Tag: Deuce Jones

Falcons’ Josh Ingram finished strong for St. Joseph, earning him CJSR Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year honors

Josh Ingram – like a lot of other basketball players in Middlesex and Somerset Counties – had a very fine 2022-23 season. He averaged 22 points a game, nearly eight rebounds, nearly four assists, and shot just under 60-perccent from the floor, 37-percent from downtown, and a nice 83-percent from the free-throw line.

In the early season, he provided enough offense as St. Joseph-Metuchen – missing some key pieces for various reasons – tried to find itself. Later in the season, with things hanging in the balance, and starter Jeremy Clayville out, Ingram “turned it up to eleven.”

In his final ten games of the season, which included not one, but two wins over Rutgers Prep and a run to the Non-Public South A title game against Union Catholic – the eventual Group A winner – Ingram turned averaged 23.6 points a game, had 33 in the regular season win over the Argonauts, and cracked 30 points four times, including a wild GMC Tournament first-round win over Spotswood, where he notched a career high 38 points.

Those efforts have earned him Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year honors for 2023.

He was virutally unstoppable from the time Clayville went down January 27th to the point that when he returned, it was just gravy.

“It’s been a privilege to coach Josh and watch him grow into the player and person has become,” said Joe’s head coach Jan Cocozziello. “His talent is undeniable, but he’s also a leader with a team mentality. He’s a selfless player who steps up when his team needs him.”

Scroll down for honorable mention selections.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with 2023 Boys’ Player of the Year Josh Ingram of St. Joe’s:


Deuce Jones, St. Thomas Aquinas: There was a lot of talent on the Trojans’ roster this season, but as head coach Bob Turco has said about Jones, “he’s the straw that stirs the drink.” He averaged six assists a game, while still scoring 16.5 points a game for the three-time GMC Tournament Champions. What made it more impressive is that the junior was playing just his first season in North Edison, a transfer from Trenton Catholic. But he fit seamlessly into a solid core that included players like Jalen “Pop” Pichardo, Terrell Pitts, Kamal Lee, and more.

St. Thomas Aquinas junior guard Deuce Jones (right) talks with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Justin Sontupe after a 69-46 win over Colonia in Edison on January 12, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Jadin Collins, Rutgers Prep: An outstanding two-year varsity starter for Matt Bloom’s club, he averaged 19.2 points per game in that span and four-and-a-half assists as the Argonauts’ point guard, while also racking up 224 steals. This year, he averaged 20.5 points per game for 22-8 Prep en route to the Somerset County Tournament Championship, a year after they won the 2022 Non-Public South B title on his then-career-high 33 point effort – kitting key bucket after key bucket down the stretch.

Jordin Collins of Rutgers Prep brings the ball up the floor in the second half against Gill St. Bernard’s on January 24, 2023. Collins finished with a game-high 22 points. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

Jordan Summers, Bound Brook: Summers – who just signed on with Caldwell Monday – has been a stalwart from a great recent basketball family in The Brook. Summers finished with 1,456 career points, and scored 690 this year in 27 games, averaging an area-best 25.5 points per game – that’s tops among boys and girls in the CJSR coverage area. But it was the intangibles, leadership and unselfishness that made him most valuable to his team. “I have seen Jordan grow in front of my eyes since he was a kid, says head coach Anthony Melesurgo. “I am so proud of the young man he has become. The sky’s the limit for him!” He’ll also be playing in the North-/South All-Star game this Sunday at 2 pm at Rutgers Prep, the second player in as many years to do so; Quadir Harrell played last year.

Jordan Summers of Bound Brook – surrounded by teammates – signs on for a full scholarship with D2 Caldwell on March 6, 2023. (Photo courtesy Anthony Melesurgo)

St. Thomas Aquinas boys win back-and-forth GMC Tournament final to complete the three-peat

In a game that saw 18 lead changes – ten in the third quarter – and neither team lead by more than six, No. 1 seed St. Thomas Aquinas got by No. 7 seed South Brunswick 53-50 to win the GMC Tournament Boys’ Championship, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio Friday night from Monroe Township High School, presented by Dayton Toyota Service and Dayton Collision.

South Brunswick (17-6) had been vying to be the lowest seeded team to win the title, which has never been won by any lower than a sixth-seed.

Instead, the Trojans (24-3) now have won three full GMC Tournament Championships in a row, and – coupled with their girls’ 49-42 win over Colonia earlier in the evening – you can make it three straight sweeps by the Aquinas girls’ and boys. No other school has done that.

Deuce Jones led Aquinas with 21 points; the Trenton Catholic transfer had two thunderous jams that brought Monroe’s gym to its feet.

South Brunswick led after each of the first three quarters, even though the third was back and forth. St. Thomas Aquinas – which only led by as many as two until taking the lead late in the fourth quarter, was up two with 34.9 seconds to go when Jones – shooting only 5 of 10 from the line at that point, strode to the foul line and hit two free throws to put Aquinas up by four.

South Brunswick senior Harmehar Chhabra scored on a drive to cut it to two, and after an Arshvir Singh foul sent Jaden Kelly to the line and he split a pair, the Vikings had it with 14.9 seconds to go, down 53-50.

South called time out, and on the ensuing inbound, Chhabra got the ball up the floor, but the play designed in the huddle by head coach Joe Hoehman seemed to not materialize. Stuck, Chhabra threw up a three from right of the key with just one foot on the hardwood. It hit the back iron, the rebound tipped around, time expired, and the Trojans had their championship.

Kalani Antoine of South Brunswick had game-high honores, with 23, including three treys, and two big ones in the third quarter when the game was back-and-forth.

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

Click below for postgame reaction sponsored by SportsPlex at Metuchen:

St. Thomas Aquinas junior Michael “Deuce” Jones
St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Bob Turco

St. Thomas Aquinas “stuns” St. Joseph, bombing the Falcons in GMCT semis to move on to the finals yet again

It wasn’t “stunning” in terms of the result, or maybe even the margin, since it’s what St. Thomas Aquinas has been doing to opponents all year long.

But the fact that the Trojans and St. Joseph-Metuchen have played two games this year with a grand total differential of seven points – both Aquinas wins – made what happened in Wednesday night’s GMC Tournament semifinals stunning in every sense of the word.

Aquinas hit five of its first six three-point attempts before Joe’s could even blink, and found themselves with a 15-0 lead just over two minutes into the game.

Overall, the Trojans (23-3) hit 15 threes in the game, the most by Aquinas in the past five years under head coach Bob Turco. All five starters scored in double figures, seven different players hit from downtown, and two – Terrell Pitts and Deuce Jones – had a pair of thunderous jams each.

Jones led all scorers with 16, including three treys. Kamal Lee had 12, all on threes. Jaden Kelly had 15, including three trays. Jalen Pichardo has 12 including two threes, while Samir Thomas, Jebron Harris and Sherief Guinyard each had threes off the bench.

In a losing cause for St. Joe’s (15-10), senior Josh Ingram finished with 28 points, enough on a normal night, but this one was anything but, with Aquinas bringing it’s A++ game.

Now, the GMC Tournament Finals Friday night are set. Top-seed and two-time defending champ St. Thomas Aquinas will take on seventh-seed South Brunswick at 8 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio. No team higher than a six-seed has ever won the GMC or Middlesex County Tournament

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!
St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Jalen Pichardo and junior Michael “Deuce” Jones
St. Thomas Aquinas Head Coach Bob Turco

No. 1 Aquinas uses defense to topple No. 3 Colonia, take control of GMC Red race

Even when Samir Thomas sank four threes in rapid succession in the second quarter, the game was far from over.

He got top-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas back in the game when his team was down five, at 25-20 in the second. Then gave his team the leas as the Trojans took a 15-5 run into the locker room to lead 35-30 at the half.


And yet, No. 3 Colonia kept it a game, but not for much longer.

That’s because the Trojans did what they do best: turn on the defense, and get out in transition. That helped Aquinas outscore the Patriots 16-9 in the third quarter, and never look back, now taking control of the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division race into their own hands.

The significance of STA’s 69-46 win heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio Thursday night is this: While Colonia could have won the division outright with a win in North Edison, Aquinas now gets a chance to do just that, when the Trojans play at No. 10 St. Joseph-Metuchen next Tuesday night at 7, in a game you can also hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The title can be decided this early thanks to a one-year pilot program approved by the GMC last Spring, by which teams only have to play each other once in the Red Division. A second meeting is optional, but only the first meetings will count toward the division title.

Should Aquinas lose to St. Joe’s on Tuesday, all three would be co-champs, and the tie would have to be broken only for GMC Tournament seeding, with all games being taken into account.

At the moment, Aquinas is 12-1, 7-0 in the Red Division, while Colonia drops to 10-2, 7-1 in the Red.

Junior guard Deuce Jones led the way for St. Thomas with 16 points, ten after halftime. Thomas followed with 14, while senior guard Terrell Pitts added 10 before fouling out late.

Colonia was led by senior guard Anthony Gooden’s 15 points, ten of which came in the second half.

Aquinas was in foul trouble most of the night, with Pitts and senior Jalen Pichardo on the bench most of the first half after picking up two first quarter fouls apiece. By the second quarter, Thomas and senior Kamal Lee also had two fouls, but the Trojans hung in there for the win.

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

Click below for postgame reaction from Justin Sontupe, sponsored by SportsPlex at Metuchen:

St. Thomas Aquinas junior guard Deuce Jones
St. Thomas Aquinas junior guard Deuce Jones (right) talks with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Justin Sontupe after a 69-46 win over Colonia in Edison on January 12, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Bob Turco