Tag: GMC

Top-ranked St. Joe’s opens huge Red Divsion home-and-home with No. 9 Monroe in Metuchen Wednesday

Last season, Monroe beat St. Joseph in Metuchen late in the year to earn the top-seed in the GMC Tournament. The purple-and-gold-Falcons got knocked out early, while the ones in green won the whole thing.

So in the end, does this week’s home-and-home between the two teams really matter?


Monroe-St. Joe’s has become one of those games both teams, and even fans of some others, will circle on the calendar. After rain made many grass fields across the state unplayable Tuesday, the opener of the series now will be in Metuchen at 11 am Wednesday. That was originally to be the rematch game, but now that will be Thursday at 9:30 am in Monroe.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast Wednesday’s contest from Metuchen, with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action, beginning with pregame at 10:45 am, and first pitch at 11. Click here to listen live, and for free.

St. Joe’s (6-0) has been atop the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten the entire season, and is one of three undefeated teams left in the Greater Middlesex Conference, after East Brunswick Tech (5-1) lost Monday at Carteret. Spotswood (7-0) and Timothy Christian (2-0) are the other unbeaten teams in the league.

Monroe (6-2) has only one league loss, by two runs to Old Bridge. Their other loss came Saturday against Somerville.

Click below to hear both coaches talk about their teams and preview the matchup:

St. Joseph-Metuchen head coach Mike Murray
Monroe head coach Sean Field

INSTANT REPLAY: North Brunswick, No. 10 Middlesex split doubleheader

No. 10 Middlesex dropped the opener of the GMC White Division Doubleheader 4-3 in extra innings (9) on Friday, April 15, 2022 at Mountainview Park in Middlesex. But the Blue Jays salvaged a split on the day with a 15-9 win in Game Two over the Raiders.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the action of both games:

Game One: North Brunswick 4, Middlesex 3 (9 innings)
Game Two: Middlesex 15, North Brunswick 9

South Plainfield bats around twice, knocks off No. 7 Edison 9-2 to sweep home-and-home set

Knowing it had pitching and defense, South Plainfield wasn’t happy to say the least with its first two games of the 2022 season, a 4-3 loss to Monroe, followed by a 17-5 defeat.

What they got against Edison in their next series were the same two games, except the Tigers ended up on the right side of both this time.


South Plainfield (2-2) capped off a home-and-home sweep of Edison Thursday afternoon with a 9-2 win over the 7th-ranked Eagles (0-2), as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

After a 1-2-3 first inning, the Tigers batted around in the second. They got a single, walk and a bunt for a hit to load the bases, then a two-RBI double by DH Steven Zultowski followed by a bases-clearing two-RBI double by right fielder Tyler Balent to take a 4-0 lead, adding a fifth-run on an infield hit by second-baseman Zack Robinson.


South Plainfield would add four more in the fourth inning, when they would again send nine men to the plate, including a bases-loaded three-RBI double by catcher Luke Bickunas.

While there was no one star offensively – all but one starter got a hit and scored – the Tigers got a gem on the mound from senior Jack Massett, who allowed just two runs on four hits, struck out five and walked no one.

South Plainfield has now won five straight against Edison in the regular season, with their last loss coming exactly three years ago to the day, early in the 2019 campaign. However, the Eagles beat the Tigers in last year’s GMC Tournament quarterfinals.

Click below for postgame reaction from South Plainfield’s 9-2 win over Edison:

Senior pitcher Jack Massett
Head coach Scott Gleichenhaus

Rebuilding South Plainfield looks for sweep of Edison, while Eagle bats look to take flight off Tigers’ ace

South Plainfield will have its best pitcher on the mound, while Edison’s heavy hitting lineup will try and tee off on him.

And we haven’t even played a full week of high school baseball yet. Isn’t it great?


The Tigers rallied late to beat the No. 7 Eagles Tuesday afternoon at home, 5-4, handing Edison (0-1) a loss in its opening game, while giving South Plainfield (1-2) its first victory, after a rough opening weekend against Monroe.

Wednesday afternoon – if the rain holds off, which it should, expected to end around midday – the two teams will square off on the red turf on the Boulevard of The Eagles, in a game you can hear on Central Jersey Sports Radio.


Mike Pavlichko will have all the live play-by-play, beginning with the pregame show around 3:45, and first pitch at 4:00. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear previews of the game with both head coaches:

Edison head coach Vinny Abene
South Plainfield head coach Scott Gleichenhaus

It’s GMC White versus Blue in North 2, Group 3 title tilt as Colonia, South Plainfield square off

Tonight at 6 pm, the Colonia and South Plainfield boys’ basketball teams will play a Greater Middlesex Conference crossover game.

Wait, hold on, being told it’s a state sectional championship game.

Yes, the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 final tonight will be an all-GMC affair, as the top-seeded Patriots (24-4) out of the White Division will take on 2nd-seed South Plainfield (23-6) out of the Blue.

The Patriots are the GMC Tournament runner-up, having lost to St. Thomas Aquinas in the finals, a Trojans team that is now out of the playoffs (they lost last night to Rutgers Prep in the Non-Public South A final) while Colonia is still playing, seeking it’s third title since 2015.

Colonia won that year (when they beat Chatham, and lost to Bergenfield in the Group 3 semis), and in 2019 (when they beat West Morris, but lost to Ramapo in the Group 3 semis). This will be their third straight sectional finals appearance; they also made it in 2018, but lost in the title game to Irvington.

South Plainfield, meanwhile, has not had that level of success of late, but has been building to this moment. Their last sectional title came in 1991.

Click below for a preview of the game as GMC Hoops’ Greg Machos talks with Mike Pavlichko about Colonia, South Plainfield, and their title gama matchup tonight:

Remembering Ron Mazzola, Mr. Old Bridge

The high school sports world – especially the Old Bridge community – is heartbroken over the loss of the man who always wore a smile, whether he was calling the PA at home Knights’ football games, organizing the wrestling tournament, gymnastics, or printing t-shirts, or minting trophies.

Ron Mazzola died Monday at the age of 61. A lifelong Old Bridge resident, he rooted for everyone to have success, and always had a positive word to say about everyone and anyone.

Tributes have poured in all over social media for Mazzola, and we caught up with some of them to pay their respects to – and share some memories of – the man who will forever be known as Mr. Old Bridge.

Click below to listen:

Tip: To download the tribute, right click on the player above, and choose “Save Sound As.”

Central Jersey Sports Radio caught up with Ron Mazzola for a “Sunday conversation” this past fall, talking to him about all manner of things he’s done in the high school sports realm.

Click here to read that story and hear our conversation with him.

South Brunswick boys knock off Monroe, exact revenge for earlier defeat

South Brunswick edged out Monroe, which edged out St. Joseph-Metuchen. That means the Vikings should beat the Monroe Thursday night, right?

Not necessarily.

But that’s how wild high school basketball can be, particularly in the last couple of weeks of the regular season, as teams jockey for higher seeds in both the county and state tournaments.

Monday night, South Brunswick avenged a 51-49 loss just nine days ago to the very same Monroe team at their place, picking up a 45-43 home win over the No. 6 Falcons, fueled by 13 points from senior guard Damien Downes.

The win improved the Vikings to 10-5, 7-4 in the Red Division. Monroe dropped to 14-3, 8-3 in the division, and had a nine-game winning streak snapped.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with South Brunswick head coach Joe Hoehman about the win:

Big shuffle in Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, though Rutgers Prep remains at the top

Only one team in this week’s Bellamy & Son Girls’ Basketball Rankings was in the same place a week ago. Other than Rutgers Prep, everyone shuffled into a new position, thanks to a couple of upsets.

Most notable was Monroe, previously unranked, knocking off No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas by 12 on Thursday night, a little more than a month after losing to them in the season opener by 38. It was a convincing win, too; the Falcons led virtually wire-to-wire.

Not to be outdone, unranked Watchung Hills beat No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s, while Franklin beat Watchung Hills and now just has two losses; to Gill and No. 1 Rutgers Prep, which has now held the No. 1 spot every week of the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, since its inception in CJSR’s inaugural season last year, a total of 13 weeks.

Many other teams also shuffled around with a mix of wins and losses. Below are the full Week 5 Bellamy & Son rankings:

Opening Night a rousing success for most ranked teams in GMC, Skyland

Of the nine teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball preseason Top Ten that played on opening night, seven came out victorious.

With worries about COVID and Omicron as it continues to spread like wildfire in New Jersey, for many teams it just felt good to get back out on the floor to begin a “normal” season, something that last happened in December 2019.

On the boys’ side, No. 2 Rutgers Prep nearly doubled up Franklin at home 88-45, showing they’ve got some scoring firepower. Jordan Atkins and Jadin Collins each had 16 to lead the way. Across town, top-ranked Argonaut girls beat Franklin on the road 60-34, behind 20 points and 9 rebounds from junior Katie Ledden, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Also on the boys’ side, third-ranked St. Joseph – with a number of players in COVID protocol – beat Monroe 60-49, led by Ethan Simmon’s 19 points. Fourth-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas exploded for a 94-16 win at JFK, as the Trojans emptied the bench; Terrell Pitts led with 20 for Aquinas. Sixth-ranked Montgomery got by Hillsborough at home 69-45, as Ryan Curry scored 19, one of four Cougars in double-figures. No. 7 Bound Brook won its 15th straight going back to the start of last year – when they went 14-0 – and beat Wardlaw-Hartridge 57-42. Ninth-ranked Watchung Hills won a low-scoring game at Ridge 40-33 – led by Elijah Lewis’ 13 points – and 10th-ranked East Brunswick picked up a 64-48 win at Old Bridge.

The only losses by Top Ten boys’ teams included No. 8 South Brunswick getting upset at JP Stevens, 44-40, and 5th-ranked Gill St. Bernards losing to Whitney Young of Illinois 70-58 in the City of Palms Classic at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers, despite a 22-point, 7-rebound night from Mackenzie Mgbako. The Knights next play Sunday against the loser of tonight’s game between Oak Hill Academy of Virginia and Isidore Newman School of Louisiana.

For the girls, the only Top Ten loss besides Franklin was in a battle of highly-ranked teams, as No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas beat second-ranked Monroe 83-45 in North Edison, a result that will squarely put the target on the back of the Trojans as the team to beat in the GMC. They jumped on the Falcons early, leading 24-7 after one quarter, and got 20 points from top-scorer Jessica Cooper, one of four players in double-figures.

Winners – besides Rutgers Prep – included 3rd-ranked Gill St. Bernard’s, which got by Immaculata 48-33 on leading scorer Jennah Johnson’s 15-point evening. No. 5 Middlesex got 17 points from Jessica Devine to win at Dunellen, 50-12. No. 6 Bound Brook rolled past Delaware Valley, 58-31, as new contributors Takara Pugh and Sophia Larson led the way with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

7th-ranked Mount St. Mary edged out Voorhees 49-30, breaking away in a 22-10 third quarter, after only leading 17-13 at halftime, while tenth-ranked North Brunswick cruised past Sayreville on the road 51-19, getting 20 points from Niyell McCargo

Colonia starts season atop the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Preseason Rankings

The winners of the Greater Middlesex Conference’s top postseason pod – the Colonia Patriots – will start the 2021-22 high school basketball season as No. 1 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

With an 11-4 mark a year ago, they avenged their only GMC loss of the 2021 COVID-abbreviated campaign with a win over St. Thomas Aquinas in the finals of the Towns/Williams Pod, on the Trojans’ home floor.

Rutgers Prep is the top Somerset County team, and checks in at No. 2.

Click below for a full audio top ten, with notes and commentary on each team: