Tag: Watchung Hills

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

All but three teams drop games, but all hold steady in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

St. Thomas Aquinas – despite suffering its first loss of the season and dropping to 20-1 Sunday night to George (PA) in the Metro Classic showcase in Toms River – remains the No. 1 team for a fourth straight week in the Bellamy & Son Paving rankings.

They were one of just three teams in the rankings to not lose a game this week, the others being third-ranked Rutgers Prep – which beat Phillipsburg and Bridgewater-Raritan during the week, then Paul VI in the Holy Cross Prep Showcase on Sunday – and Watchung Hills, which swept Hillsborough, Immaculata and North Bergen.

Gill St. Bernard’s remained No. 2 despite a pair of losses. Thursday, they fell by four to the No. 1 team in New Jersey, Camden. Saturday, they lost by 15 to La Lumiere, the Maxpreps top-ranked team in Indiana.

Following are the full Week 8 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball rankings:

No change, top to bottom, in Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

Not a single team moved one single place in the Week 7 Bellamy & Son rankings for girls’ basketball, with few losses by anyone, and many out-of-conference or to other ranked clubs.

Rutgers Prep remains No. 1, as the Argonauts have been since the rankings debuted at the start of last season, making it 14 straight week in the top spot for Mary Klinger’s squad. They had a 3-0 week, and a huge win Sunday over the 5th-ranked team in the state, Red Bank Catholic, in the Coaches’ Choice USA College Showcase in Holmdel.

Colonia – at No. 2 – also has a perfect week, going 2-0 with wins at North Brunswick and over Woodbridge. The Patriots have not lost a GMC game yet this season, their only two losses coming in their season opener to Albertus Magnus (NY) and January 12th at Westfield.

Third-ranked Bound Brook lost at Bayonne last Tuesday, while No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas lost twice, to Long Island Lutheran Tuesday at home, and to Rumson-Fair Haven in the showcase down in Holmdel Sunday.

No. 7 Monroe lost to Bound Brook on Thursday, Watchung Hills lost to unranked Immaculata Thursday, and tenth-ranked Old Bridge lost Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Below are the full Week 7 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings:

Top five keep winning and stay in place in Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten

The top five teams in the Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball rankings went a combined 12-0 in the week gone by, with no changes among them.

Led by Rutgers Prep (12-1) at No. 1, the rest – Colonia second, followed by Bound Brook, St. Thomas Aquinas and Gill St. Bernard’s – didn’t budge.

Even the rest saw minimal changes. Monroe flip-flopped with Franklin to take 6th place after the Warriors lost to Gill St. Bernard’s last Thursday (on Central Jersey Sports Radio) 35-33 on a buzzer-beater by Brooke Baisley, while Monroe went 2-0. The Falcons have the longest active win streak in the GMC at the moment, at nine games.

Watchung Hills did the same with Mount St. Mary, moving up to 8th after the Lions split with Pingry last week, while the Warriors went 2-0.

Old Bridge held in tenth, despite a 48-36 loss last Tuesday at Monroe.

Below are the full rankings for Week 6:

Aquinas rolls on, Gill inches up in Week 6 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

St. Thomas Aquinas – now 16-0 and on the state’s second longest active winning streak – remains the No. 1 team in this week’s Bellamy & Son Boys’ basketball rankings, on the strength of a three-win week, including a “W” against one of the last few undefeated teams to go down, Morris Catholic, in the Great 8 Showcase at Weequahic.

Gill St. Bernard’s inches up, as the Knights continue to plow through their divisional schedule, while also playing a national/prep slate, with an 85-49 win at Hillsborough, and a 78-66 win over Pioneer Academy of Wayne.

Gill edges over Rutgers Prep, which suffered its first loss of the season Sunday, albeit to state-ranked Red Bank Catholic in the Jimmy V Showcase at Central Regional down in Bayville, 90-79.

The next six teams remained the same, with Colonia fourth, followed by St. Joseph-Metuchen, Monroe, undefeated Bound Brook – with their state-best winning streak now at 26 games – Franklin and Watchung Hills.

Ridge – after an 0-2 week, falling to 8-5 dropped out – with Edison taking the Red Devils’ place. The Eagles are 11-4 after a 2-0 week, and are led by senior point guard Nico Barnes, averaging 21.4 points per game, with 5 assists.

Following are the full Week 6 Bellamy & Son rankings:

Big shuffle in Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Girls’ Basketball Top Ten, though Rutgers Prep remains at the top

Only one team in this week’s Bellamy & Son Girls’ Basketball Rankings was in the same place a week ago. Other than Rutgers Prep, everyone shuffled into a new position, thanks to a couple of upsets.

Most notable was Monroe, previously unranked, knocking off No. 2 St. Thomas Aquinas by 12 on Thursday night, a little more than a month after losing to them in the season opener by 38. It was a convincing win, too; the Falcons led virtually wire-to-wire.

Not to be outdone, unranked Watchung Hills beat No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s, while Franklin beat Watchung Hills and now just has two losses; to Gill and No. 1 Rutgers Prep, which has now held the No. 1 spot every week of the Central Jersey Sports Radio/Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten, since its inception in CJSR’s inaugural season last year, a total of 13 weeks.

Many other teams also shuffled around with a mix of wins and losses. Below are the full Week 5 Bellamy & Son rankings:

Top three remain the same in Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten

Going a combined 8-0 in the week gone by, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rutgers Prep and Gill St. Bernard’s remained Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in the Week 5 Bellamy & Son Paving Boys’ Basketball Top Ten, while the middle of the pack danced around a bit.

The rankings include three of the six remaining undefeated boys’ teams in New Jersey, No. 1 Aquinas at 14-0, No.2 Rutgers Prep at 11-0, and No. 7 Bound Brook at 10-0, which owns the state’s longest active winning streak, now at 24 games. The Crusaders’ last loss came on March 9, 2020, a 73-55 loss at Burlington City in the Central Jersey Group 1 title game.

The big upset of the week was then-No. 8 Monroe beating previously fourth-ranked St. Joseph-Metuchen on a buzzer-beater, to split the season series. In addition, Franklin joined the Bellamy & Son Paving Top Ten this week, after a nearly buzzer-beating road win at Watchung Hills, which stayed in at No. 9.

Following are the full Week 5 rankings:

INSTANT REPLAY: Franklin 44, No. 9 Watchung Hills 41

A three-pointer by Franklin junior Jake Novielli from the deep right corner gave Franklin a three-point lead, and a miss at the other end by Watchung Hills, helped give the visiting Warriors a 44-41 win over the home Warriors, in a Skyland Conference Delaware Division game on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino call all the action from Watchung Hills High School:

Novielli’s trey with :12 left helps Franklin to signature win over No. 9 Watchung Hills in dramatic fashion

With too many ties and lead changes to count, Franklin and 9th-ranked Watchung Hills waged an epic battle Tuesday night. Neither team led by more than six points at any point of the game, and even that came early when Franklin got out to an 8-2 lead.

It was a low-scoring affair, but the kind of slugfest that could only truly be enjoyed by someone without a horse in that race. Otherwise, it was an Alka-Seltzer type of night.

In the second-half, big three-balls swung momentum like the biggest of pendulums. There was Brian Zhang of Watchung Hills, the junior who scored all of his 11 points after the break, with three triples. Junior Jake Novielli had two treys, until Franklin got the ball with under 40-seconds to play, tied up at 41 all.

Running some time down, Novielli found himself open in the right coffin corner, and buried his third triple of the half, second of the final quarter. Franklin 44, Hills 51.

Then, Zhang found himself with a chance to send it to OT with just a few seconds left from the left corner. But his shot was off, and the rebound not far enough to give Watchung another chance at a three-ball. Ball game over.

Click below to listen to the final sequence, as heard on Central Jersey Sports Radio:

The win snapped a five-game win streak for Watchung Hills (8-2), but will have them fired up when they take on first-place and No. 3 Gill St. Bernard’s Thursday night. For Franklin, the win was a major resume builder come seeding time for the Somerset County Tournament, putting them at 3-2 in league play, 5-4 overall.

Click below for postgame reaction on the air with Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino:

Franklin junior guard Jake Noviello, who had the game-winning three-pointer
Franklin head coach Tony Mento

No. 9 Watchung Hills carries winning streak into Skyland battle with Franklin

It’s been a brilliant two weeks of basketball for Watchung Hills. 5 games, 5 wins, all by double digits.

Most recently, the Warriors were road warriors, claiming victories at Hunterdon Central, Hillsborough, and Jefferson.

Now, No. 9 Watchung Hills (8-1) returns home looking to extend its perfect 3-0 Skyland Delaware Division record against Franklin (4-4) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Click here to listen to the broadcast with Mike Pavlichko and Dom Savino calling all the action; pregame coverage starts at 5:45.

Note: Today’s game was moved from its original 5:30 start to a 6 pm tip-off, it was announced late Tuesday morning.

The Warriors are led by guard Elijah Lewis, who’s averaging 23.8 points-per-game – tops in Somerset County – and 7.6 rebounds-per-game. The senior went off for 25 points and eight rebounds last time out, in Saturday’s 58-44 win over Jefferson.

Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino talk with Watchung Hills head coach Justin Salton to preview the Warriors’ meeting with Franklin: