Shore

#16 Woodbridge at #1 Ridge
#9 Bayonne at #8 NEwark East Side
#12 Watchung Hills at #5 Westfield
#13 Scotch Plains-Fanwood at #4 Elizabeth
#14 JP Stveens at #3 Hillsborough
#11 Phillipsburg at #6 Columbia
#10 Irvington at #7 Franklin
#15 Piscataway at #2 Linden

#16 Voorhees at #1 South Plainfield
#9 Fort Lee at #8 Summit
#12 Cliffside Park at #5 Chatham
#13 North Hunterdon at #4 Colonia
#14 Randolph at #3 Menham
#11 Millburn at #6 Snyder
#10 Orange at #7 Payne Tech
#15 Warren Hills at #2 West Morris

#16 Becton at #1 Caldwell
#9 Lyndhurst at #8 Science Park
#12 Verona at #5 McNair
#13 Dayton at #4 Newark Collegiate
#14 West Side at #3 Rutherford
#11 Bernards at #6 Hackettstown
#10 Hanover Park at #7 New Providence
#15 Newark Central at #2 Madison

#9 Notre Dame at #8 Red Bank Catholic, winner at #1 Camden Catholic (bye)
#12 St. John Vianney at #5 Union Catholic
#13 Donovan Catholic at #4 Paul VI
#11 Pingry at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen, winner at #3 Immaculata (bye)
#10 CBA at #7 Rutgers Prep, winner at #2 St. Augustine (bye)

#9 Eastern Christian at #8 Timothy Christian, winner at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas (bye)
#12 Morristown-Beard at #5 Morris Catholic
#13 Koinonia at #4 Roselle Catholic
#11 Pioneer Academy at #6 Montclair-Immaculate, winner at #3 St. Mary (Rutherford)
#10 Hawthorne Christian at #7 Saddle River Day, winner at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s (bye)

#9 Wildwood Catholic at #8 Holy Cross Prep, winner at #1 St. Rose of Belmar (bye)
#12 Doane Academy at #5 Calvary Christian
#13 Moorestown Friends at #4 St. Joseph-Hammonton
#11 Princeton Day at #6 Gloucester Catholic, winner at #3 Ranney (bye)
#10 Trenton Catholic at #7 Holy Spirit, winner at #2 Bishop Eustace (bye)

St. Joseph survives major scare from valiant Spotswood, but top eight are the final eight advancing to boys’ GMC Tournament Quarterfinals

In the upset alert of the night, Spotswood took St. Joseph of Metuchen almost literally to the wire, but the 13-seeded Chargers – who were bombing away from three all night – fell to the 4th-seeded Falcons 75-52.

It was the closest game of the night as all eight higher seeds advanced to Sunday’s Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament quarterfinals, to be held at Middlesex County College in Edison.

Below is a recap of all eight First Round games played Thursday night. Scroll all the way to the end for the Sunday matchups, along with tip-off times.

#4 St. Joseph-Metuchen 75, #13 Spotswood 72

Easily the wildest game of the evening, the Chargers (17-5) nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament in recent memory. Riding a four-game winning streak, they hit from beyond the arc and forced the Falcons (14-9) into turnovers throughout the first half. Spotswood led 50-48 at the end of three, and 63-62 as late as midway through the fourth quarter, but each time they jumped back ahead, St. Joe’s had an answer. With three minutes and change left in the third, the Chargers’ Casey Cumiskey hit a three to go up one, but the Falcons’ Josh Ingram answered to back ahead by two. Daniel Yarus hit a layup to tie it, then Jeremy DeCaro’s three gave the Falcons’ a 68-65 lead that Spotswood could not overcome. To add to the drama, senior Josh Ingram scored his 1,000th career point, and now has 1,023 overall. He needed 15 coming into the game and finished the night with 38.

Click here to hear St. Joe’s head coach Jan Cocoziello talk about the win:

#1 St. Thomas Aquinas 81, #16 East Brunswick 50

The Bears hung in for the first half against the two-time defending champion Trojans, but St. Thomas pulled away after a single-digit, 34-25 halftime lead. They outscored East Brunswick 19-13 in the third quarter, then turned the lights out with a 28-12 fourth to put things out of reach for good. St. Thomas (21-3) had four in double-figures, with senior Terrell Pitts carrying game-high honors with 17. Trenton Catholic junior transfer Michael “Deuce” Jones added 16, while fellow junior Samir Thomas added 11, and senior Jalen Pichardo contributed ten. East Brunswick (9-14) was led by Matt Mikulka’s 13 points. The win is the ninth straight in full GMC Tournament play for Aquinas.

#8 Piscataway 60, #9 Perth Amboy 49

The Chiefs (11-14) are the only sub-.500 team to make the GMC Tournament quarterfinals, and did it with a win over a Perth Amboy squad (11-11) that was a game above that mark coming in. Senior Evan Benson – who played the last two seasons at Wardlaw-Hartirdge – scored a season-high 20 in the victory, while fellow senior Jonathan Carman added 18 for Piscataway, which took just a two-point lead into the second quarter, but led 33-22 at halftime, with the Panthers playing even the rest of the way. Senior Aaron Rambajan, Jr., led the Panthers with 15 points.

#5 South Plainfield 63, #12 Woodbridge 45

Senior Tareak Williams had his second straight 20-plus point game, scoring 20 in to lead the Tigers (20-4) past the Barrons (12-10). Fellow senior Brandon Dean also chipped in 18 in the victory, which saw South Plainfield with a 15-8 lead after one quarter, though the Barrons kept it to an eight-point game at the half. Micah Eason led visiting Woodbridge with 15 points

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#3 South River 90, #19 Middlesex 58

There was little doubt in this one, as the Rams started GMC Tournament play strong, with a 25-11 first quarter, and took a 45-24 lead into the locker-room. Middlesex would get now closer as the South River (22-2) continued to keep the game out of arms’ reach in the second half. Seniors Roman Santos and Laz Rodriguez led the way with 20 and 15 points, respectively, for the Rams, who also got ten from fellow senior Gavin Franco. Middlesex dropped to 15-9 with the loss.

#6 North Brunswick 77, #11 Old Bridge 65

Senior Alani Ajigbotosho led the way with 24 points for the Raiders (20-3) while fellow senior Jurmire Jones had seven threes in a 23-point game, to lead North Brunswick to its first appearance in the GMC Tournament quarterfinals since 2014. The Knights (10-12) hit 13 times from beyond the arc in the losing effort. It was also the 458th career coaching win for North Brunswick’s Ed Breheny, according to Korbid Thompson of the King James Radio Network.

Click below for postgame comments from North Brunswick head coach Ed Breheney:

#7 South Brunswick 65, #10 JP Stevens 52

The Vikings (15-5) and Hawks (10-13) were locked in a low-scoring duel for the first eight minutes, tied 11-11 after one quarter of play. But South Brunswick used the middle two quarters to take a 48-33 lead into the fourth quarter, a lead they would not relinquish. Senior Kalani Antonie had a near-career best night, with 33 points, including four treys, while hitting eleven free throws in the win.

Boys’ GMC Tournament Quarterfinal Schedule
Sunday, February 12 at Middlesex County College in Edison

  • 11 am: #3 South River (22-2) vs. #6 North Brunswick (20-3)
  • 1 pm: #2 Colonia (17-7) vs. #7 South Brunswick (15-5)
  • 3 pm: #4 St. Joseph-Metuchen (14-9) vs. #5 South Plainfield (20-4)
  • 5 pm: #1 St. Thomas Aquinas (21-3) vs. #8 Piscataway (11-14)

Middlesex pulls off only upset in GMC Boys’ Tournament, as Blue Jays and seven others advance to first round

The Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament’s preliminary round saw seven of the eight higher seeds advance and one upset.

In preliminary round play on Tuesday night, 19th-seed Middlesex got by 14th-seed Edison 52-48, earning the right to play at third-seed South River in the first round on Thursday night. The Blue Jays fell to the Rams twice this season, by 32 and 21 points. But Middlesex has won two straight in the GMCT.

Tyler Hurling led the way for Middlesex in the win with 21 points, while Jayden Peryear added another 14 points in the win.

Following are all of Tuesday night’s results; scroll down for projections ahead to first round matchups, which will be held at the sites of the higher-seeded teams.

Boys’ GMC Tournament Preliminary Round Results:

  • #16 East Brunswick def. #17 North Plainfield 76-42
  • #9 Perth Amboy def. #25 JFK 76-60
  • #12 Woodbridge def. #21 Sayreville 71-49
  • #13 Spotswood def. #20 Carteret 72-68
  • #19 Middlesex def. #14 Edison 52-48
  • #11 Old Bridge def. #22 Metuchen 60-31
  • #10 JP Stevens def. #23 Calvary Christian 66-39
  • #15 Monroe def. #18 Timothy Christian 63-33

Boys’ GMC Tournament First Round Schedule – Thursday, Feb. 9

  • #16 East Brunswick at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas
  • #9 Perth Amboy at #8 Piscataway
  • #12 Woodbridge at #5 South Plainfield
  • #13 Spotswood at #4 St. Joseph-Metuchen
  • #19 Middlesex at #3 South River
  • #11 Old Bridge at #6 North Brunswick
  • #10 JP Stevens at #7 South Brunswick
  • #15 Monroe at #2 Colonia

Rutgers Prep sweeps top seeds in Somerset County Tournament; Gill St. Bernards takes both No. 2 seeds

There was little surprise at the Somerset County Tournament seeding meeting Monday night at Immaculata High School in Somerville, where the boys’ and girls’ coaches both went with Rutgers Prep as the top seed, and Gill St. Bernard’s at No. 2.

The third and fourth seeds for the girls are Watchung Hills and Hillsborough, while the boys’ third and fourth seeds are Immaculata and Hillsborough.

On the girls’ side, Prep has been dominant for several years now, and just made it 26 straight weeks – out of 26 – atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten.

On the boys’ side, the Argonauts split with Gill; the Knights won 67-65 on a buzzer-beating three by Nick Losada 67-65 in Gladstone January fifth, then the Argos won 64-43 in Somerset in the January 24th rematch.

Below are the matchups for both tournaments, projecting ahead to the semifinals. Seeds 1 through 4 get double byes to the quarterfinals in both tournaments, while the 5 through 9 seeds get byes to the second round on the girls’ side, and 5 through ten skip ahead on the boys’ side. The girls’ tournament is down to 15 teams this year with North Plainfield leaving for the GMC, while the Canucks departure leaves the boys with just 14 teams.

The opening round for both is this Thursday. The second round is February 11th, quarterfinals are on the 14th, and the semis are on the 16th, all at higher seeds. Central Jersey Sports Radio will have coverage of the semifinals, with live play-by-play TBA. We’ll also broadcast the girls’ and boys’ finals live on Saturday, February 18th.

Somerset County Girls’ Bracket:

  • #13 Bridgewater-Raritan at #12 Immaculata, winner at #5 Franklin, winner at #4 Hillsborough
  • #15 Montgomery at #10 Somerville, winner at #7 Pingry, winner at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s
  • #8 Ridge and #9 Bound Brook both get first round byes, winner plays at #1 Rutgers Prep
  • #14 Manville at #11 Bernards, winner at #6 Mount St. Mary, winner at #3 Watchung Hills

Somerset County Boys’ Bracket:

  • #13 Bernards at #12 Somerville, winner at #5 Franklin, winner at #4 Hillsborough
  • #14 Manville at #11 Bridgewate-Ratritan, winner at #6 Ridge, winner at #3 Immaculata
  • #8 Bound Brook and #9 Montgomery both get first round byes, winner at #1 Rutgers Prep
  • #7 Watchung Hills and #10 Pingry both get first-round byes, winner at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s

South River boys got their No. 3 seed. Can the Rams cash in and win it all?

Spotswood head coach Steve Mate has known Brandon Walsh for over a decade.

The South River skipper played against Mate’s Chargers when he was a Ram, and later worked under him at the Monroe Sports Center.

So for Mate to watch Walsh’s team have great success this year – despite it happening twice at the Chargers’ expense – it’s been something special.

Schools in the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue – in which which South River and Spotswood play – and Gold Divisions tend to stick together, and stick up for one another. Many on the inside – and some on the outside – feel they often take a backseat in some way to the White and Red Divisions.

That’s okay, because success and respect is earned. And this year, South River earned it, and got it.

The Rams were picked as the No. 3 seed this year in the GMC Tournament, which will begin for them at home on Thursday in the first round against the winner of Tuesday’s game between 14th-seed Edison and 19th-seed Middlesex.

We say picked – not awarded or given – because it wasn’t awarded or given. It was earned, by way of an eye-opening 74-66 win over St. Joseph in Metuchen the day after Christmas.

And despite an earlier loss to Piscataway, the Rams – now 20-2 after a non-conference loss to Ridge Saturday – are looking really good. They have gotten great guard play from Alex and Jeremy Grospe, an inside-outside game from Roman Santos, and a team-leading 15 points a game from Laz Rodrigez, a 1,000-point scorer. They can shoot, rebound, play pesky defense and get up and down the floor.

And now the question is, how deep can the Rams make a run in the GMC Tournament? Could they win the whole thing?

It might be an upset to the top-echelon teams in the GMC if they do, but it wouldn’t be to anyone inside the South River program. Even if this team is virtually all seniors, and enjoying the fruits of having played together for years as a group.

Everyone loves to root for the little guy. Throw in the fact that a public school has not won the GMC Tournament since Colonia in 2015, and that they’re the only team to do it since 2009 (Piscataway), well, there are going to be a lot of Rams fans the deeper they get in the tournament.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Spotswood head coach Steve Mate about fellow Blue Division foe and arch-rival South River’s chances in the 2023 GMC Tournament:

Top GMC Tournament boys seed goes to Aquinas, South River earns 3rd seed

One key seed was a shoo-in, the other was one that’s been discussed since the day after Christmas.

There was no suspense as St. Thomas Aquinas took the top seed in the boys’ 2023 Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament.

But after Colonia was awarded the 2-seed – also as expected – it was South River that took the No. 3 seed over St. Joseph-Metuchen, by virtue of beating the Falcons in a head-to-head matchup the day after Christmas.

St. Joseph was given the fourth seed.

Rounding out the top eight, South Brunswick got the fifth seed, followed by North Brunswick sixth, South Brunswick seventh and Piscataway at number eight.

The top eight seeds get byes to the first round, to be played next Tuesday, February 9th.

The GMC Tournament begins Saturday with play-in round games, with times to be determined by the higher-seeded hosts.

One wrinkle is that all the top 16 teams won’t get byes, since there is an extra team with North Plainfield moving top the GMC from the Skyland Conference. The No. 16 team now has to play in the play-in round.

In addition, since the Gold Division schedule was not completed, the first-place team – Calvary Christian (11-0) was not guaranteed a top seed. They were a half-game ahead of Highland Park (11-1) at the time of the seeding.

Below is the complete boys’ 2023 GMC Tournament bracket:

Rutgers Prep inches up after win over Gill, but STA remains No. 1 in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving boys’ rankings

Rutgers Prep’s convincing rematch win over Gill St. Bernard’s last Tuesday night on Easton Avenue moved the Argonauts up another notch in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten for Week 7, St. Thomas Aquinas remains No. 1 in the rankings.

Both squads had 3-0 weeks, with the Trojans now 19-1, and the Argonauts 14-6 overall. Gill (13-5) also lost to Paterson Eastside 62-51 to finish the week with a 1-2 mark.

The next four teams all stay put, with just one loss among them. Colonia (15-4) remains in fourth, followed by South River (18-1), Bound Brook (14-2), and South Plainfield (16-3).

The Crusaders were the only one of the four clubs to lose a game in the week gone by, coming to Franklin, which is 11-8 overall, but with four of those losses coming to Gill and Rutgers Prep, and a loss each to South Plainfield and North Brunswick, the first- and second-place teams in the GMC White Division, with just four defeats between them.

READ: Edison community and beyond comes together to “Fight For Allie,” help local 11-year old girl beat brain tumor

North Brunswick (16-3) rejoins the rankings at No. 8 with a 4-0 week, including victories over Princeton, Perth Amboy, Edison and Sayreville, while Hillsborough makes its debut at No. 10. The Raiders had a thrilling four-point win id double-overtime at Immaculata, plus wins over Watchung Hills and Edison for a 3-0 week.

Ridge (13-4) drops to tenth following a 2-1 week, including wins over Montgomery and Somerville, sandwiched around a loss to Watchung Hills.

Dropping out this week are No. 8 St. Joseph-Metuchen (10-7) – after an 0-3 week, with losses to St. Thomas Aquinas, Seton Hall Prep and Newark Central – and No. 10 Immaculata – which went 1-2 this past week, including a win over Perth Amboy and a loss at Phillipsburg.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Week 7 Rankings: