Tag: Brandon Walsh

South River clears perhaps its biggest remaining hurdle, as Santos, Rodriguez power Rams past Chargers

Ever since Spotswood took its high schoolers out of South River and opened its own high school in 1976, Chargers-Rams has been an intense rivaly. And 47 years later, little has changed.

The crowd got here for the JV game and never left, and the doors were shut well before tip-off.

Spotswood kept it close for a while, down just eight points at the half.

But the fifth-ranked Rams (13-1, 9-0 GMC Blue) pulled away, getting well into double digits in the third, and beat Spotswood (11-4, 7-3) 73-51 before a packed house in South River.

Senior Roman Santos led all scorers with 18 points, 16 in the first three quarters. By then it was well in hand for the Rams. Santos’ final bucket, his only score in the final eight minutes, was a thunderous one-handed jam in transition.

Senior Laz Rodriguez added 17 in another very balanced game.

Spotswood kept punching, but every time they cut a double-digit lead to six or seven, the Rams always had an answer, and eventually, South River was just too much for them.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

South River won its first meeting with the Chargers just two games into the season in Spotswood. That was a five-point game, and one of the toughest opponents they’ve played all year. It may have been their toughest remaining divisional challenge, as South River is widely considered to have a strong argument for the third-seed in the GMC Tournament next month – providing they don’t trip up the rest of the way – by virtue of beating St. Joseph-Metuchen after Christmas, and despite suffering its first loss of the season last weekend against Piscataway.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Senior Alex Grospe
South River sophomore Alex Grospe (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Senior Kobe Taylor
South River senior Kobe Taylor (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Head Coach Brandon Walsh0

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

Bound Brook led the game by four in the first minute or two, but never again against South River, as the 10th-ranked Rams knocked off the 6th-seeded Crusaders 66-61 Saturday night, in the finale of the GMC-Skyland Challnge, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Once the Rams took the lead in the first, and went ahead by as many as 15 points at one stage, they never lost the lead, even though the advantage would shrink to single digits late in the third.

South river got off to a hot start thanks to Roman Santos, who had nine first-quarter points, including a couple of treys, but also quickly picked up two fouls and spent more time on the bench than he or his coach, Brandon Walsh, would have liked.

Laz Rodriguez had 15, with 11 coming in the second half, and eight in the fourth quarter.

But it was Alex Grospe – a sophomore – who earned Game MVP honors: 18 points, a pair of treys, and a balanced night. He also did it on the defensive end.


The win gets the Rams to 9-0 overall, their first time winning nine straight to start a season since 1977-78, when they went 11-0 before getting upset by New Brunswick late in January.

Bound Brook (7-1) was led by senior Jordan Summers’ 22 points, though he was held scoreless in the second quarter.

Click below for postgame reaction, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!
Sophomore guard Alex Grospe
South River sophomore guard Alex Grospe. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
Head coach Brandon Walsh

No. 10 South River, No. 6 Bound Brook set to clash Saturday in nightcap of GMC-Skyland Challenge

Anthony Melesurgo’s squad is in a familiar situation. To say Bound Brook has started the last two seasons strong would be akin to saying the Empire State Building is a tall structure.

So strong did they start in the COVID-shortened 2021 season, in fact, that they went undefeated, 14-0, for the first time in modern history, perhaps ever. Last year, they won their first 13 games before suffering a loss.

This year, they are 7-0 at the moment, the third straight full season (read: beginning in December) that they’ve entered January with an unblemished record.

South River, meanwhile, has matched last year’s 8-0 start, and the No. 10 Rams – ranked in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten for the first time ever will look to best that mark when they take on the No. 6 Crusaders in the finale of the GMC-Skyland Challenge in Bound Brook Saturday night at 7:00, in a contest that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

With the five-game slate starting at 11 am, pregame is tentatively set for 6:45 pm, with Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe calling all the action. You can hear the game by clicking here.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

A win for the Rams would put them at 9-0 for the first time since the 1977-78 season, when they began the year 11-0 before getting upset at New Brunswick. That team’s star was Kenny Jackson, who went on to be an All-American football standout at Penn State, and was later the fourth overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft by Philadelphia.

Click below for a preview of the game with both head coaches:

Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo
South River head coach Brandon Walsh

South River pulls of biggest upset so far in GMC, knocking off St. Joe’s in Metuchen

When the time comes for the GMC Tournament seeding meeting, just over a month from now, this will be one for the Rams’ resume, no matter what happens the rest of the year.

It’s rare enough for a GMC Blue Division team to play up to a Red Division opponent, let alone a Red Division team expected to compete for a division title.

And yet, South River traveled to Metuchen to take on St. Joseph on Monday, and knocked off the Falcons on the strength of a strong third quarter. With the teams tied 34-34 at the half, the Rams won the third period 15-8, then held off the Falcons over the final eight minutes.

Roman Santos led the way with 20 points, while Alex Grospe added 14 and Laz Rodriguez chipped in ten. It was a balanced scoring effort, with seven players in the scoring column, six of them scoring at least 8 points.

The Rams – who beat Henry Hudson Wednesday – are now 5-0.

Click below to hear South River head coach Brandon Walsh talk about how the Rams pulled off the upset of the year, so far, in the GM:

South River boys win Blue Division battle of attrition, back and forth affair at Spotswood

Both teams played with key starters on the bench in foul trouble for much of the second half – Jeremy Grospe and Laz Rodriguez for South River, and Aiden Scher, Kiya Walker and Casey Cumskiey for Spotswood. In the end, the Rams hung on longer to beat the Chargers on the road, 73-68, in a key early season Blue Division contest heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Senior guard Roman Santos was not one of those in foul trouble, and he tied for game-high honors, leading South River with 21 points in the victory, on a pretty balanced night: 12 points in the first half, and nine more after intermission, when he went 5-of-6 in the foul line, including 4-for-4 in the critical fourth quarter.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

Spotswood trailed most of the way, down 21-15 after the first eight minutes and 34-33 at the half, leading on a handful of occasions, but only briefly. They led 46-43 at the end of the third, but the Rams put together a solid quarter as the Chargers’ fould racked up.

Despite the foul trouble, junior forward Kiye Walker tied Santos’ game high with 21 points of his own, including a pair of treys.

Spotswood drops to 2-1 with the loss, 1-1 in the GMC Blue. The Rams are 2-0, both wins coming in divisional play.

Click below for postgame reaction from the game, presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Senior Forward Roman Santos
Head Coach Brandon Walsh

South River’s veteran squad has big early-season clash tonight with rival Spotswood

Whenever the Chargers and Rams get together – in any sport – it’s a headline game in both towns.

But tonight’s meeting between Spotswood (2-0) and South River (1-0) is a big early season Blue Division matchup in a season where both have a good shot to win the title.

For the Rams, that’s big news, and something that hasn’t happened in 30 years.

Tonight’s game can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio tonight, with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino on the call from Spotswood. Click here to listen, beginning with pregame at 6:15 and tip-off at 6:30 pm.

Both teams have experienced cores, with the Rams led by its most veteran players, seniors Jeremy Grospe and Lazaro Rodriguez. In a season-opening 72-50 home win Friday against Metuchen, Grospe scored 18 – fueled by five treys – whle Rodriguez added 17 points and four rebounds. Grospe’s younger brother, Alex – a sophomore – added 10 points and dished out nine assists.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with South River fourth-year coach Brandon Walsh: