The Greater Middlesex Conference has announced its postseason pods, and the top overall seeds appear to have gone to the St. Thomas Aquinas boys and the Middlesex girls.
Officially, but unofficially, that is.
While the league is not holding a full-on tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, it’s pairing up teams in pods of four.
The league also is not revealing overall seeds, but much of that can be determined based on the pairings and looking at the standings and head-to-head matchups. The GMC officially is only numbering teams one through four in each pod for the purposes of determining what teams will host games.
On the boys’ side – as exepcted – the top-seed Trojans were followed by Colonia, St. Joseph of Metuchen and South Brunswick. St. Thomas Aquinas will host fourth-seed South Brunswick in the opening round Wednesday, while 3rd-seed St. Joseph will visit 2nd-seed Colonia in what’s being known as the “Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod.”
Aquinas was undefeated in conference play in 2021, while Colonia neat North Brunswick earlier this season in their only meeting, and the Raiders beat St. Joseph this weekend to knock them out of contention for the top spot. The Falcons got the third seed ahead of South Brunswick due to St. Joe’s winning their head-to-head matchup on February 6.
A case could have been made for East Brunswick in an odd year where not everyone played their division opponents twice due to the short season as well as COVID- and snow-related cancellations. The Bears beat South Brunswick, but finished below them in the standings, with losses to St. Joe’s, Monroe and JP Stevens. South Brunswick’s two losses were to St. Joe’s and East Brunswick.
In the next pod down, the “Dave Wohl/Bo Henning” pod, East Brunswick is the top-seed and will host 4th-seed Dunellen Wednesday, while 2nd-seed North Brunswick will host 3rd-seed South Plainfield.
Middlesex win sealed the deal…
On the girls’ side, it was widely considered a foregone conclusion that St. Thomas Aquinas would be the top overall seed – especially after winning their lone matchup with Monroe this season – but a loss to a very talented Blue Division foe in Middlesex Friday night threw that into question.
In the end, Middlesex vaulted all the way up to the top overall seed in the “Somogyi Family Pod,” as they drew a home game with 4th-seed North Brunswick Wednesday. The other matchup is 2nd-seed Aquinas hosting third-seed Monroe.
The Blue Jays are 10-2 overall, with their only losses to Monroe – and Bound Brook in the Skyland. They’re 10-1 in conference play and swept eight games in their division. The Trojans have four losses, three outside of the GMC – to Life Center, Stuart Day and Saddle River Day – with Middlesex their only league defeat.
The “Reggie Carney/Jack Krieger Pod” is the next one down with 10-2 Colonia as the top seed. The Patriots host 4th-seed JP Stevens in the first round while 3rd-seed South Brunswick visits 2nd-seed Sayreville.
One girls pod has a extra team in it, the “Kuziemski Twins Pod,” which features East Brunswick Tech at Wardlaw-Hartridge and South Amboy at Piscataway Tech. Somerset Tech has a bye as the odd team out, but will face the winner or Wardlaw and EB Tech. South Amboy or Piscataway Tech will then play one of those three teams.
Full GMC Boys Pods:
- Karl-Anthony Towns/Jay Williams Pod: South Brunswick at St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Joseph-Metuchen at Colonia
- Dave Wohl/Bo Henning Pod: Dunellen at East Brunswick, South Plainfield at North Brunswick
- Taylor Family Pod: Monroe at Wardlaw-Hartridge, Woodbridge at Timothy Christian
- Haley Family Pod: New Brunswick at Metuchen, Middlesex at Old Bridge
- Jackson Family Pod: Piscataway Tech at South River, Sayreville at Piscataway
- Dadika Family Pod: East Brunswick Tech at Perth Amboy Tech, Calvary Christian at Spotswood
- Payne/Brokaw Pod: Somerset Tech at South Amboy, winner plays Highland Park
Full GMC Girls Pods:
- Somogyi Family Pod: North Brunswick at Middlesex, Monroe at St. Thomas Aquinas
- Reggie Carney/Jack Krieger Pod: JP Stevens at Colonia, South Brunswick at Sayreville
- Flaherty Family Pod: South Plainfield at South River, Metuchen at Calvary Christian
- Marisa Tufaro Foundation Pod: Old Bridge at Edison, East Brunswick at JFK
- Malouf Twins Pod: Woodbridge at Dunellen, Timothy Christian at Spotswood
- Asjha Jones/Lisa Guarneri Pod: New Brunswick at Piscataway, Highland Park at Woodbridge Academy
- Kuziemski Twins Pod: East Brunswick Tech at Wardlaw-Hartridge, South Amboy at Piscataway Tech, Somerset Tech (bye) plays winner of East Brunswick Tech/Wardlaw-Hartridge; winner plays South Amboy/Piscataway Tech winner