Another week, another three wins.
The South Plainfield High School boys varsity basketball team improved to 11-1 on the season and earned three wins this week.
South Plainfield defeated Spotswood, 68-51, topped South River, 52-48, and beat Middlesex, 65-58, on Senior Night. The Tigers, which although not officially due to the pandemic, won the Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division this year. They’ve won nine games in a row.
“I was an assistant for four years before I became the head coach, and we never had a young class that had this potential,” Tigers coach John Greco said of the seniors. “We had some guys that got better as they went along. Four years ago, I remember a lot of kids showed up in the summer that were on the eighth grade team. And I even remember seeing Moshood, and I was thinking 'who is that'? The middle school coach said he was their 10th guy. He was raw, but you could see his potential. And I said all right, that's gonna be the group.
“We had to fight through a couple of years. Last year we started out 2-5 and won 14 games. This season with COVID, I never saw the guys get down about it. It's just a great class, and every single one of them brings something different.”
Against Spotswood, South Plainfield charged ahead with a big 20-7 third quarter. Moshood Adebule notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four steals, and two assists. Brandon Dean also scored 16 points, grabbed five boards, and had three assists and two steals. Destiny Nwankwo joined them in double figure with 10 points and contributed all around with eighth rebounds, six assists, and two steals as well. Josh Liberato and Josh Bradley each had eight points.
South River, after being down 20-8 in the first to South Plainfield, clawed back, outsourcing the Tigers the rest of the way but the visitors in green and while were able to hang on.
Dean netted 15 points while Liberato recorded 13 points and six assists. Nwankwo chipped in with nine points on three 3-pointers. Dean made five triples in the contest.
Adebule posted a new career-high 26 points in the win over Middlesex despite being in early foul trouble. He also finished with nine rebounds and Dean produced 13 points, Nwankwo totaled nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals, and Liberato scored eight points and dished out seven assists.
Girls basketball went 1-2 on the week and now sit at 4-7 on the year. South Plainfield beat Woodbridge for the second time this year, this time 50-38, at home. The Tigers outscored the Barrons 24-16 in the second half. Brianna Harris netted 20 points with five steals, Sara McNelly had just four points, but she made a difference on the glass with 16 boards. She also had seven assists and three steals. Lindsay Oller recorded a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.
The Lady Tigers then fell to Iselin Kennedy by 10, 45-35, but didn’t give up despite being down by 20 in the game. Harris, McNelly, and Born all scored nine points apiece while McNelly also had eight rebounds, four assists, and six steals. Harris pulled down six boards and stole three balls.
South Plainfield took an early lead against North Brunswick on Saturday, but ultimately fell 44-37. The Tigers led 16-10 after the first, but North Brunswick surged ahead with a 20-8 second. McNelly finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Oller had seven points and nine rebounds, and Harris poured in seven points as well with 10 rebounds.
On the lanes, boys bowling rolled against Woodbridge, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Sayreville. Andrew Csordos threw games of 163 and 155 on his way to a 446 series against Woodbridge to lead the Tigers in the loss to one of the best teams in the state. Csordos also had a 437 series including games of 187 and 158 against the Trojans, while his brother, Daniel, notched a 403 series with a 147. Andrew Csordos carded a 400 with a 153 against the Bombers as well.
On the girls side, they beat Aquinas, 3-1, and fell to Woodbridge and Sayreville, respectively. Alyssa Ingram notched a high game 167 against the Barrons with a 403 series and Alexandra Bedford threw a 143. Ingram came back and helped the Lady Tigers beat the Trojans with a 440 series and games of 168 and 146. Athena Annum rolled a 157 as well. Against Sayreville, Kylie Nieradka was consistent, carding a solid 517 (165, 171, and 181), and Samantha Jaipersaud notched a 143 game.
For winter track, the shot putters got to throwing at the Rebel Shot Series No. 1 at the John Bennett Center in Toms River Tuesday.
Everett Pfeiffer threw a NJ#16 42-09.25 for ninth place at the event. John Padovano also came in 13th with a 40-04.50, the 22nd best mark in the state so far in 2020-21 (club team numbers count too). John Tan (35-07.75) and Myles Cheatham (35-06.00) placed in the top 30 as well. On the girls side, Jasmine Patel notched a throw of 30-01.25 to take seventh place at the event. That is the NJ#19 mark in the Garden State.
The Tigers had six girls total in the top 30 including Michelle Sic Mauricio (22-10.50) and Lucy Flannery (22-07.50) in the top 20 alongside Patel.
At the new Adidas Indoor Nationals down in Virginia Beach, Logan Betyman competed in the one-mile run open and came in 79th with a time of 4:55.12. He also ran in the 800-meter open and took 50th with a time of 2:08.27.
Next week, boys hoops goes up against Old Bridge on the road on Monday before playing in the Greater Middlesex Conference pod tournament. The Tigers first opponent and bracket will be named soon. The girls will also be in their own pod after they take on Sayreville at home on Monday afternoon.
The shot putters will also head back down to Toms River for the Rebel Shot Series No. 2 on Tuesday. Swimming will hit the pool on Friday against Edison.
Bowling has one more match against Iselin Kennedy on Monday at 3:45 p.m.
Gymnastics, girls volleyball, and wrestling are all set to hold their first official practices of the season this week.
For the full schedule of events, click here.
To watch the live streams at home, click here.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisNalwasky.