Barrons to lean on offense in upcoming hoops tournaments


By Jeff Appelblatt

It’s the time of the year Woodbridge High School boys’ basketball coach Matt Gigliello waits for each year: playoff time.

The Barrons (16-4) are the No. 4 seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament thanks to the plethora of wins the team put together in the regular season.

Woodbridge won six of its last seven games and scored at least 65 points in each of those games. In the team’s latest, Woodbridge went off for 92 points in a win against Calvary Christian School. It was the first time the team cracked the 90-point plateau since it scored 91 Feb. 2, 2012, against South Plainfield High School.

For more than a year, Gigliello has said his team needs to win by scoring, so it’s no surprise that he’s pushed his players to get down the court and score, leading to nearly 70 points per game for the Barrons.

Defenses haven’t been able to focus on just one scorer. Keshaun Henry has led the way with 13.2 points per game. Harry Rutkowski has added 13.1. Quran Robinson has put in more than 10 points per game. Kemari Persol has scored 9.9 points a game. Hura Blaine has contributed nine per contest.

One of the big reasons for the offense exploding this year has been the 3-point shooting. Woodbridge has already sunk more shots from distance this year than either of the last few in large part to the shooting of Robinson. In addition to his two treys a game, Persol, Henry and Curtis Nesbit have been sinking them, too.

Woodbridge will look to score its way to a first-round victory Feb. 16 in the GMC playoffs.

Last year as the No. 5 seed in the GMC, Woodbridge was defeated in the semifinals by the eventual champion from Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen.

The Falcons (20-1) earned their usual top seed in the GMC this year. St. Joe’s won the tournament last year, defeating South Brunswick High School in the championship game.