Tag: Gill St. Bernard’s

Treonze, seven-run first inning put Rutgers Prep in first sectional final in nearly a decade

Larry Santowasso may have been the Rutgers Prep head coach since before any of his players were every born – Sorry, coach! – but this game was a big one, and with all his experience, he was worried.

Rutgers Prep got its first win of the season after an 0-3 start against Gill St. Bernard’s on April 10th, 25-0. Three touchdowns, a two-point conversion and a field goal.

“When you beat someone convincingly and then you see them in a win-or-go-home game, it brings a lot of nervousness for a coach,” Santowasso said before the game.

Well, he didn’t have to worry for too long.

Third-seed Rutgers Prep scored seven times in the first inning against Gill starter Colin Chou, and chased him before he could even get an out. That was all the Argonauts needed to beat the seventh-seeded Knights 9-0 at Diamond Nation in Flemington Wednesday – as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – putting them in Saturday’s Non-Public North B sectional final.

Rutgers Prep (14-14) will visit top-seed St. Mary-Rutherford at 10 am Satuday for the title.

It’s the first trip to a sectional title game since 2014, when the Argos lost to St. Joseph-Hammonton, a year going all the way to win a state championship.

Cody Rullo led off the game getting hit by a pitch, Evan Laub singled, and Ethan Nepomuceno walked to load the bases before Zach Fronio hit a sharp single to right to drive in two runs. Maddux Chu also got hit by a pitch, then Li Perez reached on an E3 to make it 3-0. Max Treonze walked to force in another run to make it 4-0. Nick Pizzie grounded to first for the first out, and Chu beat the tag at home to make it 5-0. Then, Rullo – in his second at bat of the inning – hit a two RBI single to make it seven-zip.

After a 1-2-3 first, and with a 7-0 lead, Treonze nearly faltered in the second, allowing a leadoff double and a one-out single, but he ended up striking out the side to keep Gill off the board. He threw five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, striking out 11 to get the win. He’s now 6-0, with his ERA dropping to 0.17 on the season, allowing just one run in 41 innings pitched.

Prep added a run in the third on a sac fly to center by Laub, and got another in the fourth on a 4-6 fielder’s choice by Perez.

Perez came in to pitch the last two innings, allowing two hits, and preserving the shutout.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by SportsPlex at Metuchen!

Rutgers Prep pitcher Max Treonze
Rutgers Prep head coach Larry Santowasso

Three of five area non-publics advance in state playoffs, as Rutgers Prep, Gill St. Bernard’s and St. Joe’s all win

Just three non-public schools from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area remain in the state playoffs, with Rutgers Prep, Gill St. Bernard’s and St. Joseph-Metuchen advancing, while Pingry and St. Thomas Aquinas were eliminated.


Below are Friday’s results, followed by next week’s schedule in all sections with CJSR-area teams remaining:


Non-Public North B
(1) St. Mary-Rutherford def. (8) Hawthorne Christian, 13-1 (5 inn.)
(4) Montclair-Kimberley def. (5) Roselle Catholic, 10-0 (6 inn.)
(3) Rutgers Prep def. (6) Morris Catholic, 6-3
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s def. (2) St. Thomas Aquinas, 8-3

Non-Public South A
(1) Red Bank Catholic def. (8) Pingry, 4-2
(4) St. Augustine def. (5) Christian Brothers Academy, 5-4 (8 inn.)
(6) Notre Dame at (3) Donovan Catholic, 9-6 (Thursday)
(2) St. Joseph-Metuchen def. (7) Paul VI, 8-4


Central Group 4
(5) East Brunswick at (1) Old Bridge, 6 pm (live on CJSR)
(6) Monroe at (2) North Brunswick, 4 pm

North 2, Group 4
(5) Bayonne at (1) Ridge, 4 pm
(3) Woodbridge at (2) Bridgewater-Raritan, 4 pm

North 2, Group 3
(4) South Plainfield at (1) Millburn, 3 pm
(3) Randolph at (2) Cranford

Central Group 2
(12) Ocean Township at (1) Rumson-Fair Haven, 4 pm
(10) Delran at (3) Spotswood, 2 pm

Central Group 1
(5) Manville at (1) Point Pleasant Beach, 4 pm
(3) Middlesex at (2) Shore, 4 pm


Non-Public North B
(4) Montclair-Kimberley at (1) St. Mary-Rutherford
(7) Gill St. Bernard’s at (3) Rutgers Prep, 12 pm (Diamond Nation, Flemington)

Non-Public South A
(4) St. Augustine at (1) Red Bank Catholic
(6) Notre Dame at (2) St. Joseph-Metuchen

FRIDAY, MAY 2: Public Sectional Finals

SATURDAY, MAY 3: Non-Public Sectional Finals

Rutgers Prep, Gill, Aquinas, St. Joe’s all advance to sectional semifinals Monday, while Colonia knocks off top-seed South Plainfield

There’s a pretty mammoth matchup brewing in the Non-Public North B section, and it’s not even for a trophy.

Top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas and 4th-seed Roselle Catholic – both top five teams statewide – will meet in the sectional semifinals Monday night in North Edison, after both won Friday evening games in the quarterfinals.

Aquinas (25-3) blew past Timothy Christian (14-13) in an all-GMC matchup, 99-40. The Trojans pulled ahead early on the strength of a 27-11 first quarter, and led 57-26 at the half. Seven players scored in double digits for Aquinas, which was led by Terrell Pitts and Jaden Kelly, each with 16 points. Point guard Michael “Deuce” Jones added 14.

Now, they get to host national power Roselle Catholic in their own gym Monday night for a trip to the sectional title game Wednesday night, 5 pm in Franklin. The Rams beat 5th-seed Morris Catholic 98-63 Friday evening.

In the other side of the bracket, 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (19-7) won its quarterfinal game over 7th-seed Saddle River Day, 64-59. The Knights trailed 28-24 at halftime, and 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter before outscoring SRD 30-16 over the game’s final eight minutes. Mario Castro-Sanchez led the way with 19 points and six rebounds, while big man Ebrahim Kaba added 15 points and seven boards.

Gill will play host to 6th-seed Montclair-Immaculate in the other semifinal Monday night, after they beat 3rd-seed St. Mary-Rutherford 81-45.

In Non-Public South A, 6th-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen and 7th-seed Rutgers Prep will play in one semifinal. The Falcons (17-10) were 71-68 winners over 3rd-seed Immaculata (19-6) in Somerville Friday night, as Josh Ingram put up a big 33 points in the win. Seventh-seed Rutgers Prep (22-7) won in deep South Jersey Friday night, beating 2-seed St. Augustine on the road, 78-74 in overtime, behind a 33-point night from Jadin Collins.

Prep and Joe’s played each other in a GMC-Skyland crossover just three weeks ago, with St. Joe’s Coming out with a 73-61 win in Somerset on February second.

Meanwhile, in the only game involving two local public schools, 4th-seed Colonia knocked off top-seed South Plainfield 64-45 in the North 2, Group 3 semifinals. Click here for a full recap of the game including postgame interviews by CJSR’s Chris Tsakonas. Now, the Patriots will play for a second straight sectional title when they host 6th-seed Snyder out of Jersey City Monday night. Snyder beat 7th-seed Payne Tech of Newark, 76-62.

Below are full results from Friday night in sections involving area teams. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule:

North 2, Group 3
#4 Colonia def. #1 South Plainfield, 64-45
#6 Snyder def. #7 Payne Tech, 76-62

Non-Public South A
#1 Camden Catholic def. #8 red Bank Catholic, 62-33
#5 Union Catholic def. #4 Paul VI, 64-58
#6 St. Joseph-Metuchen def. #3 Immaculata, 71-68
#7 Rutgers Prep def. #2 St. Augustine, 78-74

Non-Public North B
#1 St. Thomas Aquinas def. #8 Timothy Christian, 99-40
#4 Roselle Catholic def. #5 Morris Catholic, 98-63
#6 Montclair-Immaculate def. #3 St. Mary-Rutherford, 81-45
#2 Gill St. Bernard’s def. #7 Saddle River Day, 64-59



Central Group 4 Semifinals
#4 Jackson Memorial at #1 Trenton
#7 Marlboro at #6 South Brunswick

Central Group 2 Semifinals
#4 Bound Brook at #1 South River
#3 Raritan at #2 Manasquan

North 2, Group 4 Semifinals
#8 Newark East Side at #5 Westfield
#3 Hillsborough at #2 Linden


North 2, Group 3 Final
#6 Snyder at #4 Colonia

Non-Public South A Semifinals
#5 Union Catholic at #1 Camden Catholic
#7 Rutgers Prep at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen

Non-Public North B Semifinals
#4 Roselle Catholic at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas
#6 Montclair-Immaculata at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s

Another war on tap in SCT Boys’ Final as Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s will rematch

Last year’s Somerset County Tournament title win for Gill St. Bernard’s was a blowout over Rutgers Prep.

This year, Gill won a regular-season matchup with the Argonauts at the buzzer, then Prep turned it around at home and handled the Knights, who were in it, but never really threatened.

What’s next today?

You never know what can happen when Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s meet, and today at Montgomery High School will be no exception when the top-seeded Argonauts take on the second-seeded Knights in the SCT title game, which you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio as part of a girls’/boys’ doubleheader.

Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action, starting with pregame at 12:45 pm for the 1:00 girls game – also between top-seed Prep and second-seed Gill – then with the boys’ final starting at 3 pm. Click here to listen to the live broadcast for free.

Here’s a complete preview of the championship game, with audio from both coaches, analysis, stats, and more.

#1 Rutgers Prep (19-7) vs. #2 Gill St. Bernard’s (18-6)
When: Saturday, February 18 at 3 pm
Where: Montgomery High School
Listen Live: Central Jersey Sports Radio, pregame begins at 2:45 pm

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)

#1 Rutgers Prep
Head Coach: Matt Bloom – 6th season, 111-32)

Having just played an all-out battle with Franklin on Thursday night, with a quick turnaround to Saturday, Bloom says his players will have watched film on the day in between, and go through some walk-throughs in an hour-long practice. Mental and physical healing is needed after an all-out banger against the Warriors, which literally drew blood; point guard Jordan Atkins had to come out of the game briefly after getting hit, and came back with a bandage in the area above his eye.

Expect much of the same Saturday afternoon. Atkins runs the point so well, even to the point of a play that won’t show up in the box score. Against the Warriors, after Jake Novielli hit back-to-back threes to get his team back in the game, Atkins got a pass on a drive and quickly realized the better play was to kick it back out. He did so, to Johnny Nsenkyire on the wing, and he hit a three-ball to stop the Franklin win. It was a critical moment. But the fact is, those moments also don’t happen without the offensive finish. Jadin Collins is one of those guys, leading in every scoring category, and he’s the team’s top rebounder, too. He can play defense, to boot, with a team-leading 105 steals. John Kelly has been playing great defense for the Argonauts, and Cameron Piggee has been nailing it from downtown since his return from injury.

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

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG Jordan Atkins (6-0, Sr): 8.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 140 assists
  • G Cameron Piggee (6-2, Sr): 14.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 50 treys
  • G Franklin Jones (6-5, Sr): 8.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 27 blocks
  • G Jadin Collins (6-1, Jr): 20.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 105 steals
  • F John Kelly (6-7, Jr): 11.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg

Coach’s Interview:

SCT History (1-5):

1988 – #1 Bridgewater-Raritan West beat #2 Rutgers Prep 94-66
2011 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #2 Rutgers Prep 68-59
2017 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #3 Rutgers Prep 71-61
2018 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #2 Rutgers Prep 56-54
2020 – #1 Rutgers Prep beat #3 Watchung Hills 71-57
2022 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat Rutgers Prep 84-63

Gill St. Bernard’s head coach Mergin Sina talks to his team before a matchup at Rutgers Prep on January 24, 2023. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

#2 Gill St. Bernard’s
Head Coach: Mergin Sina – 13th season, 272-69

Head coach Mergin Sina was working with a completely new lineup in the preseason, and as it was coming together, it took another blow, the return of Jon Ismaijli to his native Serbia. Back to the drawing board, sort of. The results have been typical Gill St. Bernard’s, even without household names like Mackenzie Mgbako and Naas Cunningham, who transferred after last year.

Senior Mario Castro-Sanchez has shouldered the burden of the scoring this year, also leading the team in the three-point department, and can dish the ball to people like fellow senior Nick Losada, who hit the game winning three as time expired in the first meeting with Rutgers Prep, in Gladstone in early January. Freshman Dorsett Mulcahy can run the point, too, and looks more and more like his older brother on the court than than off it, with great moves off the dribble-drive. But he’s not the only Rutgers connection; Scarlet Knight head coach Steve Pikiell’s son, Kevin, also is on the team.

Projected Starting Five:

  • G Mario Castro-Sanchez (6-1, Sr): 22.5 ppg, 68 assists, 95 treys
  • G Andy Hearn (6-1, Sr): 4.6 ppg, 8 treys
  • G Nick Losada (6-2, Jr): 14.3 ppg, 47 steals, 46 treys
  • G Luke Ruggerio (6-3, Sr): 2.1 ppg
  • F/C Ebrahim Kaba (6-8, Jr): 9.2 ppg, 17 treys

Coach’s Interview:

Gill St. Bernard’ Head Coach Mergin Sina

SCT History (8-2):

2011 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #2 Rutgers Prep 68-59
2012 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #2 Bridgewater-Raritan 88-72
2013 – #1 Ridge beat #2 Gill St. Bernard’s 69-56
2014 – #3 Hillsborough beat #1 Gill St. Bernard’s 53-52
2015 – #3 Gill St. Bernard’s beat (1) Ridge 48-39
2016 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #3 Somerville 66-51
2017 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #3 Rutgers Prep 71-61
2018 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #2 Rutgers Prep 56-54
2019 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat #3 Watching Hills 73-53
2022 – #1 Gill St. Bernard’s beat Rutgers Prep 84-63

Gill St. Bernard’s girls move on to SCT title game with 76-47 win over Watchung Hills

It started as a defensive battle, then things opened up.

And when the dust settled, second-seed Gill St. Bernard’s had a 76-47 Somerset County Tournament semifinal win over third-seed Watchung Hills, to move on to its second straight title game.

Four Knights finished in double figures – and Sidney Quinn led the offensive effort with a career high 16 points in the win.

Also finishing in double figures for Gill (17-6) were Brooke Baisley with 14 points, Jennah Johnson with 11 and Maya Abramson with 10. For Watchung Hills (17-6), Claire Gillenwater and Giana Lobozzo finished with 11 points each.

After a defensive-minded opening quarter ended 12-5, Gill began to pull away late in the half, going into the locker room up 32-20. That momentum carried over into the third quarter, where Gill outscored Watchung Hills 29-11.

With the semifinal in the rearview mirror, the stage is set for rematch against Rutgers Prep with a county title on the line this Saturday at 1 pm at Montgomery High School, a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Gill lost both meeting with Rutgers Prep this year.

Click below for postgame reaction sponsored by SportsPlex at Metuchen:

Gill St. Bernard’s sophomore Sydney Quinn
Gill St. Bernard’s Head Coach Mark Gnapp

It’s 25 straight weeks atop the rankings for Rutgers Prep, with two new teams joining Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten in Week 7

On the strength of a 3-0 week, and a win that solidified their position as the team to beat in the Skyland Conference – a 75-36 thumping as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio last Tuesday afternoon – Rutgers Prep held on to the No. 1 spot in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten for Week 7.

The Lady Argonauts (13-3) had a 3-0 week, which also included an 80-19 rout at Bridgewater-Raritan, and a 76-56 win over Montclair-Immaculate on Sunday. They’re on a seven-game winning streak heading into the final week of the regular season, with the Somerset County Tournament seeding coming up a week from tonight.

St. Thomas Aquinas (15-4) holds in second, while Gill St. Bernard’s (12-4) stays put in third.

Edison (15-2) moves up to No. 4 on the strength of a 3-0 week, while South Brunswick (13-5) moves up two spots to No. 5, despite a 1-1 week in which they beat North Brunswick, but dropped an out-of-conference game to Morristown 54-51.

READ: Edison community and beyond comes together to “Fight For Allie,” help local 11-year old girl beat brain tumor

Bernards (12-5) had a 1-2 week and dropped to sixth, after a win over Delaware Valley, but losses to Belvidere and Dayton.

In seventh is Watchung Hills, which went 3-0, sweeping a week of games from Phillsipburg, Montgomery and Hunterdon Central.

North Plainfield (13-4) makes its debut this season at No. 8, with wins in the past week over Woodbridge and South Plainfield, but a loss to former Skyland Conference foe Bound Brook. (North Plainfield joined the Greater Middlesex Conference this season.)

Hillsborough (10-7) – which fell out of the rankings in Week 4 – rejoins the Top Ten at No. 8 after a three-win week that included victories over Franklin, Hunterdon Central, and previously-No. 9 Mount St. Mary (13-6), which dropped out, along with previous No. 10 Spotswood (15-4).

Below are the full Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten Rankings:

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 3 Rutgers Prep 64, No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s 43 (Boys)

Third-ranked Rutgers Prep led nearly wire-to-wire in a 64-43 home win over No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s, fueled by a game-high 22 points from senior Marist commit Jadin Collins, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Cameron Piggee, in his fourth game back off a high-ankle sprain had 10 points, including a pair of treys, while Nick Losada led Gill will 13, including two threes of his own.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tasakonas call all the play-by-play on January 24, 2023:

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 1 Rutgers Prep 75, No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s 36 (Girls)

Mikayla Blakes scored her 1,000th point and the junior finished her night with 1,026 as top-ranked Rutgers Prep kept the pedal to the metal all day on defense, en route to a 75-36 home win over 3rd-ranked Gill St. Bernards, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The win locked up the Skyland Conference Delaware Division for the Lady Argonauts, and the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament.

Blakes had game-high honors with 29, including five threes, while Katie Ledden chipped in 14 – including two treys – and Chloe Escanillas added 13, helped by three from downtown.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tasakonas call all the play-by-play on January 24, 2023:

No 3. Rutgers Prep boys make their case for top SCT seed with tip-to-horn win over No. 2 Gill St. Bernards

Jadin Collins got third-ranked Rutgers Prep out to a 2-0 lead, and the Argonauts never looked back.

And now they may be looking at the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament.

They sure have a strong case after their defense suffocated No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s for the full 32 minutes Tuesday night, in a 64-43 win heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The wins mean the teams split the regular season series, and should be co-champions in the Skyland Conference Delaware Division, assuming Prep (12-6) beats Bridgewater-Raritan at home Thursday night. That would leave the Argonauts and Knights (12-4) both at 7-1 in the division.

Comparing the head-to-head matchups, Gill won by two back on January fifth, and Prep just won by 21.

It was all Rutgers Prep in this one, virtually wire-to-wire. Marist commit and senior Jadin Collins finished with a game-high 22 points, including one of the team’s seven treys, to Gill’s three. In the earlier meeting, Gill hit 12 times from downtown, and Prep only once.

But Cameron Piggee missed that game – and several others – with a high ankle sprain. Back in the lineup for his fourth game since returning from injury, he had two first quarter threes that got Prep out to a 22-5 lead after one quarter.


That extended to 18 in the second before GSB got it down to five, but Rutgers Prep extended it to eleven by the break, and it never got under ten the rest of the way. Johnny Nsenkyire added a paire of threes, while John Kelly and Jordan Atkins each hit one.

The win was just the third in the last 20 meetings between the teams, but they’ve also split their last four. Rutgers Prep won their meeting in the 2019-20 season, but Gill won last year’s Somerset County Tournament final against Prep 84-63, and then had the January fifth win this year.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!
Senior Jadin Collins
Head coach Matt Bloom

Blakes scores 1,000th point, finishes with 29 to power convincing No. 1 Rutgers Prep girls’ win over No. 3 Gill St. Bernards

It was a big moment, it just wasn’t as dramatic as it could have been.

But that didn’t keep Mikayla Blakes’ teammates from mobbing her on the court, presenting her with balloons and flowers, and celebrating the junior’s 1,000th career point, which came on a free throw less than midway through the first quarter Tuesday afternoon.

It was just the third point of the game for Blakes, who finished with 29 – and five treys – as No. 1 Rutgers Prep sprinted out to a 26-4 lead at the end of one quarter, and beat No. 3 Gill St. Bernards for the 19th straight time since 2015, by the final score of 75-36.

That 39-point lead was the Lady Argonauts’ biggest of the game, mainly because of Prep’s three-point shooting in the second half, as both teams kept their starters in well into the fourth quarter, as they are the best conference teams they will face in the regular season.

Overall in the game, Rutgers Prep (11-3, 9-0 Skyland Delaware) hit 10 times from beyond the arc, with Chloe Escanillas adding three, Katie Ledden hitting a pair from downtown, and Ava LaMonica adding another.

Brooke Baisley led the Knights with 14, and while it bested her season average of 11.4 points per game, she only had four in the first half when the game was really decided. That was more a testament to Prep’s defense than anything, which ran its full-court press the majority of the first half.

Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen:

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!
Junior Mikayla Blakes
Assistant coach Michelle Sharp (Note: Head coach Mary Klinger left the game after Blakes’ 1,000th point to travel to an athletic director’s conference, leaving Sharp to take over.)