Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Wrestling Top 10 for Jan. 27
The No. 1 team in the Shore has not changed since the start of the season and it likely won't for the immediate future, but the rest of the Brielle Orthopedics/Shore Sports Network Wrestling Top 10 is in flux thanks to some statement wins over the past week.
The big mover is St. John Vianney, which jumps three spots after a huge weekend that saw the Lancers defeat three top-20 teams in the state at the Patriot Duals, including a win over Kingsway. SJV began the season ranked No. 2 but dropped several spots after some questionable losses, albeit without the lineup they would be sending out once their transfers became eligible to wrestle. Now the Lancers are at full strength and are ready to make a run at a Shore Conference Tournament title.
It's a busy time around these parts with the SCT continuing Thursday night with the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals and the semifinals and championship match now scheduled for Monday because of the impending snowstorm.
1. Southern (13-0). Last week: No. 1
The Rams piled up five more victories last week, including a 40-23 win over South Plainfield, to improve to 13-0. Southern also posted lopsided wins over Toms River North, Monroe, Toms River East, and Lower Cape May. Once again, Southern will not compete in the Shore Conference Tournament so we won't see the Rams duke it out with any of the Shore's best this week, which is a bummer. Southern does, however, have a match with Phillipsburg on Saturday afternoon. Upcoming matches: Saturday vs. Phillipsburg.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (10-2). Last week: No. 2
The Colts were probably going to get jumped by St. John Vianney in this slot but then they went on the road and earned a state top-five victory of their own against St. Peter's Prep, 34-30. CBA's two losses are to Howell by one point and to Bergen Catholic and the Colts have wins over SPP, Middletown South, and Brick Memorial to give them a strong resume. Seeed No. 1 for the Shore Conference Tournament they could face St. John Vianney in the semifinals. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Freehold Township in the SCT Round of 16, SCT Quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD; Tuesday at Marlboro.
3. St. John Vianney (10-2). Last week: No. 6
The Lancers announced themselves to the rest of New Jersey last week. With their full lineup intact for the first time all season, SJV rolled to wins over Red Bank Catholic and Holy Cross before winning the Patriot Duals with state-ranked victories over Livingston, North Hunterdon, and finally Kingsway in the championship match. The Lancers then defeated Raritan, 47-28, to all but lock up the Class A Central division title. This is a very talented team with some absolute hammers in the lineup and by this time next week could hold their second SCT team title. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Red Bank Catholic in SCT Round of 16, SCT Quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD.
4. Middletown South (9-3). Last week: No. 3
The Eagles cruised to wins over Oakcrest and Manalapan ahead of the Shore Conference Tournament where they are the No. 2 seed. A likely rematch with Howell is on top for the semifinals, which will take place in the Eagles' home gym. The only reason Middletown South dropped a spot is because of St. John Vianney's jump. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Toms River East in the SCT Round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD; Tuesday vs. Old Bridge.
5. Howell (14-3). Last week: No. 4
The Rebels dropping one spot has more to do with St. John Vianney moving up than anything else, but Howell did suffer a pair of losses last week even though they were to state-ranked opponents. Howell earned wins over Long Branch, Morris Hills, and Cinnaminson at the Jack Welch Duals but then fell to Delsea, 37-21, in the semifinals and then lost to Warren Hills, 39-22, in the third-place match. They bounced back with a win over Watchung Hills. Howell is the No. 3 seed for the Shore Conference Tournament and could get another crack at Middletown South in the semifinals, but a tough match with Raritan could be on tap in the quarterfinals. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Middletown North in the SCT round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four vs. TBD.
6. Brick Memorial (13-2). Last week: No. 5
Brick Memorial went 4-0 last week with wins over Toms River South, Rancocas Valley, Northern Burlington, and No. 8 Jackson Memorial. The Mustangs' two losses this season have come to the top two teams in the SSN Top 10, Southern and CBA. They earned the No. 4 seed for the Shore Conference Tournament but will have a huge challenge ahead of them in the quarterfinals assuming both they and St. John Vianney win their pre-quarterfinal matches. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Freehold in the SCT round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD.
7. Raritan (13-5). Last week: No. 7
The Rockets faced some tough opponents last week and came out the other end with 3-3 record. Raritan got past Rumson 37-31, in a Class A Central match before falling to rival Delaware Valley, 34-32, in an instant classic out in Frenchtown. The Green Machine went 2-1 at the Pine Barrens duals with wins over Burlington Township and Shawnee and a loss to St. Peter's Prep in the championship match. They then fell to No. 3 St. John Vianney, 47-28, in what amounted to the A-Central title match. The Rockets are the No. 6 seed in the SCT and have a rematch with Ocean (46-27 win) in the round of 16. A win there would square them up with No. 4 Howell in a very interesting match. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Ocean in the SCT round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Saturday Quad at Gov. Livingston; Monday SCT Final Four TBD; Tuesday vs. Long Branch.
8. Jackson Memorial (11-5). Last week: No. 8
A light week for the Jaguars with a 42-25 win over Wall and a 38-26 loss to No. 6 Brick Memorial. Jackson is the No. 7 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament and will take on Point Boro in the pre-quarterfinals. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Point Boro in the SCT round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD; Monday vs. Brick;
9. Lacey (14-3). Last week: No. 9
A 4-0 week for Lacey was highlighted by a 40-36 win over Rumson-Fair Haven where a pin by senior Mason Heck in the final bout clinched the match. The Lions also won matches over Marlboro, Manchester, and Colts Neck, to improve to 14-3. Lacey is the No. seed in the Shore Conference Tournament and will have a rematch with Rumson. The winner gets top-seeded CBA. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. Rumson-Fair Haven in the SCT round of 16, SCT quarterfinals vs. TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD;
10. Ocean (9-3). Last week: No. 10
The Spartans won both their matches last week with a 46-34 win over Jackson Liberty and a 36-35 win over Middletown North. There are some teams nipping at Ocean's heels for the No. 10 spot but Big Red didn't do anything last week to have them jettisoned from the rankings. Ocean is the No. 11 seed in the SCT and will face sixth-seeded Raritan in the pre-quarterfinals. Upcoming matches: Thursday vs. No. 7 Raritan in the SCT Round of 16; Friday vs. Rumson-Fair Haven, Thursday SCT Quarterfinals TBD; Monday SCT Final Four TBD.
Keep an eye on:
Rumson-Fair Haven (6-5)
Point Boro (11-1)