Tag: Franklin

INSTANT REPLAY: Franklin 44, No. 9 Watchung Hills 41

A three-pointer by Franklin junior Jake Novielli from the deep right corner gave Franklin a three-point lead, and a miss at the other end by Watchung Hills, helped give the visiting Warriors a 44-41 win over the home Warriors, in a Skyland Conference Delaware Division game on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action from Watchung Hills High School:

Novielli’s trey with :12 left helps Franklin to signature win over No. 9 Watchung Hills in dramatic fashion

With too many ties and lead changes to count, Franklin and 9th-ranked Watchung Hills waged an epic battle Tuesday night. Neither team led by more than six points at any point of the game, and even that came early when Franklin got out to an 8-2 lead.

It was a low-scoring affair, but the kind of slugfest that could only truly be enjoyed by someone without a horse in that race. Otherwise, it was an Alka-Seltzer type of night.

In the second-half, big three-balls swung momentum like the biggest of pendulums. There was Brian Zhang of Watchung Hills, the junior who scored all of his 11 points after the break, with three triples. Junior Jake Novielli had two treys, until Franklin got the ball with under 40-seconds to play, tied up at 41 all.

Running some time down, Novielli found himself open in the right coffin corner, and buried his third triple of the half, second of the final quarter. Franklin 44, Hills 51.

Then, Zhang found himself with a chance to send it to OT with just a few seconds left from the left corner. But his shot was off, and the rebound not far enough to give Watchung another chance at a three-ball. Ball game over.

Click below to listen to the final sequence, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio:

The win snapped a five-game win streak for Watchung Hills (8-2), but will have them fired up when they take on first-place and No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s Thursday night. For Franklin, the win was a major resume builder come seeding time for the Somerset County Tournament, putting them at 3-2 in league play, 5-4 overall.

Click below for postgame reaction on the air with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino:

Franklin junior guard Jake Noviello, who had the game-winning three-pointer
Franklin head coach Tony Mento

No. 9 Watchung Hills carries winning streak into Skyland battle with Franklin

It’s been a brilliant two weeks of basketball for Watchung Hills. 5 games, 5 wins, all by double digits.

Most recently, the Warriors were road warriors, claiming victories at Hunterdon Central, Hillsborough, and Jefferson.

Now, No. 9 Watchung Hills (8-1) returns home looking to extend its perfect 3-0 Skyland Delaware Division record against Franklin (4-4) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Click here to listen to the broadcast with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino calling all the action; pregame coverage starts at 5:45.

Note: Today’s game was moved from its original 5:30 start to a 6 pm tip-off, it was announced late Tuesday morning.

The Warriors are led by guard Elijah Lewis, who’s averaging 23.8 points-per-game – tops in Somerset County – and 7.6 rebounds-per-game. The senior went off for 25 points and eight rebounds last time out, in Saturday’s 58-44 win over Jefferson.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino talk with Watchung Hills head coach Justin Salton to preview the Warriors’ meeting with Franklin:

Franklin picks up second win since COVID stoppage with 76-44 win over Timothy Christian

The Warriors might have won by 32 points, but considering how the day started – with bus issues that delayed the game by a half an hour – it could have been a lot worse.

And like everyone involved in the third game of the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge at Bound Brook would agree, at least it had nothing to do with COVID.

But it did, in a way, for Franklin, which played its opening game December 17th, but due to COVID-related issues, was shut down for over two weeks, until resuming play this Tuesday against Hillsborough, picking up a win.

Against Timothy Christian, the Warriors (2-2) bounced back after a heartbreaking two-point home loss to Hunterdon Central, getting 15 points from game MVP Jake Novielli, including three treys, in a 76-44 win.

Josh Migledolph chipped in 14 while Cameron Brown added 11 off the bench. All of that coming with starting point guard Darnell Marche and starting center Peyton Bonds missing the game for non-COVID-related issues.

Guard James Hayes led Timothy Christian (3-3) with 13 points in defeat, while Jonathan McNulty added 11.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from junior Jake Novielli and head coach Tony Mento:

Franklin guard Jake Novielli
Franklin head coach Tony Mento

Eight teams, four games, one day: Bound Brook hosts Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus showcase

Starting anything outside the confines of a pandemic is challenging enough, but doing so in the midst of one is hit or miss.

And so it went last year with what should have Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo’s inaugural Coaches vs. Coronavirus showcase, a fundraising event meant to raise money for those hit hard by the the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year? He again got plenty of interest, and the fates have smiled on the event, at least for the participants.

Though cases continue to surge in New Jersey – and across the U.S. – spurred by the omicron variant, all eight teams are healthy enough to play in today’s event, including the Crusaders, who are coming off a two-week layoff and only got back onto the practice floor as a group yesterday.

Scroll down for previews and notes on today’s games.

Click below to hear organizer and Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo talk about the event with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Skyland vs. GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Schedule
Saturday, January 8 – Bound Brook High School

Dunellen vs. South Hunterdon, 12 pm
South Plainfield vs. Pingry, 2 pm
Franklin vs. Timothy Christian, 4 pm*
Bound Brook vs. Middlesex*

*games broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio; click here to listen


Timothy Christian unfazed by big schools; Tigers face Franklin Saturday in Skyland-GMC Challenge

They play in in opposite counties, in divisions perched on opposite ends of the size spectrum.

Timothy Christian is a member of the GMC Gold Division, which features Middlesex County’s smallest teams, like South Amboy and East Brunswick Tech.

Franklin plays in the Sklyand Conference Delaware Division, which features some of the largest schools in Somerset County, like Hillsborough and Bridgewater-Raritan, as well as perennial powerhouse Gill St. Bernard’s.

But that doesn’t matter to third-year Tigers’ head coach Dennis McNulty, who likes to challenge his team, and, in fact, already has done so this year, having scheduled a last-minute tussle less than a week before Christmas against Monroe.

Though the Tigers lost 18-point per game scorer Ronnie Burwan from last year, they return senior guard Gian Wagner, who also scored 18 a game last season, while averaging four rebounds. And others have helped dampen the blow as well.

Saturday, it’s another large school on the docket for TCS, which plays Franklin at 4 pm in the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge at Bound Brook. You can hear the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action; pregame is set for approximately 3:45. You can listen for free by clicking here.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Timothy Christian head coach Dennis McNulty:

Franklin still getting back in a groove as Warriors face Timothy Christian in Skyland-GMC Challenge

After a long layoff for Franklin, one of many teams across Central Jersey that were in COVID protocol over the Christmas break, the Warriors got back on the court this week, and are still working to find that groove.

Following an 88-45 season-opening loss at Rutgers Prep, the Franklin boys’ basketball team – along with the girls at the same time – had to pause due to COVID-19. Both were able to resume play this week.

For Tony Mento’s boys’ team, they picked up a hard-fought win over a good Hillsbroough team in their return to action, their Skyland Conference Delaware Division opener. Josh Mingeldolph scored 15 and Jake Novielli added 14 in a 53-40 road win over the Raiders.

But the followed it up with a tough 68-66 setback at home against Hunterdon Central.

Saturday afternoon, Franklin with take on Timothy Christian out of the GMC Gold Division in the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge at Bound Brook. Game time is 4 pm. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action live on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with pre-game slated for approximately 3:45.

Click below to hear Franklin head coach Tony Mento talk about the early season, and the matchup with the Tigers:

Rutgers Prep drops its first game in 15, but stays No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Top Ten

Despite having a 14-game winning streak snapped in a 62-51 loss to Westtown, PA, Rutgers Prep remains the top team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Argos won their opener 60-34 on Central Jersey Sports Radio back on December 17, and face Southern in their opening game of the Score at the Shore Tournament Monday.

No one dropped out of the Week One rankings, with four teams only managing one game due to COVID-related cancellations either of their own doing or by their opponents.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko break down the full Top Ten, complete with notes on each team:

Rutgers Prep debuts as Preseason No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Rankings

Coming off a 13-0 season in which they won the one-off Skyland Conference top pod, the Rutgers Prep Argonauts are the No. 1 team in the 2021-22 preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Top Ten.

Having lost four key starters, the Argonauts return key cogs in guard/forward Katie Ledden and talented sophomore Mikayla Blakes, who will be joined by Rutgers-bound Antonia Bates, who moved from Pennsylvania and transferred in from Notre Dame in Easton. She’ll be eligible immediately.

Prep opens the season tonight against No. 8 Franklin, which was 6-6 a year ago, but has won three of the last five against the Argonauts.

Click below to hear the audio version of the preseason Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Top Ten, with details on each team: