SBHS hopes disappointing seed will grow into a GMCT success

By: Rich Fisher
   The South Brunswick High girls basketball team was less than happy with its fourth-seed in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament.
   But that just gives coach Jaymee Boehmer more ammunition for motivation.
   "I’ll use that, absolutely," Boehmer said. "I’ll use anything I can."
   The Vikings, who carried a 16-4 record into Wednesday’s last-minute addition game with Northern Burlington, could have made the seeding an impossible mission had they beaten Piscataway last Thursday.
   But the Chiefs rolled to an easy victory and claimed the top seed, with East Brunswick second and Cardinal McCarrick third.
   McCarrick is 19-3 overall and 16-0 in the GMC’s Blue Division, while the Vikings are 9-3 in the more powerful Red Division.
   "We weren’t happy with the seed, we wanted a number three," Boehmer said. "We had two quality wins, one over East Brunswick and one over (fifth-seeded) South Plainfield. I don’t think Cardinal McCarrick really beat anybody.
   "This seeding allows us to play Piscataway in the semifinals, which to me isn’t a semifinal game, it could be a championship game."
   The Chiefs, who are 2-0 against the Vikes this year, ruined the Vikings GMCT last year with a quarterfinal upset. Boehmer hopes her team will use that as impetus.
   The coach admits she’s a bit concerned at how the Vikes lost their last two games (before Wednesday) by lop-sided scores to the Chiefs and Council Rock North.
   "It bothers me, but what are you going to do?" she said. "You have to keep preparing and hope you do your best. We’re clearly a team people will want to beat in the tournament, so we have to be ready."
   The Vikings received a first-round bye, and will host Red Division rival Woodbridge Friday night at 7 p.m. The Vikes already own two easy victories over the Barrons, who defeated Old Bridge, 58-47, Tuesday night.
   Prior to the Knights-Barrons game, Boehmer had no druthers as to who she wanted to play. "I just want to get going in the tournament," she said.
   Friday’s winner advances to Sunday’s quarterfinals at Middlesex County College. The semifinals are Tuesday at MCC and the finals are Feb. 27 Rutgers.
   The seedings for the Central Jersey Group IV tournament were also released last week, and the Vikings are No. 2, which guarantees them a first-round bye and two home games before the finals. The Vikes will play the winner of Rancocas Valley and West Windsor-Plainsboro South on March 1.
   South Brunswick hopes to go further in this year’s GMC tournament. Last year, the Vikings were the third seed but got beat at home by sixth-seeded Piscataway in the quarterfinals.
   The Vikes will lean on the play of Janelle Payne and Jessica Mastronardi, two of the top players in the GMC, to lead the way.