Tag: South Plainfield

Rutgers Prep inches up after win over Gill, but STA remains No. 1 in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving boys’ rankings

Rutgers Prep’s convincing rematch win over Gill St. Bernard’s last Tuesday night on Easton Avenue moved the Argonauts up another notch in the Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten for Week 7, St. Thomas Aquinas remains No. 1 in the rankings.

Both squads had 3-0 weeks, with the Trojans now 19-1, and the Argonauts 14-6 overall. Gill (13-5) also lost to Paterson Eastside 62-51 to finish the week with a 1-2 mark.

The next four teams all stay put, with just one loss among them. Colonia (15-4) remains in fourth, followed by South River (18-1), Bound Brook (14-2), and South Plainfield (16-3).

The Crusaders were the only one of the four clubs to lose a game in the week gone by, coming to Franklin, which is 11-8 overall, but with four of those losses coming to Gill and Rutgers Prep, and a loss each to South Plainfield and North Brunswick, the first- and second-place teams in the GMC White Division, with just four defeats between them.

READ: Edison community and beyond comes together to “Fight For Allie,” help local 11-year old girl beat brain tumor

North Brunswick (16-3) rejoins the rankings at No. 8 with a 4-0 week, including victories over Princeton, Perth Amboy, Edison and Sayreville, while Hillsborough makes its debut at No. 10. The Raiders had a thrilling four-point win id double-overtime at Immaculata, plus wins over Watchung Hills and Edison for a 3-0 week.

Ridge (13-4) drops to tenth following a 2-1 week, including wins over Montgomery and Somerville, sandwiched around a loss to Watchung Hills.

Dropping out this week are No. 8 St. Joseph-Metuchen (10-7) – after an 0-3 week, with losses to St. Thomas Aquinas, Seton Hall Prep and Newark Central – and No. 10 Immaculata – which went 1-2 this past week, including a win over Perth Amboy and a loss at Phillipsburg.

Below are the full Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Week 7 Rankings:

INSTANT REPLAY: No. 7 South Plainfield 54, Woodbridge 38 (Boys)

Senior guard Tyreak Williams’ 16 points led No. 7 South Plainfield past Woodbridge in a GMC White Division game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Fellow senior guard Brandon Dean chipped in 15 despite still dealing with an injury to his shooting hand, as the Tigers are now just two wins away from clinching the division title.

Kendall Pala and Nadino Jospeh paced the Barrons with 8 points each.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko call all the play-by-play from Woodbridge High School on January 26, 2023:

No. 7 South Plainfield overcomes slow start to win at Woodbridge, inch closer to GMC White crown

The first quarter may not have been they best they’d played all year.

South Plainfield and Woodbridge were tied 7-7 after one, but the Tigers were able to pull way after that.

The Tigers slowly grew the lead, then got a spark at the end of the half from senior guard Brandon Dean, who swished a pair of shots from downtown back-to-back, to close the half with South Plainfield ahead 28-13.

It would get as close as nine in the second half, as the Barrons made a bit of a run in the final eight minutes, but no closer. Final score: 54-38 Tigers.

Dean finished with those two triples and 15 points, but game high honors went to Tareak Williams, a fellow senior guard who has picked up the slack while Dean has been dealing with an injury to his shooting hand that’s been enough to slow him down, but not enough to keep him off the court.

For the Barrons, no one cracked double figures, as senior Kendall Pala and junior Nardino Joseph each finished with eight points. The trouble was the South Plainfield D did a number on Micah Eason, the team’s leading scorer. Coming in averaging nearly 15 points a game, he was held scoreless until the third quarter, and finished with just four points on a field goal and 2-of-3 shooting at the line.

The win puts South Plainfield at 11-1 in the GMC White with two games left, 15-2 overall. Woodbridge drops to 9-8, 7-5 in the White.

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Click below for postgame reaction brought to you by the Sportsplex at Metuchen:

South Painfield senior guard Tareak Williams
South Plainfield’s Tareak Williams (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)
South Plainfield head coach John Greco

Barrons looking to play more than spoiler Thursday in White Division clash with South Plainfield

Sure, 7th-ranked South Plainfield is looking to finish the season strong and close out its third straight divisional championship in the GMC.

But that doesn’t mean Woodbridge is looking to play spoiler tonight when the Barrons (9-7, 7-4 GMC White) entertain the Tigers (14-2, 10-1) on senior night, in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Woodbridge is trying to finish the year strong, too, after a 2021-22 campaign that saw many players get baptized by the GMC White fire, which last year included Colonia and St. Thomas Aquinas, now departed for the Red Division.

They started the year strong with three straight wins, but have had their share of heartbreaking, buzzer-beating defeats. Those include losses to rival Perth Amboy, Edison, and the Tigers themselves, in the first meeting, when senior Brandon Dean hit a runner as time expired for the victory in South Plainfield.

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Tonight’s game can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio beginning with pregame at 5:15 and tip-off at 5:30 pm. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action. Click here to listen.

The Barrons are led by Micah Eason, a junior averaging nearly 15 points a game, and otherwise have balances scoring with senior Kendall Pala and sophomore Derrick Anderson averaging just over 8 ppg.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with Woodbridge head coach Jonathan Toczynski:

South Plainfield looking to close out strong, win first division title since 2005

Sure, the South Plainfield Tigers have won two straight division titles in Greater Middlesex Conference play, and are just three wins away from locking down a third all on their own.

But those came in the Blue Division.

When No. 7 South Plainfield (14-2, 10-1 GMC White) travels to Woodbridge (9-7, 7-4) Thursday night – in a game that can be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – the Tigers can take one more step toward clinching their first outright White Division title in 17 years, since the days of Jeff Lubreski as head coach, and standouts on the floor like Marquis Jones and Darren Smith.

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And the Barrons are likely their biggest hurdle.

South Plainfield won the White in the winters of 2003 and 2004, and took the GMC Tournament title in ’04 and ’05, sharing the White crown in 2005 with Colonia.

A win would would leave two remaining division games – North Plainfield and New Brunswick. A split clinches a share of the division for the Tigers, and a sweep wins it outright, as they lead North Brunswick – which is 8-2 in the White – by a half-game. The Tigers split with the Raiders this season.

You can hear all Thursday night’s action live from Woodbridge High School with Mike Pavlichko calling the play-by-play. Pregame begins at 5:15 pm with tipoff at 5:30 pm. Click here to listen.

South Plainfield is lead by Brandon Dean, a senior guard averaging 21.4 points per game, one of the tops in the GMC. He also hit the game-winning shot against Woodbridge at home to beat the Barrons 48-46 on December 22nd.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with South Plainfield head coach John Greco:

Aquinas continues winning, stays atop Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings

On the strength of a 3-0 week, St. Thomas Aquinas continues to hold the No. 1 ranking in the Bellamy & Son Paving Week 6 Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Trojans (16-1) had a 2-0 week, beating St. Joseph-Metuchen Tuesday 66-62 on the road to clinch the GMC Red Division and likely the top seed in the upcoming GMC Tournament, as well as Miami Northwestern 78-59 in a showcase game.

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Gill St. Bernard’s (12-3) held at No. 2, with a 2-1 week that included divisional wins over Franklin and Hunterdon Central and a weekend loss to St. Benedict’s Prep. Rutgers Prep (11-6) inched up to third on a 3-1 week, with wins over Hunterdon Central, Saddle River Day and at Ranney, while losing to Manasquan Sunday 64-54.

The Knights and Argonauts will face off Tuesday night at 7 in Somerset in a game with Skyland Conference Delaware Division implications, but which also could determine the top seed in the upcoming Somerset County Tournament. Gill won their previous meeting on January 5 on a buzzer-beating corner three from Nick Losada.

Colonia (12-4) dropped a spot to fourth despite wins at JP Stevens and against South Brunswick, as the Patriots also lost to St. Joe’s 47-45.

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South River (14-1) and Bound Brook (12-1) had perfect weeks and held steady in fifth and sixth, respectively.

South Plainfield (13-2) nudged up two spots to seventh on a 3-0 week, with a non-conference win over New Providence, as well as divisional wins over Perth Amboy and Edison.

St. Joe’s (10-4) went 1-1 in divisional play against the two top teams in the GMC Red, splitting with Aquinas and Colonia, while also beating Roselle this past weekend in non-conference play, and moves up to No. 8.

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Ridge (11-3) drops to ninth after a 1-2 week that included losses to Immaculata and Phillipsburg, despite a win over North Brunswick (12-3), which dropped out of the rankings on a 2-1 week that included a loss to Ridge.

Immaculata (12-2) – tied for tenth last week with the Falcons – holds the spot all on their own, with a 3-0 week that included the win over Ridge, and victories over Watchung Hills and Koinonia.

Below are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings:

Two GMC division leaders fall, but what will the impact be on tourney seeding?

The teams atop the Greater Middleex Conference White and Blue Divisions both suffered losses this Saturday, with South River taking its first L of the season, and South Plainfield picking up its second.

There’s still a lot of basketball to be played, but how will it affect the seeding in the GMC Tournament next month?

Well, a lot still depends on what happens in the Red Division.

There has been much talk about South River getting one of the top three seeds in the tournament after the Rams shocked St. Joseph with a win over the Falcons in Metuchen by eight on the day after Christmas. Any Blue Division team beating a Red is a big deal, let alone one considered at the top of the division.

But what about a loss to a Red Division team, and one that has been struggling immensely?

That’s what happened Saturday, when South River suffered a stunner of its own, falling by a single point to Piscataway, which is now just 5-8 on the season.

Put a pin in that for a moment and let’s circle back to the Red Division title race. With Colonia having beaten St. Joe’s, and St. Thomas Aquinas beating Colonia last Thursday night (as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio), the division comes down to this: if Aquinas can beat the Falcons on the road Tuesday night – also to be heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio – the Trojans will be division champs. Colonia will be second, and the Falcons third.

Should that happen, Aquinas is easily your No. 1 seed, followed by Colonia. What about South River?

The prevailing thought was the Rams could – and should – get the third seed by virtue of having beaten St. Joseph head-to-head. And while there has long been a perceived Red Division bias in many sports in the GMC, there are rarely head-to-head matchups to consider. More often, a debate has been something like: “Do we go with this undefeated Blue team or this 5-win Red Division team as the sixth seed?”

The head-to-head makes this one different. Will the loss to Piscataway make a dent? After all, if a Blue beating a Red is such a big deal, that would be because of the preconceived notion that a Blue team is not supposed to beat a Red. So, why should a loss to a Red team be a knock on South River?

Should the Rams lose one of their remaining Blue Division games, all bets are probably off. And that’s not out of the realm of possibility; they host Spotswood on Friday night in a rematch of an early season game that saw the Rams win by their closest margin against a GMC opponent all year, just six points. But if they finish the season without another GMC loss, they really should be in play for one of the top three seeds.

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The White Division played itself out of one of the top three seeds (Why top three? Because everyone wants to avoid playing the No. 1 in the semifinals.) in the past week when the Tigers lost to St. Joseph, and the division took its final body blow when North Brunswick beat South Plainfield Saturday, leaving the top two teams in the White with division losses (the Raiders already lost to Perth Amboy earlier this season).

In the GMC Tournament seeding room, it goes like this. All the division winners are considered first. So – if Aquinas wins Tuesday – you would likely have Aquinas from the Red, North Brunswick or South Plainfield from the White, South River from the Blue, and Highland Park or Calvary Christian from the Gold.

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Aquinas goes first. Then Colonia. Now the four on the board are Joe’s, North Brunswick/South Plainfield, South River, Highland Park/Calvary. The Gold will get the eight-seed, the lowest a division winner can be seeded. North Brunswick would be out, with a loss to Amboy, so it comes down to Joe’s and South River. Assuming the Rams are unbeaten in Blue play, with the win over Joe’s, and despite a loss to Piscataway of the Red, it would be mighty hard to still pick Joe’s over South River.

The real wrinkle? Well, that comes if St. Joe’s beats Aquinas at home on Tuesday night on Central Jersey Sports Radio. That would force a three-way tie in the division, and Aquinas, Colonia, and Joe’s would be co-champs. The rematches would not factor into who the champions are, per a one-year pilot program in effect this year in the Red Division where the teams only have to play each other once. However, the rematches would be used to “break the tie” among the three teams, a process done by the seeding committee before slotting teams in the bracket.

That means that if Joe’s wins, and all three are tied, the committee would use all available games to see who comes out first. The three-way tie would give new life to St. Joe’s. For example, if they win both rematches with Colonia and Aquinas, they would have three wins in the series, more than anyone else, and could go No. 1 in the tournament. That would push Colonia and Aquinas to Nos. 2 and 3 in any order, and leave South River no better than fourth, most likely.

(Of course, there’s also the question of: should South River be seeded ahead of Piscataway?)

The upshot is this: The White Division won’t have a shot at one of the top four seeds in the GMC Tournament. But South River should still be very much in play as long as St. Thomas Aquinas takes care of business Tuesday night.

Aquinas stays No. 1; Gill, South River move up in Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

Despite a triple-overtime loss to state-ranked Camden Eastside in the Seagull Classic down the Shore on Sunday – its first defeat of the season – St. Thomas Aquinas remains Number One in the latest Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings.

The Trojans are now 11-1, having rolled through Monroe, East Brunswick and Piscataway in GMC play, while also defeating Rosedale Christian in the Iverson Classic at Roselle Catholic on Thursday.

Moving up to No. 2 is Gill St. Bernard’s (7-2) after beating previous No. 2 Rutgers Prep (6-4) on a buzzer-beating three by Nick Losada last Thursday night. Colonia (9-1) moves up after going 3-0 last week, while the Argonauts drop to fourth.

READ MORE: Losada’s three as time expires powers No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s past No. 2 Rutgers Prep

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South River – a week after knocking off St. Joseph-Metuchen – beat undefeated and previously-6th-ranked Bound Brook Saturday night, and moves up to No. 5 while unbeaten Immaculata (8-0) is up to sixth.

READ MORE: No. 10 South River frustrates No. 6 Bound Brook in unbeaten clash at GMC-Skyland Challenge

After losing to previously-unranked St. Joseph-Metuchen, South Plainfield (8-1) is seventh, with Bound Brook (7-1) falling to No. 8 after the loss to the Rams Saturday. Ridge (7-1) held in ninth, while St. Joe’s (6-2) climbs back in at No. 10. Watchung Hills (6-2) drops out from the No. 5 position.

Below are the full Week 4 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Rankings:

No. 7 South Plainfield guts one out against Franklin in GMC-Skyland Challenge

It wasn’t the best defensive effort they’ve had all season – coach and his star player agree – but a win is a win.

No. 7 South Plainfield got by Franklin Saturday evening in the fourth game of the five-contest GMC-Skyland Challenge at Bound Brook High School, with a 76-65 win. Senior guard Brandon Dean, the GMC’s leading scorer at nearly 26 points a game, finished with 23, including eight three-pointers.

The win improves South Plainfield to 8-1, winners of two straight since suffering its first loss of the season earlier this week to St. Joseeph-Metuchen. Franklin drops to 4-5.

Click below to hear postgame comments from Tigers’ head coach John Greco and senior guard Brandon Dean:

St. Joseph hands South Plainfield its first loss, as Falcons get New Year off on the right foot

They say winning cures all. And one win may not cure what ails the St. Joseph-Metuchen basketball team, but then again, a journey of a million miles starts with but one step.

The Falcons – out of the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten for the first time since it began in 2021 – took out undefeated South Plainfield Monday night, 71-57, behind 24 points from junior Jeremy Clayville, and 16 from senior Josh Ingram.

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It all comes as St. Joe’s deals with some missing pieces head coach Jan Cocoziello thought he would have this year. He’s got a turn-the-page, next-man-up mentality, but his squad may have taken a little bit longer to get there.

They’ve suffered two losses already: in triple overtime to Colonia and in regulation to South River out of the GMC Blue Division, which is 7-0 heading into a home game Wednesday night against Middlesex. So facing another undefeated team – this time, the Tigers out of the White Division – was a good test for the Falcons.

And though they trailed by four after the first eight minutes, they led by four going into the locker room, and took care of business after that.

Test passed.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko talk with St. Joseph head coach Jan Cocoziello about the win over South Plainfield, and getting the 2023 part of the season off on a good note: