Sophomore Matt Ross filled in for an injured Amir Bell in the second quarter and responded with 15 points, including 12 in the second half, to lead East Brunswick to a 43-42 victory over North Brunswick in the All Brunswick Classic at East Brunswick.Bell, a senior point guard headed to Princeton, hit his head with 4:00 left in the first half and did not return because of blurred vision.
If defense is your thing, Egg Harbor High School was the place to be last night as Atlantic City and East Brunswick, two of the best in the business, put on an incredible display of lockdown D in the NJSIAA/Shop Rite, Group 4 semifinals.East Brunswick, No. 7 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, dominated the first half with its 1-3-1 zone, but No. 3 Atlantic Citys stingy man-to-man proved to be too much in the second half as the defending group champion pulled out a 51-49 decision before a crowd of more than 1,500 in Egg Harbor Township.A 3-pointer at the buzzer by East Brunswicks Rob Ukawuba shaped the final score. The basket enabled Ukawuba to tie 1996 graduate Matt VanLeeuwen as the schools all-time leading scorer with 1,306 points.
Congratulations to the Bears on an amazing season. You guys are incredible! Feel free to contact me if you want higher resolution copies of any of the pictures I have posted of you this season.
EAST BRUNSWICK — With the stakes raised Monday night, East Brunswick stuck with the same game plan it’s used all season. Executing that game plan to perfection provided East Brunswick with an elusive sectional title.Catalyzed by an active 1-3-1 zone defense, the top-seeded Bears held seventh-seeded Trenton to 39 percent shooting, forced 17 turnovers and held an opponent under 50 points for the 23rd time this season on their way to a 59-49 triumph in the NJSIAA Central Group IV final.
Bears senior guard Dan Leung sparked the defense and netted six points in the period.
“He was phenomenal,” Henning said of Leung. “He’s just special and hard to replace out there.”
Back-to-back buckets by senior center Jake Krantz before the end of the first half gave East Brunswick a comfortable 27-20 lead at the break.
Ukawuba finished with a game-high 22 points and added seven rebounds. His left-handed reverse layup high off of the glass while drawing the foul for the first field goal of the fourth brought the Bears faithful to a deafening roar.
“I was going full speed at the basket and knew I’d draw the foul so I just chose to finish it myself,” Ukawuba said.
Leung finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while junior guard Amir Bell added nine points and ran the offense to efficiency.
What a great game. What a terrific accomplishment – Sectional Champs!
Rarely does the big game live to up to the hype, in any sport, on any level.St. Josephs 66-63 double overtime thriller over East Brunswick on Friday night before five grand at the RAC not only lived up to the hype, but it somehow exceeded it.Since I have witnessed the last 34 Middlesex County/GMC finals, my phone has been texting off the hook the past two days: Was that the best final youve seen? That was the theme of the texts.
GMC BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT FINAL
WHO: No. 2 seed St. Joseph (20-4) vs. No. 1 seed East Brunswick (22-2).
WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. tonight/Rutgers Athletic Center.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: St. Joseph beat No. 15 Bishop Ahr 68-39, No. 7 Spotswood 85-43 and No. 11 Old Bridge 75-50. East Brunswick beat No. 17 Perth Amboy 80-34, No. 9 Sayreville 69-37 and No. 4 Woodbridge 76-31.
East Brunswick’s Rob Ukawuba (left) looks at his head coach Bo Henning (right) as he walks off the court with his parents Charity and Hyacinth Ukawuba after being honored as the 5th player in school history to score 1000 points before the start of their 52-45 win over St. Joseph in their varsity basketball game at East Brunswick High School.
East Brunswick, No. 5 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, has a found a way to frustrate No.7 St. Joseph in that department — twice.Winning the rebounding battle, 22-13 ,including 9-4 on the offensive end, and never allowing St.Joseph to get on one of its patented runs, East Brunswick posted a 52-45 victory before a sold-out crowd in East Brunswick last night, limiting the Metuchen school to 24 points below its average.Unbeaten East Brunswick had beaten St. Joseph on opening night, 58-54.Rob Ukawuba led a balanced attack with 13 points and nine rebounds and Danny Leung added 11 points, including the game-clinching, three-point play with 29 seconds left to give East Brunswick a five-point lead.
JACKSON40, EAST BRUNSWICK 39: Senior guard Joe Ross led the No. 7 Bears 18-8 in scoring with 13 points but fell just short of upsetting No. 2 Jackson. Rob Ukawuba chipped in with 11 points for East Brunswick.
Grind-it-out defense and foul shooting is not exactly a glamorous formula for winning ballgames, but at this time of the season it is all about winning and moving on.Second-seeded North Brunswick had to use that method to post a 43-39 victory over third-seeded East Brunswick in the semifinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament before a crowd of close to 1,500 last night at South Brunswick in Monmouth Junction.