Tag: Colonia

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:

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:

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

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:

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:

Rutgers Prep girls continue to cruise, and hold No. 1 spot in the rankings

One of three unbeaten teams remaining in the area, Rutgers Prep remains the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Top Ten for Week Five.

The Argonauts are 9-0 following a 2-0 week, outscoring Immaculata and Phillipsburg by a combined total of 128-40; they beat the Spartans 74-15 and the Stateliners 54-25. Prep has now held five of its nine opponents under 30 points.

Gill St. Bernard’s also is 9-0; the Knights beat Franklin in overtime last week 44-42, en route to a 3-0 week, and are in second.

Mount St. Mary rambled through a four-win week, to end the regular season 12-0, with the maximum number of games that can be played through the start of the three-game Skyland Conference Tournament. They beat Pingry and Voorhees this week, bookended by wins in both ends of a home-and-home with Somerville.

Dropping from the ranks of the undefeated was Calvary Christian of the GMC Gold, which fell to 9-1 after a 2-1 week that began Monday with a 42-28 loss to Blue Division crossover foe Metuchen.

Entering the rankings is Middlesex; the Blue Jays check in at No. 8 after beating the highest-rated GMC team, St. Thomas Aquinas, 59-50 at home on Friday.

Aquinas actually held steady in third despite a 1-2 week, having beaten 4th-ranked Franklin but losing at Saddle River Day. The Trojans did not drop, however, because they beat Franklin and a were one spot ahead of them, and two weeks ago beat No. 5 Monroe head to head.

Franklin had a 2-2 week, but their losses were to two teams ahead of them in the rankings – Aquinas and No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s. They followed those defeats with a pair of wins at Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills.

Below are the complete Week 5 rankings:

Gill closes regular season right where it started, No. 1 in rankings

Despite a loss to out-of-area Hunterdon Central, Gill St. Bernard’s held on to it’s No. 1 position in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Knights finished the week 2-1, and the regular season with a 6-3 mark overall, with all losses out of area. Gill also lost to Bergen Catholic and the Patrick School.

They’ll have a bye in the first round of the Skyland Conference Tournament top pod, the “Blue Division,” and on Thursday will face the winner of 4th-seed Hunterdon Central and 5-seed Watchung Hills, with that game being played Tuesday night.

The only change in the Top Ten this week was a flip-flop of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph-Metuchen, a reverse of what they did a week ago.

Aquinas (7-4) is back to No. 2 after beating state-ranked Hudson Catholic in double overtime Saturday, while the Falcons (9-3) lost at unranked North Brunswick.

The Trojans appear to have locked in the top overall seed in the GMC Tournament’s top pod. That postseason will be seeded Monday morning.

Below is the complete Week 5 Top Ten:

Boys’ regular season wrap-up: Bound Brook heads into Skyland Tourney as lone unbeaten area team, and other notes of interest

What a year the Bound Brook Crusaders have had.

Lucky enough to have no COVID pauses, Anthony Melesurgo’s squad has persevered, and reaped the rewards of their sacrifice to stay safe and stay on the court.

Bound Brook has finished the regular season with an 11-0 mark, entering the postseason as the only undefeated team out of the 54 calling either the GMC or Skyland Conference home.

All but one of Bound Brook’s games came against league competition, with their lone out of conference game coming against a Linden team whose 1-11 record is deceptive, by virtue of playing in the Union County Conference’s stacked Watchung Division – which includes Roselle Catholic, Elizabeth and Union – as well as Paterson Eastside and Montgomery.

Bound Brook won all four of its games this week: Monday at Linden 68-61, Tuesday at North Plainfield 56-41, Thursday at home against Bernards 73-61 (on Central Jersey Sports Radio), and Saturday afternoon against Voorhees 78-55.

LISTEN: Harrell, McLarty, Melesurgo talk No. 9 Bound Brook’s gut-check win over Bernards

The Crusaders are the top-seed in the “Gold Division” bracket of the Skyland Conference Tournament, which will include three ‘pods” this year, and for the first time ever put teams in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties in the same field.

Continue reading “Boys’ regular season wrap-up: Bound Brook heads into Skyland Tourney as lone unbeaten area team, and other notes of interest”

Rutgers Prep maintains stranglehold on No. 1 ranking

In what may have been its toughest test of the regular season, Rutgers Prep passed with flying colors, and as part of a two-win week, it helped keep the Argonauts solidly atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 4 Girls’ Basketball rankings.

Prep led Franklin 35-6 at halftime, en route to a 65-33 win Saturday afternoon heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. That followed an 87-27 win over Montgomery on Tuesday.

Click below to hear an audio version of the Week 4 Top Ten, including comments from Rutgers Prep’s Mary Klinger and Christina Dalce, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Akyia Baker and Joe Whalen:

At 7-0, Rutgers Prep is outscoring opponents an average of 74-30, holding five opponents to 33 points or less, and three of them under 30.

North Brunswick joined the top ten after a two-win week – beating JFK and South Plainfield – and following a No. 8 Middlesex loss to Bound Brook.

Following are the Week 4 Rankings: