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The Shore Sports Network Top 10 remains unchanged heading into the final week of games before the Shore Conference Tournament begins. There are some crucial divisional games on the horizon, notably in Class A North and Class A South where the division titles will be decided by this time next week.

The cutoff to qualify for the SCT (.500 record) is this Saturday, and there are some bubble teams like St. John Vianney, Shore, Colts Neck and Middletown South that are within two games of evening their season record.

 

1. Southern (11-0). Last week: No. 1

The Rams rolled to a 14-5 victory over Lacey in their only game last week. They have a pair of regular-season games remaining against Brick on Wednesday and at No. 10 Toms River North on Friday where they can clinch the Class A South division title for the third straight season. Wins there would also give the Rams an undefeated regular season and the top seed in the Shore Conference Tournament.

 

2. Rumson-Fair Haven (7-5). Last week: No. 2

The Bulldogs crushed Long Branch and Ranney by a combined score of 38-0 before winning a four-overtime thriller over Princeton, 6-5, on Henry Sillen’s goal with 32 seconds left. Rumson is now over .500 for the first time all season. If you look at their schedule they’ve won all the games they should have and lost a couple toss-ups, so their record really is a product of their schedule. They are the most battle-tested team in the conference, and we’ll see if that pays dividends in the postseason. Rumson travels to face No. 7 Red Bank Catholic on Wednesday and hosts Red Bank on Friday, where wins will likely give the Bulldogs the No. 2 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament.

 

3. Howell (10-1). Last week: No. 3

The Rebels took care of business with a 17-1 win over Neptune and an 18-6 win over Middletown South to set up Wednesday’s clash with No. 6 Freehold Township. If Howell can defeat the Patriots they will only need to defeat Middletown North on Friday to clinch the Class A North division title, which would be the first in program history. If that occurs Howell could also have an outside shot at getting the No. 2 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament.

 

4. Christian Brothers Academy (9-3). Last week: No. 4

The Colts went 3-0 during the week with all three victories coming within Class A North. They defeated Colts Neck 11-3, Middletown North 13-4 and Marlboro 15-4 to run their winning streak to four games. They only have Neptune remaining on Wednesday before the Shore Conference Tournament cutoff on Saturday. Unless there are some major upsets to the top three teams CBA is likely looking at the No. 4 seed in the SCT.

 

5. Manasquan (9-2). Last week: No. 5

The Warriors picked up two huge Class B South victories to basically wrap up the division title. They topped No. 9 Barnegat 7-4 before doubling up rival Wall 12-6 to push their winning streak to five. They face East Brunswick today, play at Donovan Catholic on Saturday and host Brick on Monday before the start of the Shore Conference Tournament.

 

6. Freehold Township (9-4). Last week: No 6

The Patriots’ 13-7 win over Red Bank on Monday broke a pattern of loss-win-win that had been ongoing since the first game of the season. The victory gave Freehold Township its first three-game winning streak of the season, as it followed a 15-2 win over Marlboro and a 20-1 victory over Neptune. Next is a mega Class A North game with No. 3 Howell on Wednesday where the Patriots can force a three-way tie atop the division standings with a win. The Patriots also play Middletown South on Friday.

 

7. Red Bank Catholic (8-2). Last week: No. 7

The Caseys followed up their thrilling overtime victory over Red Bank 11 days ago with three straight wins to run their winning streak to four games. They defeated Holmdel 11-4, Shore 16-10 and Brick 13-3. Next is a key divisional game against No. 2 Rumson-Fair Haven for first place in Class B North. If the Caseys can pull off the win it would really throw the SCT seeds into the blender. RBC also plays at Ranney on Friday and at Jackson Memorial on Monday.

 

8. Ocean (7-1). Last week: No. 8

The Spartans bounced back from suffering their first loss of the season, 13-6 to No. 2 Rumson, with a pair of solid wins. They won 16-6 over Red Bank before topping St. John Vianney 9-4. It’s been a breakout season so far for Ocean, and they will try to keep the good vibes going with home games against Shore on Wednesday and Middletown North under the lights on Saturday.

 

9. Barnegat (4-2). Last week: No. 9

The Bengals fell to No. 5 Manasquan 7-4 before beating Point Boro 18-2. It’s been a little hard to get a gauge on Barnegat given it has only played six games, but their next two matchupes should clear the picture a little. They play at red-hot Jackson Liberty today before taking on Wall on Friday.

 

10. Toms River North (7-1). Last week: No. 10

After playing in six straight games decided by two goals or less, the Mariners found their groove in wins over Brick Memorial and Brick. They defeated the Mustangs 17-3 before a dominating 11-1 win over the Dragons. Junior Ryan Clancy scored a combined 13 goals over those two games. The Mariners play rival Toms River East (0-8) on Wednesday, and as long as they take care of business there they will host No. 1 Southern on Friday night for the Class A South division title.

 

Dropped out: none

 

Teams to watch:

Lacey (8-4): The Lions have been a consistent group all season with three of their four losses coming to ranked teams. If any of the top teams falter Lacey is on the short list to jump into the top 10.

Jackson Liberty (6-4): Liberty has now won three in a row after its thrilling 8-7 overtime victory over rival Jackson Memorial. Like Lacey, three of its four losses have come to ranked teams.

St. John Vianney (5-7): The Lancers may be under .500, but with wins over Freehold Township, Wall and Red Bank on their resume they’ve proven they have top-10 potential.

 

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