reprinted from njpowerranking.com
Randolph will begin its defense (no pun intended) of the Public A State Championship as the #1 seed. We don’t expect much trouble for the Rams until they play in the semifinals where they could see a familiar foe in #5 Middletown South. We will see if #4 Ridge has anything to say about that.
Morris Knolls, who was awarded the #2 seed over Morristown, will have a tougher second round game than expected when they play the winner of #15 Brick Memorial/#18 Old Bridge.
Fourth-seeded Ridge will have their hands full in the second round when they take on #13 Pascack Valley. Pascack is one of the most offensive teams in the state (averaging 5.6 G/GM) and Ridge is always up to the task defensively (1.9 GA/GM). This could be one of the more intriguing matchups in the early rounds.
The Eagles of Middletown South, the fifth seed, will be a tough out for anyone. However, of the top 10 seeds, the Eagles have the highest GA/GM at 2.95. They will have to step it up defensively if they plan to make a deep run.
#6 Montgomery can never be counted out and should be able to cruise into the quarterfinals of their bracket. However, we predict the Colonials of Morristown to advance out of this portion of the bracket.
Ridgewood, who picked up the #8 seed, was probably hoping for an easier first round opponent. They will host the #25 Fair Lawn Cutters, a divisional foe who they played twice during the regular season. The Cutters have been playing well as of late (overtime cup loss against Pascack Valley) and we expect this game to be close.
#9 Hillsborough will host #24 Bernards in the first round. Hillsborough should not be happy with their opponent either (see Ridgewood) as we believe Bernards is a quality opponent that can make this game closer than people expect.
Rounding out the top ten is #10 Robbinsville Ravens. They will take on #23 Newton-Lenape Valley in the first round. We expect the Ravens to win, but we do not see them advancing past #7 Bridgewater-Raritan. Coach Dan Bergan always has some magic up his sleeve but the Panthers may have too much for the Wizard to succeed.