North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 5
Even though Westfield is on a New Jersey-best 32-game winning streak, the Blue Devils aren’t guaranteed the top-seed in an ultra-competitve section. The top 3 teams at this moment are Westfield (132 pts), Bridgewater-Raritan (103) and Piscataway (96). But the Chiefs have 2 games left to count before cutoff weekend, while Westfield only has one. So, not counting residuals, if all three teams win out their remaining games that count, the Chiefs would have 142 points, followed by the Blue Devils with 132 and Bridgewater-Raritan with 115. Westfield has won the last two North 2-Group 5 championships, both with undefeated seasons, and both over previously-unbeaten B-R.
Ridge looks like it’s out of the woods, regarding the extra points gathered by Columbia, which played Seton Hall Prep and got “incentive points.” The Red Devils are 3-4, in 8th, with 55. Watchung Hills – after a big win against Linden this past weekend – is next with 51. Columbia has 45. All three have played 7 games. the trouble for Ridge and Watchung Hills could come from Union. Just 2-4, the Farmers have 2 games remaining: at Bridgewater-Raritan and at home against Hunterdon Central. Wins in both could put them in the playoffs over Ridge and Watchung Hills, which have only 1 game left each that counts. Ridge is at Elizabeth Friday night. The Warriors entertain Hunterdon Central.
North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 4
Three area teams are in the top 8 here, and at least two should make the playoffs, barring anything wacky happening. Unbeaten (7-0) North Hunterdon leads the pack with 138 points. Undefeated Phillipsburg is next with 116. Colonia has 103. They won’t catch North Hunterdon and the Stateliners have a game in hand, so the Patriots look destined for a 2 or 3 seed, the difference between two first-round home games or one. Sayreville (75) is 5th, just 5 points behind Irvington, but 11 ahead of Linden. The reigning CJ4 champion Bombers – now in North 2 – have 3 losses this season, and need a win this weekend at winless Neptune. Then, they’ll try and play spoiler next Friday night against an Old Bridge team pushing for home games in the playoffs. (7 pm on WCTC). Woodbridge is in 7th with 46, and needs some wins with four teams behind the Barrons, all within 12 points.
Note: Sayreville has only 74 points in the nj.com rankings, but they are missing one game result: a win by Brick Memorial, which gives the Bombers one extra residual.
North Jersey, Section 2 – Group 1
It’s a big longshot, but Dunellen isn’t mathematically eliminated yet, despite a 2-4 record. The Destroyers are 10th, 23 points out of a playoff spot. Of course, they’d have to beat winless Metuchen this Friday night and so-far undefeated South River at home next Friday night, but they’d still have a chance.