With Rumson-Fair Haven’s victory over Manasquan in a thrilling Shore Conference Tournament championship game, the Shore Conference season has officially come to a close.

After a wild first few weeks to the season, things calmed down to the point where there were zero upsets in the SCT. The seeds held true in every single game, so kudos to the Shore Conference Tournament seeding committee for hitting it right on the head.

The conference pecking order has been pretty much established at this point, but with 25 area teams qualifying for the state tournament where there are a couple head-to-head matchups in the first round and the potential for more down the road, nothing is set in stone.

The only question this week is what to do at No. 10. Howell occupied the spot last week and was seeded 10th in the Shore Conference Tournament, but the Rebels fell to unranked Colts Neck and are just 2-5 in their last seven games.

A couple of teams had their state tournament games on Tuesday but the bulk of our qualifiers start their quest for a state championship on Wednesday.

 

1. Rumson-Fair Haven (15-3, 7-0 B North). Last week: No. 1

The Bulldogs captured the Shore Conference Tournament title for the fifth time in the last six seasons and for the sixth time overall with an 8-5 win over Manasquan. They also defeated CBA, 6-4, in the SCT semifinals. Rumson is the No. 2 seed in the South Group II bracket and will host Barnegat in the first round. Rumson is the reigning Group I champion.

 

2. Manasquan (14-4, 6-0 B South). Last week: No. 2

The Warriors reached the SCT final for the first time since 2005, but fell to Rumson 8-5 in a fantastic, back-and-forth championship game. Manasquan reached the final with a 12-8 win over Southern. The Warriors could get another crack at Rumson in the state to tournament, however, as they are the No. 1 seed in the South Group II bracket. The host Lawrence on Wednesday.

 

3. Southern (13-1, 7-0 A South). Last week: No. 3

The Rams had their undefeated season halted by Manasquan, 12-8, in the SCT semifinals, but rebounded in a huge way by drubbing Brick Memorial, 20-3, to clinch their fourth straight Class A South title. Southern is the No. 4 seed in the South Group IV bracket and hosts Washington Township on Wednesday in the first round.

 

4. Christian Brothers Academy (11-6, 7-0 A North). Last week: No. 4

The Colts pushed eventual SCT champion Rumson to the brink in a 6-4 loss in the conference semifinals, but remain hot heading into the state tournament. CBA is the No. 10 seed in the Non-Public A playoffs and will travel to Notre Dame for a first round game on Saturday.

 

5. Ocean (13-2, 7-1 B North). Last week: No. 5

The Spartans were eliminated from the SCT via a 13-5 loss to CBA in the quarterfinals. They rebounded with a 13-6 win over St. Rose where senior attackman Joey Appio recorded his 218th career assist to move into second place in state history. Ocean is the No. 4 seed in the South Group II playoffs and hosts Lacey on Wednesday in the first round. They are in line to potentially play Manasquan in the sectional semifinals.

 

6. Wall (12-3, 5-1 B South). Last week: No. 6

The Crimson Knights defeated Howell, 13-6, in the first round of the SCT before falling to rival Manasquan, 16-3, in the quarterfinals. Wall is the No. 8 seed in the South Group II bracket and hosts Somerville on Wednesday in the first round. A win there will likely give them a third game against Manasquan.

 

7. Freehold Township (10-5, 5-2 A North). Last week: No. 7

The Patriots edged Toms River North, 9-8 in overtime, on a goal by Mike Colicchia in the first round of the SCT before losing to Southern, 9-6, in the quarterfinals. Freehold Township is the No. 7 seed in the South Group IV playoffs and will play host to East Brunswick on Wednesday in the first round.

 

8. Shore (11-5, 6-2 B North). Last week: No. 8

The Blue Devils lost to rival and eventual SCT champion Rumson, 15-2, in the conference quarterfinals. They received the No. 10 seed in the South Group I bracket and will make the long drive south to take on West Deptford on Wednesday in the first round.

 

9. Jackson Liberty (11-5, 4-2 B South). Last week: No. 9

After losing in overtime to Shore in the first round of the SCT, the Lions bounced back with a 12-2 victory over Red Bank Catholic. Liberty secured the No. 5 seed in the South Group III bracket and hosts Toms River South on Wednesday in the first round.

 

10. Toms River North (9-4, 5-2 A South). Last week: not ranked

I fully admit I have no idea who deserves this spot, so I completely copped out and went with the LaxPower rankings. The Mariners nearly knocked off Freehold Township in the SCT, losing 9-8 in overtime in the first round. They then topped Holmdel, 9-4. They are the No. 9 seed in the South Group IV playoffs and take on Old Bridge on Wednesday in the first round.

 

Dropped out: Howell (9-8, 4-3 A North). Last week: No. 10

 

Lacrosse editor Bob Badders can be reached at badders@allshoremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.