BAYONNE, NJ - The threat of thunderstorms sent the Hamilton Park league indoors last Tuesday. Marist High School is in Bayoone and hosted the five games. Officiating called for work in the opening pair.A Jersey City league stopping in Bayonne ? Well, Marist is just three blocks from the Jersey City border and it is better than a cancellation.
. The gym affords a good sized court, room on the baseline (which helps from an officiating standpoint) but no air conditioning. That latter point is one to consider as the mercury is in the high eighties and the humidity is, in a word, oppressive. The scores:
Future Ironmen 61 Holy Trinity CYO 28
Dickinson 35 Lincoln 34
The first game is a grammar school contest. The Future Ironmen are those players headed to Don Bosco Prep in the Fall. Bosco is known for its national power football program but the basketball has been strong in its own right. Holy Trinity has a few good players but a CYO group (usually drawing from one parish or town) is going to have trouble matching up with a team drawing players from several different locations.
The Ironmen drew first blood with their full court pressure. They built a comfortable first half lead and in the latter two quarters still kept playing hard even with the reserves on the floor.
For Holy Trinity, a continued learning experience as the league is presenting them with challenges each night out.
The second game was more a half court affair between two Jersey City schools. This was a high school meeting and the players and coaches of both teams face each other during the regular season and are familiar with their opposition tendencies and personnel. Dickinson leads 20-19 at the half. The Rams grab a few early leads but Lincoln answers each time. The final 16 minutes plays out in similar fashion. Lincoln has a one point lead when a Dickinson player, penetrating to the basket with 1.5 seconds to go, is fouled. He calmly sinks both shots and after a time out Lincoln could only throw a long pass that missed its mark considerably.
Officiating finished, it was time to watch some of game three St. Anthony’s and Bergen Catholic before heading on the road.
Notes : St. Anthony’s led Bergen by 20 at the half. The difference between a marquee national power and a good, solid local program. Kyle Anderson, a multi-talented forward , looked very good for St. Anthony’s.
Bob Hurley, the hall of fame coach, was in attendance. Many coaches, like St. Anthony’s’ Hurley, will sit in the stands and observe as their assistant(s) run the team.
Sean Drennan of Dickinson and Don Bosco’s Kevin Divierio were other head coaches taking up ‘bleacher residence’ and observing their teams. Drennan has college experience having assisted and been a head coach on the Division III level.
Former Davidson notable Billy Armstrong was on the bench directing Bergen Catholic. St. Anthony’s was directed by Tom Lalicata . He spent a number of years at St. Mary’s in Jersey City but that school closed recently and he was a welcome addition to the Friar staff. Two other St. Anthony’s assistants Brian Coleman and Ben Gamble were also in attendance and made it a point to come over and say hello.
League play runs Monday through Friday through the Summer. Four or five games are contested each night.
Back with more updates soon.