BERNARDSVILLE, NJ -- The Bernards High School athletic department is usually right on top of all the sports happenings going on at the school, and its ability to get the word out on social media is normally top-notch.
But last Thursday night, on the eve of the long weekend, when the Bernards athletic department's Twitter account was quiet, Eddy Gambelli had a game for the ages for the Bernards boys basketball team, and it may have slipped under the radar as a result.
Gambelli, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, erupted for 43 points in an 84-38 victory over Warren Tech. While the Bernards scholastic sports archives do not go back far enough in basketball to confirm whether it's a school record, Tim Palek, head coach of the Mountaineers, said, "At minimum, it's the highest individual total in the last 10 years."
Gambelli, who attacks the baseline with abandon while also possessing a reliable shooting touch from the perimeter, hit 14 of 22 shots from the floor and was 11-for-13 from the foul line in the game.
"I feel like this year, along with my fellow captain (point guard) Chris Cody, I have been looked to set an example of hard work and determination every day at practice and in games," Gambelli said. "When people start to get down or the energy begins to dip, it is my job to pick everyone back up."
While Gambelli hasn't had any other games approaching the prolific level of Thursday night's career best, he has been a consistently reliable scorer for a Bernards team that usually sets a deliberate pace, works the ball around for a good shot and normally plays games in the 40s. Gambelli had a five-game stretch at the end of January in which he averaged 17.8 points per game.
Gambelli is the only player remaining from the 18-6 Bernards team of two years ago, so his varsity experience has been instrumental in keeping this season's team above .500. He is averaging 13 points per game for the Mountaineers, who have an 11-10 record heading into the Somerset County Tournament that begins later this week.
An outfielder on the Bernards baseball team, Gambelli tied for the team lead in home runs as a junior with five and was named to the Skyland Conference's all-division second team.
"I feel like it is very hard to choose between two sports that I've grown up playing and (which) have molded me into who I am today," Gambelli said of his love for both basketball and baseball. "I try my best to enjoy the sport as much as I can in that season and do everything I can to help my team."
There will be a quick turnaround next month going from one sport to the other.
"I can take the conditioning and work ethic I had in basketball and apply that to baseball to make the transition easier for myself," Gambelli said.
After graduation, Gambelli plans to attend Wake Forest University.