Tag: South River

Blue Jays make big jump, Old Bridge debuts, St. Joe’s stays atop new Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten

With two wins over Woodbridge to break a first-place tie and claim the GMC White Division title, earning the third-seed in the GMC Tournament, Middlesex made a big lead from 8th to 5th in the Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings.

St. Joseph and Ridge remained Nos. 1 and 2, while Rutgers Prep – which claimed a berth in the Somerset County Tournament finals next Monday with a semifinal win last week – rose from fifth to third. Monroe climbed two spots to third after gaining the second-seed in the GMC Tournament.

Woodbridge fell to sixth, while Somerville dropped out. And Old Bridge made its first appearance in the Bellamy rankings this season, finishing 3rd in the tough GMC Red, and earning the fourth seed in the county tournament.

Below are the full Week 7 rankings:

St. Joe’s is the favorite, but here’s how all 16 teams can win the GMC Tournament

No team worth its weight in stirrups and rawhide enters the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament bemoaning its seed and wishing they were someone else.

If you’re picked as one of the top 16 teams in the league and make the “big dance,” there’s reason to think you have a shot, or else why get up in the morning?

The way the tournament is laid out, with enough time for every team’s No. 1 starter to pitch three games – that is, if Mother Nature cooperates on Monday – just about everyone has a shot, since there are so many good No. 1s in the county.

So why should 16th-seed South River have hope like top-seed St. Joe’s or third-seed Middlesex has hope that they can win it all?

Click below to listen to Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko break down all 16 teams:

Solid week for the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, with little movement in the Week 6 rankings

Only two teams moved in the Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, after the entire slate of ranked teams combined to go 20-3 in the week gone by, with nobody losing more than once.

Woodbridge and Somerville flip-flopped, as the Barrons moved up to third on the strength of a 2-0 week, while Somerville dropped to fourth after going 1-1.

The rankings – though released Monday night – were compiled before Monday’s Somerset County Tournament doubleheader.

Below are the full Week 6 rankings:

Freshman Rosado throws 5-inning no-hitter for South River as rams claim share of GMC Blue

There was no load explosion from the South River dugout, just your typical post-game winning celebration after the 10th-ranked Rams won at East Brunswick Tech Wednesday afternoon, 12-0 in a mercy rule-shortened game.

That’s because no one knew if freshman Julius Rosado had pitched a no-hitter or not.

After the post-game handshake, it took a confirmation between South River coach Mike Lepore Jr. and Tigers’ head coach Todd Sak.

After South River went ahead 3-0 in the first, and Rosado got the first two outs in the bottom of the inning, Joe Moye hit a bouncing ball to the left side of the infield. The ball appeared to die at the edge of the grass and Darren Barberio couldn’t get to it.

In the game on Central Jersey Sports Radio, we called it an infield hit at the time. By the bottom of the fifth, with the Rams up 12-0, Tech had only had two other baserunners, in the fourth, both on walks. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with three more walks, but Joe Moye struck out to end the game.

Lepore was asked what the Rams scored the Moye hit. He had scored it an error, but checked with Sak, who confirmed the error, making the no-hitter official. Asked after the game if he knew Rosado was on the verge of a no-no, he said the dugout knew, “but we didn’t know what they [EB Tech]” had, and the home team is the “official book.”

And so it was a bit of an anti-climactic ending to Rosado’s first-ever no-hitter at any level. He finished the day with five walks and nine strikeouts, giving him 59 on the season in just 28 and 2/3 innings pitched, to go along with 13 walks.

The victory claimed at least a share of the GMC Blue with St. Thomas Aquinas, with the Rams (13-2) finished division play at 9-1. The Trojans have one more game to go, playing at Somerset Tech Thursday at 4 pm. They won the first game of the series Monday 16-0.

A co-championship would mean the tie would have to be broken at next Friday’s GMC Tournament seeding meeting to see who comes out of the Blue Division first. However, unlike basketball, since there are two tournaments, the main GMCT and the GMC invitational, not all division winners are guaranteed a top eight seed. The tie would still have to be broken by the committee for seeding purposes, but it would have no effect on the co-championshp status.

EB Tech fell to 7-6 with the loss.

Click below the photo for postgame reaction from freshman pitcher Julius Rosado, and his catcher Parker Lane:

South River catcher Parker Lane (left) and pitcher Julius Rosado. (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

South River travels to EB Tech in the midst of best season in six years

South River won a sectional championship in 2016 under Mike Lepore, now in his 25th season as head coach of the Rams. But even he thinks this team might be extra special, since they’ve been tearing the cover off the ball all year.

With just two losses – one to White Division foe Spotswood and one in their own Blue Division to St. Thomas Aquinas, which they split with – the Rams (12-2) can clinch a share of the GMC Blue with a win in Wednesday’s second game of the two-game series at East Brunswick Tech.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will broadcast the game, with pregame at 3:45 and first pitch at 4:00 from Ray Cipperly Field in East Brunswick. Mike Pavlichko will call all the action; click here to listen live and for free.

EB Tech (7-5) will try to spoil all that, and get off a three-game schnied by throwing one of its top pitchers, in Scott Pede, who’s 3-1 on the year. But he’ll face fabulous freshman Julius Rosado, who’s 4-0 in five starts and has struck out 50, walking only eight, in just 23 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Click below to hear Mike Pavlichko talk with both head coaches:

South River head coach Mike Lepore
East Brunswick Tech head coach Todd Sak

Tourney wins and regular season streaks juggle bottom of Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, while St. Joe’s and Ridge remain at the top

Despite a pair of losses to North Jersey schools, St. Joseph of Metuchen remains at No. 1 – where it’s been all season long – in the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten rankings, followed closely behind by Ridge at No. 2.

At this point, the Falcons are widely expected to garner the top seed in the GMC Tournament, when the committee meets next Friday, May 13. St. Joe’s is the defending tournament champion.

The Red Devils already are the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament, and they won their opening game in the quarterfinals Saturday 13-3 against Gill St. Bernards, and will face 4th-seed Bridgewater-Raritan in the last of two semifinal games at TD Bank Park on Monday, May 9.

The top four spots all remained the same, with Somerville holding in third and Woodbridge in fourth. Rutgers Prep inched up to fifth, while Monroe flip-flopped with the Argonauts and fell to sixth.

Bridgewater-Raritan – one of the four remaining teams in the SCT – returned to the top ten after a week’s hiatus. The Panthers dropped out last week at 4-6 but rebounded with a very strong week, going 4-1 with regular season wins over Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Watchung Hills and Mongtomery, and their SCT win over 5th-seed Watchung Hills. Their only loss of the week came in Delaware Division play against Hunterdon Central.

Middlesex held in eighth, Pingry – on a 2-2 week – moved to ninth – and South River made its debut, at 11-2, the current leader in the GMC Blue Division. The Rams are one of just four GMC teams to begin the week with ten-plus wins – Woodbridge, Middlesex and Joe’s being the others – while having won seven straight games.

Below is the full Bellamy & Son Paving Week 5 Top Ten:

Playoff update: Girls’ Basketball Public Sections

Central Jersey Sports Radio continues taking a look at the playoff picture, with Saturday’s NJSIAA cutoff for state tournament qualification almost immediately on the horizon. We’ve got a section-by-section breakdown of public girls’ basketball teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference and Somerset County. All power points are the official NJSIAA totals as made available on NJ.com as of 6:30 pm Thursday.

Central Jersey Group 4: While Hightstown (16-5) and Jackson Memorial (15-2) lead this section with 375 and 365 points respectively, Monroe (13-3, 357) should stay in third, with only Edison on the schedule tonight before Saturday, and the Eagles already are their lowest power point total, so they won’t gain. After Middletown South (13-4, 342) in fourth, there’s East Brunswick at 14-5, with 327 points. Most of these teams are fairly well in place, with maybe a chance they could nudge up or down one spot. Marlboro (11-7, 311) is sixth, followed by North Brunswick (12-7, 299) and South Brunswick (14-6, 297). Behind them are Montgomery (9-8, 282) and Old Bridge (11-6, 278) in tenth. Sayreville, though 6-12 (171 pts) should be in over Long Branch, which is 5-8 with 155 points.

North Jersey, Scetion 2 – Group 4: While it remains to be seen if Franklin (13-3, 367) is anything like its pre-pandemic self – they were en route to another Tournament of Champions appearance before COVID shut things down – they have steadily improved this year. Westfield (16-4, 409) is the top seed here, but the Warriors could be the definition of a “sneaky two-seed,” if such a thing actually exists. The shouldn’t get caught from behind either by Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which is in third at 14-3, with 366 points. Ridge, at just 9-12, with 293 points, actually checks in fifth, followed by Watchung Hills (9-6, 276) and Woodbridge (11-6, 267). Then Hillsborough is 9th, at 10-7 (264 points). In 14th and 15th, respectively, are Bridgewater-Raritan (3-17, 172) and JP Stevens (4-15, 171).

Central Jersey Group 3: Yes, the Colonia boys are in North 2, but the girls are in Central. That’s how it works when you have boys’ only and girls’ only schools. The Patriots (19-2, 382) are in second place, and the White Division champions of the GMC are likely to stay there. They won’t catch top-seed Ewing (15-1, 394) and the next closest team below them – Wall (14-4) – is 58 points back. Go all the way outside the top 8 and you’ll find South Plainfield (10-8) in 9th with 246 points. It’s unlikely could earn a home game by jumping up, because they can’t get any more residuals. Down at 12 is Somerville (9-8, 215), then JFK (9-8, 199).

Central Jersey Group 2: Manasquan (19-3) is the top team here with 485 points, then New Providence (17-1, 423), but third-place Middlesex (16-2, 369) is well behind them. The question is, can Bound Brook (15-4, 367) gain two points to jump fourth-place Rumson-Fair Haven (12-8, 368)? Not in residuals, and their highest power point total is 16. But if they beat 17-2 Woodbury Saturday? Sure could! Checking in at No. 8 is South River (14-5, 282), then Johnson (11-7, 246) and Spotswood (12-7, 240) in tenth. Metuchen is in 12th at 9-9 (198), and Piscataway Tech is solidly in, but 15th place at 8-10 (157).

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 2: The only area team here is Bernards (5-10, 182) checking in at No. 11. The top seed here is Madison (12-6, 328).

Central Jersey Group 1: After top team New Egypt, at 12-1, 316 points, there’s Woodbridge Academy (15-2, 303). Probably can’t make up that ground, but a 2-seed is nice, too. Somerset Tech (12-5, 254) is in fourth, seven points ahead of Shore (10-10) in fifth. Down to nine we find Perth Amboy Tech (6-9, 154), which won’t crack the top eight. Immediately behind them are Manville (4-13, 150) and Highland Park (6-13, 149). Dunellen (4-14, 121) is in 13th.

Playoff update: Boys’ Basketball Public Sections

Continuing with a look at state playoff seeding projections, we’re taking a look at boys’ basketball public sections in Central and North 2. Remember that unlike most years when the first 16 games on a team’s schedule are counted, only the top 13 power point values are added this year. So, teams playing past their 16th game can still accumulate power points, but not full games’ worth. If a game makes the top 13, the lowest score is dropped, and all that is gained is the difference between the lowest of the 13, and the new score.

(Example: a team’s lowest among it’s top 13 scores is a 15. If it wins a game worth 20 points, the 15 is dropped, and the 20 added, for a net gain of 5.)

The analysis below is based on official NJSIAA calculations as available on NJ.com as of 9 am Tuesday:

Central Jersey Group 4: The top team here is Marlboro (17-2) with 454 points, and Monroe (18-3) is behind in second them at 413. They’re unlikely to get the top seed, but also unlikely to get caught from behind by Jackson Memorial (12-5, 361, 3rd) and definitely not by South Brunswick (12-6, 329, 4th). Both teams could gain since their 13th power point value is a loss, but not enough to overtake the Falcons. Next up from the CJSR area is No. 10 Montgomery (10-8, 244), then East Brunswick (8-8, 242) at 12. Both could move in a tight pack either up or down. Speaking of which, teams 15 through 17 are all from the GMC, and could be make or break this week. Old Bridge is 15th at 7-12 with 208 points, followed by Sayreville (8-10, 184) and North Brunswick (7-14, 176). It’s probably the Bombers and Raiders battling it out for that last playoff spot. North Brunswick has Edison Wednesday, and Sayreville is at St. Thomas Aquinas Tuesday and hosts Colts Neck Friday. Either team could add games before Saturday’s cutoff to get in. This could get interesting.

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 4: You’ve got Watchung Hills (14-3, 361) in the catbird’s seat here, led by Elijah Lewis, who just committed to Adelphi this week. Westfield is 16 points behind, and it may be tough for them to catch up with 13 wins already. How about Franklin (11-6, 341) making a push, though? The Warriors have room for two more wins here, and might be able to make up the 20 point disparity, so look out; they currently sit in third. Ridge is right behind them wrapping up the top four at 13-5 with 326 points, but with 13 wins, they’re less likely to make a move than Franklin. Toward the middle of the pack, JP Stevens (9-7, 275) is tied with Elizabeth (8-5, 275) for 7th, but both have room for improvement this week. Edison (12-6, 260) is right behind, but already has 12 wins, so it’s doubtful the Eagles can crack the top eight. Bridgewater-Raritan (8-11, 250) is 12th, followed by resurgent Piscataway (8-7, 246), which has won four in a row and six of its last eight after a rough 2-5 start.

Central Jersey Group 3: The only area team in contention here is Somerville (5-12, 161 points) in the bottom half of the pack in 12th place, solidly in that bottom half, but solidly in the field of 16. Manasquan is the current top team at 13-4, followed by 14-4 Robbinsville.

North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 3: Here’s some intrigue: South Plainfield out of the GMC Blue is in first at 17-3, with 351 power points, while Colonia from the GMC White at 14-3 with 332 points is in second. It’ll be tough for the Patriots to make up that ground having 14 wins already; getting one of the pair against St. Thomas Aquinas sure would have helped. They’re the only area teams in contention in this section.

Central Jersey Group 2: With 13 wins already, a loss to Immaculata may not have hurt Bound Brook all that much, but it didn’t help either. The Crusaders (13-1, 357) have a slim shot at No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven (13-2), which is only ahead by six points, with 363. For example, their lowest value is a 15, a win over North Plainfield. A win over Hunterdon Central (which has 7 wins) Tuesday would be worth 6 quality points, 4 group points, and 15 residual points, for a total of 25. Drop the 15, add 25 and the net gain is 10. They’d jump ahead of the Bulldogs, but now it depends what they do. Bottom line: the Crusaders are still in play in the critical final week for a top seed. South River (13-4, 312) checks in 5th here, with Middlesex (9-10) at ten, and Roselle (11-15, 251) and Spotswood (13-5, 248) not far behind them. Metuchen (7-10, 165) appears to be sitting comfortably in 16; don’t expect anyone behind the Bulldogs to challenge them.

Central Jersey Group 1: It looks like Perth Amboy Tech (11-4, 214) is a lock for the four- or five-seed. They currently sit in fifth, and the only real difference as a potential extra home game if things go to chalk. Further down the standings, Highland Park (4-12, 141) checks in at 12, followed immediately by Manville (7-9, 135, 13th) and South Amboy (5-9, 122, 14th). Somerset Tech (3-15, 105) is 14th. Burlington City is the top team here at 12-4

Middlesex girls win 43rd straight GMC Blue Division game, a 62-45 home win over South River

Spotswood almost ended the Middlesex girls’ basketball team’s long Blue Division winning streak the other night.

If only close counted outside of horseshoes and hand grenades.

The Blue Jays got contributions from all eight players head coach Kevin Harper put in the game, and – led by junior point guard Neysa Aguilar’s 18 points – beat South River Friday night at home 62-45, in a game heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio.

Middlesex jumped out to a 6-0 lead early, and never trailed, with the Rams trying to play catch up the rest of the way. Despite senior Tiffany Fischer notching 16 points for South River – right about at her 16.2 points per game season average – the supporting cast couldn’t complement her enough, while the Rams turned the ball over too much.

Middlesex improved to 11-2 on the season, 9-0 in the Blue Division. They haven’t lost a division game since falling to Spotswood, 46-41 on January 31, 2018. South River dropped to 9-5, 8-2 in the Blue.

Click below to hear postgame interviews after the Middlesex win:

Junior point guard Neysa Aguilar
Middlesex head coach Kevin Harper