Tag: Middlesex

Another unbeaten week keeps Rutgers Prep atop the Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

There’s no change in the top three places of the Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings, with No. 1 Rutgers Prep, No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas and No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s combining to go 9-0 in the past week.

Colonia and Bound Brook flip-flopped, with the Patriots (11-2) going 3-1 last week, losing only at Westfield. The Crusaders (8-3) also lost at Westfield, by fewer points, but dropped a second game in a 2-2 week, losing out-of-state to St. Joseph by the Sea of Staten Island.

Mount St. Mary (6-3) went 2-0 for the week to hold in sixth, while Woodbridge jumped from n inth to seventh on the strength of a 3-0 week. Old Bridge (6-2) held in 8th after a 1-2 week, losing to Monroe and No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas, but they picked up a win over a ranked foe, too, edging No. 7 South Brunswick 47-46. That loss put the Vikings (7-2) behind them in ninth, down two spots.

Middlesex (5-2) holds in tenth at 5-2, following a 2-1 week that included playing all the way up to the Red Division in a 58-48 loss to East Brunswick.

Below are the complete Week 4 rankings:

Another week at No. 1 for Rutgers Prep girls in Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

On the strength of a 2-0 week after a COVID pause, the Rutgers Prep girls remain the Number One team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Week Three Top Ten.

The Argonauts got back into action with a pair of games this past weekend, beating Camden Catholic Saturday 78-46, then topping Long Island Lutheran 68-49 down in West Deptford at the Blue Star High School Invitational.

There was a little movement this week, as St. Thomas Aquinas – with a 2-0 week – jumped over Gill St. Bernard’s. The Knights went 0-1 this week, losing their only game 45-42 at Hillsborough. The Trojans beat Edison by 24 and South Brunswick by 14.

Bound Brook held in fourth, while Colonia – which went 3-0 this week with wins over North Brunswick, at Woodbridge, and at Carteret – vaulted up to fifth, and Mount St. Mary held in 6th.

South Brunswick went 2-1 – the loss coming to St. Thomas Aquinas – and moved to seventh, while Old Bridge – undefeated at 5-0 – jumped into the rankings at No. 8. The Vikings had wins over South River and Edison.

Woodbridge went 1-1 and dropped to ninth, while Middlesex – which beat Spotswood and South River in the week gone by – held in tenth.

Below are the Week 3 rankings:

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 6 Bound Brook 67, Middlesex 56

Senior Donovan Nwenyi led Bound Brook with 15 points, but a key nine points from Quadir Harrell in the second half also were big in helping No. 6 Bound Brook beat Middlesex in the finale of the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge on Saturday, January 8, 2022.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dennis McNulty call all the action from Bound Brook High School:

Harrell’s second half helps No. 6 Bound Brook edge out pesky Middlesex in Skyland-GMC finale

In a 14-game undefeated season, Middlesex gave Bound Brook one of its toughest fights of the year. The Blue Jays led after one quarter, but eventually, the Crusaders’ talent found a way to pull out a win.

Their 2022 meeting in the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge at Bound Brook went very much in the same vein.

After Jeremiah William’s three-ball to open the game for the Brook, Blue Jay Zach Chippendale answered right back, and Middlesex went on a run to take an eight point lead, closing the first period with a 21-13 lead. But 6th-ranked Bound Brook chipped back, and by halftime, after four lead changes, took a 30-27 lead they would never relinquish.

Senior Quadir Harrell led the way with 11 points, all but two of which came after intermission, while game MVP Jeremiah Williams – who turned his ankle in the second half and missed the rest of the contest – had 13, including a pair of threes.

Bound Brook won its 18th straight dating back to last season, and improves to 4-0 on the year, while the Blue Jays dropped to 2-5, losing their fourth straight.

But they hung in until the final few minutes of the game, with the GMC’s leading scorer as of January 6th – Michael Salvatore – scoring 23 points, less than a point off his season average.

Click below to hear postgame reaction from Bound Brook’s win:

Senior guard Quadir Harrell
Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo

Eight teams, four games, one day: Bound Brook hosts Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus showcase

Starting anything outside the confines of a pandemic is challenging enough, but doing so in the midst of one is hit or miss.

And so it went last year with what should have Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo’s inaugural Coaches vs. Coronavirus showcase, a fundraising event meant to raise money for those hit hard by the the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year? He again got plenty of interest, and the fates have smiled on the event, at least for the participants.

Though cases continue to surge in New Jersey – and across the U.S. – spurred by the omicron variant, all eight teams are healthy enough to play in today’s event, including the Crusaders, who are coming off a two-week layoff and only got back onto the practice floor as a group yesterday.

Scroll down for previews and notes on today’s games.

Click below to hear organizer and Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo talk about the event with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Skyland vs. GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Schedule
Saturday, January 8 – Bound Brook High School

Dunellen vs. South Hunterdon, 12 pm
South Plainfield vs. Pingry, 2 pm
Franklin vs. Timothy Christian, 4 pm*
Bound Brook vs. Middlesex*

*games broadcast live on Central Jersey Sports Radio; click here to listen

READ MORE:

Undersized Middlesex looks to give Bound Brook fits again when they meet in Skyland-GMC Challenge

The Bound Brook boys’ basketball team has won 17 straight games, going back to the start of last year’s 14-0 campaign. But perhaps none were as challenging as the Crusaders’ game against neighboring rival Middlesex.

The Blue Jays had Bound Brook tied up in all kinds of knots last February 20th, and led by 9 after one quarter, though the Crusaders’ eventually triumphed, 77-67. “They just ran up and down the court against us, and we had a difficult time against them,” says Brook coach Anthony Melesurgo.

The two teams will square off Saturday at 6 pm in the final of four games at the Skyland-GMC Challenge at Bound Brook, which can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. The game will immediately follow the 4 pm tilt between Timothy Christian and Franklin. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action, with Tigers’ coach Dennis McNulty providing analysis. Click here to listen.

But this year, the Blue Jays have lost three straight, and are 2-4 on the season, coming off a 78-49 loss at South River Friday night.

In one respect, they’re still looking to replace thousand-point scorer Mark Brower, but on the other hands, there are nine players overall – and a half-dozen on the varsity roster – who also play baseball for Middlesex, which won the state Group 1 title last year.

So while the “W”s haven’t taken care of themselves just yet, it’s a group that knows how to win, and how to win championships. Doing it on the court is the next step.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Middlesex head coach Jared Goldstein about the season so far, and Saturday’s matchup against Bound Brook:

After two weeks off, Bound Brook gets back at it, will face Middlesex in Skyland-GMC challenge

Anthony Melesurgo, the Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2020, helped navigate his team last year through numerous hurdles. Few of them occurred on the court.

There was COVID. Then there was George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

This year, after just a two games, it was another COVID stoppage.

Bound Brook beat Warren Hills on the road just two days before Christmas, and hasn’t played since. They had a pair of games scheduled at home in the Crusader Classic, but Point Pleasant Beach had to cancel because of COVID, scrapping Brook’s opening game. Then, Bound Brook themselves had to cancel for the same reason the next day.

After two weeks off, they got back to practice today (Friday) and Saturday (tomorrow) will take on neighboring Middlesex in the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Challenge. It’s a rivalry game that should attract a good crowd.

You can hear the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio at 6 pm, the final game of the Skyland-GMC Coaches vs. Coronavirus Classic, right after after the Franklin-Timothy Christian game. Mike Pavlichko has all the play by play, with Timothy Christian coach Dennis McNulty providing color commentary. Click here to listen.

Click below to hear Bound Brook head coach Anthony Melesurgo talk about the early season, and Saturday’s game against Middlesex:

Two new teams debut in Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Top Ten, but Rutgers Prep remains No. 1

Despite not playing a game last week due to COVID-related issues, Rutgers Prep remains No. 1 in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Week 2 Top Ten.

In fact, three of the top five teams didn’t play at all over Christmas break, including No. 2 Gill St. Bernards, third-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas, and 5th-ranked Monroe. Tenth-ranked Franklin didn’t play, either, and dropped out, as two GMC teams moved into the Top Ten, also bumping previous No. 8 North Brunswick.

Woodbridge (4-1) made its debut at No. 8, while South Brunswick (3-0) took its place at No. 9.

The full rankings are below:

As you count down to the New Year, here are the Top Ten stories of 2021 on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Top Ten lists are king. Ever since the first David Letterman Top Ten on the original “Late Night” on NBC, they’ve been funny, entertaining, and – when it comes to sports – a great source for debate.

There’s not much debate to be had here, though. We’ve compiled the Top Ten stories of 2021 – our first full calendar year of operation on Central Jersey Sports Radio – with the most read and listened to stories on our website. Read by you, the fans!

All these stories are about the teams, schools, student-athletes, and great plays that made 2021 special. Some are combined when written about the same subject. Click on each heading to read and listen to the original stories. Enjoy!

10) No. 5 Old Bridge routs South Brunswick as Hunter, Haughney star

Old Bridge players take the field for pre-game warmups at South Brunswick on September 17, 2021.

Sometimes, it’s not a game-winning hit, touchdown or basket that makes a good story. Sometimes, it’s just a old-fashioned football game. For whatever reason, that was the case with our tenth-most read story of 2021, a win for Old Bridge football over South Brunswick from early this season. Lawrence Hunter III was the Autoland Player of the Game, and Owen Haughney figured prominently in the win as well. Listen to postgame reaction from Hunter and head coach Anthony Lanzafama with CJSR’s Tim Catalfamo.

9) Old Bridge finally wins a close one, in a big spot

Seniors on the Old Bridge baseball team pose before their 2021 Senior Night.

Another Old Bridge story, this time baseball. The Knights were having a rough season, but still in the state tournament. With a 7-17 mark, they had lost ten games by three runs or less, and four by one or two runs. That is, until the opening round of the playoffs, where 12th-seeded Old Bridge knocked off 5th-seed South Brunswick, behind solid performances from two sophomores: Justin Herbstman and Thomas Papeo.

8) “Walk ’em off Spotswood!” Lewandowski’s double off the wall lets Chargers keep Commanders’ Cup trophy another year

Spotswood holds the Bill Thompson Memorial Commander’s Cup Trophy after a 6-5 walk-off win over East Brunswick on May 19, 2021. It was the Chargers’ fourth straight win in the series.

Spotswood High School – my alma mater, for full disclosure, Class of 1996 – has always had that underdog mentality. Baseball coach Glenny Fredricks just brings it to another level, and he has a bunch of scrappy guys to prove it. There’s no fear in this small Group 2 school going up against a Group 4 like East Brunswick year after year after year, for what they call the “Commanders’ Cup.” In 2021, Spotswood won their fourth straight in the series, thanks to a walk-off off the wall by Tyler Lewandowski.

7) National recruit Davison Igbinosun of Union says Farmers are “heartbroken” over playoff cancellation, vows to keep fighting

Union senior CB Davison Igbinosun (source: Twitter)

COVID didn’t nearly have the effect on the 2021 high school football season that it did in 2020. Sure, games were cancelled, but not in an amount even closely approaching what happened the season prior. That did nothing to comfort Union, which had one of its most talented teams in school history, and was the odds-on favorite to win North 2 Group 5, and maybe even go all the way to win the North 5 regional championship. Then, COVID hit a few members of the team, the Superintendent shut down the season, and four-star national recruit Davison Igbinosun and his teammates became vocal to try and save their season. It didn’t work, but we helped give him and his teammates a voice, and Igbinosun represented them with class and dignity.

Click here for additional coverage with Union head coach Lou Grasso, Jr.

6) Loaded North Brunswick aiming high behind Garbolino and Co.

North Brunswick junior QB Frankie Garbolino

Coming off a 7-1 season, with an experienced junior quarterback and a talented ensemble cast returning, North Brunswick entered the 2021 football season with high hopes. They might have been achieved if not for a once-in-a-lifetime-talented Hillsborough squad, which they met twice – once in the regular season finale and once in the playoffs. Hear Frankie Garbolino and head coach Mike Cipot talk about the 2021 team, in our most-listened to preview story of ’21.

5) Somerville’s dynamic duo – Cookie and AJ – taking divergent paths after H.S., with big hopes for the future

From left to right, Somerville RB Cookie Desiderio, head coach Dallas Whitaker, and DE A.J. Pena pose with their commemorative footballs honoring their CJSR Player of the Year picks, and Somerville’s Team of the Year award for 2020.

They were two of the most dominant football players in the Big Central – maybe even the state – in the COVID-shortened 2020 season: runningback Cookie Desiderio and defensive end A.J. Pena of Somerville. The “Cookie Monster” scored almost every time he touched the ball (every 5.8 carries, in reality, but who’s counting) and A.J. loved “making quarterbacks cry,” which he did 12 times in seven games. They were named CJSR’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, but in the strange world of extra college eligibility and the FCS season being moved to the Spring – neither got the D1 offers they deserved.

4) Who’s the strongest team in the Big Central? Here are the league’s SI ratings heading into 2021

Phillipsburg was the “strongest” team in the Big Central heading into 2021, according to the NJSIAA’s Strength Index.

Yes, sometimes even true numbers, purely mathematical, can stir debate. And such has been the case since the NJSIAA revamped its playoff formula in 2018, initially using the Born Bower Index, and since 2019 using its own formula, loosely based on the BPI. It uses the OSI, or Opponent Strength Index, but needs the strength value of each individual team to calculate. So, we simply compiled the numbers for all the Big Central and published them. Not everyone may be a fan of our extensive knowledge of the system – it can be a dull read at times – but we do have many fans of this kind of thing, apparently. And we’re sure a good number of them are coaches, too, from both inside and outside the conference, as we’ll frequently get calls and texts asking “Where do you see us ending up?”

3) Listen to Bobby Ulmer talk with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko about his walk-off grand-slam

Bobby Ulmer, Jr., live on the CJSR postgame, talking about his dramatic walk-off grand slam.

Kids dream of this kind of stuff, acting it out in their backyards. Bases loaded, two outs, last inning, two strikes, grand slam to win the game. Bobby Ulmer, Jr., of Middlesex lived it. His walk-off grand slam in the Group 1 semifinals sent Middlesex to the state title game, where they would win again in walk-off fashion, albeit in 13 innings on a seeing-eye single by Mark Geist. Ulmer’s moonshot in the team’s last home game of the year was as dramatic as they come.

Bonus coverage: Middlesex gains Group 1 final on Ulmer’s dramatic, walk-off grand slam

2) Big Central releases All-Division Teams

It doesn’t always have to be a Top Ten list that inspires debate, or at least inspires people to go to your website. Simply honoring student-athletes is a big draw. So a list recognizing all the outstanding football players in the Big Central Conference in 2021 – all-division teams chosen by the league’s head coaches featuring 384 players in toto – brought readers out in droves.

1) He brings the water bottles, and the excitement. And he wants to help bring Greg Schiano and Rutgers a national championship

Edison senior Raymond Taub wants to be a team manager for Greg Schiano at Rutgers.

This may be one of our most favorite stories – if not, favorite interviews – ever. I can’t really tell you how we first came to know about Raymond Taub – that’s an entertaining story just for a few of us to know – but suffice it to say, he’s an awesome kid. He’s the autistic, well-loved-by-everyone manager of the football team, keeps meticulous pitch counts for the baseball team, and is the Eagles’ biggest fan. He also may be the biggest Rutgers fan out there, and his Senior Night “goal” was to become a manager with the Scarlet Knight football team and “help Greg Schiano win a national championship.” He’s a little busy right now, but someone bookmark this story for him when he gets back from Jacksonville in 2022, will ya?

Rutgers Prep drops its first game in 15, but stays No. 1 in Bellamy & Son Paving Girls Basketball Top Ten

Despite having a 14-game winning streak snapped in a 62-51 loss to Westtown, PA, Rutgers Prep remains the top team in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Argos won their opener 60-34 on Central Jersey Sports Radio back on December 17, and face Southern in their opening game of the Score at the Shore Tournament Monday.

No one dropped out of the Week One rankings, with four teams only managing one game due to COVID-related cancellations either of their own doing or by their opponents.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko break down the full Top Ten, complete with notes on each team: