Tag: Middlesex

South Brunswick boys, Middlesex girls fall in sectional finals

The GMC got swept in sectional title games Tuesday night, as the South Brunswick boys were ousted in the Central Jersey Group 4 title game, while the Middlesex girls lost in the Central Jersey Group 2 final.

That’s in addition to the South River boys, which lost 60-52 to Manasquan at home in the Central Jersey Group 2 final 60-52, the Rams stopped in their quest to win their first sectional trophy since 1991.

Colonia is now the last remaining public school from the Central Jersey Sports Radio coverage area to be alive in the state tournament. The North 2, Group 3 champion Patriots take on North 1, Group 3 winner Ramapo at Phillipsburg Thursday night at 7, a rematch of last year’s sectional semi, won by the Raiders.

Boys’ Central Jersey Group 4 Final: #1 Trenton 53, #6 South Brunswick 37

The sixth-seeded Vikings – who pulled off numerous upsets late in the year en routr to the GMC Tournament final, and now the CJ4 title game – gave top-seed Trenton (29-1) a valiant effort in a tough, hostile environment in the state capitol. In fact, South Brunswick led 12-11 after one quarter, and despite a run by the Tornadoes over the next eight minutes, only trailed 29-25 at halftime.

But Trenton further extended the lead in the third quarter, and pulled away for good in the fourth. They’ll now move on to face Egg Harbor Township, the third-seed out of South Jersey Group 4 – which upset top-seed Lenape Tuesday night, 41-36 – Thursday night at 7:00 at Central Regional High School in Bayville.

The Vikings (20-7) were led by Kalani Antoine’s 10 points, while Daniel Swirad chipped in nine, and Hamrehar Chhabra added six.

Girls’ Central Jersey Group 1 Final: #1 Shore Regional 62, #2 Middlesex 31

Shore came out hot to a 16-4 lead at the end of one quarter, and continued over the next 16 minutes, going into the locker room with a 32-12 lead thanks to a stifling defense.

Jaclyn DeShields led Middlesex (20-9) with 14 points, while Jessica Devine added 10, but senior Neysa Aguilar – the team’s leading scorer – was held to just two points in the game.

Shore (23-6) now moves on to the Group 2 semifinals against South Jersey Group 1 winner Woodstown. The top-seeded Wolverines (22-8) were 57-30 winners over Wildwood Tuesday night, and move on to the semis at Deptford High School Thursday at 7 pm.

Senior Neysa Aguilar leads Middlesex into CJ1 title tilt down the Shore, against Shore

Being a senior athlete in any sport is a unique thing, especially when it comes to tournament time.

They say play every game like it’s your last? For high schoolers, it very well could be, once that last state tournament comes around.

Neysa Aguilar of Middlesex has always been a standout, but she has upped her game to the next level in the 2023 NJSIAA Tournament.

And that will need to continue Tuesday night when second-seed Middlesex (20-8) travels to take on top-seed Shore Regional (22-6) in the Central Jersey Group 1 final, with a 6:30 tip-off time in West Long Branch.

Not only is she averaging 21.2 points per game, but she’s coming off a 32-point, 12-rebound effort in the semifinals against Dunellen, peaking – perhaps – at the right time.

Head coach Kevin Harper will need all of that and more against a Blue Devils team that is the defending champion, having made a run all the way to the Group 1 title game last year. They’re led by senior Rylee Drahos (18.5 ppg) and sophomore Reese Fiore (12.9 ppg).

Middlesex, meanwhile, is making its first appearance in a title game since 2020, Aguilar’s freshman season. That year, they had made their third straight trip to a sectional final, only to fall to small-school powerhouse and neighboring Bound Brook all three times.

Disappointment to be sure for Aguilar. The next season, the COVID-shortened year of 2021, Middlesex made it into the Somogyi Family Pod, the GMC’s top postseason pod, but their run was over before it began, waylaid by a COVID outbreak around the team.

And so, here’s Aguilar, with that one last shot. Make it a good one.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with senior Neysa Aguilar about her time at Middlesex, the influence of her coach, and the Central Jersey Group 1 title game against Shore Regional:

And then there were five: South Brunswick, South River, Colonia boys; Monroe, Middlesex girls will vie for sectional titles

CORRECTION: The girls’ sectional finals are opposite days from the boys in each group. Monroe girls play Monday, Midesex plays Tuesday.

Week One of the NJSIAA state tournament is in the books, and the public sectional title games have all been determined. Five teams from the Central Jersey Sports Radio listening area are on to Championship Week, and will play for trophies next week, including three on the boys’ side and two on the girls’ side.

Here’s a full breakdown of who will play for titles.

Scroll all the way down to see the upcoming public and non-public schedule for CJSR-area teams remaining in the state tournament.

For the boys, the standard-bearers are Colonia, South Brunswick and South River.

The Patriots (21-8) were the first to punch their ticket, doing so on Friday night with a win over top-seed South Plainfield in the North 2, Group 3 semifinals. (Click here for a full recap and postgame audio from our very own Chris Tsakonas.) They will be the first to play this week when they host 6th-seed Snyder (17-7) out of Jersey City. Game time is 6 pm.

Colonia is going for its third straight sectional title in the past four seasons and second straight, as they won the section last year over South Plainfield in a 58-56 double-overtime thriller in their own gym – where they will play again Monday – but were knocked out in the Group 3 semifinals by Ramapo.

The Patriots also are making their fourth straight appearance in a sectional title game. There was no state tournament during the shortened COVID year of 2021, but in 2020, Colonia lost to Irvington in the title game, a year after beating West Morris 57-33 on the road to take their first of two North 2, Group 3 crowns so far under Jose Rodriguez.

Then on Tuesday, two more teams will play for titles. In South River (26-3), the top-seeded Rams are in the Central Jersey Group 2 title game – their first appearance since they won it all in 1991 – where they will play host to second-seed Manasquan (25-4) at 7 pm. South River got there with a tense win over fourth-seed Bound Brook Saturday, 72-66.

While South River made it to the GMC Tournament semifinals before falling to St. Joe’s of Metuchen, the Warriors are the Shore Conference Tournament Champions, beating Ranney of Eatontown 61-46 in the final.

Also Tuesday night, it will be sixth-seed South Brunswick (20-6) traveling to take on top-seed Trenton (28-1) in the Central Jersey Group 4 title game at 5:30 pm. The Vikings were 72-62 home winners in the semifinals Saturday over 7th-seed Marlboro, a surprise home game after the Mustangs had upset 2nd-seed Freehold Twp. in the quarters. But this time they will have to go on the road, and play a top ten team statewide, to boot. Many consider the Tornadoes a favorite to go all the way and win Group 4.

South Brunswick last made the sectional finals in 2020, when they beat Marlboro 72-20 in the title game on March 10, 2020. The date is significant because the season ended there – before playing in the statewide Group 4 semifinals – when the NJSIAA shut down high school sports at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s one of the rare instances of a team ending their season with a win in a sectional finals.

On the girls’ side, one team will play each day: Monroe, then Middlesex.

On Monday, it’s the Central Jersey Group 4 title game at 5:30 pm, which third-seed Monroe (17-9) finds itself hosting against 5th-seed Jackson Memorial (20-9). The Falcons knocked out 2-seed South Brunswick on the road Saturday morning, 59-42, in a game that tipped off at 10 am as part of a doubleheader with the Viking boys. But they probably figured they would be playing on the road. They found out they’d get to host after the Jaguars upset top-seed Hightstown, 61-44.

Monroe and Jax Memorial met in last year’s CJ4 semifinals, with the Falcons falling 46-44. Monroe last made a sectional final in 2016, when the girls beat Hunterdon Central 48-35 to take the Central Jersey Group 4 title, before falling to Lenape in the statewide Group 4 semis. They had also lost the year before in the finals, 60-52 to Marlboro.

Then on Tuesday, second-seed Middlesex (20-8) will visit top-seed Shore Regional (22-6) in West Long Branch for a 6:30 title tilt in Central Jersey Group 1. The Blue Jays have had a stellar run under head coach Kevin Harper, and senior Neysa Aguilar has been they key reason. She scored 32 points in a 69-42 semifinal win over Dunellen, and has averaged 22.7 points in three state tourney games so far.

The last sectional final appearance for Middlesex came in 2020, when the Blue Jays lost to Bound Brook 56-41 in the Central Jersey Group 1 title game. (The Crusaders, incidentally, also had their tourney run cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after a 48-32 group semifinal win over Woodbury.) That was the third straight year Middlesex had lost to Bound Brook in the CJ1 finals. They also lost to South River in the sectional finals in 2015. The Blue Jays won their only title in 2004, when they rallied to beat Dayton 60-41in the Central Jersey Group 1 finals; they would go on to lose to South 1 champ Riverside in the Group 1 semifinals.



Boys – North 2, Group 3 Final
#6 Snyder (17-7) at #4 Colonia (21-8), 5:30 pm

Girls – Central 1 Final
#2 Middlesex (20-8) at #1 Shore Regional (22-6), 6:30 pm

Boys – Non-Public South A Semifinals
#5 Union Catholic at #1 Camden Catholic, 7 pm
#7 Rutgers Prep at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen, 6pm

Boys – Non-Public North B Semifinals
#4 Roselle Catholic at #1 St. Thomas Aquinas, 6 pm (CJSR)
#6 Montclair-Immaculate at #2 Gill St. Bernard’s, 6 pm

Girls – Non-Public South B Semifinals
#5 Holy Spirit at #1 Wildwood Catholic, 6 pm
#3 Rutgers Prep at #2 St. Rose-Belmar, 5 pm


Boys – Central 4 Final
#6 South Brunswick (20-6) at #1 Trenton (28-1), 5:30 pm

Boys – Central 2 Final
#2 Manasquan (25-4) at #1 South River (26-3), 7:00 pm

Girls – Central 4 Final
#5 Jackson Memorial (20-9) at #1 Monroe (17-9), 5:30 pm

Middlesex is lone girls’ public to move on to a title game Monday, while Rutgers Prep wins in Non-Public sectional quarters

Just two Central Jersey Sports Radio-are girls’ basketball teams advanced in the state tournament Friday night, with Middlesex advancing to the Central Jersey Group 1 final Monday, while Rutgers Prep won to advance to the Non-Public South B semifinals.

In an all-GMC matchup, second-seed Middlesex (20-8) was in control nearly wire-to-wire in a 69-42 win over third-seed Dunellen (19-10). Senior Neysa Aguilar pumped in 32 points for the Blue Jays, and now is averaging nearly 23 points per game in three state tourney games.

The victory earns Middlesex a trip to the Central Jersey Group 1 Final on Monday night at top-seed Shore Regional (22-6), which was a 61-41 winner Friday night over Pt. Pleasant Beach (21-6).

In North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3 action, fifth-seed Colonia’s season was ended by top-seed Randolph, which won at home 50-46.

On the non-public side, the only area winner was Rutgers Prep. The third-seeded Lady Argonauts (23-4) were 91-43 winners in the Non-Public South B quarterfinals over 6th-seed Trenton Catholic (13-11). Head coach Mary Klinger emptied her bench, playing 13 players in the game.

Senior Katie Ledden scored 26 points and added six rebounds, while junior Mikayla Blakes added 21, and freshman Ava LoMonica notched a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Prep led big early, 29-8 after one quarter, and 56-17 at the halftime break.

In the semifinals, Prep will go on the road to face 2-seed St. Rose in Belmar, after they crushed 7-seed Bishop Eustace Friday night, 77-23. The other semi will feature 5th-seed Holy Spirit at top-seed Wildwood Catholic.

In Non-Public North B, fifth-seed Gill St. Bernard’s was eliminated by 4th-seed Montclair-Immaculate, 55-49, while 7th-seed Wardlaw Hartridge was beaten 89-16 by 2-seed Morris Catholic.

And in Non-Public South A, 5th-seed St. Thomas Aquinas lost on the road to 4th-seed Red Bank Catholic, 47-38.

Below are Friday night scores, with full results in sections with teams remaining. Scroll further down for the upcoming girls’ schedule.

North 2, Group 3
#1 Randolph def. #5 Colonia, 50-46

Central Group 1
#1 Shore Regional def. #5 Pt. Pleasant Beach, 61-41
#2 Middlesex def. #3 Dunellen, 69-42

Non-Public South A
#4 Red Bank Catholic def. #5 St. Thomas Aquinas, 47-38

Non-Public North B
#4 Montclair-Immaculate def. #5 Gill St. Bernard’s, 55-49
#2 Morris Catholic def. #7 Wardlaw-Hartridge, 89-16

Non-Public South B
#1 Wildwood Catholic def. #8 Gloucester Catholic, 41-34
#5 Holy Spirit def. #4 Holy Cross Prep, 67-60
#3 Rutgers Prep def. #6 Trenton Catholic, 91-43
#2 St. Rose-Belmar def. #7 Bishop Eustace, 77-23



Central Group 4 Semifinals
#5 Jackson Memorial at #1 Hightstown
#3 Monroe at #2 South Brunswick

North 2, Group 4 Semifinals
#4 Westfield at #1 Bayonne
#7 Scotch Plains-Fanwood at #6 Watchung Hills


Central Group 1 Final
#2 Middlesex at #1 Shore Regional

Non-Public South B Semifinals
#5 Holy Spirit at #1 Wildwood Catholic
#3 Rutgers Prep at #2 St. Rose-Belmar

NJSIAA girls’ state tourney will get an all-GMC semifinal in Central Group 1, as five teams advance in playoffs

Dunellen and Middlesex will meet for a second time this year – this time for a trip to the Central Jersey Group 1 title game – as the two were among five Central Jersey Sports Radio-area schools to advance Wednesday in the NJSIAA state playoffs.

In a defensive battle, second-seed Middlesex held 7th-seed New Egypt scoreless in a 5-0 first quarter, led 12-5 at the half, then pulled away for a 46-30 win behind 17 points from Neysa Aguilar and 16 from Jessica Devine.

Third-seed Dunellen won a GMC matchup over 6th-seed Highland Park at home, 48-47 in overtime, in a game that was neck-and-neck throughout. Sophomore Jahzara McLaughlin led all scorers with a career-high 24 points for the Destroyers.

Now, the teams will square off Friday night in the CJ1 semifinals, in Middlesex, with a trip to the finals on the line. The Blue Jays beat Dunellen 65-42 on December 27th in the Clem Santy Holiday Tournament.

Other winners Wednesday night on the girls’ side included 5th-seed Colonia coming up with a road win at 4-seed Fort Lee, 47-40, in North 2, Group 3; fifth-seed St. Thomas Aquinas powered past 12th-seed Union Catholic 92-48 in Non-Public South A; and third-seed Rutgers Prep cruised past 14th-seed Moorestown Friends at home in Somerset, 76-25. The Lady Argonauts bolted out to a 27-0 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.

Seven area teams were eliminated Wednesday night.

Below are results for area teams, and full results in sections with teams still alive. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule, including matchups based on Wednesday’s results.

Central Group 3 Quarterfinals
#4 Allentown def. #5 Somerville, 40-24

Central Group 1 Quarterfinals
#1 Shire def. #8 South Hunterdon, 50-30
#5 Pt. Pleasant Beach def. #13 Keyport, 46-11
#3 Dunellen def. #6 Highland Park, 48-47 (OT)
#2 Middlesex def. #7 New Egypt, 46-30

North 2, Group 3 Quarterfinals
#1 Randolph def. #8 North Plainfield, 71-46
#5 Colonia def. #4 Fort Lee, 47-40
#11 Mendham def. #3 Millburn, 51-47
#2 Chatham def. #7 Warren Hills, 68-32

Non-Public South A First Round
#9 Our Lady of Mercy def. #8 Pingry, 48-43
#5 St. Thomas Aquinas def. #12 Union Catholic, 92-48
#4 Red Bank Catholic def. #13 Donovan Catholic, 86-35
#3 Trinity Hall def. #14 Princeton Day, 67-21
#6 Camden Catholic def. #11 Immaculata, 60-17
#10 Notre Dame def. #7 Mount St. Mary 29-27
Byes: #1 St. John Vianney, #2 Paul VI

Non-Public North B First Round
#9 Villa Walsh def. #8 Eastern Christian, 50-29
Byes: #1 Saddle River Day, #2 Morris Catholic, #3 Lodi-Immaculate, #4-Montclair-Immaculate, #5 Gill St. Bernard’s, #6 Roselle Catholic, #7 Wardlaw-Hartridge

Non-Public South B First Round
#8 Gloucester Catholic def. #9 Ranney 43-38
#5 Holy Spirit def. #12 St. Joseph-Hammonton, 81-37
#4 Holy Cross Prep def. #13 Doane Academy, 67-24
#3 Rutgers Prep def. #14 Moorestown Friends, 76-25
#6 Trenton Catholic def. #11 Timothy Christian, 99-13
#7 Bishop Eustace def. #10 Calvary Christian (Old Bridge) 53-17
Byes: #1 Wildwood Catholic, #2 St. Rose



Central Group 4 Quarterfinals
#8 Old Bridge at #1 Hightstown
#5 Jackson Memorial at #4 East Brunswick
#6 Howell at #3 Monroe
#7 Long Branch at #2 South Brunswick

Central Group 2 Quarterfinals
#8 Roselle at #1 New Providence
#5 Voorhees at #4 Rumson-Fair Haven
#11 Bound Brook at #3 Holmdel
#10 South River at #2 Manasquan

North 2, Group 4 Quarterfinals
#8 Hillsborough at #1 Bayonne
#5 Edison at #4 Westfield
#6 Watchung Hills at #3 Irvington
#7 Scotch Plains-Fanwood


Central Group 1 Semifinals
#3 Dunellen at #2 Middlesex
#5 Pt. Pleasant Beach at #1 Shore

North 2 Group 3 Semifinals
#5 Colonia at #1 Randolph
#11 Mendham at #2 Chatham

Non-Public South A Quarterfinals
#9 Our Lady of Mercy at #1 St. John Vianney
#5 St. Thomas Aquinas at #4 Red Bank Catholic
#6 Camden Catholic at #3 Trinity Hall
#10 Notre Dame at #2 Paul VI

Non-Public North B Quarterfinals
#9 Villa Walsh at #1 Saddle River Day
#5 Gill St. Bernard’s at #4 Montclair-Immaculate
#6 Roselle Catholic at #3 Lodi-Immaculate
#7 Wardlaw-Hartridge at #2 Morris Catholic

Non-Public South B Quarterfinals
#8 Gloucester Catholic at #1 Wildwood Catholic
#5 Holy Spirit at #4 Holy Cross Prep
#6 Trenton Catholic at #3 Rutgers Prep
#7 Bishop Eustace at #2 St. Rose

NJSIAA State Tournament opening round sees half-dozen girls teams advance on opening night

Colonia, Dunellen, Highland Park, Middlesex, North Plainfield and Somerville all picked up wins on the opening night of the 2023 state girls’ basketball tournament, while seven area teams were knocked out in the first round.

Dunellen’s win was especially satisfying for the third-seeded Destroyers, who beat 14th-seed Henry Hudson 56-29 at home to snap a three-game losing streak, part of a five-game regular season stretch they had since getting knocked out of the GMC Tournament in the preliminary round. It sets up the only all-are matchup in the sectional quarterfinals, as they will take on 6th-seed Highland Park Wednesday. The Owls got by 11th-seed Woodbridge Magnet 53-33.

Dunellen lost at Highland Park a week ago, 44-29, their only meeting this season.

Follow Sportsplex at Metuchen on Instagram for the latest on open gym sessions on their courts and turf!

Now it’s on to the sectional semifinals for Group 1 and 3 schools on Wednesday. Groups 2 and 4 begin play tomorrow, with non-publics starting play on Wednesday.

Below are the opening night results in all sections with CJSR-area teams still alive in the state tournament. Scroll further down for the upcoming schedule, including the next matchups for tonight’s winners:

Central Group 3
#1 Ewing def. #16 Middletown North, 66-34
#8 Colts Neck def. #9 Hamilton West, 56-14
#5 Somerville def. #12 Jackson Liberty, 44-37
#4 Allentown def #13 Carteret, 59-17
#3 Red Bank Regional def. #14 Hopewell Valley, 58-24
#11 Brick Memorial def. #6 Steinert, 39-23
#7 Robbinsville def. #10 South Plainfield, 31-29
#2 Ocean Twp. def. #15 JFK, 69-17

Central Group 1
#8 South Hunterdon def. #9 Manville, 46-24
#5 Pt. Pleasant Beach def. #12 Somerset Tech, 53-32
#13 Keyport def. #4 Perth Amboy Magnet, 35-21
#3 Dunellen def. #14 Henry Hudson, 56-29
#6 Highland Park def. #11 Woodbridge Magnet, 53-33
#7 New Egypt def. #10 Keansburg, 38-17
#2 Middlesex def. #15 Florence, 63-33
(#1 seed Shore had a bye)

North 2 Group 3
#1 Randolph def. #16 Rahway, 60-16
#8 North Plainfield def. #9 Governor Livingston, 42-37
#5 Colonia def. #12 Nutley, 56-27
#4 Fort Lee def. #13 North Hunterdon
#3 Millburn def. #14 Belleville, 46-18
#11 Mendham def. #6 West Morris, 50-42
#7 Warren Hills def. #10 Cranford, 57-48
#2 Chatham def. #15 Orange, 68-34

Here’s the remainder of the upcoming schedule, including matchups from Monday’s results:


Central Group 4
#16 North Brunswick at #1 Hightstown
#9 Marlboro at #8 Old Bridge
#13 West Windsor-Plainsboro North at #4 East Brunswick
#14 Northern Burlington at #3 Monroe
#15 Freehold Township at #2 South Brunswick

Central Group 2
#11 Bound Brook at #6 Spotswood
#10 South River at #7 Metuchen

North 2 Group 4
#9 Woodbridge at #8 Hillsborough
#12 Union at #5 Edison
#11 Franklin at #6 Watchung Hills
#10 Ridge at #7 Scotch Plains-Fanwood

North 2 Group 2
#13 Bernards at #4 Dayton


Central Group 3 Quarterfinals
#8 Colts Neck at #1 Ewing
#5 Somerville at #4 Allentown
#11 Brick Memorial at #3 Red Bank Regional
#7 Robbinsville at #2 Ocean Twp.

Central Group 1 Quarterfinals
#8 South Hunterdon at #1 Shore
#13 Keyport at #5 Pt. Pleasant Beach
#6 Highland Park at #3 Dunellen
#7 New Egypt at #2 Middlesex

North 2 Group 3 Quarterfinals
#8 North Plainfield at #1 Randolph
#5 Colonia at #4 Fort Lee
#11 Mendham at #3 Millburn
#7 Warren Hills at #2 Chatham

Non-Public South A First Round

#9 Our Lady of Mercy at #8 Pingry
#12 Union Catholic at #5 St. Thomas Aquinas
#11 Immaculata at #6 Camden Catholic

Non-Public South B First Round
#14 Moorestown Prep at #3 Rutgers Prep
#11 Timothy Christian at #6 Trenton Catholic
#10 Calvary Christian at #7 Bishop Eustace


Non-Public North B Quarterfinals
#5 Gill St. Bernard’s at #4 Montclair-Immaculate
#7 Wardlaw-Hartridge at #2 Morris Catholic

Aquinas, Monroe advance to GMC Tournament girls’ semis with Saturday wins in quarterfinals

The second half of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament is now set, with top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas and fourth-seed Monroe advancing to Tuesday’s semifinals at Middlesex County College in Edison. They will square off at 7 pm, immediately following the opener between 4th-seed Colonia and 3rd-seed South Brunswick.

Both games can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – presented by Dayton Toyota Service and Dayton Collision of South Brunswick – with Mike Pavlickho and Chris Tsakonas calling all the action. Click here to listen on Tuesday.

#1 St. Thomas Aquinas 86, #4 Middlesex 60: The three-time defending champion Lady Trojans (19-6) are a win away from making it to the finals once again. (They won last year and in 2020 – there was no full tournament in 2021 due to COVID-19 – and won in 2019 as Bishop Ahr.) The Blue Jays (17-6) gave it all they got, and were within three at 37-34 at the half. But Aquinas pulled away in the third quarter.

Click below to hear from St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Joe Whalen:

#4 Monroe 58, #5 Edison 39: The Falcons (14-7) had three players score in double figures Saturday afternoon, led by Nicole Turco’s 14 points, a dozen from Haley Higgins and 10 from Evangelina Francisco. Monroe doubled up Edison (19-5) in each of the first two quarters, leading 18-9 after one, and 42-23 at the half, in a game that saw them in control virtually wire to wire. The Lady Eagles were led by Keisha Ortiz, who scored 16 points.

Click below to hear from Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman:

Plenty on the line today at the GMCT girls’ quarterfinals beyond a trip to Tuesday’s semis

When ninth-seed Middlesex takes on top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas at 5 pm Saturday in the final of four GMC Tournament quarterfinal games at Middlesex County College in Edison, more will be on the line than “just” a trip to the semifinals.

It would appear the Blue Jays have a shot at a top seed in the Central Jersey Group 1 state playoffs, based on power point standings published on NJ.com, which is the official site for the standings.

Middlesex (17-5) enters the day in second at 496, a slim six points separating them and first place Shore Regional (19-4, 502). With the top 16 power point games on a team’s schedule counting toward qualification, a win today by either team would have to bring a higher value than their current lowest score.

The lowest power point value for Middlesex is 13, for a loss to Edison on January 3rd. Should they beat Aquinas today, that game would be worth 46 power points. The 46 would be added and the 13 would be dropped, leaving a net gain of 33 power points for Middlesex, yielding a total of 529.

Shore plays 15-8 Jackson Memorial today, a 39 point game, with their lowest being 17. A win nets them 22, and would give them 524,

So, it would appear a win by Middlesex today over Aquinas could clinch the top seed. A loss would not be enough, only getting one residual point for each win by Aquinas through its first 16 games; they had 13, and that wouldn’t be enough to bump the lowest score of 13 for the Edison loss.

There’s even more on the line in Central Jersey Group 4.

South Brunswick and East Brunswick will play today in the 1:00 quarterfinal at Middlesex County College, and they currently sit second and third, respectively, in CJ4. But the Vikings (19-6, 510 points) are too far behind first-place Hightstown (19-5, 533) to get the top seed. A win would gain 28 points, but subtract their lowest score of 15, for a net gain of 13, still leaving them ten points out of first. And East Brunswick (13-10, 468) wouldn’t be able to jump them.

But Monroe (13-7, 447) surely could jump the Lady Bears from fourth into third with a second win this season over Edison in the 3:00 quarterfinal. That would be worth another 52 points, dropping their lowest of 11 from a season-opening loss to South Brunswick. The net gain would be 41 points, giving them 488. Even an East Brunswick win would give them only 481.

Not to mention the fifth- and sixth-place teams right behind them: Howell with 427, Jackson Memorial with 425.

Howell plays Ranney in a regular season game today (28 points, dropping 14, net gain of 14), and Jackson Memorial plays Shore (worth 49, minus 14, net gain of 35).

Bottom line: there are a lot of moving parts here, but if things break right, the GMC could have the 2-, 3- and 4-seeds in CJ4.

Rutgers Prep girls hold court in final Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten before season’s end

In the last Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings before the end of the season, Rutgers Prep held onto the top position, making it 26 weeks out of 26 the Lady Argonauts have been No. 1 in the three-year history of the rankings.

Prep is 15-3, with wins last week over Blair and Rumson-Fair Haven, the latter coming in the Coaches’ Choice USA Shore Conference Challenge.

Holding on at No. 2 is St. Thomas Aquinas (17-5) which went 2-1 last week, including a loss to two-point loss to state-ranked Saddle River Dayy, a win over Colonia, and a victory over Wall in the Coaches’ Choice showcase.

Gill St. Bernard’s (14-5) holds at No. 3 after a 2-1 week, with the only area game a 74-45 win over Pingry.

South Brunswick (15-6) and Edison (18-4) flip-flopped on the strength of a 2-1 week that included a Vikings’ win over the Eagles on Friday, 61-34.

Bernards (14-5 held in sixth with two non-league wins over Johnson and Parsippany Hills, while Watchung Hills (15-4) remained in seventh, having not played last week.

Middlesex (15-5) moved up two spots to No., 8, with a 2-1 week that included wins over North and South Plainfield, and a loss playing up to the Red Division and East Brunswick.

Hillsborough (12-9) split four games last week to hold in ninth place, beating Monroe and Pemberton, falling to Pennginton and Ewing, while Monroe joined the Top Ten at No. 10. The Falcons were 2-1 with win at North Brunswick, home over Mount St. Mary, and a loss at Marlboro in non-conference play.

Previous No. 8 North Plainfield (14-6) dropped out.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Rankings for Week 8:

It was a career night on Senior Night for Neysa Aguilar of Middlesex; hear all seven of her makes from downtown!

En route to helping her Middlesex girls’ basketball team to second place in the GMC White Division, Neysa Aguilar added a few more memories on Senior Night.

She scored a career-high 34 points in a 60-56 win for the No. 10 Blue Jays over No. 8 North Plainfield Tuesday night, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, in which her team needed just about every single one of those points.

She also hit seven times from beyond the arc, shattering her previous best of three in a game.

Click below to hear a montage of all seven three-pointers!