Shore Conference Class A Central is once again flexing its muscles at tournament time.
Shore Regional and Manasquan, two teams that went 6-6 and 7-5 respectively in Class A Central and did not win the overall divisional title, both made plenty of noise last week.
Shore began the Shore Conference Tournament as the No. 23 seed after needing a win over Point Pleasant Boro in its last game before the cutoff.for qualification.
The Blue Devils then preceeded to knock off No. 10 seed Barnegat, an SCT finalist last year, and No. 7 seed Manalapan, which had advanced to the Monmouth County Tournament semifinal.
Manasquan began the SCT as the No. 15 seed. It made waves in the tournament when it bumped off No. 2 seed Toms River North.
The showing by the two Class A Central teams come after last season when St. John Vianney and Shore stormed to the NJSIAA Non-Public A and Group I championships.
The first week of the SCT results in changes in the poll.
Shore moves in at No. 9 after its wins over then No. 7 Manalapan and No. 10 Barnegat.
Other changes see Wall move up from No. 4 to No. 3; Middletown South and Christian Brothers Academy each move up a spot to No. 4 and 5 respectively. Toms River North drop from No. 3 to No. 6 and Manalapan drop from No. 7 to No. 10.
With the NJSIAA Tournament beginning on Monday, this is the final in season rankings. The final rankings will be released when the Asbury Park Press All-Shore Team is announced.
1. COLTS NECK (21-2): Last week: No. 1. The Cougars defeated Manasquan 14-0; Middletown North 10-6; Freehold 2-1 in 10 innings in a Shore Conference Tournament round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. West Windsor-Plainsboro South in a NJSIAA Central Group IV first-round game.
2. JACKSON MEMORIAL (18-5): Last week: No. 2. The Jaguars defeated Southern 12-0; Barnegat 8-6 in the Ocean County Tournament championship game for their second OCT title in four years and third overall; Howell 2-1 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Brick Memorial (12-13) in a NJSIAA Central Group IV first round game.
3. WALL (20-5): Last week: No. 4. The Crimson Knights defeated No. 5 Middletown South 6-1; Ocean 5-4; Middletown North 8-5; Manasquan 5-3; St. John Vianney 8-0 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Allentown in a NJSIAA Central Group III first-round game.
4. MIDDLETOWN SOUTH (19-7): Last week: No. 5. The Eagles were defeated by No. 3 Wall 6-1; Defeated No. 6 Toms River North 10-5; Defeated Colonia 8-3; Defeated Marlboro 7-2 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Middletown North (7-15) in a NJSIAA Central Group III first-round game.
5. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS ACADEMY (18-5): Last week: No. 6. The Colts defeated Pinelands 4-0; No. 10 Manalapan 3-2 in a Monmouth County Tournament semifinal; Brick 11-1 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Tuesday vs. No. 3 Wall (20-5) at FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood in the MCT championship game.
6. TOMS RIVER NORTH (15-5): Last week: No. 3. The Mariners defeated No. 7 Red Bank Catholic 8-3; Lost to No. 4 Middletown South 10-5; Lost to Manasquan 6-5 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Shawnee in a NJSIAA South Group IV first-round game.
7. RED BANK CATHOLIC (17-6): Last week: No. 8. The Caseys lost to No. 6 Toms River North 8-3; Defeated Point Pleasant Beach 17-1 in a SCT first-round game; Defeated No. 8 Toms River South 4-3 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Monday vs. Bergen Catholic in a regular season game.
8. TOMS RIVER SOUTH (17-7): Last week: No. 9. The Indians had three wins in their last at-bat last week. They defeated Manchester 3-2 in eight innings; Raritan 6-1 in a SCT first-round game; Jackson Liberty 4-3 in eight innings; Bayonne 4-3; Lost to Red Bank Catholic 4-3 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Oakcrest in a NJSIAA South Group III first-round game.
9. SHORE (14-9): Last week: Not ranked. The Blue Devils defeated Keansburg 11-1; then No. 10 Barnegat 2-1 in a SCT first-round game; Red Bank 4-1; then No. 7 Manalapan 5-2 in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Highland Park in a NJSIAA Central Group I first-round game.
10. MANALAPAN (17-8): Last week: No. 7. The Braves were defeated by No. 5 CBA 3-2 in a MCT semifina; Defeated Donovan Catholic 5-4 in eight innings in a SCT first-round game when it scored four in the bottom of the seventh and one in the bottom of the eight; Were defeated 5-2 by No. 9 Shore in a SCT round of 16 game. Next game: Today vs. Montgomery in a NJSIAA Central Group IV first-round game.
Steven Falk: 732-643-4267; email@example.com