Monday, April 18, 2016

Baseball: Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex pairings, seeds

Pairings and seeds for the seventh annual Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex Tournament were released on Monday.

The tournament gets underway on Wednesday with first-round games and continues with second-round action on Saturday. Unlike previous years, the top four seeds receive byes into the quarterfinals, which will be played on Saturday, April 30.

The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, May 7. The championship game will be contested at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at Phillipsburg High School.

North Hunterdon is the defending champion after a 3-0 win over Pope John in the 2015 final. Hunterdon Central has won a tournament-best three titles (2010, 2013-14). Pope John (2011) and Phillipsburg (2012) are the other schools to win championships.

The official seeds and pairings for this year' tournament were determined using a team's power points by Saturday's cutoff. Head-to-head criteria was also used to construct the brackets, which are unusual to say the least. The top four seeds receiving byes is puzzling because a 20-team bracket where all teams play on Saturday could have easily been used. The bottom eight seeds could have played in the prelims on Wednesday. Field hockey also adopted this format in the fall and it was not well received. The use of power points, while a good idea in theory, makes no sense when all teams have not played the same amount of games.

We need some wrestling guys on this committee to show them how it's done!

Pairing and seeds

(Current records and power points as of Saturday in parentheses)

Top bracket

17-Sussex Tech (3-7, 43) at 8-High Point (5-1, 74) winner vs. 16-Kittatinny (2-5, 41) at 9-North Hunterdon (3-5, 62) winner -- 1-Hunterdon Central (8-2, 142) bye into quarters.

13-Wallkill Valley (3-5, 44) at 12-Lenape Valley (3-5, 51) winner vs. 20-Phillipsburg (0-7, 19) at 5-Warren Hills (4-3, 78) winner -- 4-Sparta (5-3-1, 86) bye into quarters.

Bottom bracket

14-Voorhees (1-6, 43) at 11-South Hunterdon (3-5, 57) winner vs. 19-Hopatcong (1-5, 26) vs. 6-Pope John (4-5, 77) winner  -- 3-Newton (6-1, 84) bye into quarters.

15-North Warren (3-3, 39) at 10-Hackettstown (4-2, 59) winner vs. 18-Vernon (1-4, 24) at 7-Belvidere (5-1, 74) winner -- 2-Delaware Valley (6-0, 116) bye into quarters.

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