Tag: Franklin

Bernards boys’ upset Hackettstown, while seven other higher seeds advance in Group 2 and 4 opening round action

Of the eight Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area teams advancing in the opening round of the state playoffs on Tuesday for Groups 2 and 4, seven were higher seeds – including top-seed South River in Central Jersey Group 2 – while Bernards pulled off an upset in North 2, Group 2..

The 11th-ranked Mountaineers got a team-high 19 points from Ryan Gaglione – and another 14 from Connor Laverty – to get past 6th-seed Hackettstown on the road, 52-49. Bernards trailed 27-22 at the half and cut the deficit to four after three quarters, but rallied on a 17-10 fourth quarter to win.

Below are full first-round results from Tuesday night in all the sections involving CJSR-area teams. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule, including matchups resulting from tonight’s games.

Central Group 4
#1 Trenton def. #16 Sayreville, 118-47
#8 West Windsor-Plainsboro South def. #9 Montgomery, 56-46
#5 Middletown south def. #12 Manalapan, 92-65
#4 Jackson Memorial def. #13 East Brunswick, 67-59
#3 North Brunswick def. #14 Princeton, 55-54
#6 South Brunswick def. #11 Old Bridge, 61-35
#7 Marlboro def. #10 Hightstown, 56-48
#2 Freehold Twp. def. #15 Howell, 61-48

Central Group 2
#1 South River def. #16 East Brunswick Magnet, 80-33
#9 Pt. Pleasant Boro def. #8 Spotswood, 51-42
#5 Rumson-Fair Haven def. #12 Roselle Park, 90-54
#4 Bound Brook def. #13 Holmdel, 57-43
#3 Raritan def. #14 Johnson, 66-37
#6 Delaware Valley def. #11 Bordentown, 59-39

North 2, Group 4
#1 Ridge def. #16 Woodbridge, 74-53
#8 Newark East Side def. #9 Bayonne, 56-39
#5 Westfield def. #12 Watchung Hills, 56-50
#13 Scotch Plains-Fanwood def. #4 Elizabeth, 65-55
#3 Hillsborough def. #14 JP Stevens, 53-46
#6 Columbia def. #11 Phillipsburg, 65-54
#7 Franklin def. #10 Irvington, 74-65
#2 Linden def. #15 Piscataway, 53-41

North 2, Group 2
#1 Caldwell def. #16 Becton, 67-41
#8 Science Park def. #8 Lyndhurst, 67-41
#5 McNair def. #12 Verona, 61-36
#4 Newark Central def. #13 Dayton, 66-57
#14 West Side def. #3 Rutherford, 76-71
#11 Bernards def. #6 Hackettstown, 52-49
#10 Hanover Park def. #7 New Providence, 51-41
#2 Madison def. #15 Newark Central, 52-42

Here is the upcoming schedule for all sections in which area teams remain:


Central Group 1 Quarterfinals
#9 South Hunterdon at #1 Eagle Academy
#12 Brearley at #4 Keyport
#6 Manville at #3 Pt. Pleasant Beach
#7 Florence at #2 Shore

North 2 Group 3 Quarterfinals
#8 Summit at #1 South Plainfield
#5 Chatham at #4 Colonia
#6 Snyder at #3 Mendham
#7 Payne Tech at #2 West Morris

Non-Public South A First Round
#11 Pingry at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen
#10 Christian Brothers at #7 Rutgers Prep

Non-Public North B First Round
#9 Eastern Christian at #8 Timothy Christian

Non-Public South B First Round
#12 Doane Academy at #5 Calvary Christian


Central Group 4 Quarterfinals
#8 West Windsor-Plainsboro South at #1 Trenton
#5 Middletown South at #4 Jackson Memorial
#6 South Brunswick at #3 North Brunswick
#7 Marlboro at #2 Freehold Twp.

Central Group 2 Quarterfinals
#9 Point Pleasant Boro at #1 South River
#5 Rumson-Fair Haven at #4 Bound Brook
#6 Delaware Valley at #3 Raritan
#7 Roselle at #2 Manasquan

North 2, Group 4 Quarterfinals
#8 Newark East Side at #1 Ridge
#13 Scotch Plains-Fanwood at #5 Westfield
#6 Columbia at #3 Hillsborough
#7 Franklin at #2 Linden

North 2, Group 2 Quarterfinals
#8 Science Park at #1 Caldwell
#5 McNair at #4 Newark Collegiate
#14 West Side at #11 Bernards
#10 Hanover Park at #2 Madison


Non-Public South A Quarterfinals
Winner of #11 Pingry/#6 St. Joseph-Metuchen at #3 Immaculata

Non-Public North B Quarterfinals
Winner of #9 Eastern Christian/#8 Timothy Christian at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas
Winner of #10 Hawthorne Christian/#7 Saddle River Day at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s

INSTANT REPLAY: Somerset County Tournament Semifinals

The Rutgers Prep girls’ and boys’ basketball teams advanced to their respective Somerset County Tournament Championship games with wins over Franklin on Thursday, February 16th, 2023, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino had the call.

In Game One, the Rutgers Prep girls ousted No. 5 seed Franklin 67-38, getting a game-high 26 points from junior Mikayla Blakes, and 11 each from senior Katie Ledden and freshman GiGi Battle. Precious Wheeler led Franklin with 14 in defeat.

Girls: #1 Rutgers Prep vs. Franklin

In Game Two, the Rutgers Prep boys beat 5th-seed Franklin 81-66, getting game-highs of 20 points apiece from juniors Jadin Collins and John Kelly. Junior Cam Brown had 18 to lead Franklin in the loss.

Boys: #1 Rutgers Prep vs #5 Franklin

Rutgers Prep boys return every Franklin salvo to clinch third straight SCT finals berth

The Rutgers Prep lead was 12, then ten. Then 12, then ten. Then 12, then ten. Then all of a sudden down to six, before going back to 12 twice more, and before the Argonauts finally pulled away for good.

Fifth-seed Franklin gave top-seeded Prep everything they could handle, and even then some. Junior Cam Brown of Franklin suffered what looked like it could be a devastating ankle injury and came back. Jake Novielli, scoreless since a 13-point first half, banged in back-to-back threes.

But Johnny Nsenkyire’s answer-three held Franklin at bay again, and with a six-point game back up to nine, that was the last rush the Warriors could make.

Rutger Prep (19-7) got 20 points each from Jadin Collins and John Kelly – a pair of juniors – wile seniors Cameron Piggee added 12 and Jordan Atkins scored ten.

Novielli, a junior, finished with 19 to lead Franklin (16-10), while Cam Brown added 18 and Cam Snowden finished with 16.

Now, it’s on to Saturday’s Somerset County Tournament Final at 3 pm at Montgomery High School, where it will be a rematch of last year’s SCT final. Prep will face second-seed Gill St. Bernard’s, which beat 6-seed Ridge 57-50 in overtime Thursday night. You can hear that game on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning at 12:45 with pregame for the girls’ final at 1:00, which also will feature Prep and Gill.

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:

Junior Jadin Collins and Senior Jordan Atkins
Junior John Kelly

Make it an eighth straight trip to the SCT Finals for Rutgers Prep, 67-38 winners over Franklin

It wasn’t quite the fast start the Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball has been used to in its last four meetings with Franklin, which the Argonauts have won by an average of almost 33 points.

But slowly, and surely, that trademark full-court pressure and stifling half-court defense wasa too much for the 5th-seeded Warriors, as top-seeded Rutgers Prep pulled away a little at a time for a 67-38 win in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals Thursday night in Somerset, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Junior point guard Mikayla Blakes led all scorers, putting on a scoring clinic, with 26 points, including four treys. Freshman GiGi Battle added 15, while Rhode Island-bound senior Katie Ledden added 11.

Sophomore Precious Wheeler led Franklin with 14, the only Warrior in double figures.

The victory puts the Argonauts (19-4) in their eighth straight SCT title game, having not missed since 2015, and they will go for their third straight title, having won last year and in 2020. They’ll be seeking their seventh overall.

Prep will take on second-seed Gill St. Bernard’s in the finals Saturday at 1 pm on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Franklin fell to 12-12 with the loss.

Click below for postgame reaction sponsored by SportsPlex at Metuchen:

Rutgers Prep junior Mikayla Blakes
Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Klinger

Franklin boys hope third time’s the charm in rematch with Rutgers Prep, with SCT finals berth on the line

You’ll have to forgive the youngest members of Franklin’s boys basketball team for not attending the program’s most recent appearance in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals.

It happened in 2007. They hadn’t been born yet.

Fast forward 16 years, and the Warriors have returned to Somerset County’s Final Four. With their eyes on a championship, they’ll have to get by a familiar foe to continue their postseason run.

Five-seed Franklin travels to top-seeded Rutgers Prep on Thursday night to play for a berth in the County Finals. Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast the game live at 7 pm, with the pregame at 6:45 following the girls’ matchup between the same teams at 5:00. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action. Click here to listen.

The Warriors are hoping the third time is the charm against Rutgers Prep, which won both of the regular-season meetings between the crosstown rivals. Both games were decided by single digits.

The more recent of the two games happened more than a month ago, though. And since then, Franklin has played its best basketball of the season, winning 10 of its last 11.

That includes Tuesday’s mini-upset of 4-seed Hillsborough in the Somerset County quarterfinals. The Warriors led wire-to-wire and got 20-point performances from Cam Brown and Cam Snowden. Before that, Franklin opened the tournament with a 25-point win over Bernards, led by Jake Novielli’s career-high 32 points.

Click below to hear Franklin head coach Tony Mento talk about his team’s hot streak and rematch with Rutgers Prep:

Battle tested Rutgers Prep boys will battle Franklin a third time, this time for a trip to the SCT title game

The Argonauts boys’ basketball team earned its No. 1 seed in the Somerset County Tournament the hard way, with some gritty basketball games in the top division in the conference.

After a buzzer-beater loss at Gill St. Bernard’s, they took firm control with a solid rematch on their home floor. But they didn’t just have to beat the Knights. They also had to gut out tough games like their two matchups with resurgent Franklin this year, including a 90-82 road victory on opening night, and a6 62-55 home win just under a month later on January 12th.

Thursday night, Rutgers Prep (18-7) and Franklin (16-9) will square off for a third time, this time with a trip to Saturday’s Somerset County Finals on the line. It’s a game you can hear live on Central Jersey Sports Radio at 7 pm, with pregame at 6:45 following the girls’ matchup between the same teams at 5 pm.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action. Click here to listen.

For Prep, they are seeking a third straight trip to the Somerset County Tourney title tilt, and fourth in the last five tournaments. They lost to Gill St. Bernard’s in both 2017 and 2018, missed the final in ’19, won it in 2020 by beating third-seed Watchung Hills, then after a one-off Skyland Pod tournament in 2021, fell to top-seed Gill St. Bernard’s last season.

The games with Franklin this year have been good ones. The first one on opening night, December 15th, saw the teams knotted up at 15 after one quarter before Rutgers Prep pulled out to a 14-point halftime lead, and a fourth-quarter rally by the Warriors fell short, losing by eight.

In the second one, it was a similar pattern. Prep led 14-11 after one, then 35-22 at the half, before Franklin made a move in the third quarter and fell short. Jadin Collins scored 23 in both games for the Argonauts.

Click below to hear Rutgers Prep head coach Matt Bloom talk about his team’s season and the matchup with Franklin:

It’s the real season now for Rutgers Prep, as Lady Argonauts seek fourth straight SCT Final

Mary Klinger says the regular season is the pre-season. It’s the tune-up for the games that count. It’s where you find your strengths and weaknesses, and work on them before the county and state tournaments.

Well, now the games count. The top-seeded Rutgers Prep girls basketball team has already won its first Somerset County Tournament game, a quarterfinal victory over 8th-seed Ridge, 82-33. Now, it’s the semifinals Thursday night against a familiar foe in big games: Franklin.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast both games of a girls’/boys’ doubleheader involving the Rutgers Prep teams, both seeded No. 1 in their respective SCT brackets. The Rutgers Prep girls (18-4) take on fifth-seed Franklin (12-11) at 5 pm. Then it’s the boys’ turn at 7:00, with the same matchup: the Argonauts (18-7) versus the fifth-seeded Warriors (16-9).

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action, with pregame for the first contest beginning at 4:45. Click here to listen.

Klinger’s squad is led by junior sensation Mikayla Blakes, with her 22.5 points a game, with significant contributions from veterans like Katie Ledden, Chloe Escanillas, Zahra Alexander and more. That includes freshman GiGi Battle, averaging 9.3 points a game in her rookie campaign.

Franklin isn’t the same team they were pre-COVID, when head coach Audrey Taylor’s team was a pretty regular fixture in the Tournament of Champions, winning it in 2017 and 2019. But they’re still a talented bunch, and can give teams fits.

Click below to hear Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Klinger talk about her team’s season, and the matchup with Franklin:

Franklin, Ridge, Pingry, Mount St. Mary girls all advance to Somerset County Tourney quarterfinals

It’s on to the round of eight in the Somerset County Tournament, with all the higher seeds advancing in second round action Saturday afternoon. They now play in quarterfinal action against the top four seeds, which all earned double-byes.

In the top half of the bracket, 8th-seed Ridge beat 9-seed Bound Brook at home, 59-38, in a game in controlled the whole way, starting with a 22-8 first quarter lead for the Red Devils (13-9). Junior forward Emma Landes had her first career 20-plus point game, finishing with 23 on the day. Senior Casey Miller paced Bound Brook (9-12) with 19. Ridge moves on to play at top-seed Rutgers Prep (16-4) Tuesday night.

On the other side of that bracket, fifth-seed Franklin (11-11) more than doubled-up 12th-seed Immaculata, 43-21. This one started out slow, with the Warriors taking a 4-0 lead over the Spartans (11-13) after one quarter. But they picked up the offensive pace over the next eight minutes, taking a 16-5 lead into the locker room, a lead they would not relinquish. Junior guard Iyanna Cotton’s 19 points led all scorers in the game; she was the only one in double figures. Next up for Franklin is a quarterfinal game at 4-seed Hillsborough (14-9) Tuesday night.

In the other bracket, it was 7-seed Pingry (15-9) getting past 10-seed Somerville, 54-34, behind another big second quarter. Up by just two after the first eight minutes, the Big Blue used a 22-9 second period to take a 35-20 lead into halftime. Three Pingry players reached double-figures, led by sophomore center Debra Hill, with a game-high 16. Somerville drops to 13-10 with the loss, while the Big Blue move on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinals, where they will visit 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (14-6).

The other side of that bracket saw 6th-seed Mount St. Mary move on with a 50-43 win over Bernards (15-7). The Lions (15-9) were led by sophomore Mia Gestosani with 14, while junior Rachel Castela added 12. Game-high honors went to the Mountaineers’ senior guard Sydney Incarnato, with 18. Mount moves on to play third-seed Watchung Hills (16-5) Tuesday night.

Three teams out, two new ones join Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings

It was a week of losses, some more impactful than others, in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten. Week Four saw the top five remain the same, but there were many changes in Week Four after that.

Rutgers Prep (6-3) continues to hold the top spot; their third loss of the season came by ten to McDonogh of Maryland. St. Thomas Aquinas (8-2) had a 3-0 week, while Gill St. Bernard’s (6-3) remained in third, despite a two loss-week; one came to top-ranked Rutgers Prep, which has not lost a Skyland Conference regular season game since a December 2018 loss to Franklin. The other came to statewide No. 1 St. John Vianney.

South Brunswick (8-2) holds at No. 4, while Edison (10-0) remains No 5.

Franklin (4-4) moves up from seventh to sixth despite a 2-1 week. Their two wins came in-league over Hunterdon Central and previously-6th-ranked Hillsborough.

Bernards (6-3) – which was tied for tenth with Middlesex last week – moves up to No. 7, while the Blue Jays (7-1) rose to No. 8. Mount St. Mary joins the rankings at 7-4 and in the nine-spot, while Old Bridge (6-3) debuts in tenth.

Dropping out were No. 6 Hillsborough, No. 8 Monroe, and ninth-ranked Colonia. The Raiders (4-4) went 0-3 last week against Rutgers Prep, Franklin and Watchung Hills. Colonia was 2-1 with a division loss to Old Bridge. Monroe dropped a pair of games to St. Thomas Aquinas and Colonia.

Below are the full Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings:

No. 7 South Plainfield guts one out against Franklin in GMC-Skyland Challenge

It wasn’t the best defensive effort they’ve had all season – coach and his star player agree – but a win is a win.

No. 7 South Plainfield got by Franklin Saturday evening in the fourth game of the five-contest GMC-Skyland Challenge at Bound Brook High School, with a 76-65 win. Senior guard Brandon Dean, the GMC’s leading scorer at nearly 26 points a game, finished with 23, including eight three-pointers.

The win improves South Plainfield to 8-1, winners of two straight since suffering its first loss of the season earlier this week to St. Joseeph-Metuchen. Franklin drops to 4-5.

Click below to hear postgame comments from Tigers’ head coach John Greco and senior guard Brandon Dean: