Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Top 10, 5/2/19
After a one-week hiatus, the Shore Sports Network Top 10 is back with a look at the conference-wide picture ahead of the Shore Conference Tournament.
There’s been a fair amount of change since our last set of rankings. The teams in the top five are the same but Shore moves up one spot to No. 3, its highest ranking in program history, while Rumson-Fair Haven and Wall switch spots at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. The big mover of the week is Southern Regional, which jumped four spots up to No. 6 thanks to a win over Middletown South.
Lacey joins the rankings for the first time this season, checking in at No. 10. St. John Vianney was the odd team out but has an immediate opportunity to get back in with a first-round SCT game against Southern.
1. Manasquan (12-0). Last week: No. 1
The Warriors continued to roll with wins over Bridgewater-Raritan, Middletown South, Red Bank Catholic, Rumson-Fair Haven, Central Bucks East (Pa.) and Neptune. Along the way, Manasquan clinched its first Class B North division title and fifth straight division title overall, while senior attackman Canyon Birch broke the New Jersey record for career points. The Warriors are the two-time defending SCT champion and earned the No. 1 seed for this year’s tournament. They will host the winner of Middletown North/Toms River North on Saturday afternoon in the round of 16.
2. Christian Brothers Academy (8-4). Last week: No. 2
The Colts went 3-1 over the past two weeks with their only loss coming to Chaminade (NY), the No. 3 team in the country. CBA came away with an impressive 10-7 win over St. John’s College HS out of Washington DC thanks to a career-high seven goals from sophomore attackman Dan Martin. Winning by 10 or more goals against Middletown South, Howell and Freehold Township made CBA the consensus choice for the No. 2 seed in the SCT. The Colts will play the Jackson Liberty/Red Bank Catholic winner on Saturday in the round of 16.
3. Shore (11-0). Last week: No. 4
The biggest question heading into the SCT seeding meeting was which team would earn the No. 3 seed. Helped by a 17-6 cutoff-day win over Freehold Township, the undefeated Blue Devils got the nod over Rumson. Shore hasn’t played as challenging a schedule but has dominated all of its opponents and taken advantage of all its opportunities. The Blue Devils have the talent to make a run all the way to the championship game. Shore’s run the past two weeks featured wins over Point Boro, Barnegat, Ocean, St. Rose, Lacey and Freehold Township by a combined score of 109-26. The Blue Devils also clinched the Class B South title, their first in program history. Shore will play the Ocean/Brick Memorial winner on Saturday in the round of 16.
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (9-7). Last week: No. 5
Since a stunning 10-9 overtime loss to Wall on April 13, Rumson has kicked it into gear by going 7-1 with its only loss coming to top-ranked Manasquan. The Bulldogs picked up blowout wins over St. John Vianney, Neptune, Red Bank and Holmdel, defeated Red Bank Catholic, 11-4, and earned a huge 5-4 overtime win over state-ranked Moorestown. The six-time SCT champions are seeded fourth for the Shore Conference Tournament and will play the Holmdel/Point Boro winner on Saturday in the round of 16.
5. Wall (9-2). Last week: No. 5
Wall was in position to get the No. 3 seed in the SCT following its mid-April victory over Rumson, but the Crimson Knights stumbled in a 14-13 loss to Red Bank Catholic, which clouded the picture. They have since rebounded with a 13-9 win over St. John Vianney and a 15-6 win over Holmdel. Wall is seeded fifth in the SCT and will host Jackson Memorial on Saturday in the round of 16.
6. Southern (10-2). Last week: No. 10
The Rams move up four spots from the last rankings thanks to an 8-4 victory over Middletown South, which stands as the highlight of its current nine-game winning streak. Southern lost to Freehold Township, 6-5, on opening day and then lost to Manasquan five days later but has been perfect ever since. Included in those nine wins was a 6-5 win over Jackson Memorial that clinched a seventh straight Class A South division title. Southern is the No. 6 seed in the SCT and will host St. John Vianney on Saturday in the round of 16.
7. Middletown South (10-3). Last week: No. 6
The Eagles fall one spot to No. 7 after a 3-2 stretch that included wins over Steinert, Howell and Marlboro and losses to Manasquan and Southern. Prior wins over Freehold Township and Howell kept Middletown South in the No. 7 slot for the SCT. In one of the more intriguing round of 16 games, the Eagles will host Freehold Township in a rematch on Saturday afternoon.
8. Howell (8-5). Last week: No. 8
Howell is just 2-3 since the last rankings, but two of those losses were in nonconference games and the other was to Middletown South, which was already ranked ahead of it. A 4-2 win over Freehold Township back on April 3 keeps the Rebels ahead of the Patriots for now, but that could change quickly. Howell is the No. 8 seed in the SCT and will host Lacey on Saturday in the round of 16.
9. Freehold Township (8-5). Last week: No. 9
The Patriots are 5-1 in their last six games with their only defeat coming on Tuesday to No. 3 Shore. Freehold Township picked up a big 7-4 win over St. John Vianney and also defeated Marlboro, Long Branch, West Windsor-Plainsboro South and Colts Neck over the past two weeks. A 4-2 loss to Howell earlier in the season holds them down a bit, but they have an immediate opportunity to make a splash when they take on Middletown South on Saturday in the round of 16.
10. Lacey (9-1). Last week: not ranked
The Lions make their first appearance in the top 10 after a 4-1 stretch. Lacey defeated Mainland, Jackson Memorial, Point Boro and St. Rose and lost to Shore in the Class B South title game. The Lions are the No. 9 seed in the SCT and will travel to Howell on Saturday for a round of 16 game.
Dropped out: St. John Vianney (No. 7 last week)
On the bubble:
Jackson Memorial (10-3)
Red Bank Catholic (7-7)
Toms River North (7-4)
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.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.