BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer Jersey Bluessixth at national championships Jersey Blues sixth at national championships BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer Bo Scannapieco will always have fond memories of the 2004 Brookdale Community College women’s softball team. The Jersey Blues completed the ’04 campaign with a sixth place finish at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III fastpitch softball tournament, in Joliet, Ill. Overall, the Blues were 41-13, winning their ninth straight Region XIX championship and fourth straight Garden State Athletic Conference crown during their run to the nationals. “My expectations were filled,” said Scannapieco. “We won the most exciting Region ever. I’ll always remember that about this year.” The highlight of the Region was Brookdale’s come-from-behind win in the final on the home field of archrival Gloucester. The Roadrunners had taken a 3-2 lead with two runs in the top of the seventh only to see their nemesis, Brookdale, answer with two in the last of the seventh to steal the victory and the championship. The young Jersey Blues, who had just one player who had been to the nationals the previous year, carried that momentum to the nationals, where they went 1-3 and finished in sixth place. “We did OK,” Scannapieco said of his team’s performance in Joliet. “It was a good season for us. I thought we played well. The effort was there, but not the execution. “I felt things had to break right for us because we were a young team,” he added. Brookdale got out of the gate on the wrong foot, dropping its first game in Joliet to Rainy River (Minn.), 3-1. “That was the toughest loss,” noted Scannapieco. “I thought we were the superior team. We pitched well and played defense. We just didn’t hit well. It was tough to accept.” The lack of run support for pitchers Elyse Papianni and Cherise Maltais would unfortunately be the theme of the tournament for the Blues. Outside of a 10-0 win over Suffolk, N.Y., that followed the loss to Rainy River, the Blues struggled to get runners across the plate. “We just didn’t score enough runs,” Scannapieco remarked. With the Suffolk win on May 20, the Blues were still in the championship hunt, but that ended the next day against Corning, N.Y., which beat Brookdale, 2-1, on two unearned runs. Papianni had been working on a perfect game through five innings when things went sour in the sixth and Corning scored two unearned runs. “We left everything out on the field in that game,” noted Scannapieco. “They had an All-American pitcher and we kept the pressure on her throughout the game. We got an RBI double from Leah Minnick, but we just couldn’t tack on more. We had runners on second and third in the seventh and couldn’t score. “We were going to have to win a 2-1, 3-2 game somewhere,” he said. After falling out of the championship hunt, Brookdale fell 4-0 to Dawson (Mont.) in the fifth/sixth consolation game. Scannapieco used his entire roster in this game so that everyone on the team got to play in the nationals. Papianni and Maltais both pitched superbly at the nationals. Papianni did not allow an earned run in her two starts and struck out 17 in 13 innings of work. Minnick, who led the nation in RBIs this year with 82, had four hits and four RBIs to pace the offense. Deidre Trijilio also had four hits in Joliet. Scannapieco is already looking forward to 2004. He knows he has a very solid returning cast led by pitchers Pap and Maltais and shortstop Minnick. With some strong recruits to add to the mix, Brookdale figures to be back in the national championship picture.
DIANA LANG Matt Mullan of Middletown South works on St. John Vianney’s Frank Falco during the recent Jersey Open Takedown Tournament at Keyport HighSchool. Wrestlers throughout the area will be hitting the mats over the next few weeks in various tournaments, like the Jersey Shore Summer Duals, which start Monday at Holmdel High School.
BY DOUG McKENZIE Correspondent Colts beat Mid. South Eagles in final Heading into Saturday night’s Shore Conference Tournament final, the Middletown High School South boys basketball team had every reason to believe it was ready to beat top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy, and end the Colts’ 41-game winning streak against Shore teams. Above: Middletown South’s Patrick O’Connell (l) tries to throw a pass around Christian Brothers Academy defender Robert Hobbie (40) during the Shore Conference Tournament championship game played Feb. 27 at Brick Memorial High School. CBA retained its SCT title with a 60-44 win. Left: South’s Jake Brodsky reaches high to pull down a rebound. Though they certainly don’t have the championship pedigree of their opponents, the second-seeded Eagles were familiar with the Colts (having lost to them twice during the regular season — 50-47 on Jan. 5 and 49-39 on Jan. 29), and entered the game playing their best basketball of the season. And while the Colts remained the favorite to win their second straight SCT title, and their 16th overall, Middletown South proved a worthy adversary. PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff In fact, through the first half of play, the Eagles were in control, using their match-up zone defense to slow the pace of the game and keep the Colts’ top offensive weapons in check. As a result, Middletown South, which had not reached an SCT final since 1979, had a 26-22 lead at the half and was exactly where it needed to be in pursuit of its SCT title. Unfortunately for the Eagles, CBA came out of the break looking like the best team in the Shore once again, and put together a championship-caliber run that propelled them to a 60-44 victory and their seventh SCT title in the last 11 years. A big part of CBA’s success this year is its depth, and it was on full display in the second half of Saturday’s final. J.P. Koury and R.J. Hobbie were not the marquee players for head coach Geoff Billett’s squad when the season began, but they were when it mattered most in this contest. Koury scored nine of his 17 points and Hobbie hit seven of his 15 during a decisive 23-8 run in the third quarter that saw the Colts pick up the tempo of the game and attack the Eagles on the defensive end of the floor. And by making a pair of quick threepointers, Hobbie forced the Eagles to abandon their match-up zone. Middletown High School South fans were out in force at Brick Memorial High School for the Shore Conference Tournament championship game between Middletown South and Christian Brothers Academy on Feb. 27. Despite all the support, the Eagles lost the final to the Colts, 60-44. ERIC SUCAR staff Meanwhile, the Eagles were struggling to score, getting only six points in the first four minutes of the third quarter, then watching the Colts go on a 10-0 run to close out the third stanza. At that point, CBA was firmly in control of the game, and they cruised to the title, outscoring the Eagles 15-10 in a fourth quarter that was never close. While Koury and Hobbie set the tone in the third, the Colts also got big performances from junior center Matt McMullen (16 points and seven rebounds) and senior point guard Roy Mabrey (12 points, five assists and four steals). Middletown South was led by Kyle Cancilleri, who scored 13 points, while Pat O’Connell chipped in with 11 and Will Siegfried dropped in 10. CBA (22-3) advanced to the final by knocking off Manasquan, 53-44, in the semifinals, thanks in large part to the efforts of Koury. While doing a superb defensive job against Manasquan’s Matt Vadas, one of the top offensive players in the state, Koury also found time to lead the Colts with 18 points. Mabrey and McMullen each added 14 points while Hobbie scored seven points. Vadas finished the game with 25 points, including 21 in the second half, but by holding him to just four points in the first half, Koury helped his team build a 10-point lead. Manasquan fought back to get within four to start the fourth quarter, and eventually tied it at 38- 38, but CBA was the fresher team down the stretch, putting together another signature championship-caliber 15-6 run to close out the game. As for the Eagles, they advanced to the final with an impressive 47-37 win over MonsignorDonovanHigh School in the semifinals. Jake Brodsky and Pat O’Connell took control of a close game down the stretch to will their team to the win. Brodsky finished the game with 10 points, including seven in the final five minutes of the game, while O’Connell led the way with 17. Cancilleri also played well throughout, scoring eight points, while Siegfried added nine. Both the Colts and the Eagles will now prepare for the state tournament, slated to begin this week. The Colts are the fifth seed in the Non-Public South A bracket, and were set to face a somewhat familiar foe in the first round when Red Bank Catholic came to Lincroft yesterday. The winner of yesterday’s game will face fourth-seeded St. Joseph’s High School of Metuchen tomorrow in Metuchen. CBA and St. Joseph’s played a spirited game a year ago, so should they meet again, it will be a battle. With the emergence of Koury and Hobbie as legitimate offensive threats to complement the likes of McMullen and Mabrey, CBA is certainly capable of winning this section, though they’ll likely have to get by top-seeded Camden Catholic to do it. The sectional final is set for next Wednesday night at Jackson Memorial. Returning players like Mabrey and Mc- Mullen still feel the sting of last year’s loss to Immaculata in the Non-Public A final and have been anxiously awaiting their shot at redemption in this postseason. Last year the Colts were the favorite, with a 27-2 mark heading into the final. This year they will take on the role of underdog in search of their first group title in 14 years. Middletown South is the third seed in a Central Jersey Group III bracket that is loaded with Shore Conference teams. The Eagles were scheduled to open tournament play against Hopewell Valley, the 13th seed, on Monday. With a win, South would have earned a shot at the winner of the Ocean Township- Princeton game last night. The sectional semifinals are scheduled for tomorrow night, with the final to be played on Monday. Freehold Borough is the top seed in this bracket. The Eagles beat Freehold Borough in a non-division encounter last month.
Christian Brothers Academy left fielder Will Morgan keeps his eye on the ball as he dives to snare this line drive against Jackson Liberty High School on May 29 in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals played at the Count Basie Field in Red Bank. The Liberty Lions knocked the Colts out of the tournament with a 3-1 victory. STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER ERIC SUCAR
By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent MATAWAN A n emotional roller coaster ride that began on Oct. 28 for coach JohnKaye and his Matawan Regional High School football team ended with a return to the NJSIAA playoffs with a 23-6 victory over Manasquan High School on Oct. 31.Facing a “must-win” situation to make the postseason, Matawan won without scoring a touchdown on offense. Isaiah Phillip ran back an interception and DeJohn Rodgers ran 11 yards after recovering a fumble for scores in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. Adam Elliott kicked three field goals in the first half and was just wide on a 47-yard attempt before halftime.Despite its 4-4 record, Kaye projects his team to be in the upper bracket of NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III after missing the playoffs a year ago with a 5-3 record at the cutoff.The Huskies did it without Kaye, who turned the team over for that game to his assistant coaches after learning that his father died on Oct. 28.“It was unexpected; the coaches did a great job,” Kaye said of his father’s passing. “And the whole community, without a doubt, was great to my family.”Elliott connected on field goals from 29, 25 and 34 yards.“He’s been outstanding,” Kaye said. “When you lose a guy like Mike Creamer (who graduated after last season) and this kid walks up and says he can kick and hits field goals like that, [it] says something.”Kaye also said it was a team-wide defensive effort anchored by middle linebacker Aliem Shaw, as Matawan was desperate for a win coming off a 40-28 loss to rival Long Branch High School.“That’s part of what we do. We call ourselves a high-pressure, high-intensity defense,” Kaye said. “It’s been a little inconsistent, but now it’s playoff time.”Next up is the regular-season finale on Nov. 7 at home against Barnegat High School, a 6- 1 team that has won five straight since losing to Central Regional High School. Barnegat’s quarterback, Cinjun Erskine, is headed to Bucknell University next fall. Its running back, Manny Bowen, is committed to Penn State University. And offensive lineman Sam Madden is set for the University of Wisconsin.Matawan will look to keep its momentum going for its state playoff opener the following weekend.Three other area teams either clinched or are closing in on playoff berths: Middletown High School South and Middletown High School North, both 5-2 in Central Jersey Group IV and Mater Dei Prep, which is 6-2 in Non-Public Group I. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH Middletown South got a big burst of power points in a 24-21, comeback victory over Brick Memorial High School (5-3).Junior quarterback Matt Mosquera threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Tom Coffey early in the game and kicked a game-winning 22-yard field goal. James McCarthy forced a fumble, recovered the ball and eventually ran 3 yards for the touchdown in the same sequence earlier in the fourth quarter.Cole Rogers scored the first touchdown on a 4-yard run, his 18th of the season. He needs about 30 yards for 1,000.“It’s a young team, and they’re still trying to get it together,” coach Steve Antonucci said. “But we needed the win, and they carried us with some big plays. Mosquera is continuing to improve.” Antonucci said mike linebacker Dylan Rogers “has been great all year for us” on defense. He’ll have to help stop explosive running back Josh Dixon of Freehold High School (7-1), which comes off its first loss of the season, 42-3, on Nov. 3 to Manalapan High School, which has won the Shore Conference A North for the fifth straight year.Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Middletown South in a showdown of the two teams tied for the No. 3 seed for the playoffs. Antonucci said the winner should stay as the No. 3 seed, while the loser should still make the playoffs but will likely fall into a lower bracket and open the playoffs with a road game.Middletown South is assured of a 30th straight non-losing season. MIDDLETOWN NORTH Middletown North strengthened its playoff spot with a 28-0 victory over North Brunswick Township High School (2-6). Chad Freshnock and Jordan Pitts each scored two touchdowns. Middletown North hosts Freehold Township High School (3- 5), which lost its last two games, in a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on Nov. 7.Coach Steve Bush said the Lions have “a very good chance” of making the playoffs with a victory over a team that throws the ball well off a spread offense.“We have to be physical on both sides of the ball. That’s the key,” Bush said.Donald Glenn threw touchdown passes of 20 yards to Freshnock and 22 to Pitts in the third quarter. Pitts also ran 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half. Freshnock, who has more than 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight season, ran 58 yards for a touchdown in the opening quarter. He has 16 touchdowns from running plays and pass receptions.“I’m really pleased with how our defense played,” said Bush, as North Brunswick was held to 48 yards of total offense behind the defensive efforts of Middletown North linebackers Freshnock and Nick Kish, tackle Vincent Pianoforte and linebacker/safety Troy Thompson, who had an interception. Linebacker Dylan Hallard, who missed the game with a shoulder injury, is expected back against Freehold Township.The two Middletown teams renew their Thanksgiving rivalry on Nov. 27 at Middletown South. MATER DEI Mater Dei sealed a return to the playoffs for the second straight year with a 50-14 victory over Highland Park High School on Oct. 31. Mater Dei hosts Point Pleasant Beach High School (5-3) at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8. A victory will surpass last year’s six-win season, its most since 1999.In Mater Dei’s latest victory, Highland Park scored first, but the Seraphs roared back to a 50-7 halftime lead. Eddie Lewis caught four passes for 166 yards, two of them for touchdowns, and he ran back a punt for another score. Tysaun White rushed for 107 yards and scored twice. Quarterback Christian Palmer, who threw both touchdown passes, ran 29 yards for a touchdown, and Zach Bragg had a short touchdown run.
Classy Chelsea romped to a 5-0 win at Schalke 04 on Tuesday to power into the last 16 of the Champions Leagueand make it a miserable night for their former coach Roberto Di Matteo.Captain John Terry headed in a corner after 78 seconds and Willian doubled the lead with a fierce low shot on the half hour as the Group G leaders extended their unbeaten start to the season to 19 games in all competitions.A Jan Kirchhoff own goal in the 44th minute made it 3-0 and second-half goals from substitutes Didier Drogba and Ramires mean Schalke’s qualification hopes now hang in the balance.Schalke, who hit the woodwork in the first half, had little to offer against a rampant Chelsea attack as coach Di Matteo lost his first meeting against the team he led to Champions League glory in 2012.
Atletico Madrid kept alive their dream of a second consecutive Champions League final appearance when they beat Bayer Leverkusen on penalties on Tuesday to claim a place in the last eight.The Bundesliga side won last month’s first leg in Germany 1-0 and a goal from Atletico midfielder Mario Suarez in the 27th minute of the return match left the teams locked at 1-1 after extra time at the Calderon.Both sides failed with two penalties before Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling fired his effort over the crossbar to give Atletico a 3-2 shootout victory.Atletico were beaten by Real Madrid in last year’s final.
Tottenham Hotspur will not waver from manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plan as they travel to Manchester City on Sunday (6.15pm) seeking a victory that would fuel hopes of a first English top-flight title since 1961.The north London club are second in the Premier League, five points behind Leicester City, and are on a roll having won their last six matches in all competitions.They beat City 4-1 at home in September, a result Pochettino said ignited Tottenham’s season after a sluggish start, and despite heavy defeats in their last two trips to the Etihad Stadium, will go there full of belief.“We have a plan, and that is the most important thing,” the 43-year-old told reporters at his pre-match news conference. “When you design the plan you have to follow it, believe in it and not change it.“I trust the players and the squad to follow it.”Pochettino’s side are almost unrecognisable to last season when he was still embedding his high-energy philosophy at the club — a system that requires every player to work feverishly to win back the ball when not in possession.This season they have conceded only 19 times in 25 league games, have the best goal difference, and in striker Harry Kane and teenage midfielder Dele Alli possess two of the brightest young talents in English football.After a 1-0 win over Watford last weekend, opposing manager Quique Sanchez Flores said it was like playing against “animals” such was the pressure his side were put under.Pochettino liked the analogy, suggesting his side are playing like lions, but is keeping a cool head.He played down the significance of Sunday’s clash with fourth-placed City which takes place shortly after Leicester face third-placed Arsenal.“It’s not decisive, it’s not the last game,” he said.“But it’s very important, we know that and they know that. After this there are 12 games left and we go into the most important period of the season.“(What happens) between Arsenal and Leicester is not important to us. We are confident and will go to City to win.”Tottenham are still without key defender Jan Vertonghen who is recovering from a knee injury, but Pochettino believes his replacement Kevin Wimmer can handle striker Sergio Aguero who scored all four goals in City’s 4-1 defeat of Spurs last season.“Wimmer is a mature player and has shown a good understanding with (Toby) Alderweireld and (Eric) Dier,” he said. (
APOEL are through to the third round of Champions League qualifying after a 3-0 win over The New Saints on Tuesday night at the GSP Stadium.The Cyprus champions, after failing to break the deadlock in the first leg in Wales last week, needed a win at all costs to book their place in the next round, and a sizeable crowd turned up to roar their side to victory in the Nicosia heat.Despite their wealth of experience in the tournament, and superior individual quality, there was an element of anxiety in the atmosphere due to the club’s recent home record on the continent as APOEL had won just one of their previous nine European encounters on the island.APOEL started on the front foot, while The New Saints looked intent on sitting back. Tomas De Vincenti engineered the first decent chance of the match, as his cross found Vinicius but the Brazilian headed well off target.The home side came mightily close on 40 minutes when Vander connected with a sweeping diagonal ball from Astiz but the winger’s cross-shot found the corner of the woodwork. And then, on the stroke of half-time, Pieros Sotiriou rose highest to head the ball beyond the Saints keeper, only for his effort to be cleared off the line heroically by defender Phil Baker.The complexion of the game hardly changed in the second half, as the APOEL onslaught continued. Just when it was beginning to look as though it was not going to be APOEL’s night, a tame clearance from the Welsh defence bounced into the path of Nektarios Alexandrou at the edge of the box.The full-back struck firmly and, with the aid of a deflection, the ball crept beyond the keeper into the corner to finally break the deadlock.On the hour-mark, the game should have been put to bed. De Vincenti threaded the ball through to Sotiriou, who then skillfully turned his man to leave himself one-on-one with the keeper, but the Cypriot international could only find the far post.However, the 23-year-old made amends after 73 minutes, controlling Alexandrou’s drilled cross before lashing the ball into the net, albeit via a ricochet.There was still time to add icing to the cake, as De Vincenti was mowed down in the box in the very last minute of added time. The Argentine dusted himself down before leathering his penalty down the middle of the goal.It was not a vintage performance from APOEL who still look far from their best, but the result was the main priority on a night they simply had to win.APOEL will face either IFK Norrkoeping or Rosenborg in the third round next week. The Scandinavian duo play their second leg match on Wednesday night, with the latter leading 3-1 from the first leg.
The toss was won by the Lewas who sent the Dutch in to bat first.A target of 105 was set for victory thanks largely to Sterre Kalis’ unbeaten knock of 33 runs.The Dutch batted out the full 20 overs losing only four wickets.Wickets for the Lewas went to Kaia Arua (1/4), Norma Ovasuru (1/15) and Ravina Oa (1/17).The Dutch were right on top after a top order batting collapse left the Lewas reeling at 4/17 after only 4.5 overs.But Pauke Siaka (34) and Sibona Jimmy (21) led the fightback to put the Lewas back in contention.But their dismissals brought back hope for the Dutch who surged on to take more wickets.The run chase went right down to the wire with the Lewas at 9/79 with 9 balls remaining.It was all in the hands of tail enders Brenda Tau and Kari Seura to pull off the seemingly impossible.With one wicket in hand, one ball remaining and one run to win, Seura smashed the winning run off the bowling of Esther de Lange to win the match.The Lewas will now play the winner of the second Shield semi-final between China and Thailand.