Tag: North Brunswick

Rutgers Prep steamrolls everyone, runs wire-to-wire with No. 1 ranking to be named CJSR Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year

Here are the two numbers you need to know: 31 and 45.

Want us to use them in a sentence? OK.

The Rutgers Prep girls’ basketball team allowed a paltry 31 points per game this year, while beating teams by an average of 45 points.

And we did not just pull those numbers out of a hat.

En route to a perfect 13-0 season, and the Skyland Conference Tournament’s top pod title, Rutgers Prep blitzed all comers this season, and finishes 2021 where it began: as the Number One team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten, earning them the honor of our 2021 Girls’ Basketball Team of the Year.

No one even came close.

How good was Rutgers Prep?

Let’s put it this way. No disrespect to any other team, but if you actually ranked the teams in terms of how good they were, Rutgers Prep would be No. 1, and the next team behind them might be at No. 3.

The Argonauts are also ranked No. 21 in the nation – not the state, the nation – by ESPN, behind No. 13 St. John Vianney, but a spot ahead of Trenton Catholic, which is scheduled to close after this academic year, and to whom Rutgers Prep lost last year in the Non-Public South B finals.

LISTEN: An audio retrospective on Rutgers Prep girls’ dominance in 2021, with Mary Klinger, Christina Dalce, Belle Pellecchia

Monroe – the winner of the Greater Middlesex Conference’s top bracket, the Somogyi Family Pod – checked in at No. 2, avenging its only loss of the season in the Somogyi Pod title game, using a second half rally to beat St. Thomas Aquinas in their second meeting of the year.

Below are the final girls’ basketball rankings for 2021, including postseason achievements:

The goal was: “Get hardware.” They did, and Watchung Hills is the CJSR boys’ basketball 2021 Team of the Year

There were many good boys’ high school basketball teams in the GMC and Skyland Conferences in this COVID-shortened season, but when you beat three of them – including two that you lost two a total of three times this season – en route to winning your league’s top pod trophy, that has to count for something.

For us, that counts for making Watchung Hills the No. 1 team in the final Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten of the year, and thus the 2021 Boys’ Basketball Team of the Year.

The Warriors finished the year 12-3, their losses coming to Hunterdon Central twice, and once to Gill St. Bernard’s, at the time the No. 1 team in our rankings.

Watchung Hills beat both of those teams in the first two rounds of the Skyland Conference Tournament’s Blue Division pod, then knocked off then No. 5 Rutgers Prep in the finals on the road, on a game-winning baseline bucket by Tyler Bokatch in the final few seconds, holding off one last chance by the Argonauts, who had to go the length of the floor in just under 1.5 seconds.

LISTEN: An audio look back at Watchung Hills boys’ basketball, 2021 CJSR Team of the Year, with Coach Justin Salton, Trevor Bokach, Elijah Lewis

Second in the final rankings was Colonia. The Patriots – in a four-team GMC pod – took down the No. 3 and No. 2 teams in the rankings, respectively: St. Joseph of Metuchen and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the final rankings, including postseason tournament superlatives:

Rivera makes most of Senior Night as No. 2 Aquinas rolls past Raiders

Senior swing Joshua Rivera – who holds multiple D1 offers – continued to step up in the absence of two starters Monday night, pouring in 23 points to help No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas beat North Brunswick 83-58 on the final night of the regular season, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Rivera scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half for Aquinas (8-4, 5-0 GMC White), which earlier in the day received the top overall seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference’s postseason pods, even if the league isn’t revealing its overall seeds.

North Brunswick dropped to 6-6, 3-3 in the GMC White with the loss. The Raiders were paced by senior center Donovan Crawford’s 17 points, while Jabri Fitzpatrick – fresh off a season high 29 points in an upset of then-No. 2 St. Joseph of Metuchen Saturday – chipped in 15.

Three other players scored in double figures for Aquinas. Kyree Henry and Adam Silas each scored 17, including three treys each. Jalen Jones added 14.

St. Thomas Aquinas – the top seed in the “Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod” – will open postseason play at home Wednesday night at 7 against fourth-seed South Brunswick (10-2).

Click below to listen to Monday night’s game broadcast between No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas and North Brunswick:

No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas proves it’s No. 1 in the GMC; postgame reaction from win over North Brunswick

St. Thomas Aquinas let there be no doubt that it’s the overall team in the GMC, hours after being awarded the overall top seed – even though the league isn’t calling it that – in the Greater Middlesex Conference postseason pods.

It was between the Trojans and St. Joseph-Metuchen coming into this past weekend, but Aquinas separated itself with a win over state-ranked Hudson Catholic – which had lost to St. Joe’s days earlier – while the Falcons lost to North Brunswick.

Monday night, St. Thomas Aquinas put the exclamation point on it, by beating the Raiders, but good.

On his Senior Night, 6-7 swing D1 prospect Joshua Rivera scored 23 points – 17 after intermission – to send No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas past North Brunswick 83-58 in a GMC White Division Game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

Rivera also added three dunks, including one on an alley-oop.

The win puts Aquinas at 8-4 overall, 5-0 in GMC play, with all those game coming in their division.

And they did it without two key starters. Jaquan Harris ended his season last week due to a bout with tendinitis in his left knee, while Tristian Jeffries was out with an ankle injury suffered in a win last week against St. John Vianney.

Three other players scored in double-figures for the Trojans. Senior guard Kyree Henry scored 17, including a trio of treys, as did junior point guard Adam Silas. Senior forward Jalen Jones had 14.

St. Thomas Aquinas now moves on to the top-tier four-team pod in the GMC postseason, and as the top-seed in the “Karl-Anthony Towns Jay Williams Pod” will play 4th-seed South Brunswick Wednesday night at 7 pm. The other side of the bracket includes 3rd-seed St. Joseph-Metuchen at 2nd-seed Colonia.

The Trojans-Vikings game will be part of a girls’-boys’ doubleheader in North Edison Wednesday night, as the Aquinas girls – the 2nd-seed in the top-tier “Somogyi Family Pod” – will host 3rd-seed Monroe at 4 pm.

Click below to hear Dom Savino’s postgame talk with Rivera, and Aquinas head coach Bob Turco:

Senior swing Joshua Rivera
Head Coach Dave Turco

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:

Regular season finale between North Brunswick, No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas features two teams coming off signature wins

St. Thomas Aquinas has played a challenging out of conference schedule. Saturday they came up with a signature win, knocking off state-ranked No. 11 Hudson Catholic 60-58 in double overtime on a basket at the buzzer by a senior with a bum ankle.

Perhaps they were just trying to outdo North Brunswick, whose unranked ballclub had just finished earning what’s believed to be its first win over St. Joseph-Metuchen since shocking Jay Williams’ 1997 squad in the GMC Tournament final, by beating the Falcons 61-57.

Aquinas and North Brunswick will square off tonight in the regular season finale for both ballclubs, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving. Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino have the call, which you can listen to by clicking here, with air-time approximately 6:45 pm for the 7:00 game.

Aquinas may have its work cut out for it, however. As with the Hudson Catholic game, the Trojans will be without junior point guard Jaquan Harris. Head coach Bob Turco announced last week he would be out for the remainder of the season due to tendinitis in his left knee.

Tonight’s game is sponsored locally by St. Thomas Aquinas High School, now holding a virtual Open House online.

Turco also told Central Jersey Sports Radio Monday morning that senior guard Tristian Jeffries also would likely not start, and may not play, with an injured ankle he suffered in a win against St. John Vianney last week. Jeffries was able to give it a go Saturday, however, and was mobbed by his teammates when he hit the game-winner, according to Turco.

Click below to hear North Brunswick coach Ed Breheney and St. Thomas Aquinas coach Bob Turco talk about their teams, and tonight’s matchup:

North Brunswick head coach Ed Breheney
St.. Thomas Aquinas head coach Bob Turco

Boys’ regular season wrap-up: Bound Brook heads into Skyland Tourney as lone unbeaten area team, and other notes of interest

What a year the Bound Brook Crusaders have had.

Lucky enough to have no COVID pauses, Anthony Melesurgo’s squad has persevered, and reaped the rewards of their sacrifice to stay safe and stay on the court.

Bound Brook has finished the regular season with an 11-0 mark, entering the postseason as the only undefeated team out of the 54 calling either the GMC or Skyland Conference home.

All but one of Bound Brook’s games came against league competition, with their lone out of conference game coming against a Linden team whose 1-11 record is deceptive, by virtue of playing in the Union County Conference’s stacked Watchung Division – which includes Roselle Catholic, Elizabeth and Union – as well as Paterson Eastside and Montgomery.

Bound Brook won all four of its games this week: Monday at Linden 68-61, Tuesday at North Plainfield 56-41, Thursday at home against Bernards 73-61 (on Central Jersey Sports Radio), and Saturday afternoon against Voorhees 78-55.

LISTEN: Harrell, McLarty, Melesurgo talk No. 9 Bound Brook’s gut-check win over Bernards

The Crusaders are the top-seed in the “Gold Division” bracket of the Skyland Conference Tournament, which will include three ‘pods” this year, and for the first time ever put teams in Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex Counties in the same field.

Continue reading “Boys’ regular season wrap-up: Bound Brook heads into Skyland Tourney as lone unbeaten area team, and other notes of interest”

North Brunswick upends No. 2 St. Joe’s, fueled by Fitzpatrick

St. Joseph of Metuchen has played a strong out of conference schedule, and the 2nd-ranked Falcons had just come off a big win over state-ranked Hudson Catholic.

None of that mattered to North Brunswick Saturday afternoon.

The unranked Raiders got 29 points from senior guard Jabri Fitzpatrick, including nine free throws – and 5-of-5 at the line in the fourth quarter – to beat St. Joe’s at home 61-57.

And it helped mix up the debate over the upcoming GMC postseason pod seeding Monday morning.

St. Joe’s and St. Thomas Aquinas were considered widely to be battling for the top two seeds in the top GMC boys postseason pod. Now, it would appear at least that Aquinas has a stranglehold on the top spot, since they knocked off state-ranked Hudson Catholic Saturday afternoon 60-58 in double overtime, improving to 7-4.

Click below to listen to North Brunswick coach Ed Breheney talk about the Raiders’ big win Saturday afternoon:

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:

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: