Glen Ridge HS boys’ basketball team looks to have another stellar season with strong returning nucleus

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GLEN RIDGE, NJ – The Glen Ridge High School varsity basketball team enjoyed a terrific season last winter as the Ridgers advanced to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state tournament championship game.

Unfortunately, the top-seeded Ridgers lost to seventh-seeded University, 53-51, on a buzzer-beater in front of a packed crowd at GRHS to finish with a stellar 23-6 record. It was the Ridgers’ first section final appearance since 1988 when they won it.

This year’s Ridgers, under 12th-year head coach Liam Carr, return a strong nucleus, which bodes well for another strong season.

Returning players:

  • Tyler Liddy, senior guard/captain
  • David Weissenberger, senior guard/captain
  • George Kinzler, senior forward/captain
  • Avery Hackett, senior guard/small forward
  • Liam Gunnarsson, junior guard
  • Simon Low, junior small forward

Key newcomers:

  • Jack Ashkinaze, senior guard
  • Kyle Kleinberg, senior forward
  • Kevin Mathew, junior small forward
  • Joe DeLuca, sophomore guard/small forward
  • Jack Cotrone, sophomore small forward

The Ridgers will rely on their captains to provide vital leadership.

“Being they have multiple years of varsity experience under their belts, I expect our captains to lead our team in the early going,” said Carr in an email to The Glen Ridge Paper. “A number of kids will contribute, led by Tyler Liddy (selected Group 1, Third Team all-state by in 2016-17). Liddy averaged 16.0, 4.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds in all 29 games in making All-SEC-Freedom Divsion First Team last year.  Gunnarsson averaged 8.9 points in 27 games while making Second Team All-SEC-Freedom a year ago.

Carr also cited the team’s experience as its strength.

“As player roles get figured out, our strength will be experience; experience from the 2016-17 season with an active summer in which we participated in two leagues.”

With several players coming off other sports this fall, the Ridgers are looking to get in basketball shape.

“I think we have some good pieces in place, but have a lot of work ahead. Our biggest goal, if any, is to strengthen our basketball legs and lungs as players come from their respective fall sports,” Carr said.

Glen Ridge has moved up to the Independence Division of the Super Essex Conference.  Carr said he is interested to see how his players will respond as a team to the tougher competition.

The Ridgers will tip off the season Friday, Dec. 15, at home against North 13th St. Tech at 7 p.m. The team has four games in the first week:

Dec. 18, vs. West Caldwell Tech, 4 p.m.

Dec. 19,  at Livingston, 7 p.m.

Dec. 21, at Arts (Newark), 7 p.m.

In addition, Glen Ridge will host its annual holiday tournament, Dec.27-28.