Chatham earns top seed for first time in boys MCT

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

WASHINGTONTWP. (Morris) — Chatham earned the No. 1 seed for the first time in the history of its boys lacrosse program at the Morris County Tournament seeding meeting held at West Morris Central High School on Tuesday.

Defending champion Delbarton (8-3) was voted the second seed and its tournament rival Mountain Lakes (7-2) was chosen third ensuring that the Morris County rivals will not meet in the final. Mount Olive (11-1) earned the highest seed in school history with the fourth spot.

They were followed by Kinnelon (5-6), Montville (11-2), Morristown (7-6) and West Morris (5-7) which rounded out the top eight teams as selected by the coaches.

It is the 25th year of the tournament which began in 1988.  The MCT is the oldest county tournament for boys lacrosse in the state of New Jersey.

Chatham (9-4) was edged byMountain Lakes in last year’s MCT semifinals and has never advanced to the title game. This season its 5-4 victory over Delbarton on April 10 and a 3-0 record against Morris County teams went a long way toward gaining the team its first top seed.

“It’s the first time being the No. 1 seed but I think we proved ourselves by beating Delbarton in the regular season,’’  Chatham coach Tony Calandra said. “We just keep trying to get better.’’

Back-to-back losses to Westfield and Seton Hall Prep forced the Cougars to make some adjustments recently. Chathams seems to have bounced back strong. They played well in a narrow 6-5 loss to state juggernaut Summit on Monday.

“The kids have improved,’’ Calandra said. “You play so many games over a period of time that you have some peaks and valleys. We got through a rough point, but we learned from it. We got better from it.’’

Contests begin this week with three preliminary games that must be played by Saturday.

Opening round games must be played by Tuesday, May 8 and quarterfinal round games are to be played by Thursday, May 10th.

The semifinal round contest will be played on Saturday, May 12th at Madison High School with games scheduled for noon and 2 p.m. The title game is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15th at FDU-Florham in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Last year, Delbarton defeated Mountain Lakes 5-4 in the tournament final. The Green Wave’s junior midfielder John Shaffer scored twice and was selected tournament MVP. The win knotted Delbarton and Mountain Lakes at 11 MCT boys lacrosse titles apiece.

Morris County Tournament bracket

Upper bracket

Winner of No. 17 Morris Hills (6-5) at No. 16 Pequannock (7-4) plays at No. 1 Chatham (9-4).

No. 9 Mendham (4-6) plays at No. 8 West Morris (5-7).

No. 12 Randolph (4-7) plays at No. 5 Kinnelon (5-6).

Winner of No. 20 Morris Catholic (1-9) at No. 13 Jefferson (5-7) plays at No. 4 Mount Olive (11-1).

Lower bracket

Winner of No. 19 Boonton (2-10) at No. 14 Morristown-Beard (3-8) plays at No. 3 Mountain Lakes (7-2).

No. 11 Morris Knolls (6-5) plays at No. 6 Montville (11-2).

No. 10 Madison (3-8) plays at No. 7 Morristown (7-6).

Winner of No. 18 Park Regional (5-6) at No. 15 Roxbury (5-5) plays at No. 2 Delbarton (8-3).

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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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