All this week, Central Jersey Sports Radio will take a look at playoff projections for Greater Middlesex Conference and Somerset County teams. Here’s a look at the Non-Public sections on the boys’ side, using the NJSIAA’s official standings available on NJ.com as of 11 pm Monday:
Non-Public South A: It’s not going out on a limb to say all the non-public sections are tough, but this one is a bear even for the local teams at the top. It says something when St. Augustine – the only undefeated team left in New Jersey – is only sixth in the section. Red Bank Catholic (17-3) leads the section with 475 points, followed by St. Thomas Aquinas (20-1), with 457 points. Can the Trojans get a top seed? It would be difficult. The NJSIAA this year counts the best 13 games on a team’s schedule for power points. Right now their lowest power point value is 25, which means they would have to earn more than 25 points in a game between now and Saturday. Sayreville Tuesday is a 25 point game, and won’t move the needle much. But a win over Gill St. Bernard’s might. They’re a Group 1, so a win would get them 7, and their residuals would get them likely 35 points for a total of 42. Add 17 to their total and you get 472. But if Gill sneaks another game onto the schedule somewhere, they could hit 475. Ah, intrigue! Rutgers Prep is third, right behind the Trojans, at 16-1 with 424 points. St. Joseph-Metuchen (14-4) is in fifth, 15 behind Christian Brothers, and 4 points ahead of St. Augustine. They could make a move into the top four, for sure. Immaculata (7-11, 253 points) is 11th, while Pingry (7-5, 186) is in 13th.
Non-Public North B: This is where the third-ranked team in the state sits fourth in the standings. That’s how tough a section this is. Gill St. Bernard’s (11-5) is that fourth place team, with 365 points. They certainly could gain when you consider the “top 13” rule. Since they’ve only won 11 games, any win would likely boost their power points by a significant amount, because their power points include 11 wins and 2 losses as their best 13 games. On the schedule: Hillsborough on Wednesday at Aquinas – with its 20 wins – Saturday night at 7:45 on Central Jersey Sports Radio. Even a win over Hillsborough should make up the four points they would need to pass third-place Morris Catholic (15-2, 368), and they may even have a longshot at second, which is held by Saddle River Day (14-2, 402). Moving to second or third avoids seeing top team Roselle Catholic until a potential North B Final, which would be at their place. The Rams are 17-2 with 473 points, uncatchable at this point. Also in this section, GMC Gold leader Timothy Christian (12-4, 256) is 7th, with Wardlaw-Hartridge (9-4, 213) in 9th.
Non-Public South B: The only area team in this section is GMC Gold Division team Calvary Christian of Old Bridge, which is 11-4 with 213 points, good for eighth out of 14 teams. They are just four points behind Wildwood Catholic (8-9, 217), and moving up just one spot would keep them away from likely top-seed Trenton Catholic (11-4, 363).