MCT Boys Quarterfinal preview

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

Morris County Tournament quarterfinal preview

The top seeds held up through the opening round of Morris County Tournament play. The stakes are raised in the quarterfinal round where the top seeds will enjoy their home field advantages on Thursday. All games are scheduled for either 4 or 4:30 p.m..

Madison at Delbarton – The Dodgers and the Green Wave played earlier in the season with Delbarton toppling Madison 16-8 last month. The eighth-seeded Dodgers got off to a slow start this year but they finally seem to be hitting their stride. They topped West Morris 7-5 on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinal round. Midfielder Colin McLinden is tough at faceoff and he generates offense with his dodging skills. Billy Battaglia and Chad Smith are also capable scorers and Brett Anton has terrific goalkeeping skills. Madison upset Delbarton last year in the MCT semifinals. The top-seeded Green Wave may still harbor a grudge even though they have beaten the Dodgers once already.  Clay Haarmann and Jack Malloy have emerged as the steady scorers and Jamie White is a ground ball machine. Jack Breit, Michael Bicknese and Spence Huston are long sticks to watch.  

Mount Olive at Chatham – The Marauders are the new kids on the block this year. Mount Olive has never been able to advance to the quarterfinal round until this season and they are hoping to take advantage of their opportunities. Scorers Aaron Gonzalez and Pete Shaver are tough to knock off the ball. Overall the seventh-seeded Marauders are great on the draw and on ground balls and Brandyn Merkle is solid in goal. Possession of the ball will be important in order to keep the Chatham scorers away from the net. Nick Guida, Jack Eisenreich and Matt Proto are efficient around the goal once they get the ball. John Radigan and Tom Stephen are among the Cougars defenders that will try and stifle the Mount Olive attack.

Mendham at Mountain Lakes – The Minutemen are Pooley Trophy champs so whatever they do for the rest of the season is icing on the cake. Actually third-seeded Mountain Lakes could be seriously challenged against their sixth-seeded foes. Drayer Van Orden and Liam McAdams are a pretty good offensive tandem. Tyler Purdue and freshman Will Robinson are part of a challenging midfield group and Stephen Graziano and Luke Tamburiello get better and better at long stick. Mendham goalkeeper Tyler Avallone can be dominating in the crease. The advantage will always be in the Lakers favor. Coach Tim Flynn always seems to know how to motivate his players. Greg Cuccinello, Tim LaBeau and Dylan Muti are as talented a first midfield line as you will see. Bill Burgoyne has been MountainLakes’ most efficient attackman. The defense is solid too with Jeff Chang and Dan Badolato on the long sticks and Andrew Bolland in goal.

Kinnelon at Morristown – The fifth-seeded Colts are defending champs but they will have their hands full against the fourth-seeded Colonials. Kinnelon came off a rusty start to get past Randolph on Tuesday. The Colts are getting better at finishing on the offensive but will they be good enough against the upstart Colonials? Kobi Frankel and Peter Morreale have become fixtures at attack. Mike Alaimo and Chris Bauer among the midfielders to look for and OrrinMain is a stalwart defender. Last year Mountain Lakes knocked out Morristown in the quarterfinal round. The Colonials are determined to go at least one step further. Alec Shunk, Mat Drake and David Levine are aggressive defenders and good supporters of goalkeeper Gordie Pierce. Brad Hersh and Stephen DeLargy are among the Colonials capable of hitting the net.

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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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