Tag: Mark Gnapp

Gill St. Bernards, Rutgers Prep girls advance to Saturday’s Somerset County Tournament final

Second-seed Gill St. Bernard’s successfully fended off a tough challenge from 6-seed Hillsborough Thursday night, beating the Lady Raiders 41-33 in a home semifinal game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The teams traded the lead a few times in the first quarter, but in the second Gill went on a 10-0 run to take a 16-8 lead. And yet and the end of the half, they only had a two point advantage, at 20-18.

On defense, though, they held Hillsborough scoreless the first six minutes out of the locker room, and built a ten point lead that would shrink a bit, get back to ten, shrink a bit, and so on, until they eventually closed an eight point win.

In Saturday’s final at 1:00 – which can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – Gill (17-4) will take on top-seed Rutgers Prep, which beat 5-seed Bound Brook at home Thursday 86-42, led by Rutgers-bound Antonia Bates, who had 17 points, and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Rutgers-bound Rutgers Prep senior Antonia Bates celebrates scoring her 1,000th career point, which came in the SCT semifinals Thursday at home. (Photo: Chris Tsakonas)

The Lady Argonauts (22-2) did what they have done all season long: score early and often, and let their defense do the dirty work. That helped Prep build a 26-7 lead at the end of one quarter, and from there, they never looked back.

Four other players scored in double figures. Katie Ledden scored 15 points, while Mikayla Blakes, Zahra Alexander and Morgan Ryan each had a dozen.

Click below for postgame reaction from Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko in Gladstone and Chris Tsakonas in Somerset:

GILL ST. BERNARD’S over HILLSBOROUGH 41-33

Gill St. Bernard’s Freshman Maya Abramson
Gill St. Bernard’s Head Coach Mark Gnapp

RUTGERS PREP over BOUND BROOK 86-42

Rutgers Prep senior Antonia Bates
Rutgers Prep head coach Mary Klinger

Gill St. Bernard’s girls seeking first trip to SCT Finals in six years when Hillsborough comes to town

It’s been a while since Gill St. Bernard’s has been to the Somerset County Tournament championship game, and a lot of that has been due to the immense success Rutgers Prep and Franklin have had in recent years.

But there was a time when the Knights dominated themselves. They won three straight championships from 2012-2014, beating Rutgers Prep once and Franklin twice.

This year, they’re one step away, and probably a year earlier than Mark Gnapp had expected.

After all, when you lose players to graduation like Kayleigh Walsh – who’s now playing in the Big Ten for Northwestern – and Ella Fajardo – an international-caliber player who’s at FDU and a celebrity in her native Phillipines – who would think they’d be right back here?

And yet, here they are, a win away from the final.

To get there, they’ll have to dispatch 6th-seed Hillsborough, which is also having a solid year, in the SCT semifinals Thursday night at Gill St. Bernard’s in Gladstone, where Central Jersey Sports Radio will have all the action live beginning with the pregame show at 4:45 pm. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action; click here to listen.

Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko talk to Gill head coach Mark Gnapp about the Knights’ season so far, and a third meeting this season with Hillsborough:

No. 5 Gill tops No. 6 Franklin on Baisley’s buzzer-beating layup

Defense ruled the day in the second matchup between two of Somerset County’s best girls’ basketball teams, and in the end, it was a sophomore who won it.

Brooke Baisley’s layup just before the final horn – in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – gave No. 5 Gill St. Bernard’s a 35-33 road win at No. 6 Franklin two sweep the two-game season series, a little more than two weeks after the Knights’ edged the Warriors at home up in Gladstone, 38-35.

Baisley was just a point shy of a double-double on the evening, finishing with a team-high nine points and 12 rebounds, while on the other end of the floor, Christina Midgette was held to just three points, a season low, and her lowest offensive output since January 31, 2019 – her freshman year – when she scored just two against Watchung Hills.

Click below to hear Dom Savino with the final call on Central Jersey Sports Radio:

The win gave GSB the inside track on first place in the Skyland Conference Delaware Division. Technically, Franklin remains in first by having played one extra game, and winning it; the Warriors (9-3) are 7-2 in the division, with both of those losses to Gill; their other loss was to Rutgers Prep opening night on CJSR. The Knights’ are 6-2 in the division, with losses to Watchung Hills and Hillsborough. They have two games left: Hunterdon Central at home next Monday, and a rematch at home against Watchung Hills on February 10th.

The victory was also career win No. 300 for Mark Gnapp, who had several former players on hand to watch in Franklin Thursday night.

Click below to hear postgame reaction with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Chris Tsakonas:

Gill sophomore Brooke Baisley, who hit the game-winning shot as the clock ran down
Head coach Mark Gnapp, who won his 300th career game Thursday night

Top Ten girls teams battle tonight on CJSR when No. 5 Gill visits No. 6 Franklin

Their paths to this point in the season haven’t exactly been the same, but they are right next to each other in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten. And they will square off tonight on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Fifth-ranked Gill St. Bernard’s (8-3, 5-2) and No. 6 Franklin (9-2, 7-1) play each other in a critical game, where a win by the Warriors would solidify their grip on first place in the Skyland Conference Delaware Division, but a Knights’ win would give each team two losses, with Gill having beaten Franklin twice head-to-head.

Dom Savino and Chris Tsakonas call all the action with pregame at 5:45 pm, and tip-off at 6:00. Click here to listen live.

Franklin’s only division loss came to GSB on January 11th, a 38-35 ballgame that left Franklin just 3-2 less than a month into the season, interrupted by a long COVID stoppage spanning their opening game loss to Rutgers Prep on December 17th right on through to January fourth. Gill has two division losses, to Watchung Hills and Hillsborough.

Franklin is red hot, though, since that loss to the Knights, having won six in a row. Senior Christina Midgette is by far and away the team’s leading scorer, averaging 20.4 points per game, and the leader of the team’s recent hot streak; she’s scoring 26.8 a game in her last four, having scored no fewer than 24 in that span.

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

Gill, meanwhile, avenged a loss from earlier this month to Hillsborough Tuesday night, beating the Lady Raiders 62-43 in a game that was tight in the first half, but saw the Knights pull away.

It was also career win No. 299 for Gnapp, who will chase 300 at Franklin tonight. In addition to coaching the girls at Gill St. Bernard’s, he’s spent time coaching both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Parsippany, and girls’ basketball at Mendham.

Click below to hear Dom Savino and Chris Tsakonas preview the Gill-Franklin game:

Chris Tsakonas with Gill St. Bernard’s head coach Mark Gnapp
Dom Savino with Franklin head coach Audrey Taylor

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