Tag: South Plainfield

Gill closes regular season right where it started, No. 1 in rankings

Despite a loss to out-of-area Hunterdon Central, Gill St. Bernard’s held on to it’s No. 1 position in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

The Knights finished the week 2-1, and the regular season with a 6-3 mark overall, with all losses out of area. Gill also lost to Bergen Catholic and the Patrick School.

They’ll have a bye in the first round of the Skyland Conference Tournament top pod, the “Blue Division,” and on Thursday will face the winner of 4th-seed Hunterdon Central and 5-seed Watchung Hills, with that game being played Tuesday night.

The only change in the Top Ten this week was a flip-flop of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph-Metuchen, a reverse of what they did a week ago.

Aquinas (7-4) is back to No. 2 after beating state-ranked Hudson Catholic in double overtime Saturday, while the Falcons (9-3) lost at unranked North Brunswick.

The Trojans appear to have locked in the top overall seed in the GMC Tournament’s top pod. That postseason will be seeded Monday morning.

Below is the complete Week 5 Top Ten:

Gill still leads pack, Joe’s and Colonia climb in Week 4 Top Ten

A 2-0 week helped Gill St. Bernard’s hold the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 4 rankings. The Knights are 4-2 following a 90-71 win over then-No. 4 Watchung Hills on Tuesday and 71-70 over a tough Elizabeth squad on Saturday.

Big gainers in Week 4 included St. Joseph of Metuchen, which leap-frogged St. Thomas Aquinas into second, and Colonia. The Patriots had a 3-0 week to improve to 8-2, though all three wins were out of conference – over Rumson-Fair Haven, Newark East Side and Passaic.

Below are the full Week 4 rankings:

Split week still enough to keep Gill at No. 1; Montgomery launches into rankings

It’s difficult to tell a teams body of work three games into a high school basketball season when they’ve only played three games.

Couple that with only one of those games coming against one of the peers they’re compared against in the Central Jersey Sports Radio rankings makes it doubly difficult.

Still, despite an 11-point loss to the Patrick School Saturday afternoon, 78-67, Gill St. Bernard’s remains the Number One team in the CJSR Boys’ Top Ten.

St. Joseph of Metuchen gained on the strength of a three-win week, while Rutgers Prep dropped two spots after a two-loss week against non-conference opponents, and ahead of a second COVID-related stoppage.

But the biggest gain belonged to Montgomery, which jumped from being an unranked team to No. 7 after a three-win week that doubled their perfect record to 6-0. The Cougars have held three opponents under 40 points this season: Bordentown, Bridgewater-Raritan, and previously-ranked Ridge, which dropped out of the rankings from its No. 9 spot this week after the loss to the Cougars.

Look out for a special story on Montgomery’s hot start tomorrow on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Below are the full Week 3 Central Jersey Sports Radio Week 3 rankings:

Gill splits a pair, but keeps top spot in Week 2 boys’ rankings

A loss to Bergen Catholic – an out-of-area team ranked No. 3 statewide – wasn’t enough to knock Gill St. Bernard’s from its perch atop the Central Jersey Sports Radio boys’ basketball rankings.

The Knights went 1-1 in their opening week of play – with Week One cancelled due to COVID protocols – beating Hunterdon Central in their opener 77-64 as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving.

The Knights weren’t the only Top Ten team to open the season this past week, as Rutgers Prep – also out due to COVID contact tracing – went 1-1 just like Gill, and held on to the third spot.

New this week, hear Mike Pavlichko’s audio version of the Week 2 Top Ten by clicking below:

The only two teams that moved this week were St. Joseph-Metuchen and South Brunswick, which flip-flopped the 5th and 7th positions after the Falcons – previously ranked 7th – knocked off the Vikings Saturday afternoon 69-64.

READ MORE: Cocozziello breaks down St. Joe’s win over state-ranked South Brunswick

View the full Week 2 Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Rankings below:

Gill St. Bernard’s remains No. 1, but has yet to play

Despite having all three games cancelled in Week One of the high school basketball season, Gill St. Bernard’s holds on to the top spot in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Boys’ Basketball Top Ten.

Gill was in contact tracing quarantine last week, with basketball activities paused, much like Rutgers Prep, which also remained in place, staying at No. 3.

In fact, the Top 8 all stayed the same, with only one of those teams dropping a game, as St. Joseph of Metuchen dropped a 101-75 decision in its Thursday opener at Roselle Catholic. The Falcons’ original opening game was to be Tuesday against Monroe on Central Jersey Sports Radio, but Monroe shut its program down due to COVID in the program.

Below is the full Week 1 Top Ten.

How the Top Ten fared…

Of the teams that played, No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas won its opener, rolling past JFK 90-39.

No. 4 Watchung Hills – which had a game against Gill cancelled – blew by Sinai Christian of Linden 92-46.

South Brunswick – the defending Central Jersey Group 4 champions – had a 2-0 opening week and remain in the No. 5 spot – beating JP Stevens 64-44 and winning at East Brunswick 55-53. The Vikings have won six straight overall dating back to the start of last season’s state tournament. They’ve also won eight straight regular season games going back to last year.

No. 6 Colonia is the only squad to play three games in the opening week. The Patriots won at Eastside (Paterson) 63-44, beat North Brunswick at home 66-49, and won at in-town rival Woodbridge 75-45.

No. 7 St. Joseph-Metuchen – after dropping its opener on the road – rebounded to beat Piscataway in its first home game of the season, 92-69.

Bound Brook – which checks in at No. 8 – had a two-win week, beating rival Somerville at home 64-37, and winning 61-51 at Warren Hills.

New to the Top Ten this week are Ridge (No. 9) and South Plainfield (No. 10).

The Red Devils are 2-0 after a 48-37 win at Immaculata and a 44-30 victory against Phillipsburg.

South Plainfield won a pair of road games: 55-47 at JP Stevens and 54-49 at Dunellen, which dropped out of the Top Ten (previously ranked No. 10) after a two-loss week, that also included a defeat in their opener 69-56, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

MORE: Postgame reaction as Barnes’ 29 powers Edison boys past No. 10 Dunellen

Also dropping out of the Top Ten was previously-No. 9 Somerville, which finished the opening week at 1-2. In addition to losing to Bound Brook, the Pioneers beat Voorhees 55-39, but lost to Immaculata 67-63.

Montgomery also received consideration for the rankings after a 2-0 Week One. the Cougars beat Phillipsburg at home 68-43, while winning a non-league game at Bordentown, 64-36.

22 Big Central football players named to NJFCA Super 100 Team

by Mike Pavlichko

The Big Central Conference – in its first year of existence – was responsible for nearly a quarter of the players selected to New Jersey Football Coaches Association’s Super 100 Team, which is chosen annually in December.

The selections for 2020 were announced on Twitter Monday night.

Nominations are made by coaches who are members of the NJFCA, and comittees of coaches make the final selections based on NJSIAA playoff sections. For this season, with no playoffs, the NJFCS simply divided the state into quadrants based on geographical Northing numbers.

Only seniors can be named to the Super 100 Team, and those getting full scholarships to play football collegiately are automatically selected, according to NJFCA Commissioner John Jacob.

Cookie Desiderio and A.J. Pena of Somerville – Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively – were among the 12 players selected in the Central section.

CJSR’s Mr. Versatility Ali Lee Jr. of Woodbridge also was selected, along with teammate Jordan Harris.

Rounding out the Central section were Austin Scott (South Plainfield), Majid Howard-Baker (South Brunswick), Omar Shehabeldin (North Brunswick), Dylan McFadden (Montgomery), Kyle DeGraw (Monroe, Keyshawn Dixon (JFK), Longevity Award winner Sean Levonaitis (Hillsborough) and Zach Zebro (East Brunswick).

There were ten players selected in the North 2 section, headlined by Rutgers-bound Desmond Igbinosun of Union, along with his teammate Diante Wilson.

Others included Shawn Martin (Scotch Plains-Fanwood), Andrew Taddeo (Ridge), Matt Quetel (Phillipsburg), Chad Martini and James Coslet (Watchung Hills), Omakus Langley II (Hillside) and Bruce Myers (Bridgewater-Raritan).

Each year, the Super 100 Team is honored with a dinner in the Spring, but whether that will happen in person or virtually – due to COVID-19 protocols – has not yet been determined.

Cassio steps down as head coach of South Plainfield football

by Mike Pavlichko

Following a nine-year run as head coach at South Plainfield, Gary Cassio has announced his resignation, in order to spend more time with his family.

Cassio made the announcement Thursday, and spoke with Central Jersey Sports Radio about the decision, in an interview you can hear below.

Cassio’s tenure was highlighted by a surprise trip to the Central Jersey Group 3 title game in 2016, where his third-seeded Tigers – a heavy underdog led by QB Ryan Marston thousand-yard sophomore running back Zach DelVecchio – went toe-to-toe with top-seeded Rumson Fair-Haven, falling 27-22.

Cassio was 40-47 overall, making the playoffs in four of his nine seasons, with a 4-4 record in postseason play, but was just 2-12 over the past two seasons, including 1-4 in a COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.

The Tigers did manage to beat rival North Plainfield three times, the first of which came in 2014, Cassio’s third year, snapping a 12-year drought in the series against the Canucks.

Click below to hear our one-on-one interview with Gary Cassio, discussing what led to his decision, and what he’ll remember about his time in South Plainfield.

Wall to Wall Big Central Football will air Thanksgiving Weekend on Central Jersey Sports Radio

Did the high school football season end too soon for you? Not stuffed yet from Thanksgiving Dinner?

Have no fear.

Central Jersey Sports Radio begins a new tradition this year: We’ll air every single one of our high school football broadcasts back-to-back-to-back to…. (you get the idea) … to-back this Thanksgiving Weekend.

Buy a bigger belt!

That’s right: 3 days, 13 games, 20 teams, 30 hours of Big Central Conference Football, powered by Bellamy & Son Paving of Piscataway.

Simply go to our website and click the Listen Live button to tune in any time, morning, noon or night. We’ll be “on the air” practically from sunup to sundown – definitely after sundown!

Here’s the schedule for each day, with original air date, and approximate start time:

Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 26

  • Somerville vs. South Plainfield, October 2 – 8 am
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Elizabeth, October 3 – 9:45 am
  • Old Bridge vs. East Brunswick, October 9 – noon
  • South River vs. Spotswood, October 10 – 2 pm
  • Bernards vs. Johnson, October 12 – 4:30 pm
  • Bound Brook vs Voorhees, October 16 – 6:30 pm

Friday, November 27 (Now starts at 9 am instead of 8 am)

  • Edison vs. North Brunswick, October 23 – 8 am
  • Manville vs. Bound Brook, October 30 – 11 am
  • Ridge vs. Hillsborough, November 6 – 1:45 pm
  • St. Joseph-Metuchen vs. Woodbridge, November 7 – 4:15 pm
  • Metuchen vs. South Hunterdon – 6:30 pm

Saturday, November 28

  • Woodbridge vs. Somerville, November 13 – noon
  • Edison vs. Hillsborough, November 20 – 3 pm

Desiderio leads No. 3 Somerville past South Plainfield in opener

SOMERVILLE – Senior runningback Cookie Desiderio had 3 catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 3 rushes for 118 yards and two more scores – including the longest run of his scholastic career, a 91-yard TD run in the third quarter – to help the third-ranked Pioneers get by South Plainfield on the first night of the 2020 high school football season.

Somerville took led 22-0 after one quarter and 30-6 at halftime, with the majority of the second half played with a running clock due to the Pioneers leading by 35 or more points from the 7:22 mark of the third quarter on.

Zach DelVecchio’s 2-yard second-quarter scamper was the only score for the Tigers.

Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino had the call:

First Half

We apologize for technical difficulties; the first half picks up with 5:37 remaining in the first quarter, Somerville leading 14-0.

Second Half