Tag: girls' basketball

CJSR Girls’ Coach of the Year: Everybody played, everybody scored, everybody won in a dominant year for Mary Klinger’s Rutgers Prep

Please scroll down to the bottom of this post for more coverage on Rutgers Prep’s 2021 season:

Everyone wants to play flashy. Everyone wants to score. Everyone wants the basket seen ’round the world.

Often, that’s basketball these days.

For the Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team this year, everybody played defense. And that allowed everybody to get in the games – all 14 players on the varsity roster. Sometimes, everyone scored in a game. And in the end, they all hoisted a trophy: for winning the Skyland Conference’s Blue Division pod.

With a balanced Argonauts squad that was dominant all year – including their final two games when the biggest name on the team, Villanova-bound Christina Dalce, was out with a knee injury – Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Coyle-Klinger was able to instill her trademark trait in her players: defense.

And defense got it done. Her team allowed an average of 31 points per game, while winning by an average of 45. That’s remarkable, no matter how you slice it.

And for all of that, Mary Coyle-Klinger has been chosen as the 2021 Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year.

Click below to hear Mary Klinger talk with CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko:

MORE ON RUTGERS PREP:

An audio retrospective on Rutgers Prep girls’ dominance in 2021, with Mary Klinger, Christina Dalce, Belle Pellecchia

Rutgers Prep steamrolls everyone, runs wire-to-wire with No. 1 ranking to be named CJSR Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year

No Dalce? No problem. Rutgers Prep girls cruise to win top Skyland Tournament pod

Rutgers Prep faces Gill St. Bernard’s for top Skyland girls’ title, with Dalce’s status up in the air

Dalce, Klinger talk dominant Rutgers Prep win in battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2

No. 2 Franklin girls get their crack at No. 1 Rutgers Prep in rematch of 2019 SCT final

Watchung Hills girls won’t shy from the challenge of Bound Brook in tonight’s Skyland Tournament Gold Division title game

Here’s a math problem for you, but don’t ponder it too long.

Add one new head coach, and take away eight seniors. What do you get?

Apparently a 7-7 team that’s better than its record and is playing for a title.

Really, don’t ponder it too long.

Instead, ponder what the Warriors have done, and what they’ll face tonight at 5:30 when they square off against Bound Brook in the Skyland Conference Gold Division’s title game. Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live updates during the Rutgers Prep-Gill Blue Division title game, and postgame reaction from Bound Brook later in the evening.

Watching Hills has had a successful year, all things considered, thanks to the play of their three top scorers – junior Bella Murray (16.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and sophomores Morgan Groff (10.5 ppg) and Julia Puglisi (10.4 ppg) – and a cast of supporting characters.

It’s a young group going up against a Bound Brook squad that has won between 23 and 26 games each of the last five years, and winning the Central Jersey Group 1 title in each of those five seasons.

Click below to hear Watchung Hills first-year head coach Tim Corrigan talk about his team, and tonight’s title game against the Crusaders:

Aquinas-Monroe girls lead off CJSR triple-header as Trojans and Falcons rematch for the GMC’s Somogyi Family Pod Championship

The Monroe girls’ basketball team won its first seven games of the season, and has won five straight since a 49-41 loss at St. Thomas Aquinas on February 16th.

The Trojans have gone 3-3 in that timespan.

Don’t pay any attention to that.

Even though Middlesex earned the top seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament’s Somogyi Family Pod by knocking off Aquinas on the night before the playoffs were seeded – they’re out due to COVID – the two teams in the final are the two most people anticipated might be there as far back as the last time they met: in the finals of last year’s more traditional, pre-COVID GMC Tournament.

The Trojans won that game 64-61, and this game might just be as close.

They square off in the Somogyi pod title game this afternoon at 4, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving. Air time is 3:45; click here to listen.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the county tournaments will continue at 6 pm with the top Skyland Conference Tournament pod’s final, the Blue Division title game, featuring top-seed Rutgers Prep (11-0) and 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (12-1). After the game, we’ll join the 7 pm GMC Boys’ Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod final in progress, featuring top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas and (9-4) and 2nd-seed Colonia (10-4).

Third-seed Monroe (12-1) is led by senior Nina Branchizio’s 14.2 points per game, and has played solid defense, holding opponents to fewer than 30 points in seven of their 13 games; two teams have scored in the teens.

The defense for 2nd-seed Aquinas (9-4) has not been as constricting, allowing an average of 46 points per game, but they’ve also played a tougher schedule with more non-conference opponents. But they can also put up points. The 49 they scored the first time they played Monroe was the most the Falcons had allowed all season.

Senior guard Akyia Baker is the team’s leading scorer at 17.5 points per game.

Click below to hear both coaches talk about the matchup:

Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman
St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Joe Whalen

GMC Wrap: Boys and Girls Results, Friday night title games are set in postseason pods

The top pods on both the girls’ and boys’ sides of the GMC postseason will feature the top teams.

For the boys, the Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas will meet 2nd-seed Colonia Friday night at 7, in a game you’ll hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio immediately following the completion of our coverage of the Skyland Girls’ Blue Division final between Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s.

On the girls’ side, after top-seed Monroe had to bow out of the Somogyi Family Pod due to COVID, only one semifinal was played, resulting in 3rd-seed Monroe visiting 2nd-seed St. Thomas Aquinas at 4 pm. That game can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio as part of a tripleheader, with Rutgers Prep-Gill at 6 and the Aquinas boys versus Colonia at 7, joined in progress.

Below are the results in all GMC action from Wednesday night, starting with the boys, then the girls, and then the championship matchups for Friday night in each pod:

Continue reading “GMC Wrap: Boys and Girls Results, Friday night title games are set in postseason pods”

Mount St. Mary’s stellar season continues as Lions face big challenge in Skyland Blue semis

There’s Rutgers Prep. There’s Franklin. There’s Bound Brook.

Now, there’s Mount St. Mary.

The Lions might not be the surprise team in the Skyland Conference to anyone in the locker room, which they can’t use because of COVID-19, but they’ve turned more than a few heads this year.

And for a small school in its first year in the Mountain Division, to have the year they’re having – one of 13 undefeated teams left in the final week of this wacky season in New Jersey, sitting at 13-0 – is a major accomplishment.

They’re No. 17 in the NJ.com statewide rankings.

They have their sights set on something bigger, though. Throw out the record, because they just knocked out – in the first round of the Skyland Conference Tournament’s top pod, the “Blue Division” – the mighty Franklin Warriors.

Next victim? Might be second seeded Gill St. Bernard’s. Sure, they’ve got Ella Fajardo and big Caileigh Walsh, but 13-0 is 13-0.

Click below to hear Mount St. Mary Head Coach Ryan Shellhammer and senior point guard Natalie Mathern talk about the Lions, and their stellar season so far:

Aboulkhier, Cassidy power Dunellen past Spotswood on Senior Night, 47-19

Much can be made of Salma Aboulkhier’s senior season, in which the 5-9 forward/center is averaging a double double, 10 points and nearly 11 points per game.

But was the defense she and her teammates played Friday night that was just as valuable, in a 47-19 drubbing of GMC Blue Division opponent Spotswood heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Aboulkhier scored a game-high 16 points in a balanced effort, while fellow senior Chloe Cassidy scored 12 – nearly spot on her average – including a pair of three-pointers. She also had a 4-of-4 night at the foul line.

But on a night when Dunellen honored it four seniors – including Meghan Green (2 points) and Isabel Parcells (4 points) – the youh of the program shined as well; sophomore forward Alexa Castro chipped in 11 for the Destroyers, who improved to 7-6, 6-5 in the GMC Blue Division.

Spotswood (4-8, 4-7 in the Blue) was held to its lowest point total since a January 4, 2019 loss to at South River, 30-19. Junior forward Ally Clarke was the Chargers leading scorer with 8 points.

Click below to hear the entire Spotswood-Dunellen game from February 26, 2021, with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action:

OT hero Fajardo, head coach Gnapp, talk gritty win over Franklin to stay unblemished

Ella Fajardo – a big hit in her home country of the Philippines – is a big hit in Gladstone tonight. Not that she wasn’t before.

The senior guard – who’s headed to FDU next year, trading one Knights’ jersey for another – scored eight points in overtime, including two treys, to send No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s to a 44-42 road victory over No. 4 Franklin, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Her heroic efforts came after she missed a three in the closing seconds of regulation that would have won it without requiring an extra roll of Rolaids.

It was the first game all year that Gill St. Bernard’s (7-0) didn’t win by double figures.

Meanwhile, Franklin (3-4) is struggling, having lost two straight and three of its last four, including a defeat at the hands of Hillsborough last Tuesday and a drubbing Saturday at No. 1 and unbeaten Rutgers Prep.

Click below to listen to Dom Savino’s post game talks with Fajardo and Gill head coach Mark Gnapp:

Junior guard Ella Fajardo
Head Coach Mark Gnapp

No. 1 Rutgers Prep smothers No. 2 Franklin with defense, 65-33

This one wasn’t about the scoring. It was about the defense.

A Rutgers Prep defense that kept the pedal to the medal – poking, deflecting and tipping basketballs all over the place – forcing Franklin into a slew of turnovers that fed a 27-1 run over the final 12 minutes of the first half to give Rutgers Prep a 35-2 halftime lead that would never get any closer.

No. 1 Rutgers Prep asserted its dominance in the Skyland Conference, finishing off cross-town foe and No. 2 Franklin 65-33, to remain unbeaten at 7-0, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Christina Dalce – the senior Villanova signee – finished the game with 15 point, 13 of them coming in the decisive first half. Rutgers Prep had balanced scoring, as nine other players tallied, but none reached – nor needed to reach – double figures in the game.

The Warriors dropped to 3-2.

Coupled with their 62-53 road loss to Hillsborough back on Tuesday, it’s the first time Franklin has lost to two Skyland Conference opponents in the same week since January 17th and 19th, 2017, when the Warriors lost to Rutgers Prep 69-56, followed by a 44-42 home loss to Hunterdon Central.

Click below to listen to the full game broadcast of No. 2 Franklin at No. 1 Rutgers Prep from February 20, 2016:

Dalce, Klinger talk dominant Rutgers Prep win in battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2

Ten players had ink in the scoring column Saturday afternoon for Rutgers Prep, and only one of them put up double figures.

Guess who?

Villanova signee Christina Dalce poured in 15 points – 13 which came in the very decisive first half – as No. 1 Rutgers Prep played stingy defense in a 65-33 win over No. 2 Franklin on Senior Day, heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, and powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Dalce scored nine in the first quarter, and four more in the second quarter. The rest of the Argonaut scoring was balanced, as freshman Mikayla Blakes and senior Kylie Favors – on three treys – each had nine. Sophomore Katie Ledden chipped in eight points.

Rutgers Prep dominated the game from the start, thanks to stifling defense. They never trailed, jumping out to an 8-0 lead, which Franklin cut to 8-5. But the Argonauts then went on a 25-0 run before a Morgan Jones free throw stopped the bleeding. Rutgers Prep finished the half with a 35-6 lead.

Click below to hear Christina Dalce and Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Coyle-Klinger talk about their dominating victory over Franklin.

Senior F/C Christina Dalce
Head Coach Mary Coyle-Klinger