Morris County Tournament preview

Boys lacrosse Morris County Tournament preview

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

 Last season was a memorable in MorrisCountyboys lacrosse, since neither Delbarton nor MountainLakesadvanced to the championship game. The 24th running of the oldest boys lacrosse county tournament in the Garden State will probably go back to the traditional powers but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some twists and turns along the way.

 The tournament takes a little more than a week to complete. Prelims were played on Saturday and opening round games must be played by Tuesday May 3. Quarterfinals are scheduled on Thursday at the site of the higher seed and semifinals will be played Saturday, May 7 atMadisonHigh School. The title game is scheduled for Tuesday, May 10 at FDU-Florham.

Here’s a brief look at the opening round. All games are 4 or 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Changes are possible, so check with the individual schools before attending the event.

No. 16 Roxbury plays at No. 1 Delbarton on Monday.

The Gaels advanced with an 11-0 romp over Morris Hills with the help of Aaron Bossard’s hat trick. This game obviously won’t be as easy for Roxbury. The Green Wave is smarting over its loss to Summit on Saturday and will be as quick and efficient as they can in dispatching their opponents. Delbarton has loads of depth and wear teams down with their numbers.

No. 9 West Morris plays at No. 8 Madison on Tuesday.

The Dodgers defeated the Wolfpack 8-5 early in the season.Madison started the season poorly but is showing some life with a recent 3-game winning streak. This season has been a tough one for them. They can’t seem to get started and spend most of their contests playing from behind. They have talent. Colin McLinden can take it in from the draw and keeper Brett Anton can get hot in goal. Can West Morris respond from their Pooley Trophy loss to Mendham? The Wolfpack often plays on emotion and the loss is capable of deflating them for the season. When they are going well Shawn Barnes and C.J. Shea are putting the ball in the net.

No. 12 Randolph plays at No. 5 Kinnelon on Tuesday.

The defending champion Colts don’t have the offensive firepower of last year’s team but a combination of good defense and smart play can take them far. Kobi Frankel and Mike Alaimo are capable scorers. Owen Main and goalkeeper Ryan Ulrich spearhead the Kinnelon defensive efforts. It’s been a quiet season for the Rams but an MCT upset, which is always possible, can change that in a hurry.Randolph does have some weapons, most notably Eric Smith and Kurtis Naslonski. Wes Odell is an experienced netminder.

No. 13 Pequannock plays at No. 4 Morristown on Monday

Pequannock pounded Morris Catholic 18-2 in the preliminary round. The Golden Panthers are the youngest program in Morris Countyand determined to make a name for themselves. All eyes will be on Ryan Macejka who provides the Golden Panthers with offensive firepower. Ryan Afflitto is Pequannock’s experienced goalkeeper. The Colonials are unbeaten and on the rise. Stephen DeLargy and brothers Doug and Kyle Gross can score goals. Their defense has also earned rave reviews. Alec Shunk, Mat Drake, Steve Levine and keeper Gordy Pierce have had a great year together.

No. 14 Jefferson at No. 3 Mountain Lakes on Monday

Jefferson toppled Boonton 8-4 in the prelims on Saturday with the help of Dylan Pickard’s five goals. Woe is the Falcons for having to face the Lakers after a week of rest. Jeffersonhas always had a defensive minded crew and they have also played better in recent weeks after a slow start. However they will have a tough time putting the ball in the net.Mountain Lakeshas a top-notch defense with Jeff Chang and Dan Badalato among the long sticks to watch. First midfield is also fun to watch. Greg Cuccinella, Tim LaBeau and Dylan Muti can really buzz the net.

 

Mendham standouts Liam McAdams (14) and Drayer Van Orden (11) are hoping for more reasons to celebrate in MCT play. (Photo courtesy of Karen Fucito)

No. 11 Morristown–Beard plays at No. 6 Mendham on Tuesday

Bill Rentiers, a former Morristown High coach, is having some success with the Crimson after a slow start. Tim Donavan, Jake Fisher and Doran McManus fuel Morristown Beard’s offense while Forrest Nugent stands tall in the cage. Mendham is flying high after vanquishing West Morris in the Pooley Trophy game on Saturday. Drayer Van Orden is terrific as a finisher, especially when he hooks up with crafty teammate Liam McAdams. Their defense is underrated and goalie Tyler Avallone knows the angles and can shut teams down.

No. 10 Montville plays at No. 7 Mount Olive on Monday

The teams met early in the season with the Marauders winning a one-goal game. The Mustangs love to play on transition and standout Nick Mayse often provides the firepower for the Mustangs attack. This seems to be a break out year for the Marauders program which has been on the verge of success for quite some time. Pete Shaver, Aaron Gonzalez, Tyler McEvoy, goalkeeper Brandon Merkle and many others seem to be having fun this season.

No. 15 Morris Knolls plays at No. 2 Chatham on Monday

Morris Knolls toppled Park Regional 10-4 on Saturday in preliminary action. Mike Campman had three goals and two assists to help the Golden Eagles who have been battling to stay over the .500 mark this year.Chathamhas played well but is rebounding from a loss to Hunterdon Central over the weekend. The Cougars play at a high level and can be explosive on offense as long as they avoid mistakes. Nick Guida and Jack Eisenreich can pile on the points if given the opportunity.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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