Tag: GMC Basketball

No. 1 Aquinas takes GMC White title with win over No. 4 Colonia, stakes claim to top seed in GMC Tournament

The Trojans threw the first punch. Colonia answered. Then St. Thomas Aquinas went got the takedown.

Top-ranked Aquinas beat No. 4 Colonia Thursday night 68-54 in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, to sweep the season series from the Patriots, clinch the Greater Middlesex White Division title, and lay claim to the top seed in the GMC Tournament when it’s seeded a week from today.

Now 19-0 – owners of the state’s second-longest winning streak, behind only Bound Brook, which has won 27 straight since the beginning of last season – Aquinas has beaten everyone in it’s division, as well as St. Joseph-Metuchen, the top team in the GMC Red Division. That should be enough to give the Trojans the No. 1 seed.

Aquinas took a 3-0 lead to start the game, and built it to a 13-point advantage in the second quarter. But Colonia, on the strength of four treys from the combo of Saivon Pressley, Matthew Scherb and Billy Anderson, tied the score 28-all shortly before half, only to see the Trojans go on a mini 4-0 run off a pair of turnovers to take a 32-28 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter, Colonia went ahead by three with under five minutes to go in the period. Aquinas was in the rare position of playing from behind. But fueled by great team defense, led by Adam Silas and Kamal Lee, constantly poking at the basketball, often leading to transition buckets, Aquinas wrestled back the lead, took a four-point advantage into the fourth quarter, then pulled away.

Colonia dropped to 13-3, 10-2 in the GMC White, with their only non-division loss coming out-of-conference to Lenape.

Click below to listen to St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Bob Turco and senior guard Adam Silas talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Justin Sontupe after the game:

No. 8 Old Bridge girls trail most of the way against East Brunswick, but pull one out in OT to sweep season series

The first time around, in the season opener, Old Bridge ran out to a 14-0 lead on East Brunswick, which clawed its way back, only to lose by two.

In their second meeting of the regular season Thursday night in East Brunswick, the script was almost completely reversed. The Bears stormed out to an 11-2 lead, but No. 8 Old Bridge clawed back, playing to within two at halftime at 28-26, and they came out with a 69-63 overtime win to take both games of the season series.

Down three in the third, Old Bridge finally tied it at 49-all with 4:30 to play, and sophomore Abby Jazmin’s big fourth quarter helped force overtime, tied at 57 apiece.

But getting to OT was almost a win in and of itself for Old Bridge. That’s because two key Bears fouled out late, in a game where both teams had multiple players in foul trouble. Senior guard Samantha Lederman – filling in for injured Nicole Motuseski at the position – fouled out with 1:24 to go, after junior Tamea El – a force down low – fouled out with 2:23 left.

Down their best ball-handler and low-post presence, Old Bridge took advantage, ratcheting up the pressure, forcing turnovers, and converting them into several buckets that proved the be the difference in the extra four minutes.

Junior guard Leena Tran led the Knights (7-3, 6-2) – who took sole possession of second place in the GMC Red Division with the win – with 20 points, 13 after intermission. East Brunswick (9-3, 5-3) junior Boorke Motusesky had a game-high 26, including four treys; she had five all season entering the evening.

Click below to hear Dominic Savino with postgame reaction from No. 8 Old Bridge’s win over East Brunswick:

Old Bridge junior guard Leena Tran
Old Bridge assistant coach Matt Donoghue

East Brunswick girls look to exact revenge for season-opening loss to No. 8 Old Bridge

To say the season opener between East Brunswick and Old Bridge was a roller coaster would be an understatement.

The Lady Bears didn’t come out of the gate like they wanted to, and found themselves down early 14-0, but clawed back to within 14-11 at the first break. Then they held the Knights to just six points in the second quarter to take a 23-20 lead. Back and forth they’d go, but ultimately Old Bridge would win it 49-47.

Thursday night, East Brunswick (9-2, 5-2 GMC Red) look to even the score when No. 8 Old Bridge (6-3, 5-2 GMC Red) comes to town for a key divisional matchup. The winner would be in sole possession of second place in the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division, a coveted spot come county tournament seeding time.

You can hear Thursday night’s game on Central Jersey Sports Radio, beginning with pregame at 5:45 pm and tip-off at 6:00, as Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action. Click here to listen live.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with fourth-year East Brunswick head coach Travis Retzlaff:

This story was corrected to show Old Bridge’s record is 6-3 overall, 3-3 in division.

No. 4 St. Joe’s-Metuchen uses strong third quarter, balanced scoring, to with 19th straight over East Brunswick

The game was played in the same gym – albeit with newer bleachers, brighter lighting and a fresh paint job – but the result wasn’t the same at all.

January 2013 was the last time East Brunswick beat St. Joseph of Metuchen in basketball, 19 meetings ago, coming into Thursday night’s GMC Red Division clash.

Now, it’s 20 meetings ago, as St. Joe’s won its 19th in a row over the Bears, 72-45 Thursday night in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Senior guard Amari Campbell, who had missed the early season and returned Tuesday against Old Bridge only to get in foul trouble and not tally in the scoring column, pumped in a near-career-high 20 – with 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter – while fellow senior guard Ethan Simmon added 17.

St. Joseph improves to 5-2, 4-0 in divisional play, while the Bears drop to 5-3, 3-2 in the GMC Red.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino:

Senior guard Ethan Simmon
Head coach Jan Cocozziello

Simmon, Ingram lead St. Joe’s into GMC Red clash with East Brunswick

If you’re compiling a list of GMC breakout candidates, Ethan Simmon has scored his way to the top of the list. The St. Joe’s-Metuchen guard leads the team with 24.3 points-per-game, punctuated by a career-high 36 points in a blowout win over Old Bridge Tuesday.

It’s the latest triumph in a hot start for the Falcons (4-2), who stand at No. 4 in this week’s Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings.

St. Joe’s now prepares for a battle of the last two GMC Red teams without a division loss, traveling to East Brunswick (3-1) Thursday at 7 p.m. for a game that 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 6:45.

Simmon represents one-half of Joe’s two-headed backcourt monster, complemented by the emergence of point guard Josh Ingram. The junior is averaging a career-best 15.5 ppg, including a season-high 18 points Tuesday.

Central Jersey Sports Radio‚Äôs Dom Savino talked with St. Joe’s head coach Jan Cocozziello to preview the Falcons’ meeting with EB:

East Brunswick looks to get over the hump against rival St. Joe’s when No. 4 Falcons come to town

In the mid-2010s, East Brunswick and St. Joseph-Metuchen engaged in some epic battles. It all came to a head in the 2012-13 season, when one team, with a heady point guard, beat the other, with a future top pick in the NBA Draft, twice in the regular season, but lost to them in the county finals in double overtime.

The days of Amir Bell and Karl Towns (before he really used the Anthony in his name) are long gone, but the rivalry and hard-fought games remain: The fourth-Falcons (4-2) have beaten East Brunswick (3-2) by a sum total of 11 points in their last three matchups, bookended by a pair of three point wins.

The two will square off Thursday night in East Brunswick on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino calling all the action. Tip-off is at 7; coverage begins at 6:45 with the pregame show. Click here to listen live.

Despite losing Devin Kennedy’s 13.4 points per game, and not returning much in that department, ninth-year head coach Mark Motusesky says his team has a bit more athleticism and perimeter shooting than a year ago.

Click below to hear Mark Motusesky talk with Mike Pavlichko about the season so far, and the matchup with rival St. Joe’s:

No. 3 Aquinas stays unbeaten, holds off No. 1 Colonia in GMC White battle

In a highly-anticipated matchup Tuesday night, St. Thomas Aquinas exacted a bit of revenge for a loss on its very own floor to Colonia in last year’s top GMC pod championship game.

The stakes weren’t as high, to be sure, but the third-ranked Trojans got by No. 1 Colonia on the road 64-52, improving their record to 10-0. The Patriots (5-2) have lost two straight.

But don’t tell senior guard Adam Silas the stakes weren’t as high. All he did was pour in a career-best 28 points in an inspired effort. Last year’s game was fresh in his mind,

READ MORE: Third-ranked Aquinas puts unbeaten mark on the line against No. 1 Colonia, the last team to beat them

And then there was the defensive effort Aquinas gave against the Greater Middlesex Conference’s leading scorer, Saivon Pressley. The senior guard was held to just eight points in defeat; Billy Anderson paced the Patriots with 14.

The game was close at halftime, with Aquinas leading by just four points, but Silas’ contributions and a steady defense helped quickly build a double-digit lead the Trojans maintained most of the second half.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Bob Turco about the win against Colonia, and the team’s 10-0 start:

Third-ranked Aquinas puts unbeaten mark on the line against No. 1 Colonia, the last team to beat them

St. Thomas Aquinas lost a number of key contributors from last year’s team – leading scorer Joshua Rivera, Tristian Jeffries, Kyree Henry, and so on – and has a number of new impact players, too, like the team leader in steals, junior Kamal Lee.

So, not many of them remember – or at least weren’t on the floor for any significant amount of time – when they lost to Colonia in the GMC’s top pod final, the Karl Towns/Jay Williams title game, on their home floor.

But senior guard Adam Silas (17.7 ppg this season) remembers. And he doesn’t want to forget. He’ll keep that feeling with him when his team head to Colonia Tuesday evening as the No. 3 Trojans (9-0) and top-ranked Patriots (4-1) square off.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko spoke with Silas about the season, last year’s clash with Colonia, and Tuesday night’s matchup.

Click below to listen: