Tag: Franklin

Somerset County Tournament continues with four first-round games Saturday

With all three higher seeds winning their opening round games back on Wednesday, the Somerset County Tournament moves to the second round on Saturday with four games, as Rutgers Prep, Pingry, Watchung Hills and Immaculata join the fray.

In the opening round, 12-seed Hillsborough – last in the packed Skyland Conference Delaware Division – picked up just its first win of the year, a 6-3 victory over 13-seed Bound Brook. Cole Jara knocked in half the runs Wednesday with 3 RBI on a 2-for-4 afternoon at the plate; he also had a stolen base.

11-seed Bernards squeaked past 14-seed Manville, winning 3-1 at home on Wednesday, while 10-seed Franklin pounded out 12 runs against 15-seed North Plainfield in a 12-5 home victory despite Dylan Millman being the only batter in the lineup with more than one hit; the Warriors worked out nine walks against Canucks pitching.

Saturday, in the second round, Franklin (4-4) will visit undefeated 7-seed Pingry (6-0) up in Martinsville at 11 am. The winner moves on the the quarterfinals next Saturday, April 30th, at second seed Somerville. The other side of that bracket has Bernards (3-6) at 6-seed Rutgers Prep (6-2) at noon, with the winner travelling next weekend to 3rd-seed Montgomery.

The other half of the SCT bracket has 12-seed Hillsborough (1-5) at 5-seed Watchung Hills (4-6) at 2 pm, with the winner going to visit 4-seed Bridgewater-Raritan next weekend. The other half of that side of the bracket has 9-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (5-4) playing at 8-seed Immaculata (5-4). Both teams had first-round byes, and – due to a scheduling conflict – will play Monday at 4 pm out at Diamond Nation in Flemington. The winner will visit top-seed Ridge next Saturday.

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Following the quarterfinals, the semis will be May 9th at 4 and 7 pm at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, the home of the Somerset Patriots. The finals are two weeks later, May 23 at 7 pm. The semifinals and finals can be heard live exclusively on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Rutgers Prep girls leave no doubt about it; they’re No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving final top ten of the year

When Central Jersey Sports Radio began its coverage of high school basketball last season, in the pandemic-shortened year, Rutgers Prep was the preseason No. 1 team. The went wire-to-wire with it last year, finishing 13-0, winners of the one-off Skyland Conference top pod.

To challenge themselves, they even played Saddle River Day the next day, after winning the pod final, and won that game, too.

They didn’t go undefeated in 2021-22, but they were by far the best girls’ team in the area, again, and once again, have gone wire-to-wire to finish No. 1 in the final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, to be CJSR’s Team of the Year.

They finished 29-3, going all the way to the Tournament of Champions title game, where they fell for a second time this season to the state’s undisputed No. 1 team, St. John Vianney. Winners of the Somerset County Tournament, the Non-Public South B and the Non-Public Group B state titles, their only other loss came out of state, early in the season, to Westtown (PA).

That’s a run of 17 straight polls where the Lady Argonauts were No. 1, the only team to have that ranking in the entire – albeit brief, so far – existence of Central Jersey Sports Radio.

While Prep was no surprise this year – and would be a safe bet at a preseason No. 1 next year with key players like sophomore Mikayla Blakes and junior Katie Ledden returning – one surprise was Hillsborough.

The Lady Raiders made a late run in 2022, going all the way to the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 finals where they lost to eventual Group 4 champion Westfield. They got their first ranking of the season in the final top ten, at No. 4.

Below are the final Bellamy & Son girls’ basketball rankings for the 2021-22 season:

Rutgers Prep remains No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Top Ten after loss to national power St. John Vianney

Sunday’s game at Kean University said less about Rutgers Prep than it said about just how untouchable St. John Vianney is this year. For the second week in a row the nation’s fifth-ranked team – according to ESPN – beat the No. 2 team in the New Jersey (last week it was Saddle River Day). This time it was the Argonauts, who still remain No. 1 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Week 8 Girls’ Basketball rankings, the final Top Ten until the end of the year, with the county tournaments set to get underway in earnest this week.

The top eight teams remained the same, in face, with only a handful of losses by those teams, and all to out-of-conference foes.

The rankings welcomed a new member for the first time since Week 5, with South Brunswick (15-6) jumping in at No. 9, replacing Watchung Hills, which had a rough week, going 0-4 with losses to Summit and Snyder out of league, then No. 5 Gill St. Bernard’s and No. 8 Mount St. Mary, dropping their record to 9-8.

Below is the full Week 8 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Top Ten:

St. Thomas Aquinas holds on to No. 1 ranking in Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Top Ten

A second quarter rally and four-point win over No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s – and a 2-0 week – keep St. Thomas Aquinas in the top spot in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings for Week 8, the final ranking before the county tournaments get underway in earnest this week.

The Trojans – still without Jaquan Harris, coming off October knee surgery, and also without elite defender Terrel Pitts – beat Gill 61-65 Saturday night in the headliner of the Hearts 2 Hands Invitational at Roselle Catholic High School. The Knights were without two key players of their own; Denver Anglin sat with a wrist injury, and sophomore Naasir Cunningham – the top recruit nationally in the Class of 2024 – was a late scratch, not playing, though he was in the official scorebook.

GSB remains second despite the loss, followed by Rutgers Prep in third, and Colonia fourth, neither of whom lost last week.

In fact, the only change saw Franklin – which lost out of conference to Holmdel and to No. 7 Bound Brook – swap places with Watchung Hills, moving down to ninth, while Hills went up to eighth.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Week 8 Boys’ rankings:

Playoff update: Girls’ Basketball Public Sections

Central Jersey Sports Radio continues taking a look at the playoff picture, with Saturday’s NJSIAA cutoff for state tournament qualification almost immediately on the horizon. We’ve got a section-by-section breakdown of public girls’ basketball teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference and Somerset County. All power points are the official NJSIAA totals as made available on NJ.com as of 6:30 pm Thursday.

Central Jersey Group 4: While Hightstown (16-5) and Jackson Memorial (15-2) lead this section with 375 and 365 points respectively, Monroe (13-3, 357) should stay in third, with only Edison on the schedule tonight before Saturday, and the Eagles already are their lowest power point total, so they won’t gain. After Middletown South (13-4, 342) in fourth, there’s East Brunswick at 14-5, with 327 points. Most of these teams are fairly well in place, with maybe a chance they could nudge up or down one spot. Marlboro (11-7, 311) is sixth, followed by North Brunswick (12-7, 299) and South Brunswick (14-6, 297). Behind them are Montgomery (9-8, 282) and Old Bridge (11-6, 278) in tenth. Sayreville, though 6-12 (171 pts) should be in over Long Branch, which is 5-8 with 155 points.

North Jersey, Scetion 2 – Group 4: While it remains to be seen if Franklin (13-3, 367) is anything like its pre-pandemic self – they were en route to another Tournament of Champions appearance before COVID shut things down – they have steadily improved this year. Westfield (16-4, 409) is the top seed here, but the Warriors could be the definition of a “sneaky two-seed,” if such a thing actually exists. The shouldn’t get caught from behind either by Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which is in third at 14-3, with 366 points. Ridge, at just 9-12, with 293 points, actually checks in fifth, followed by Watchung Hills (9-6, 276) and Woodbridge (11-6, 267). Then Hillsborough is 9th, at 10-7 (264 points). In 14th and 15th, respectively, are Bridgewater-Raritan (3-17, 172) and JP Stevens (4-15, 171).

Central Jersey Group 3: Yes, the Colonia boys are in North 2, but the girls are in Central. That’s how it works when you have boys’ only and girls’ only schools. The Patriots (19-2, 382) are in second place, and the White Division champions of the GMC are likely to stay there. They won’t catch top-seed Ewing (15-1, 394) and the next closest team below them – Wall (14-4) – is 58 points back. Go all the way outside the top 8 and you’ll find South Plainfield (10-8) in 9th with 246 points. It’s unlikely could earn a home game by jumping up, because they can’t get any more residuals. Down at 12 is Somerville (9-8, 215), then JFK (9-8, 199).

Central Jersey Group 2: Manasquan (19-3) is the top team here with 485 points, then New Providence (17-1, 423), but third-place Middlesex (16-2, 369) is well behind them. The question is, can Bound Brook (15-4, 367) gain two points to jump fourth-place Rumson-Fair Haven (12-8, 368)? Not in residuals, and their highest power point total is 16. But if they beat 17-2 Woodbury Saturday? Sure could! Checking in at No. 8 is South River (14-5, 282), then Johnson (11-7, 246) and Spotswood (12-7, 240) in tenth. Metuchen is in 12th at 9-9 (198), and Piscataway Tech is solidly in, but 15th place at 8-10 (157).

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 2: The only area team here is Bernards (5-10, 182) checking in at No. 11. The top seed here is Madison (12-6, 328).

Central Jersey Group 1: After top team New Egypt, at 12-1, 316 points, there’s Woodbridge Academy (15-2, 303). Probably can’t make up that ground, but a 2-seed is nice, too. Somerset Tech (12-5, 254) is in fourth, seven points ahead of Shore (10-10) in fifth. Down to nine we find Perth Amboy Tech (6-9, 154), which won’t crack the top eight. Immediately behind them are Manville (4-13, 150) and Highland Park (6-13, 149). Dunellen (4-14, 121) is in 13th.

Playoff update: Boys’ Basketball Public Sections

Continuing with a look at state playoff seeding projections, we’re taking a look at boys’ basketball public sections in Central and North 2. Remember that unlike most years when the first 16 games on a team’s schedule are counted, only the top 13 power point values are added this year. So, teams playing past their 16th game can still accumulate power points, but not full games’ worth. If a game makes the top 13, the lowest score is dropped, and all that is gained is the difference between the lowest of the 13, and the new score.

(Example: a team’s lowest among it’s top 13 scores is a 15. If it wins a game worth 20 points, the 15 is dropped, and the 20 added, for a net gain of 5.)

The analysis below is based on official NJSIAA calculations as available on NJ.com as of 9 am Tuesday:

Central Jersey Group 4: The top team here is Marlboro (17-2) with 454 points, and Monroe (18-3) is behind in second them at 413. They’re unlikely to get the top seed, but also unlikely to get caught from behind by Jackson Memorial (12-5, 361, 3rd) and definitely not by South Brunswick (12-6, 329, 4th). Both teams could gain since their 13th power point value is a loss, but not enough to overtake the Falcons. Next up from the CJSR area is No. 10 Montgomery (10-8, 244), then East Brunswick (8-8, 242) at 12. Both could move in a tight pack either up or down. Speaking of which, teams 15 through 17 are all from the GMC, and could be make or break this week. Old Bridge is 15th at 7-12 with 208 points, followed by Sayreville (8-10, 184) and North Brunswick (7-14, 176). It’s probably the Bombers and Raiders battling it out for that last playoff spot. North Brunswick has Edison Wednesday, and Sayreville is at St. Thomas Aquinas Tuesday and hosts Colts Neck Friday. Either team could add games before Saturday’s cutoff to get in. This could get interesting.

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 4: You’ve got Watchung Hills (14-3, 361) in the catbird’s seat here, led by Elijah Lewis, who just committed to Adelphi this week. Westfield is 16 points behind, and it may be tough for them to catch up with 13 wins already. How about Franklin (11-6, 341) making a push, though? The Warriors have room for two more wins here, and might be able to make up the 20 point disparity, so look out; they currently sit in third. Ridge is right behind them wrapping up the top four at 13-5 with 326 points, but with 13 wins, they’re less likely to make a move than Franklin. Toward the middle of the pack, JP Stevens (9-7, 275) is tied with Elizabeth (8-5, 275) for 7th, but both have room for improvement this week. Edison (12-6, 260) is right behind, but already has 12 wins, so it’s doubtful the Eagles can crack the top eight. Bridgewater-Raritan (8-11, 250) is 12th, followed by resurgent Piscataway (8-7, 246), which has won four in a row and six of its last eight after a rough 2-5 start.

Central Jersey Group 3: The only area team in contention here is Somerville (5-12, 161 points) in the bottom half of the pack in 12th place, solidly in that bottom half, but solidly in the field of 16. Manasquan is the current top team at 13-4, followed by 14-4 Robbinsville.

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 3: Here’s some intrigue: South Plainfield out of the GMC Blue is in first at 17-3, with 351 power points, while Colonia from the GMC White at 14-3 with 332 points is in second. It’ll be tough for the Patriots to make up that ground having 14 wins already; getting one of the pair against St. Thomas Aquinas sure would have helped. They’re the only area teams in contention in this section.

Central Jersey Group 2: With 13 wins already, a loss to Immaculata may not have hurt Bound Brook all that much, but it didn’t help either. The Crusaders (13-1, 357) have a slim shot at No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven (13-2), which is only ahead by six points, with 363. For example, their lowest value is a 15, a win over North Plainfield. A win over Hunterdon Central (which has 7 wins) Tuesday would be worth 6 quality points, 4 group points, and 15 residual points, for a total of 25. Drop the 15, add 25 and the net gain is 10. They’d jump ahead of the Bulldogs, but now it depends what they do. Bottom line: the Crusaders are still in play in the critical final week for a top seed. South River (13-4, 312) checks in 5th here, with Middlesex (9-10) at ten, and Roselle (11-15, 251) and Spotswood (13-5, 248) not far behind them. Metuchen (7-10, 165) appears to be sitting comfortably in 16; don’t expect anyone behind the Bulldogs to challenge them.

Central Jersey Group 1: It looks like Perth Amboy Tech (11-4, 214) is a lock for the four- or five-seed. They currently sit in fifth, and the only real difference as a potential extra home game if things go to chalk. Further down the standings, Highland Park (4-12, 141) checks in at 12, followed immediately by Manville (7-9, 135, 13th) and South Amboy (5-9, 122, 14th). Somerset Tech (3-15, 105) is 14th. Burlington City is the top team here at 12-4

All but three teams drop games, but all hold steady in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

St. Thomas Aquinas – despite suffering its first loss of the season and dropping to 20-1 Sunday night to George (PA) in the Metro Classic showcase in Toms River – remains the No. 1 team for a fourth straight week in the Bellamy & Son Paving rankings.

They were one of just three teams in the rankings to not lose a game this week, the others being third-ranked Rutgers Prep – which beat Phillipsburg and Bridgewater-Raritan during the week, then Paul VI in the Holy Cross Prep Showcase on Sunday – and Watchung Hills, which swept Hillsborough, Immaculata and North Bergen.

Gill St. Bernard’s remained No. 2 despite a pair of losses. Thursday, they fell by four to the No. 1 team in New Jersey, Camden. Saturday, they lost by 15 to La Lumiere, the Maxpreps top-ranked team in Indiana.

Following are the full Week 8 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings:

No change, top to bottom, in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

Not a single team moved one single place in the Week 7 Bellamy & Son rankings for girls’ basketball, with few losses by anyone, and many out-of-conference or to other ranked clubs.

Rutgers Prep remains No. 1, as the Argonauts have been since the rankings debuted at the start of last season, making it 14 straight week in the top spot for Mary Klinger’s squad. They had a 3-0 week, and a huge win Sunday over the 5th-ranked team in the state, Red Bank Catholic, in the Coaches’ Choice USA College Showcase in Holmdel.

Colonia – at No. 2 – also has a perfect week, going 2-0 with wins at North Brunswick and over Woodbridge. The Patriots have not lost a GMC game yet this season, their only two losses coming in their season opener to Albertus Magnus (NY) and January 12th at Westfield.

Third-ranked Bound Brook lost at Bayonne last Tuesday, while No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas lost twice, to Long Island Lutheran Tuesday at home, and to Rumson-Fair Haven in the showcase down in Holmdel Sunday.

No. 7 Monroe lost to Bound Brook on Thursday, Watchung Hills lost to unranked Immaculata Thursday, and tenth-ranked Old Bridge lost Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the full Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings:

Top five keep winning and stay in place in Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

The top five teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings went a combined 12-0 in the week gone by, with no changes among them.

Led by Rutgers Prep (12-1) at No. 1, the rest – Colonia second, followed by Bound Brook, St. Thomas Aquinas and Gill St. Bernard’s – didn’t budge.

Even the rest saw minimal changes. Monroe flip-flopped with Franklin to take 6th place after the Warriors lost to Gill St. Bernard’s last Thursday (on Central Jersey Sports Radio) 35-33 on a buzzer-beater by Brooke Baisley, while Monroe went 2-0. The Falcons have the longest active win streak in the GMC at the moment, at nine games.

Watchung Hills did the same with Mount St. Mary, moving up to 8th after the Lions split with Pingry last week, while the Warriors went 2-0.

Old Bridge held in tenth, despite a 48-36 loss last Tuesday at Monroe.

Below are the full rankings for Week 6:

Aquinas rolls on, Gill inches up in Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

St. Thomas Aquinas – now 16-0 and on the state’s second longest active winning streak – remains the No. 1 team in this week’s Bellamy & Son Boys’ basketball rankings, on the strength of a three-win week, including a “W” against one of the last few undefeated teams to go down, Morris Catholic, in the Great 8 Showcase at Weequahic.

Gill St. Bernard’s inches up, as the Knights continue to plow through their divisional schedule, while also playing a national/prep slate, with an 85-49 win at Hillsborough, and a 78-66 win over Pioneer Academy of Wayne.

Gill edges over Rutgers Prep, which suffered its first loss of the season Sunday, albeit to state-ranked Red Bank Catholic in the Jimmy V Showcase at Central Regional down in Bayville, 90-79.

The next six teams remained the same, with Colonia fourth, followed by St. Joseph-Metuchen, Monroe, undefeated Bound Brook – with their state-best winning streak now at 26 games – Franklin and Watchung Hills.

Ridge – after an 0-2 week, falling to 8-5 dropped out – with Edison taking the Red Devils’ place. The Eagles are 11-4 after a 2-0 week, and are led by senior point guard Nico Barnes, averaging 21.4 points per game, with 5 assists.

Following are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son rankings: