#1 MANASQUAN (1) 32-2 : Ran the table of the NJ TOC in a most impressive fashion…won their conference tournament too. No arguments here…A.K.A. Slamdunk selection.
#2 FRANKLIN (4) 25-8 : My goodness what a most impressive final 20 games of the season. Defending TOC champ came up 1 game short in TOC final rematch with Manasquan. Good chance to be even better next year.
#3 ST. JOHN VIANNEY (2) 25-3 : Played a monsterous schedule and unfortunately in a killer state section with an uber which led to an early exit.. They are easily next years pre-season #1 in NJ.
#4 ST. ROSE (3) 27-4 : Magnificiant season but boy did they walk the tightrope vs. premier teams…always had a strong 2nd half lead and invariably would let the other team walk it back. Most times St. Rose held on but 4 times they didn’t. Against 4 prime time teams but….you can’t let go of double digit 2nd half leads and win the chip. Lots of talent graduates…will reloard.
#5 SADDLE RIVER DAY (6) 24-7 Played a top shelf schedule and had a spectacular post season run losing to #1 Manasquan in the semi’s. Return a very strong team next year and arguably can start the season #2..
#6 RED BANK CATHOLIC (7) 23-6 Shocked the state with a win over #1 Manasquan and a loss to #100 (exaggerating to make a point) Wall HS in the span of 48 hours. Hence a wash and graduate 4 D-! Athletes. Rebuilding/loading like St. Rose.
#7 UNIVERSITY (8) 30-3 Had a pretty high-flying season with the 3 losses to 3 top 10 teams. Best University team in a while
#8 RUTGERS PREP (5) 25-5 : Injury bite to a premier team did them in. All 5 losses to top 5 teams in the state…all on the road. Quite an achievement…think about it. Graduate 4 starters but will definitely be top 10 material next year.
#9 NEWARK TECH (11) 24-9 : Nice season and sort of snuck in there. Won their conference championship win over #7 and a very tough season schedule brings the Terriers into the top 10.
#10 TRENTON CATHOLIC ACADEMY (10) 26-2 1st year coach/staff did a spectacular rebuilding a former premier state power. Need to amp up their strength of school to get mentioned in the same breath as the big dogs
#11 MANCHESTER TWP (15) 26-5 : I’ll say it, they underachieved this year. Issue is a very very short bench and hence some 2nd have of the season fatigue. They have some really strong elements for next year.
#12 TOMS RIVER NORTH (16) 28-4 Another team that will be stronger next year than this. Fine post season run into group finals until buzzsword # 2 Franklin.
#13 GLOUCESTER CATHOLIC (14) 24-4 – Another team with a very fine underclass that needs to play a stronger schedule (a South Jersey achilies heel).
#14 OLD TAPPAN (UR) 28-5 – This school always stays below the radar during the regular season and doesn’t travel far to compete. But com “state-time”, but are they very well prepared. Great run till momentum killer Franklin.
#15 MAINLAND (9) 28 – 1 – Hard to say if they under or overachieved. Need to up the ante on the power of their schedule. Not leaving the safe confines of South Jersey not helping anyone.
#16 PASCACK VALLEY (12) 28-3: Solid season getting their coach his 1000th win – TRUE but they need to amp up regular season competition.
#17 CHEROKEE (13) 25-3 Return 3 fine players for next year. Could be the #1 team in South Jersey next year but they need to leave the cozyiness of SJ too.
#18 WEST ORANGE (UR) 22-8 – In season wins over Top 10 Saddle River Day and Newark Tech head scratchers. Good up and coming team.
#19 WATCHUNG HILLS (17) 23-4 Fine season and earned new found respect
#20 LINCOLN (18) 23-3 Fine season and return most key starters.
ON THE CUSP – None, Year End Top 20 is Top 20…Next year going to Top 15…bottom 5 changes every week and sort of pointless to rank.