There were no gasps, no OMGs. no jaws dropping when the Skyland Conference released its first-ever postseason tournament brackets, featuring three pods each for the boys and girls, playing down to a champion, and guaranteeing each team three games of postseason play.
The Bound Brook boys and girls also swept top seeds in the middle pod.
On the boys’ side, Gill St. Bernard’s – ranked No. 1 in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten – got the top seed in the top pod, which is being called the “Blue Division,” followed by Rutgers Prep, Montgomery, Hunterdon Central, Watchung Hills, Ridge, and Franklin. With only seven teams, Gill will get a first round bye.
In the “Gold Division,” undefeated Bound Brook earned the top-seed, followed by Pingry, Immaculata, Bernards, Hillsborough, Voorhees, North Hunterdon, and Bridgewater-Raritan.
The “Silver Division” top seed is Somerville, which will get a first round bye. The Pioneers are followed by Delaware Valley, Warren Hills, Manville, North Plainfield, South Hunterdon and Belvidere.
Phillipsburg is not participating on the boys side, with the Stateliners in COVID protocol.
On the girls’ side, the “Blue Division” features undefeated Rutgers Prep – the top ranked team in the Central Jersey Sports Radio Top Ten – followed by Gill St. Bernard’s, Franklin, Phillipsburg, Hunterdon Central, undefeated Mount St. Mary, Ridge and Hillsborough.
The “Gold Division” has Bound Brook at No. 1, then Watchung Hills, Bridgewater-Raritan, Warren Hills, Voorhees, Somerville, North Hunterdon, and Montgomery.
The “Silver Division” has Immaculata as the top seed, followed by Belvidere, South Hunterdon, Delaware Valley, Pingry, Manville, Bernards, and North Plainfield.
The eight-team pods will follow a traditional playoff bracket to determine a champion. A consolation bracket will be held starting with the losing teams from the 1/8 and 4/5 game facing off, while those who lost in the 2/7 and 3/6 games will meet. Those winners would play in the third round against the two semifinal winners, while the losing teams would play each other.
In the seven-team brackets, the top seeds get byes. The loser of the 4/5 game would play the loser of the 3/6 game, while the loser of the 2/7 game would play the loser of the second round game between the top-seed and the 4/5 winner. There’s also a matchup between the loser of the 3/6 and 2/7 winners. That winner would play the winner of the 4/5 and 3/6 loser’s matchup, and the loser of the 2/7 vs. 1/4/5 game would play the winner or the 4/5 and 3/6 loser’s game.