Tag: Montgomery

For Soumeillant, Cruz, Basilone Bowl takes on a little extra meaning

For the 80 players on the two rosters for the 9th annual Basilone Bowl at Bridgewater-Raritan’s Basilone Stadium Tuesday night, the game is one last chance to take the field, and for a good cause – the Basilone Memorial Foundation – which helps support the Robert Wood Johnson Cancer Center and the Fisher House Foundation for military families.

For some of those 80, it’s not their last time on a football field; they’ll be playing in college.

But for defensive end Andre Soumeillant of Montgomery and wide receiver Marvin Cruz of North Plainfield, the game is something even more special. They will be serving in the military before too long.

Soumeillant is joining the Army ROTC down at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Cruz will be joining the Marines.

These are not snap decisions. These are plans that have long been in the works for both of them. A lot of hard work, and a lot of discipline, and they’re 110-percent ready for it.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko speak with both seniors as they get ready to strap it up one last time before they embark on life in the military:

Montgomery’s Andre Soumeillant
North Plainfield’s Marvin Cruz

Central Jersey Sports Radio will carry the 9th Annual Basilone Bowl live Tuesday night, with kickoff from Basilone Field set for 7 pm. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino will call all the action; click here to listen.

Nearly all “chalk” matchups in Saturday’s Somerset County Tournament quarterfinals

The goal every year for the dozen or so – it changes from time to time – high school baseball teams in Somerset County is to get to TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, home of the Somerset Patriots.

That’s where the SCT semifinals and finals are held, and eight teams will get the chance to punch their ticket Saturday, with four quarterfinal games on tap. The top four seeds are all playing their first games in the tournament, having received the highly-coveted double-byes.

Top-seed Ridge (12-1) is coming off a 10-4 win over Pingry Friday afternoon, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, and will face 9-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (7-6) at noon in Basking Ridge. The Knights are the only lower seed to win a second-round game, beating 8-seed Immaculata 4-2 on the road a week ago.

Click the logo above to learn more about baseball training and more at Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater!

The Red Devils beat Gill 12-1 in the season opener for both teams on April 2, scoring nine times in the first two innings. Brendan Callanan had four RBI in the game, while Mike Olivo knocked in three.

RECAP WITH AUDIO: No. 2 Ridge explodes in a 7-run fourth, hands No. 10 Pingry its first loss of season

The other three games are all at noon.

Second-seed Somerville (8-5) will host 7-seed Pingry (9-1) at 11 am at the Torpey Athletic Complex in Bridgewater. The Pioneers have won two straight since a pair of losses out of conference, and have won four straight against Skyland foes. The ‘Ville has won three straight against the Big Blue, whose last win against the Pioneers came back in 2013.

READ MORE: Somerville jumps out to big lead, hangs on to beat feisty Bridgewater-Raritan, 9-7

It will be interesting to see how a pretty good Pingry team – which suffered its first loss of the season Friday at Ridge – will rebound, especially playing its fourth game in as many days. They won Wednesday at Belvidere, 25-1, then edged Del Val at home 6-5 before Friday’s defeat.

Also at 11 am, 5-seed Watchung Hills (7-7) will visit 4-seed Bridgewater-Raritan (7-7), in perhaps the most evenly-matched game of the day. The Panthers had an off-day Friday after a four-game stretch from Monday to Thursday, winning the first three – including a couple of slugfests over Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Montgomery, before falling 10-6 to Hunterdon Central at home Thursday to end the stretch.


The Warriors have won two straight, 8-5 at Phillipsburg and 5-4 over Delbarton at home. Bridgewater has won four of the last five, head-to-head, going back to the beginning of the 2019 season.

Finally, 6-seed Rutgers Prep (9-2) will plat at 3rd-seed Montgomery (5-5). The Argonauts lost 9-1 to the Cougars on Day Two of the season, as Alex Benitez had a 3-for-3 day, and Adam Neufeld and Greg Blecikhart each knocked in a pair of runs, and Neufeld pitched six innings of five-hit, one-run ball.

READ MORE: Four homers, 5th inning onslaught, power Rutgers Prep past Bernards to keep Argos atop Valley

Monty has won three of the last four meetings – which have been rare – going all the way back to 2016.

The winner of Pingry/Somerville and Rutgers Prep/Montgomery will face off in one semifinal on May 9 in Bridgewater, while the other matchup will feature the winners of the Gill St. Bernards’s/Ridge and Watchung Hills/Bridgewater-Raritan games.

The semifinals are at 4 and 7 pm at TD Bank Park, and will be broadcast live by Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Falcons, Red Devils keep rolling along, while only undefeated area team makes its debut

While St. Joseph of Metuchen and Ridge remain No. 1 and No. 2 in the Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten baseball rankings, the only undefeated team remaining in Middlesex or Somerset Counties has made its first appearance of the season.

They’ve done it quietly, with stellar pitching, up in Martinsville, as Pingry (7-0) makes its debut this week.

The Big Blue have only allowed a single run all season, in a 14-1 Opening Day win at Bound Brook. That’s a streak of 37 straight shutout innings, with the lone score coming in the fourth of a five-inning mercy rule win against the Crusaders. Pingry has blanked opponents in 40 of 41 innings pitched.

They visit Belvidere tomorrow and host Delaware Valley Thursday before facing No. 2 Ridge (9-1) Friday, in a game just added to the Central Jersey Sports Radio broadcast schedule. First pitch is set for 4 pm. Mike Pavlichko calls all the action with pregame at 3:45; click here to listen.

Below is the full Bellamy & Son Paving Week 4 Top Ten:

Ridge earns No. 1 seed in Somerset County Tournament; Bridgewater, Montgomery and Somerville also earn byes to quarterfinals

SOMERVILLE – The Somerset County baseball coaches have awarded the No. 1 seed in the 2022 county baseball tournament to the Ridge Red Devils, who are 5-0, the only unbeaten team remaining among the group of 15.

Ridge will host the winner of the 8/9 game between 8-seed Immaculata and 9-seed Gill St. Bernard’s in one of four quarterfinal games set to take place at higher seeds on Saturday, April 30th.

The other top four seeds – with byes to the quarters – went to Somerville at No. 2, Montgomery at No. 3, and Bridgewater-Raritan at No. 4.

The Panthers and Pioneers will square off in a regular season game Thursday in Bridgewater ithat can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, with first pitch set for 3:45 and pregame at 3:30. Mike Pavlichko and Chris Tsakonas will call all the action; click here to listen live, with no paywall.

Seeds five through nine, which get first round byes, are Watchung Hills, Rutgers Prep, Pingry, Immaculata and Gill St. Bernard’s.

There will be three first round games involving the bottom six seeds, with Franklin at 10, followed by Bernards, Hillsborough, Bound Brook, Manville and North Plainfield.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast the SCT Semifinals and Finals, scheduled to be held at TD Bank Park in Bridgewater, home of the Somerset Patriots.

It’s the first Somerset County Tournament since 2019, after the entire 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19, and last year’s shortened season didn’t allow for a full county tournament.

2022 SOMERSET COUNTY TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (games at higher seeds through quarterfinals):

  • First Round: April 20
  • Second Round: April 23
  • Quarterfinals: April 30
  • Semifinals: May 9 (4 and 7 pm, live on CJSR)
  • Finals: May 23 (7 pm, live on CJSR)

Here are the matchups for all teams:

  • 14-Manville at 11-Bernards, winner at 6-Rutgers Prep, winner at 3-Montgomery
  • 15-North Plainfield at 10-Franklin, winner at 7-Pingry, winner at 2-Somerville
  • 13-Bound Brook at 12-Hillsborough, winner at 5-Watchung Hills, winner at 4-Bridgewater-Raritan
  • First round bye, then 9-Gill St. Bernard’s at 8-Immaculata, winner at 1-Ridge

St. Joe’s remains No. 1, but Montgomery and Rutgers Prep join the ranks of the ranked in Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

One of four undefeated teams remaining in the GMC, St. Joseph of Metuchen holds the top spot yet again in the Week 3 Bellamy & Son Paving High School Baseball Top Ten Rankings.

The Falcons are 6-0, after sweeping South Brunswick and East Brunswick in a pair of home-and-home sets this week. Ridge (5-1) and Bridgewater-Raritan (3-1) held in second and third, respectively.

Somerville (4-3) and Monroe (6-2) flip-flopped, with the Pioneers now in fourth after beating the Falcons 5-1 in the week gone by.

Woodbridge (6-2) holds in sixth, followed by two new teams in the rankings. Montgomery (4-2) joins at seventh, despite losing to Somerville this week 13-0; they also blanked one of the top teams in the state – Hunterdon Central – 1-0. Meanwhile, Rutgers Prep (5-1) debuts at No. 8 after a 3-0 week, including wins over Montclair-Kimberley, North Plainfield and Bernards.

The last two teams hold steady, Spotswood (7-0) in ninth and Middlesex (6-2) in 10th.

Previously-No. 7 South Brunswick and No. 8 Watchung Hills (both 3-4) dropped out.

Below are the full Week 3 rankings:

INSTANT REPLAYS: Somerset County Tournament Semifinals and Finals Coverage

Two finals, with the same two schools, produced two different winners at the 2022 Somerset County Tournament, both of them top seeds. Rutgers Prep took the girls’ title, while Gill St. Bernard’s took the boys’ championship.

Click below to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s live play-by-play coverage of the 2022 Somerset County Tournament, including a girl’s/boys’ semifinal doubleheader from Gill St. Bernard’s, and the championship doubleheader at Montgomery High School.

Somerset County Tournament Semifinals:

Girls: (2) Gill St. Bernard’s 41, (6) Hillsborough 53: Gill St. Bernards, Rutgers Prep girls advance to Saturday’s Somerset County Tournament final

Boys: (1) Gill St. Bernard’s, (4) Montgomery 49: Top-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s boys take care of business, head back to Somerset County Tourney finals

Somerset County Tournament Finals:

Girls’ Final: (1) Rutgers Prep 64, (7) Gill St. Bernard’s 35

RECAP: “REPEAT”: Rutgers Prep cruises past Gill St. Bernard’s to win second straight SCT title, 5th of last 7

Boys’ Final: (1) Gill St. Bernard’s 84, (2) Rutgers Prep 63

RECAP: Mgbako, Gill St. Bernard’s just too much for Rutgers Prep, as Knights win 8th SCT title under Sina

Cougars’ Ryan Curry talks opening round Montgomery upset of Hightstown

It was a big night for Montgomery boys’ basketball, an especially big night for Ryan Curry, and it’s only the first round of the playoffs.

The West Point-bound senior point guard notched a triple-double Monday night for his 12th-seeded Cougars in a 73-55 upset of 5-seed Hightstown, the biggest upset of the night by seeds among any local team.

But Kris Grundy’s ballclub – if you spend any time around them – probably doesn’t see it that way. They are better than their 14-11 record would indicate, that mark being the result of COVID issues, and the injury bug which has nagged at Curry all season. But he – and his team – have soldiered on.

The win sets up a Skyland-GMC showdown in Wednesday night’s Central Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals, as Montgomery will travel to 7th-seed South Brunswick (18-8) for a 5:30 game. The Vikings beat 13-seed Middletown South 61-47 Monday night in the opening round.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Montgomery senior point guard Ryan Curry:

Top-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s boys take care of business, head back to Somerset County Tourney finals

For the first eleven years of his tenure as boys’ basketball coach at Gill St. Bernard’s, head coach Mergin Sina never missed a Somerset County Tournament final.

His team finally did in year ten, getting eliminated in the semifinals by Watchung Hills.

And after the Skyland Conference held postseason pods last year, the Knights are back in the title tilt.

A 65-49 win over fourth-seed Montgomery accomplished that feat, thanks in large park to Mackenzie Mgbako’s 22 points, and despite the fact opposing point guard Ryan Curry of the Cougars finished one point shy of a career high, with 29.

Of course, if no one else scores, those 29 don’t mean a lot, and that’s exactly what happened, as the next highest scorer was 6′ 8″ senior center Aryan Gorty, who couldn’t get anything inside against Gill’s bigs, including Mgbako.

Now it’s on to the championship Saturday afternoon at 3 pm – ironically at Montgomery – against Rutgers Prep, which beat Watchung Hills big at home minutes apart Thursday night in the Somerset County Tournament semifinals.

Click below for postgame reaction from Mackenzie Mgbako with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko:

Montgomery playing great basketball as Cougars visit Gill St. Bernard’s with trip to SCT final on the line

Montgomery has never made a Somerset County Tournament final.

And while that would be a huge achievement for the Cougars under their excellent head coach Kris Grundy, if it happens this year, it would actually only be the second biggest in the program’s history.

That’s because to get there, fourth-seeded Montgomery (13-10) would have to knock off top-seed Gill St. Bernard’s (16-6), only the No. 4 team in the entire state of New Jersey.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live play-by-play of tonight’s game, which is scheduled for 7 pm, immediately following the Gill girls’ semifinal game against Hillsborough, set for 5 pm.

Mike Pavlichko will have all the play-by-play; click here to listen.

Montgomery may look like it has had an up-and-down season at 13-10, but they have won 12 of their last 9 games, and their last two may be the most impressive.

Head coach Kris Grundy believes his team found its way in a 54-39 win over Moorestown on February 17th, and it set the Cougars up perfectly for an SCT quarterfinal win over Bound Brook two nights ago.

The Crusaders went undefeated last year (14-0) and had a long winning streak to start this season. They can get up and down the floor, and can shoot it from downtown, just like Gill St. Bernard’s can.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko chat with Cougars’ head coach Kris Grundy about Montgomery’s season, and tonight’s matchup:

Gill St. Bernard’s boys looking to get back where they belong: Somerset County Tourney Championship Game

In the ten prior seasons Mergin Sina has been the Gill St. Bernard’s boys’ basketball coach – not including last year’s COVID-shortened year with the one-off Skyland Conference-wide pods – the Knights have missed just one Somerset County Tournament final, in 2020, and it was none too pleasing.

Prior to that Gill St. Bernard’s had been to nine straight, winning seven of them, including five in a row from 2015 to 2019, beating everyone from Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills to Ridge, Bridgewater-Raritan and Somerville along the way.

So, pardon Mergin Sina if he’s been there, done that before, and is nothing but business when his top-seeded Knights (16-6) host fourth-seed Montgmery (13-10) tonight in the SCT semifinals in Gladstone, in a game that can be heard LIVE on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

The game is part of a doubleheader, ans is set for 7:00, immediately following the Gill girls’ semifinal game against Hillsborough at 5. Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the action; pregame for the girls’ tilt begins at 4:45.

Back to the Gill boys, they’re the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and ranked fourth in New Jersey. They were No. 3 until they got beaten by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Hearts 2 Hands Invitational two weeks ago at Roselle Catholic.

The Knights had several key players out for that game, including their head coach. Sina had been having back issues, and was at Roselle Catholic for pregame, but left before tip-off.

GSB also was without senior point guard Denver Anglin, a top national recruit on a team with a few of them, including junior Mackenzie Mgbako, only the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023 nationally.

While Anglin was out five games, Naasir Cunningham also missed the Aquinas game. (For their part, the Trojans were also down two key players: Seton Hall commit Jaquan Harris, who’s been out since late last year and should be back soon from a knee injury, and top defender Terrell Pitts, who’s also hopeful to make it back for states.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko catch up with Gill St. Bernard’s coach Mergin Sina: