Unbeaten Delbarton captures MCT top seed

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

WASHINGTON TWP. (Morris) – Unbeaten Delbarton earned the top spot in Morris County Boys Lacrosse Tournament seeding meeting held on Tuesday at West Morris Central High School.

Defending champion Mountain Lakes captured the second seed. Chatham and Madison earned third and fourth respectively while Kinnelon (last year’s finalist), Mount Olive, Mendham and West Morris Central rounded out the top eight. The only other undefeated team in the tournament, Pequannock, captured the ninth seed.

Qualifying round games must be played on or before Saturday, May 4. Opening round games are at the site of the higher seeded team and must be played on or by Tuesday, May 7. The quarterfinals are also at the site of the higher seed and scheduled on or by Thursday, May 9. The semifinals will be held Saturday, May 11 at 12 and 2:30 p.m. at Madison High School. The MCT final will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at Fairleigh Dickenson University in Florham Park and is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Delbarton has earned top-seeds in the past. Delbarton coach Chuck Ruebling acknowledged the honor but knows that the top spot is often a precarious position to be in. Last season, the top two seeds Chatham and Delbarton were eliminated in the semifinal round.

“We are kind of indifferent to it,’’ Ruebling said. “You have to go through every team. It might help you in the early rounds but once you get into the semifinals it’s anyone’s game. … I’m sure there are expectations. We know as a team nothing is guaranteed. You have to earn it.’’

This year’s Delbarton team has been dominant at times. The Green Wave has been great defensively, has a talented face-off specialist in Austin Williams and has a balanced and deep offensive attack.

“We are very pleased,’’ Ruebling said. “We have a group of kids that come to work every day. They are a real pleasure to coach. … Honestly this is one of the best defensive teams we have had. It’s a very talented group. It’s a group that went to the state finals in football, won the soccer state championship, won the ice hockey state championship. It’s a great senior class. There is great team chemistry. It has all the positives going for us.’’

Although the rest of the state has caught up with Morris County a little bit, the quality of lacrosse played in the MCT has always given the local teams an extra boost when they begin competition in state tournament play later in the month.

“It’s probably not as much as it used to,’’ Ruebling said. “Pretty much every county is coming off a championship going into the state tournament.  Ten or fifteen years ago, when we were the only county to hold the tournament it gave us the familiarity of playing in a big game.’’

Last year, Mountain Lakes defeated Kinnelon 12-4 to earn the MCT title.

2013 Morris County Tournament bracket

Upper bracket

Winner of No. 17 Roxbury (5-6) at No. 16 Boonton (5-4) plays at No. 1 Delbarton (10-0).

No. 9 Pequannock (12-0) plays at No. 8 West Morris (5-7).

No. 12 Morris Knolls (7-5) at No. 5 Kinnelon (5-6).

Winner of No. 20 Jefferson (0-11) at No. 13 Morristown (3-7) plays at No. 4 Madison (8-4).

Lower bracket

Winner of No. 19 Morris Catholic (1-10) at No. 14 Randolph (3-9) plays at No. 3 Chatham (9-3).

No. 11 Montville (6-5) at No. 6 Mount Olive (10-1).

No. 10 Morristown-Beard (7-4) at No. 7 Mendham (5-7).

Winner of No. 18 Park Regional (3-8) at No. 15 Morris Hills (7-5) plays at No. 2 Mountain Lakes (7-2).

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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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