Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Wrestling Top 10 for Jan. 19
No. 1 keeps rolling, the revolving door at No. 10 continues, and we have two triangles to sort through in the latest Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Wrestling Top 10.
Once again, the No. 1 team in the Shore is clear as top-ranked Southern Regional remained undefeated with more impressive victories. At the other end of the spectrum, having a stable top 10 remains a challenge thanks to the third different No. 10 team in as many weeks. In between is a long jam with not one, but two separate triangles. And then there's the mystery that is St. John Vianney, although that picture should clear up now that the Lancers' three transfer students are eligible to wrestle after sitting out the first 30 days.
You'll see the spots below, but our rationale for sorting out the triangles between CBA, Howell, and Middletown South and then Jackson Memorial, Raritan, and Lacey is to use the most recent result. Other than pure opinion, it's really the only way to separate the teams without chasing your own tail.
The Shore Conference Tournament, back to a team format for this season only, will begin next Tuesday and conclude on Saturday, Jan. 29, so it's likely we'll see some rematches among ranked teams and a chance to break these two triangles. Or maybe create more triangles! Either way, we're in for some fun over the next 10 days.
1. Southern (8-0). Last week: No. 1
The Rams rolled to a 54-12 win over High Point, won the War on the Shore Tournament in Maryland with five champions, and crushed Class A South rival Jackson Memorial, 56-10, to remain undefeated. Southern has 10 ranked wrestlers in the latest SSN individual rankings, led by No. 1 Conor Collins at 120 pounds. Upcoming matches: Thursday at Toms River North; Saturday at South Plainfield; Monday at Monroe; Tuesday at Toms River East.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (8-1). Last week: No. 3
Although CBA has a loss to Howell, the Colts just beat Middletown South, 37-24 (without standout sophomore Alex Nini in the lineup) and the Eagles just defeated Howell, 31-27. After the dual-meet win over Middletown South, CBA finished ninth at the Escape the Rock Tournament with four top-eight finishers, led by junior Julian George and his third-place finish at 138 pounds. The Colts have nine ranked wrestlers in the SSN individual rankings, led by top-ranked Garrett Totten (126), Julian George (138), Tyler Barrett (150), and Zander Silva (157). Upcoming matches: Wednesday at Middletown North; Friday at Bergen Catholic; Tuesday at St. Peter's Prep.
3. Middletown South (7-3). Last week: No. 4
The Eagles lost to CBA last Wednesday and went 1-2 in a quad with Delsea (L), Paramus Catholic (L), and St. Joseph-Metuchen (W), but this week came through with one of the biggest wins in program history when they defeated Howell, 31-27, to force a likely three-way tie for the Class A North division title with CBA and Howell. It will be Middletown South's first division title since 1987. Depth is the name of the game for the Eagles, as evident by their 11 ranked wrestlers, including two at 144 pounds and led by No. 1 David Hussey. Upcoming matches: Saturday vs. Oakcrest and No. 9 Jackson Memorial; Monday at Manalapan.
4. Howell (10-1). Last week: No. 2
It was actually a pretty good week for the Rebels even if it ended on a sour note. Howell swept a tri-meet with Manalapan and St. Thomas Aquinas to record the program's 800th victory. They then won the Henry Boresch Duals with victories over Bound Brook and Lacey before defeating North Hunterdon, 39-28, in the championship match. The Rebels' first loss of the season came on Tuesday when they fell to Middletown South, 31-27. They will still earn a share of the Class A North division title, though, which will be their 25th in program history. They have earned at least a share of the A-North title in 16 of the last 17 years. Eight wrestlers are ranked among the top eight in their respective weight classes, led by state champ and No. 1 165-pounder Hunter Mays. Upcoming matches: Friday/Saturday at Jack Welch Duals; Tuesday at Watchung Hills.
5. Brick Memorial (9-2). Last week: No. 5
The Mustangs earned Class A South wins over Toms River North and Toms River East and then swept a quad with Middletown North, Absegami, and Hunterdon Central (38-25) to improve to 9-2. Brick Memorial is firmly a top-five team with its two losses coming to No. 1 Southern and No. 2 CBA, and the 'Stangs' chance to move up will come during next week's Shore Conference Tournament. State champion Anthony Santaniello, ranked No. 1 at 132 pounds, leads a group of eight ranked wrestlers for Brick Memorial. Upcoming matches: Wednesday vs. Toms River South; Friday vs. Rancocas Valley; Saturday at Northern Burlington Quad.
6. St. John Vianney (4-2). Last week: No. 6
We haven't yet seen the Lancers at full strength but that's about to change with transfers Jasiah Queen, Kevin McBride, and Thomas Clearly now eligible to wrestle after sitting out the required 30 days. SJV beat Ocean, 42-36, last week and then finished in 15th at the Escape the Rock Tournament with three top-five finishers. The big story there, however, was freshman Anthony Knox losing in the championship bout after entering the season ranked No. 1 in the nation at 113 pounds. SJV then won 48-30 over Rumson on Monday. The Lancers have seven ranked wrestlers, including Knox at No, 1 at 113 and freshman Patrick O'Keefe as No. 1 at 106 pounds. Queen will also enter the next set of rankings at 157 pounds now that he has made his debut. With just six duals under their belt, there's still a lot to learn about SJV but there's no doubting the championship potential. Upcoming matches: Wednesday vs. Red Bank Catholic and Holy Cross; Saturday at Patriot Duals; Monday vs. No. 7 Raritan.
7. Raritan (10-2). Last week: No. 9
The Rockets come out on top in a triangle with Jackson Memorial (44-21 win) and Lacey (37-30 loss) because their win over Jackson, which beat Lacey, is the most recent result. Raritan also won 46-27 over No. 10 Ocean before sweeping a quad with Jackson, Marlboro, and Somerville. Depth and balance have long been Raritan's calling cards and the Rockets are built in that mold once again this season with nine ranked wrestlers. Upcoming matches: Wednesday at Rumson-Fair Haven; Friday at Delaware Valley; Saturday at Pine Barrens Duals; Monday at St. John Vianney.
8. Jackson Memorial (10-4). Last week: No. 7
The Jaguars earns wins over Jackson Liberty, Marlboro, and Somerville and suffered defeats to No. 7 Raritan (44-21) and No. 1 Southern (56-10). Not much drama with this spot as Jackson owns a 35-32 win over Lacey. Jackson has four wrestlers ranked among the top 10 in their respective weight classes. Upcoming matches: Wednesday vs. Wall: Saturday at No. 3 Middletown South/Oakcrest; Monday at Toms River North.
9. Lacey (9-3). Last week: No. 8
Lacey dropping one spot from last week has nothing to do with how they fared on the mat last week. It's all about how the triangle with Raritan and Jackson shook out. The Lions defeated Donovan Catholic, went 1-2 at the Boresch Duals with a win over Hanover Park and losses to Howell and South Plainfield, and then crushed Point Boro, 49-24, to basically wrap up the Class B South division title. Lacey has four ranked wrestlers in the latest SSN individual rankings. Upcoming matches: Wednesday at Barnegat; Thursday vs. Marlboro; Saturday vs. Colts Neck, Rumson-Fair Haven, Manchester; Monday at Rancocas Valley.
10. Ocean (7-3). Last week: not ranked
The Spartans went 6-2 last week with wins over Emerson/Park Ridge, Watchung Hills, Hillsborough, Donovan Catholic, Holmdel, and Monmouth while suffering losses to No. 6 St. John Vianney and No. 7 Raritan. Where Ocean is good, it's very good, but it has some pronounced holes in its lineup that are difficult to overcome against the top teams. Five Spartans are ranked in the latest SSN rankings. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Jackson Liberty; Friday at Middletown North.
Point Boro (No. 10 last week)
Keep an eye on:
Red Bank Catholic (8-1)