Undefeated Majeski Makes Summer Hoops Semis As Glover Provides Hard-Nosed Play, Scoring Punch
COMING THROUGH: Jordan Glover bulls through two defenders in playoff action last year in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. On Monday, Glover scored 12 points to help top-seeded and defending champion Majestic Foundation top eighth-seeded King’s Pizzarama 59-38 in a quarterfinal clash. In other quarterfinal action on Monday, seventh-seeded Packer Hall All-Stars upset second-seeded LoyalTees 58-51. The two other quarterfinal games take place on Wednesday at the Community Park courts with third-seeded Princeton Special Sports facing sixth-seeded NJAC and fourth-seeded PEAC Performance playing fifth-seeded PA Blue Devils. The semifinals are slated for Friday with the best-of-three championship series starting on July 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
Although the Majestic Foundation posted an 8-0 record in regular season play in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League and is the defending champion, the squad wasn’t overconfident as it opened its title defense last Monday.
Facing eighth-seeded King’s Pizzarama in a quarterfinal clash that was a rematch of last year’s championship series, Jordan Glover and his Majeski teammates, The College of New Jersey men’s hoops entry in the league, had their game faces on.
“It is the same thing as last year, coming out with a chip on our shoulder,” said Glover.
“We come out and try to be humble and keep playing basketball. We all love basketball and we love winning as well.”
Glover and Elias Bermudez displayed some power basketball against King’s, forming a potent one-two punch in the paint as Majeski built a 31-18 lead at halftime on the way to a 59-38 win.
“Since my freshman year coming in here, Elias has been that impact player in the post, getting rebounds,” said the 6’5, 235-pound Glover, who hails from Lawrenceville.
“He started off in the beginning tonight, he got rebounds, going up strong. We are playing man ball now. He is coming into his senior year, I am coming into my junior year. We are coming out here, trying to work on different things.”
In the win over King’s, Majeski showed that it has a lot of different weapons as Liam Byrne, Terence Bailey, and Eric Murdock, Jr., each starred in the backcourt.
“We have phenomenal shooters all around,” said Glover. “Liam Byrne has definitely stepped up. People overlook him a little bit; he is one of our best shooters at TCNJ.”
That versatility is a key for the TCNJ program when it hits the court in the winter.
“That is our culture, we have 6’5 forwards, we have 6’3 guards,” said Glover.
“Our coach wants to recruit small forwards and a lot of tall guards so we have to absolutely play inside-out with mismatches all over the floor.”
In the second half on Monday, Majeski’s well-rounded play broke the game open as it went on a 23-5 run after King’s narrowed the gap to 31-23.
“The difference is having a winning mentality,” said Glover, who tallied 12 points on the evening with Byrne scoring a game-high 17 to lead the way for Majeski.
“We want to push; we want to let everyone know it is playoff time. We didn’t lose a game this regular season but we want to take this all the way to the championship.”
Glover, for his part, acknowledges that it will be tough for Majeski to run the table.
“It is hard to repeat, this league is tough,” said Glover. “It is a man’s league, you have got to play hard or go home.”
Based on Majeski’s performance on Monday night, it doesn’t look like it will be going home any time soon.