Boys Basketball – 2018 SCT Watch
Updated Saturday, Feb. 10
With the exception of a few games between Sunday and Monday, the Shore Conference regular season has come to a close and 27 teams with a record of .500 or better are ready to get thrown into the grinder in order to find out where they will be seeded in the Shore Conference Tournament.
The six-person seeding committee will convene Saturday morning in Red Bank to determine the order of the seeding and, thus, the brackets and after the last few games of results, that appears as though it will be an unenviable task.
The top four seeds appear to have taken shape without much debate needed and the next four spots seem to have a pecking order based on some head-to-head match-ups.
Spots 9-through-25, however, prevent some logistical hoops to jump through and sorting through it all will take some time. In order to save those six gentlemen some time, I have compiled a final mock seeding that can serve as a guide to the seeding. There is obviously plenty of room for disagreement and debate, but it outlines the fundamental debates that will be at the forefront on Sunday morning.
And at the end of all of that, they are still going to decide the tournament on the court, thankfully.
Note that home, road and neutral site games are designated as follows:
vs. (opponent name) = neutral site game
at (opponent name) = road game
(opponent name) = home game
1. Ranney (20-4, 14-0)
Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Henry Hudson (2), Keansburg (2), Keyport (2), Mater Dei Prep (2), Point Beach (2), St. Rose (2)
Division Losses: None
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Canterbury (Fla.), vs. Orlando Christian Prep (Fla.), vs. Mountain Brook (Ala.), vs. Patrick School, vs. Westtown (Pa.), Riverdale Baptist (Md.)
Non-Division Losses: Vs. McEachern (Ga.), at Montclair Immaculate, vs. Mount St. Joseph (Md.), vs. Roselle Catholic
Why They’re Here: Ranney is a lock to be the top seed in the tournament after beating Mater Dei on the road and finishing off a perfect B Central record with wins over St. Rose and Henry Hudson. The team is still a little banged up - Mike Dettro remains out with a broken collarbone and Alex Klatsky is day-to-day after turning his ankle on Tuesday - but still healthy enough now that it is the clear favorite to win the tournament.
2. Mater Dei Prep (18-3, 12-2)
Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Henry Hudson (2), Keansburg (2), Keyport (2), Point Beach (2), St. Rose (2)
Division Losses: Ranney (2)
Non-Division Wins: Vs. St. Mary’s Elizabeth, vs. West Catholic (Pa.), vs. Teaneck, vs. Red Bank, Carteret, Lincoln
Non-Division Losses: Roman Catholic (Pa.)
Why They’re Here: Although Mater Dei lost to Ranney for a second time on Monday, the Seraphs showed they have a formula to win a third (or fourth) meeting between the teams should it come to pass. It is possible Rumson-Fair Haven could at least broach the subject of being the No. 2 seed, but Mater Dei's out-of-division schedule is plenty strong enough that the Seraphs remain a relatively easy pick for No. 2.
3. Rumson-Fair Haven (19-1, 12-0)
Division Wins: Holmdel (2), Matawan (2), Raritan (2), Red Bank (2), St. John Vianney (2), Shore (2)
Division Losses: None
Non-Division Wins: Fort Hamilton (N.Y.), Middletown South, vs. CBA, at Point Beach, People’s Prep, vs. Red Bank Catholic, at Manasquan
Non-Division Losses: St. Peter’s Prep
Why They’re Here: On top of picking up some noteworthy wins against the SCT field (CBA, Mansaquan, Point Beach, Matawan twice), the Bulldogs have also avoided any major slip-ups despite going into halftime trailing in a number of divisional games, including on Tuesday. Maybe Rumson's 11-0 record against teams in the field can convince someone that the Bulldogs are better than Mater Dei (4-2), but the Seraphs are the defending champions and have some eye-opening wins outside the conference, while all of Rumson's damage has come within the confines of the Shore.
4. Neptune (17-4, 13-1)
Division Wins: Colts Neck (2), Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp. (2), Howell (2), Manalapan (2), Marlboro (2), CBA
Division Losses: At CBA
Non-Division Wins: St. John Vianney, Ewing, vs. Arts Newark, Bayonne
Non-Division Losses: Seton Hall Prep, vs. Ocean, vs. Montclair Immaculate
Why They’re Here: CBA's loss to Marlboro puts an end to the debate for the No. 4 seed. Neptune will be in the No. 4 spot as the A North champions and is riding about as high as any team in the field with an 11-2 run over its last 13, including wins over CBA and Colts Neck. If not for the loss to Ocean, Neptune might have a strong claim to the No. 3 seed.
5. Christian Brothers Academy (15-6, 12-2)
Division Wins: Colts Neck (2), Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp. (2), Howell (2), Manalapan (2), at Marlboro, Neptune
Division Losses: Marlboro, at Neptune
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Xaverian (N.Y.), vs. Eastern, at Red Bank Catholic
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Blair, vs. St. Anthony (N.Y.), vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, at Cherokee
Why They’re Here: CBA lost three of four games before getting back on track Saturday against Red Bank Catholic. The loss to Marlboro on Friday might spark a few of the teams seeded right below the Colts on this list to make a run at the No. 5 spot, but the Colts still have two wins over Colts Neck, a win over Neptune and a win over Eastern - which should be more than enough to lock up the No. 5 spot.
6. Colts Neck (15-4, 10-4)
Division Wins: Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp. (2), Howell (2), Manalapan (2), Marlboro (2)
Division Losses: CBA (2), Neptune (2)
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Shore, vs. Lakewood, vs. Sayreville, Toms River North, Red Bank
Non-Division Losses: None
Why They’re Here: Colts Neck has a decent collection of non-divisional wins that includes Lakewood, Sayreville and Toms River North, but the clincher for the Cougars in getting them to No. 6 is the two divisional wins over Marlboro. Colts Neck and Manasquan both have four losses, but Manasquan lost to Marlboro and Colts Neck beat the Mustangs twice. That makes this decision a no-brainer for the committee, regardless of Colts Neck's relatively quiet finish to the regular season.
7. Manasquan (17-4, 12-2)
Division Wins: Long Branch (2), Middletown South (2), Monmouth (2), Ocean (2), Wall (2), at Middletown North, at Red Bank Catholic
Division Losses: Red Bank Catholic, Middletown North
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Toms River South, vs. Middletown South, vs. Red Bank Catholic, at Toms River North, at St. Rose
Non-Division Losses: At Marlboro, Rumson-Fair Haven
Why They’re Here: Two of Manasquan’s four losses came with big men Xander Korolik and Alex Galvan hurt and its latest loss came against a desperate-but-dangerous Middletown North team one day after Manasquan officially clinched the division title. The loss to Middletown North cost the Warriors a chance to jump Colts Neck, but they have still done enough to keep their edge over Toms River North and Matawan, especially with a head-to-head win over Toms River North in Toms River.
8. Toms River North (19-3, 14-0)
Division Wins: Brick (2), Brick Memorial (2), Central (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Southern (2), Toms River East (2), Toms River South (2)
Division Losses: None
Non-Division Wins: Jackson Memorial, St. Rose, Marlboro, Bayonne, Highland
Non-Division Losses: Manasquan, at Colts Neck, Hunterdon Central
Why They’re Here: With head-to-head losses to Manasquan and Colts Neck, Toms River North is going to have a tough time climbing higher than eight. It’s a tough break for the Mariners, who had senior guard Holden Petrick hobbled during the Manasquan loss and in a walking boot vs. Colts Neck. They are in much better shape to face either of those teams right now, but there is not enough on their resume to give them that boost into the top-five, which means those head-to-head losses are going to weigh them down.
9. Marlboro (11-8, 8-6)
Division Wins: Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp. (2), Manalapan (2), at CBA, at Howell
Division Losses: Colts Neck (2), Neptune (2), CBA, Howell
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Manchester, vs. Brick Memorial, Manasquan
Non-Division Losses: At Toms River North, vs. Red Bank Catholic
Why They’re Here: Without the win over CBA, Marlboro was still in the running for a top-10 spot. After beating the Colts, the Mustangs now have a resume that includes wins over No. 5 and No. 7 and seven of their eight losses are against teams in the top 11 of the field. Every year is different, but it also doesn't hurt that Marlboro is just a year removed from reaching the SCT final with three members of last year's six-man rotation back as starters and sophomore Alex Ratner joining the fold as the team's leading scorer.
10. Matawan (18-3, 10-2)
Division Wins: Holmdel (2), Raritan (2), Red Bank (2), St. John Vianney (2), Shore (2)
Division Losses: Rumson-Fair Haven (2)
Non-Division Wins: Edison, Ocean, Middletown North, at Long Branch, South Plainfield, vs. Toms River South, at Jackson Memorial, Brick Memorial
Non-Division Losses: Union
Why They’re Here: The Huskies have 18 wins and have not slipped up against any team other than Rumson and Union, so the warts on Matawan's resume are limited. So too, however, are the noteworthy wins, which is why Matawan might be playing on the road in the round of 16. If Ocean had finished strong and cracked the top 10, Matawan's resume would pack a bit more punch. As it is, the Huskies have proven solid enough to stay in the top 10 but have enough unanswered questions that they will have to go on the road in order to reach the quarterfinals in Toms River.
11. Red Bank Catholic (14-8, 9-5)
Division Wins: Middletown South (2), Monmouth (2), Wall (2), Long Branch, at Manasquan, at Middletown North
Division Losses: Ocean (2), at Long Branch, Manasquan, Middletown North
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Lacey, vs. Point Boro, vs. Marlboro, at Red Bank, St. John Vianney
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Manasquan, vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, CBA
Why They’re Here: RBC's loss to Long Branch drops the Caseys out of the top 10, which might be a good thing for Red Bank Catholic's long-term hopes in the tournament. At No. 11, RBC would avoid Mater Dei and Ranney until the semifinals, instead taking the path that goes through No. 3 Rumson. RBC already played Rumson tough, so the Caseys would have to like their chances from this position, assuming they can regroup from losing four out of five and knock off Colts Neck on the road.
12. Point Pleasant Beach (14-7, 10-4)
Division Wins: Asbury Park (2), Henry Hudson (2), Keansburg (2), Keyport (2), St. Rose (2)
Division Losses: Mater Dei Prep (2), Ranney (2)
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Irvington, St. John Vianney, vs. Middletown North, Point Boro
Non-Division Losses: Vs. St. Joseph Hammonton, Rumson-Fair Haven, at Central
Why They’re Here: A loss to Central and a shortage of wins over teams in the field (four) could hinder Point Beach, but the Garnet Gulls have a couple important wins over Point Boro and Middletown North that should keep them in the 12-spot. Point Beach can also make the case that it is much stronger now with Mohamed Traore and Chris Pina now back in the lineup, although Traore played in the loss at Central.
13. Lakewood (14-8, 11-3)
Division Wins: Barnegat (2), Jackson Liberty (2), Lacey (2), Manchester (2), Donovan Catholic, Pinelands, Point Boro
Division Losses: At Donovan Catholic, at Pinelands, at Point Boro
Non-Division Wins: At Red Bank, vs. Freehold Boro, Freehold Twp.
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Colts Neck, vs. Westampton Tech, Paterson Kennedy, vs. Bordentown, at Piscataway
Why They’re Here: With Point Boro losing on Saturday and conceding a share of the B South title to Lakewood, the Piners jump into the No. 13 spot as the top-ranked team out of their division. They won the more recent meeting with Point Boro and won it convincingly, and also beat Barnegat twice. That makes 10 straight years with at least a share of a division title for Lakewood and that will get the Piners a couple spots in the seeding.
14. Point Pleasant Boro (14-5, 11-3)
Division Wins: Donovan Catholic (2), Jackson Liberty (2), Lacey (2), Manchester (2), Barnegat, Lakewood, Pinelands
Division Losses: At Barnegat, at Lakewood, at Pinelands
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Toms River East, vs. Middletown South, at Brick Memorial
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Red Bank Catholic, at Point Beach
Why They’re Here: After Saturday's loss at Pinelands, the Panthers have lost road games against the other three top teams in the division and they all came during the second turn through the schedule. That will probably hurt Point Boro in the seeding, although given that the Panthers did win a share of the division title, they should still be in line for a home game given their solid 6-5 record against teams in the tournament.
15. Barnegat (16-5, 10-4)
Division Wins: Donovan Catholic (2), Jackson Liberty (2), Lacey (2), Manchester (2), Pinelands, Point Boro
Division Losses: Lakewood (2), at Pinelands, at Point Boro
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Fort Hamilton (N.Y.), at Raritan, Keyport, at Bridgeton, Henry Hudson, at Middletown South
Non-Division Losses: Vs. St. Peter’s Prep
Why They’re Here: The Bengals are one of the Shore’s hottest teams and just knocked off Point Boro to start this week. While Barnegat is probably playing better than Point Boro right now, there would have to be some compelling evidence for a third-place team to be seeded ahead of a division champion and that evidence does not exist - at least according to the resumes of both teams. Barnegat's best argument to get to the coveted 14th seed would be that its first loss to Lakewood was by one point and with Mike Revello sidelined with an injury, although losing to the Piners in the second meeting in Barnegat with Revello healthy probably offsets that argument.
16. Middletown North (10-10, 8-6)
Division Wins: Monmouth (2), Ocean (2), at Manasquan, Middletown South, at Red Bank Catholic, Wall
Division Losses: Long Branch (2), Manasquan, at Middletown South, Red Bank Catholic, at Wall
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Seton LaSalle (Pa.), at Red Bank
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Freehold Boro, at Matawan, vs. Point Beach, vs. St. Peter’s Prep
Why They're Here: The Lions are in and they will be dangerous as a team likely seeded somewhere in the teens. Middletown North probably does not have the kind of team that can upset Ranney, but with all of the shooters they possess, the Lions could present a real problem to Mater Dei or Rumson and at least cause Ranney a little anxiousness. The loss to Freehold Boro sticks out and may keep Middletown North from playing a home game, but wins over Manasquan, Red Bank Catholic and Ocean (twice) make for a compelling case.
17. Middletown South (12-10, 8-6)
Division Wins: Monmouth (2), Ocean (2), Wall (2), Long Branch, Middletown North
Division Losses: Manasquan (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), at Long Branch, at Middletown North
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Central, at Manalapan, Jackson Memorial, Shore
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Manasquan, vs. Point Boro, at Rumson-Fair Haven, Barnegat
Why They’re Here: Middletown South played without second-leading scorer Dave Gervase against Manasquan and Barnegat last week and that might end up being the difference between the Eagles getting a home game and having to go on the road in the first round. The Eagles did come through with a big win at Ocean on Friday, which gives them two wins over the Spartans and could at least give them a shot to play a first-round game on their home floor.
18. Ocean (14-9, 8-6)
Division Wins: Long Branch (2), Monmouth (2), Red Bank Catholic (2), Wall (2)
Division Losses: Manasquan (2), Middletown North (2), Middletown South (2)
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Carteret, vs. Neptune, Freehold Boro, Shore, at Henry Hudson, Keansburg
Non-Division Losses: At Matawan, vs. Old Bridge, at Pinelands
Why They’re Here: While Ocean has a big win over Neptune, the Spartans finished tied for third in the division with two teams that each beat them twice during the regular season. That means Ocean's fate will come down to whether or not the seeding committee values divisional standing or overall resume. The Neptune win could carry Ocean up to No. 13, but the divisional standing, as well as the loss to Pinelands, could also have cost them a home game. Few teams have a wider range of possible outcomes, which is also what makes Ocean a dangerous team heading into the tournament.
19. Howell (10-9, 5-9)
Division Wins: Freehold Boro (2), Freehold Twp., at Manalapan, at Marlboro
Division Losses: CBA (2), Colts Neck (2), Neptune (2), at Freehold Twp., Manalapan, Marlboro
Non-Division Wins: Vs. St. John’s Prep (Md.), vs. New Dorp (N.Y.), vs. Sanford (De.), vs. Colonia, at Jackson Memorial
Non-Division Losses: None
Why They’re Here: Howell did not do itself any favors by dropping a home game to Manalapan on Tuesday, and it's possible that cost it a shot at a home game. The win over Marlboro keeps Howell in the top 20 and if the Rebels are seeded anywhere near Middletown North, they will have to be seeded ahead of the Lions based on the common opponent - Howell beat Freehold Boro twice while Middletown North lost to the Colonials. In this version, however, Middletown North is several spots higher thanks to a better collection of wins.
20. Pinelands (13-8, 10-4)
Division Wins: Donovan Catholic (2), Lacey (2), Manchester (2), Barnegat, Jackson Liberty, Lakewood, Point Boro
Division Losses: At Barnegat, at Jackson Liberty, at Lakewood, at Point Boro
Non-Division Wins: Ocean, Keansburg, at Monmouth
Non-Division Losses: At Brick, at New Egypt, vs. Raritan, at Cape May Tech
Why They’re Here: Saturday's win over Point Boro was big for the Wildcats because it gives them a resume that is clearly superior to the A South teams outside of Toms River North, as well as Holmdel. That's important, because Pinelands has losses to Brick and Raritan, but given that the Wildcats have a much better body of work than both and lost those games in December, it should not take much for the committee to reconcile those losses.
21. Toms River East (12-9, 9-5)
Division Wins: Brick Memorial (2), Central (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Brick, at Southern, Toms River South
Division Losses: Toms River North (2), at Brick, Southern, at Toms River South
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Central, St. John Vianney, vs. Ridge
Non-Division Losses: At Holy Spirit, vs. Point Boro, vs. Lacey, Absegami
Why They’re Here: The Raiders gave themselves a boost prior to the cutoff by beating Brick, which causes a three-way tie for second place in A South. Toms River East gets the nod among those three teams with two wins over Brick Memorial, a split with Brick and solid non-conference win over Ridge. The resume is not without warts - losses to Toms River South, Lacey and Absegami might be the worst trio of losses in the field - but Friday's win has the arrow pointing up for the Raiders.
22. Holmdel (10-8, 5-7)
Division Wins: Raritan (2), Red Bank (2), Shore
Division Losses: Matawan (2), Rumson-Fair Haven (2), St. John Vianney (2), at Shore
Non-Division Wins: Vs. A.L. Johnson, Sinai Christian, Freehold Twp., at Manalapan, Brick Memorial
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Governor Livingston
Why They’re Here: Holmdel’s body of work outside of A Central has been pretty solid: the Hornets have a quality win over A.L. Johnson, a win over a likely tournament team in Brick Memorial, and a win over a Freehold Township team that is still noteworthy, even if the Patriots won’t be in this year’s tournament. Within A Central, Holmdel has an early-season loss to Shore, which it avenged, and two losses to St. John Vianney that will likely wind up costing the Hornets a chance to be ranked ahead of Toms River East.
23. Brick Memorial (11-11, 9-5)
Division Wins: Brick (2), Central (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Southern (2), Toms River South
Division Losses: Toms River East (2), Toms River North (2), at Toms River South
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Freehold Twp., at Jackson Liberty
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Marlboro, vs. St. Rose, Point Boro, vs. Donovan Catholic, at Holmdel, at Matawan
Why They’re Here: The Mustangs are back in the tournament for the first time in four years and and will be in the low-20's thanks to a pair of wins over Brick. The rest of the resume is not enough to power the Mustangs any farther up the ranks, but the Mustangs will have a chance to play the underdog role in a tournament setting, much like they did in the WOBM Classic in December.
24. Brick (13-6, 9-5)
Division Wins: Central (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Southern (2), Toms River South (2), Toms River East
Division Losses: Brick Memorial (2), Toms River North (2), at Toms River East
Non-Division Wins: At Pinelands, vs. Robbinsville, at Monroe, Keansburg
Non-Division Losses: At Wall
Why They’re Here: Brick missed a chance to move higher by losing at Toms River North and lost another spot or two by losing at Toms River East. The Green Dragons' best win came early in the season against Pinelands, but they have since been unable to make a dent in climbing up the rankings. They have the talent to pick someone off in the first round, but the resume is short on results that suggest they should be seeded like a team that will.
25. Raritan (11-9, 5-7)
Division Wins: Red Bank (2), Shore (2), St. John Vianney
Division Losses: Holmdel (2), Matawan (2), Rumson-Fair Haven (2), at St. John Vianney
Non-Division Wins: Marion P. Thomas, vs. Pinelands, at Monmouth, Asbury Park, Sinai Christian, at Lacey
Non-Division Losses: Vs. Steinert, Barnegat
Why They’re Here: Pinelands' win over Point Boro costs Raritan a spot in the rankings because now the Wildcats are too high for their loss to Raritan to help the Rockets. They will still be seeded ahead of both Asbury Park and Southern and can also make a case to go ahead of both Brick and Brick Memorial, but with only two wins against the field, the Raritan will probably be looking at a road game against a top-10 team.
26. Asbury Park (10-10, 7-7)
Division Wins: Henry Hudson (2), Keansburg (2), Keyport (2), at St. Rose
Division Losses: Mater Dei Prep (2), Point Beach (2), Ranney (2), St. Rose
Non-Division Wins: Vs. Jackson Liberty, at Southern, vs. Belleville
Non-Division Losses: Vs. St. Joseph Metuchen, vs. Mainland, at Raritan
Why They're Here: The Blue Bishops are back in the SCT for the first time in six years and with a road win over Southern, they will not be the last seed. A loss to Raritan, meanwhile, keeps Asbury Park from climbing any higher than No. 26 and while that will make for a tough first-round matchup, it won't be harder than the four games the Bishops played against Ranney and Mater Dei.
27. Southern (11-11, 7-7)
Division Wins: Central (2), Jackson Memorial (2), Toms River South (2), at Toms River East
Division Losses: Brick (2) Brick Memorial (2), Toms River North (2), Toms River East
Non-Division Wins: Atlantic Tech, Manchester, vs. Cumberland, Lacey
Non-Division Losses: Holy Spirit, Asbury Park, Notre Dame, vs. Winslow
Why They're Here: Southern qualified by handling Lacey on Friday, which is one of 10 wins the Rams have against teams that are not in the tournament. Southern is 1-7 against teams in the field with just a win over Toms River East to its credit. Southern's four non-division wins came against teams that are all .500 or worse and have a combined record of 24-56. On the bright side, Southern played most of the season without Jake DuBois, who is now healthy and has been the team's leading scorer during the collection of games in which he has been in the lineup.
Donovan Catholic (8-11, 6-8)
Long Branch (9-11, 7-7)
Wall (9-12, 4-10)
St. Rose (10-11, 7-7)
St. John Vianney (10-13, 6-6)
Current Projected Pairings
(27) Southern at (6) Colts Neck
(26) Asbury Park at (7) Manasquan
(25) Raritan at (8) Toms River North
(24) Brick at (9) Marlboro
(23) Brick Memorial at (10) Matawan
(22) Holmdel at (11) Red Bank Catholic
(21) Toms River East at (12) Point Beach, winner at (5) CBA
(20) Pinelands at (13) Lakewood, winner at (4) Neptune
(19) Howell at (14) Point Boro, winner at (3) Rumson-Fair Haven
(18) Ocean at (15) Barnegat, winner at (2) Mater Dei Prep
(17) Middletown South at (16) Middletown North winner at (1) Ranney