NOTEBOOK: GMC coaches sick of the snow

One thing that nobody can control is Mother Nature and she has wreaked havoc during the 2013-14 basketball season.

With three different snowstorms having already postponed full days of the schedule, Greater Middlesex Conference coaches have had enough of the snow.

After their game on Tuesday evening, both South Plainfield and Monroe’s head coaches, Kevin Hughes and Leigh Vogtman, respectively, stressed that it’s been difficult to deal with the snow and the subsequent schedule challenges. But Hughes and Vogtman have taken much different approaches to get in contact with their players.

“I have the girls look over scout notes, so that keeps everybody prepared, at least off the court the best we can. And this way, whenever we can get on the court, it makes the transition a little bit easier,” Vogtman said. “It definitely presents a challenge, but I think that these girls are focused and we have a really good sense of team here.”

Vogtman is active on Twitter, posting updates for her team in the event of a day off from school. But when the weather clears enough that it’s safe for the Falcons to get in their cars and onto the floor, they’ve done so. With a 14-2 record through Wednesday, it’s evident that Vogtman’s strategy has worked.

“I think that if we need to get together, we do it. Keeping focus is hard but we do the best we can,” she said.

For Hughes, having his daughter Shannon on the team as a senior, has helped communication, but he said that it hasn’t just been one player that’s tried to spear-head the talks.

“It’s a challenge, for sure, but the older kids have carried us. The girls are so good and so into the season and they actually text me ‘hey, coach, we have to find a place to practice,’ ” Hughes said. “But I just have to say that it’s too bad out. We have the rec center in town that we can get into sometimes if the school’s closed, so that’s nice, but the girls really take the initiative.”

Saturday showdown

A year after posting a 26-2 overall record and a perfect 16-0 mark in the GMC Blue Division, J.F. Kennedy can take a big step toward another divisional crown by knocking off Metuchen for a second time this season.

The two teams meet in Iselin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, with the Mustangs riding a six-game winning streak. With a three-headed scoring monster of Rachel Andrejcak, Taylor Freeman and Jolie Tang averaging a combined 42.1 points per game, J.F. Kennedy has the makings of a GMC contender.

Cassie Smith, the second-leading scorer in the state and the GMC’s top scorer (28.7 points per game), may get point guard Katelynn Flaherty back from a fractured foot for this one, which could be a big boost for the Bulldogs. Metuchen is 7-4 in 2014, but has lost three of its last five coming in.

J.F. Kennedy won the first meeting of the season, 59-54 on Jan. 8, behind a near triple-double from Andrejcak — 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals. Smith poured in 32 points and added 10 rebounds for Metuchen in the loss.

Piscataway Pink Day

This Saturday afternoon, Piscataway High School will host its first Play-for-a-Cure Breast Cancer Awareness game when East Brunswick visits at 1 p.m.

The Chiefs will wear pink warmup shirts and all proceeds from ticket sales, donations and raffles will go to breast cancer awareness, according to head coach Corey Floyd.

Not only does the game have significance — first place in the GMC Red Division is still up for grabs — but bringing awareness to such a serious cause is equally important to Floyd and Piscataway.


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