April 28, 2021 – By NJP

Tonight’s Inner Look…

The Old Bridge Knights returned to the floor tonight after sitting out the last 2 weeks for protocol. The 14 days must have seemed like an eternity for the three-peat candidates, but the wait is over. They faced a very good Colonia team and came away with a straight set victory. They will continue to improve as they get more games under their belt. After game one, their NJP rating was established at 23.84 which would place them third in NJ. But many more games to play this week before Sunday’s next ranking. Brian Snook had 7 kills and a block, Aaron LaPlaca had 2 blocks and 2 kills, Blake Krapf and Pavlo Chernyshov had 5 kills each, Nick Shon guided the offense with 16 assists and Rob Obdyke had 9 digs and 2 aces. A well rounded effort for a first game for the Knights. Colonia’s Andrew Lukaszewski had his usual outstanding defense with 12 digs. He is one of NJ’s best defensive players and now in his senior year, will be near or at the top of digs in the state.

During the 2018-19 season, St. Joe’s was near the top of the rankings and entered a quarter final state playoff game with high hopes to move on and potentially capture a sectional title. They faced a cinderella team South Brunswick who they had already beaten during the season. It ended up being one of the biggest surprises of the playoffs as the Vikings upset the Falcons in straight sets. They faced each other today for the first time since and had the same results, as the SB Vikings handed the #12 Falcons their second loss of the season in three sets. Nick Geary led the Vikings with 10 kills and Anish Dhokte added 7 kills. A great game by Ishan Diwacker who had 15 assists, a block, 4 kills, 4 digs and an ace. Joe’s has been playing without their D1 outside Christian Trevino and we are sure they will rev up when he returns to the court. South Brunswick is a team to watch and is now 3-1 with their one loss coming at the hands of East Brunswick.

# 17 Jefferson continued it’s winning ways and is now 4-1. Conley, Asbuth, DuHaime and Pugliano all with solid efforts.

What an amazing game at Eastern tonight as Cherry Hill East and Eastern battled to one of the tightest games this season. The ending score favored Eastern as they won 24-26, 30-28, 27-25. Neither team wanted to give in even after 160 points were put up on the board, it could have gone either way. Congrats to Eastern who is now 3-1. Chris Healey and Isaac Master each had 8 kills and Caleb Heller had 20 digs for Eastern in the win.

#2 Scotch Plains-Fanwood is now 6-0 as they defeated league rival Union in straight sets. Nate Sta Rosa had another solid effort with 8 kills and 2 blocks. Ngumah and Heifetz with 5 kills each.

#14 Bergenfield remained undefeated at 6-0 powered by another big performance by Nick Gonzalez. Nick had 11 kills, 5.5 blocks, and 3 aces as the Bears needed three sets to get by Teaneck.

One of the biggest games on the schedule today was #4 Ridge hosting #8 Hunterdon Central. Hunterdon brought balance and Ridge brought Justin Hong. Hong went nuts tonight with 20 kills, a block, 12 digs and an ace but it wasn’t enough to get ahead of the Red Devils. HC with a comeback 18-25, 25-23, 25-18 win in whats looks to be an insanely strong Skyland conference this Spring. Matt D’Alessandro had 7 kills and 2 blocks, Corey Paulson navigated 22 helpers and Will Kwietniak had 4 kills and 4 blocks in the team effort. Hunterdon Central remains unbeaten at 5-0 and Ridge dropped to 2-1. Watch for our interview with Justin Hong to be launched tomorrow…

If Watchung Hills was in another division, they could very well be battling for a conference or division title. But in the Skylands, it’s just so tough. They have lost 5 in a row but are clearly the best 0-5 team in NJ. It will be interesting to see how they fare when they face Chatham in a doubleheader this Friday night. Hillsborough was just too much for them today though as they lost in straight sets.

Some great matchups tomorrow… here is a sneak peak: #2 SPF at #5 Ridge, rivalry match-up between Montclair and Montclair Immaculate, and Sterling visits Eastern. Predictor picks at https://njpowerranking.com/2021/04/29/njp-predictor-game-selection-for-thursday-april-29th/

A quick update on the girls season that just concluded. We have posted our NJP final season ranking as well as our final statistics analysis and NJP Award listing.

NJP issued it’s first Ranking as well as it’s first Player Rater of the season this past Sunday. We expect a lot of movement in both analysis as the year progresses as the sample size of data is really small. But lots of learning for sure and we are just at the beginning. Both will be updated on Sunday, 5/2.

Many new additions on both BOYS and GIRLS college commitment pages. Click the links to access. We have some more updates as well that will be added tonight (probably very late). Congrats to Tommy Deakyne from Southern who committed to Penn State yesterday…

Tommy Deakyne from Southern

And a quick hint on the latest NJ girl to go D1…

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Big Dawg headed to Bryant

The NJP Predictor started Monday night for the Boys season. The game predictions are posted daily usually by 2AM of the morning of the game. Watch for each day’s entry to keep you motivated. Here is our year to date status thus far on our game selections…

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