Tag: Monroe

Friday Championship Recap: A look back at titles for Colonia boys; Monroe, Rutgers Prep and Bound Brook girls (with audio and photos)

It was a big night for high school basketball in the Skyland and Greater Middlesex Conferences, as the Skyland crowned girls’ pod championships, while the GMC held its boys’ and girl’s finals all on the same night.

Central Jersey Sports Radio covered four title games Friday night; here’s a audio look back at coverage from CJSR’s Mike Pavlichko, Dom Savino and Justin Sontupe:

Monroe avenges regular season loss to Aquinas to win GMC Girls’ Somogyi Family Pod championship

There it was, hanging out there: one loss, to the two-time defending GMC Tournament Champions.

Aquinas also beat them in last year’s GMCT final.

Oh, and don’t forget that the Monroe girls’ basketball team, which prides itself on its defense, gave up the most points it had all season in that game, in a 49-41 loss.

Don’t worry, they didn’t forget it either.

While third-seeded Monroe didn’t ever have a lead in the first half, they used a 12-1 early second-half run and a 23-7 third quarter to power past and hold off second-seed St. Thomas Aquinas, 46-40, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving. The win gave the Falcons (13-1) the Somogyi Family Pod Trophy, given to the winner of the GMC’s top four-team girls’ pod.

St. Thomas Aquinas (9-8) had the game’s leading scorer in 5-4 freshman Amarilis Shubick. She’s the second-leading scorer on the team, but was the only Trojan in double-figures, scoring 16, nearly six over her average. Shubick had four treys, including two in the second half that helped Aquinas’ effort to get back into it.

Senior co-captain Akyia Baker was held to just seven points, all in the second half.

For Monroe, senior forward Rosie Regan led the way with 14 points, eight of which came after intermission.

Click below to hear postgame comments from Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman and senior forward Rosie Regan:

Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman
Monroe senior forward Rosie Regan

Aquinas-Monroe girls lead off CJSR triple-header as Trojans and Falcons rematch for the GMC’s Somogyi Family Pod Championship

The Monroe girls’ basketball team won its first seven games of the season, and has won five straight since a 49-41 loss at St. Thomas Aquinas on February 16th.

The Trojans have gone 3-3 in that timespan.

Don’t pay any attention to that.

Even though Middlesex earned the top seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament’s Somogyi Family Pod by knocking off Aquinas on the night before the playoffs were seeded – they’re out due to COVID – the two teams in the final are the two most people anticipated might be there as far back as the last time they met: in the finals of last year’s more traditional, pre-COVID GMC Tournament.

The Trojans won that game 64-61, and this game might just be as close.

They square off in the Somogyi pod title game this afternoon at 4, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving. Air time is 3:45; click here to listen.

Central Jersey Sports Radio’s coverage of the county tournaments will continue at 6 pm with the top Skyland Conference Tournament pod’s final, the Blue Division title game, featuring top-seed Rutgers Prep (11-0) and 2nd-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (12-1). After the game, we’ll join the 7 pm GMC Boys’ Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod final in progress, featuring top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas and (9-4) and 2nd-seed Colonia (10-4).

Third-seed Monroe (12-1) is led by senior Nina Branchizio’s 14.2 points per game, and has played solid defense, holding opponents to fewer than 30 points in seven of their 13 games; two teams have scored in the teens.

The defense for 2nd-seed Aquinas (9-4) has not been as constricting, allowing an average of 46 points per game, but they’ve also played a tougher schedule with more non-conference opponents. But they can also put up points. The 49 they scored the first time they played Monroe was the most the Falcons had allowed all season.

Senior guard Akyia Baker is the team’s leading scorer at 17.5 points per game.

Click below to hear both coaches talk about the matchup:

Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman
St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Joe Whalen

Rutgers Prep girls continue to cruise, and hold No. 1 spot in the rankings

One of three unbeaten teams remaining in the area, Rutgers Prep remains the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls’ Basketball Top Ten for Week Five.

The Argonauts are 9-0 following a 2-0 week, outscoring Immaculata and Phillipsburg by a combined total of 128-40; they beat the Spartans 74-15 and the Stateliners 54-25. Prep has now held five of its nine opponents under 30 points.

Gill St. Bernard’s also is 9-0; the Knights beat Franklin in overtime last week 44-42, en route to a 3-0 week, and are in second.

Mount St. Mary rambled through a four-win week, to end the regular season 12-0, with the maximum number of games that can be played through the start of the three-game Skyland Conference Tournament. They beat Pingry and Voorhees this week, bookended by wins in both ends of a home-and-home with Somerville.

Dropping from the ranks of the undefeated was Calvary Christian of the GMC Gold, which fell to 9-1 after a 2-1 week that began Monday with a 42-28 loss to Blue Division crossover foe Metuchen.

Entering the rankings is Middlesex; the Blue Jays check in at No. 8 after beating the highest-rated GMC team, St. Thomas Aquinas, 59-50 at home on Friday.

Aquinas actually held steady in third despite a 1-2 week, having beaten 4th-ranked Franklin but losing at Saddle River Day. The Trojans did not drop, however, because they beat Franklin and a were one spot ahead of them, and two weeks ago beat No. 5 Monroe head to head.

Franklin had a 2-2 week, but their losses were to two teams ahead of them in the rankings – Aquinas and No. 2 Gill St. Bernard’s. They followed those defeats with a pair of wins at Bridgewater-Raritan and Watchung Hills.

Below are the complete Week 5 rankings:

Rutgers Prep maintains stranglehold on No. 1 ranking

In what may have been its toughest test of the regular season, Rutgers Prep passed with flying colors, and as part of a two-win week, it helped keep the Argonauts solidly atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 4 Girls’ Basketball rankings.

Prep led Franklin 35-6 at halftime, en route to a 65-33 win Saturday afternoon heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio. That followed an 87-27 win over Montgomery on Tuesday.

Click below to hear an audio version of the Week 4 Top Ten, including comments from Rutgers Prep’s Mary Klinger and Christina Dalce, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Akyia Baker and Joe Whalen:

At 7-0, Rutgers Prep is outscoring opponents an average of 74-30, holding five opponents to 33 points or less, and three of them under 30.

North Brunswick joined the top ten after a two-win week – beating JFK and South Plainfield – and following a No. 8 Middlesex loss to Bound Brook.

Following are the Week 4 Rankings:

Baker, Whalen talk No. 5 Aquinas girls’ big win over previously-unbeaten No. 3 Monroe

In what was a tie game at the half, fifth-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas pulled away just enough after intermission to come up with a 49-41 win over No. 3 Monroe, handing the Falcons’ (7-1) their first loss of the season.

Aquinas improves to 6-1 and takes sole possession of first place in the Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division. The teams aren’t scheduled to meet again in the regular season, though there has been talk of a second matchup being scheduled, and the teams will likely meet again in the GMC’s postseason “pods.”

Senior Akyia Baker scored a game-high 17 points, 13 of which came in the decisive second half.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Aquinas-images-wide-1024x144.jpg

Click below to hear postgame comments from Baker and St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Joe Whalen:

Senior guard Akyia Baker
Head Coach Joe Whalen

Monroe, Aquinas girls to square off tonight in battle of top GMC girls teams

They have 13 wins between them, 12 of them against the GMC.

They have – in total – outscored their league foes by a 62-34 margin, holding five of their 12 GMC opponents under 30 points.

No. 3 Monroe has allowed fewer points (29 per game), while No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas has scored more points (70 per game).

Which just means something has to give when they square off tonight on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving. Game-time is set for 6 pm, with Dom Savino on the air for pregame at 5:45.

The game also is sponsored locally by Bishop Ahr High School.

It will be the first and only regular season meeting between the two schools, though they could meet in the “post-season” if they are placed in the same four-team pod.

There is no state tournament this season, the NJSIAA has allowed leagues to have a maximum three-game “playoff'” season on the final week of the year. The GMC has opted to go with four-team pods. Assuming the best four teams go in the first pod, these two teams should be in the same bracket, regardless of tonight’s outcome.

Click below to listen to Dom Savino’s preview of tonight’s game with Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman and St. Thomas Aquinas coach Joe Whalen.

Monroe head coach Leigh Vogtman
St. Thomas Aquinas head coach Joe Whalen

Week 3 Girls’ Top Ten, led by Rutgers Prep, has a perfect week

While two teams dropped out of the Week 3 Central Jersey Sports Radio girls’ basketball rankings, the two that replaced them – and the eight that stayed – didn’t lose a single game last week.

The ten teams combined to go 23-0 in Week Three.

The group again is led by Rutgers Prep. The Lady Argonauts are 5-0 after a pair of wins – by an average 38 points – over Stuart Day and Ridge.

No. 3 Monroe (6-0) and No. 5 St. Thomas Aquinas (5-1) held steady; the two will meet Tuesday night on Central Jersey Sports Radio’s High School Basketball powered by Bellamy & Son Paving, in a Greater Middlesex Conference Red Division game. Both teams are undefeated in GMC play, a combined 11-0, with the Falcons scheduled to travel to East Brunswick Monday night, while the Trojans are off.

Check back Tuesday on Central Jersey Sports Radio for a preview of the Monroe-Aquinas game with Dom Savino.

Two new teams debuted in the Top Ten this week.

Colonia (6-2) debuted at No. 9 on the strength of a three-win week, beating South Plainfield, South Brunswick and North Brunswick.

Calvary Christian (5-0) edged in at the tenth spot. Starting the season late – on Feburuary 5th – the Lady Lions have beaten Wardlaw-Hartridge, Piscataway Tech and Timothy Christian.

Below is the Week 3 Central Jersey Sports Radio girls’ basketball Top Ten:

1-0 week enough to keep Lady Argos at the top of Week 2 rankings

Mother Nature only allowed Rutgers Prep to get one game in this week.

The Lady Argonauts made the most of it, downing Phillipsburg 61-28 in Somerset Saturday afternoon, keeping them undefeated at 3-0, and at the top of the Central Jersey Sports Radio girls’ basketball rankings.

There were few changes again in week two, with few games being played due to snow wiping Monday and Tuesday games off the slate. Six undefeated teams are sprinkled throughout the rankings, including Franklin, Monroe, Gill St. Bernard’s, and Mount St. Mary, which is an area best 5-0.

Edison pulled into the rankings with a 4-1 record, despite a 1-1 week, while Watchung Hills dropped out after falling to 1-2.

The full Week 2 rankings are below:

Rutgers Prep’s 2-0 start keeps them No. 1

Rutgers Prep was widely expected to be the team to beat heading into the 2021 season.

So far, so good.

The Lady Argonauts opened the season with a 2-0 Week One, and remain the No. 1 team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Girls Basketball Top Ten.

Below are the full Week One rankings:

How the Top Ten fared…

Rutgers Prep’s two wins were in typical fashion: scoring a lot of points and playing good defense. They won 73-39 at North Hunterdon, and won 83-19 at Montgomery.

No. 2 Franklin won its only game of the week, a 52-41 victory at Hillsborough.

Monroe moved up to No. 3 on the strength of a 2-0 week fueled by solid defense, winning 55-32 at Piscataway and 53-18 at Spotswood. That’s an average 25 points surrendered in two games.

No. 4 Gill St. Bernards didn’t play during the week, in a COVID contact tracing pause.

St. Thomas Aquinas dropped to No. 5 after splitting a pair of road games in Week One, dropping its opener on the road to Life Center Academy (Burlington County) 58-33, but holding Piscataway to under 30, in a 69-29 win.

Bound Brook held at No. 6 after a one-game week; they won their 16th straight game against Manville, putting the pedal to the medal to cruise past the Mustangs 70-36, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

MORE: Trio of Bound Brook standouts talk No. 6 Crusaders’ big season-opening win over Manville

Mount St. Mary moved up two places to No. 7 after a 3-0 week, holding two of their opponents to scoring in the teens. They beat Warren Hills at home 57-37, then won 56-13 at Bernards and 57-18 at Delaware Valley.

No. 8 Watchung Hills won 68-52 at Bridgewater-Raritan in its only game of the Week.

North Brunswick checks in at No. 9 after a 3-0 Week One. The Lady Raiders won a pair of road games – at Woodbridge 58-35 and at JFK 52-51, sandwiched around a home win against Colonia 47-41.

No. 10 Middlesex stayed put, powered by a 2-0 week. They won their opener at home 74-44 and then won at Spotswood 72-40.

Edison also received consideration for the rankings. The Eagles are 2-0, win win at East Brunswick (44-42) and at home against Piscataway (60-59).

Ridge – previously No. 7 – dropped out. They beat Immaculata 44-41, but lost at Phillipsburg 42-30.