BCCA Boys Lacrosse Tournament: Quarterfinal round update

Don Bosco's Russell Masci (#16) congratulates Dominic Branda (#5) after scoring a goal in the second quarter during against Mahwah. (Photo by Jim Anness)

Don Bosco’s Russell Masci (#16) congratulates Dominic Branda (#5) after scoring a goal in the second quarter in a win against Mahwah. (Photo by Jim Anness)

Eight teams are left in the BCCA boys lacrosse tournament, which resumes today.

No. 1 Ridgewood vs. No. 8 Ramsey
No. 2 Northern Highlands vs. No. 10 Pascack Valley
No. 3 Ramapo vs. No. 6 Glen Rock
No. 4 Bergen Catholic vs. No. 12 Don Bosco

Here’s a look how each of them got there:

No. 1 Ridgewood – Bye, beat Paramus Catholic 18-1
The Maroons’ second round win pushed their record to 11-0 and sustained their status as the only unbeaten squad in North Jersey. Seniors Kevin Mollihan (36 goals) and Cooper Telesco (33) anchor an offense that’s scored 13.3 goals per game this season. Against Paramus Catholic, Mollihan recorded four goals and Telesco picked up a hat trick. And the Maroons bolstered their regular season résumé during the week by beating Don Bosco in an 11-4 final.

No. 2 Northern Highlands – Bye, beat NV/Old Tappan 16-3
The second ranked Highlanders (9-2) benefitted from a nine point game from Thomas Heber (4 goals, 5 assists) and key contributions from Tyler Butwin and Ethan Plasker to blow out the Golden Knights. Northern Highlands’ offense runs through Hebner and Butwin, who have combined for 50 goals this season. Hebner’s 22 assists is tied for seventh in North Jersey. Earlier in the week, Northern Highlands defeated Fair Lawn and No. 6 Mahwah.

No. 3 Ramapo – Bye, beat Westwood 19-1
The Raiders offense has gradually improved over the last four games and its recent 19-goal outburst marked a season high. Ramapo heavily relies on Andrew Robbins (28 goals), but has seen several others step up of late. Among those are Jack Griffin, Michael Kowal and Jack Landel who all scored three times in the win over the Cardinals. The lockdown play from Johnny Caponi and Luke Mutterer in net also factors into the team’s success. Ramapo hasn’t given up more than seven goals since April 2 and posted a 3.25 goals against average over the last four games.

No. 4 Bergen Catholic – Bye, beat Fair Lawn 16-3
“Jekyll-and-hyde” no more, the Crusaders are on a seven-game winning streak and have found a new level of consistency with their balance on offense. Nine different players scored in the team’s win over the Cutters with each scoring between one and three goals. Dwayne Mattushik alleviated some of the scoring burden on Jeremy Magno (32 goals) and Trevor Weingarten (26 goals) by chipping in seven points in the win over Fair Lawn. Bergen Catholic also earned recent wins over the Hun School and Montclair.

No. 6 Glen Rock – Bye, beat River Dell 9-4
The Panthers pitched a first half shutout against River Dell, slowing down one of the strongest offenses in the area. Max Egermeyer provided a game-high four goals for Glen Rock and Eric Spada scored twice. Glen Rock (9-3) enters its semifinal against Ramapo having won four of five.

No. 8 Ramsey – Bye, beat NV/Demarest 13-7
Matt Spagnoletti broke out with a four-goal game against NV/Demarest and the Rams got their usual scoring contributions from Tyler Harmon and Rob Sciubba en route to an outstanding win. Ramsey distributes the bell as well as just about anyone. Entering Tuesday’s games, three Ramsey players occupied the top four spots in the North Jersey assist leaderboard – Tommy Fatuova with 34, Harmon with 31 and Sciubba with 28. Ramsey also beat Passaic Valley and Westwood during the week, accumulating 48 goals during the three-game wining streak. Now, that offense faces a monumental challenge against the stingy Ridgewood defense led by Syracuse-bound Brett Kennedy.

No. 10 Pascack Valley – Bye, beat St. Joseph 8-6
Faceoff specialist Jimmy Spillane won 13 of 18 draws and tallied three points in the Indians’ impressive win over St. Joseph. Nick Stevens, Conor Kimball and Mike Soravilla also scored three goals apiece in the victory for 8-2 Pascack Valley. Spillane is a solid all-around player with 31 goals and 17 assists on the season and an 83 percent faceoff percentage.

No. 12 Don Bosco – Bye, beat Mahwah 9-2
There were many people who believed (coach Brendan Gorman and myself included) that the Ironmen deserved better than a 12 seed. The Ironmen certainly looked the part of a top tier team in the second round by overthrowing fifth-seeded Mahwah and turning in a statement win. Wagner-bound senior Dom Branda delivered a seven-goal performance, Russell Masci set up a few scoring plays and Steven Rann was solid in net. All the pieces came together for Don Bosco in what hardly felt like an upset.

Other notes from around North Jersey:
Park Ridge/Emerson has to be pleased with how its inaugural varsity season has gone. The co-op program improved to 7-4 by beating Hawthorne, 14-1, on Saturday.

Just about the same thing can be said for first-year program Tenafly (7-4). Junior Alon Berkowitz scored a game-tying goal with about 10 seconds left in the Tigers’ game versus Passaic Tech last Wednesday.  Then senior attack Noah Kasten fired in the game-winning tally about a minute into overtime.

Fair Lawn seems to have gotten a jolt from its overtime win over Dwight-Englewood a few weeks ago. The Cutters had won three of four before losing to Bergen Catholic in the BCCA Sweet Sixteen. They recently beat Paramus and Waldwick – two higher seeded teams in my internal rankings – with its win over the Spartans coming in the county tournament.

Top goal scoring performances of last week:

  • Eight: River Dell’s Matt Coppola
  • Seven: Don Bosco’s Dom Branda
  • Six: Boonton’s Connor Davis, Fair Lawn’s Marc Terwilliger, Ramsey’s Declan Rybacki, Park Ridge/Emerson’s Thomas Morgan
  • Five: Dwight-Englewood’s Mickey Sacks, Hawthorne’s Joseph Carr, Mahwah’s Aidan Carroll, NV/Demarest’s Sean Jansson, Paramus Catholic’s Rob Spedding, Park/Ridge Emerson’s Shawn Sweeney and Ryan McGee Passaic Valley’s Jake McGowan

Around the fields: 

Lakeland earns top seed in Passaic County tournament

Don Bosco knocks off Mahwah, 9-2

Player of the Year Watch 

Ridgewood holds top spot in The Record Top 10 for April 30

Boys Lacrosse Report: On the Attack

Passaic Valley teams search for stability

Mistakes cost Clifton High School

10 things to watch in the Bergen County tournament

After first-year growing pains, things looking up for Hawthorne High School lacrosse

Lakeland junior scores 200th lacrosse point



Boys Volleyball: 2016 Bergen County tournament schedule (*Updated)

Raysean Graham (13) and the Fair Lawn Cutters will defend their Bergen County tournament title as the No. 1 seed. (Record File Photo)

Raysean Graham (13) and the Fair Lawn Cutters will defend their Bergen County tournament title as the No. 1 seed. (Record File Photo)

[NOTE: Prelim match dates/times finalized as of Friday 4/29]

This year’s Bergen County boys volleyball tournament will include 10 of the 12 teams in the county, making it the largest field since the event moved to its current format in 2011. Win-loss records are through Thursday’s matches, which were the final ones to count toward the seeding, and the full schedule is after the jump:

No. 1 Fair Lawn (14-5)
No. 2 Hackensack (14-3)
No. 3 Bergen Catholic (7-5)
No. 4 Don Bosco (8-8)
No. 5 Teaneck (9-4)
No. 6 Bergen Tech (11-6)
No. 7 Bergenfield (5-9)
No. 8 Lyndhurst (9-7)
No. 9 Indian Hills (3-9)
No. 10 Garfield (0-10)

Bergenfield and Lyndhurst are entering for the first time after getting a few years of varsity experience under their belts, and first-year program Bergen Charter (3-6) will follow a similar path, as the Yellow Jackets did not enter this season. Ramapo (5-4) opted not to enter to focus on qualifying for the state tournament.

The top-seeded Cutters are the three-time defending champions and have won six of the past seven county titles. They are unbeaten against Bergen opponents since 2012, when they were edged by Don Bosco in the county final, 2-1.

The Aces will update all the info on this page once everything becomes finalized, so check this page (bookmark it if you like) for all the latest leading up to the semifinals…


Preliminary Round (Tuesday, May 3)
No. 9 Indian Hills at No. 8 Lyndhurst, 4 p.m.
No. 10 Garfield at No. 7 Bergenfield, 4 p.m.

Quarterfinals (to be played by May 7)
w/o Indian Hills-Lyndhurst at No. 1 Fair Lawn, TBD
w/o Garfield-Bergenfield at No. 2 Hackensack, Thu. 5/5 @ 4 p.m.
No. 6 Bergen Tech at No. 3 Bergen Catholic, Thu. 5/5 @ 4 p.m.
No. 5 Teaneck at No. 4 Don Bosco, TBD

Tuesday, May 10 at Hackensack, 5:30 and 7 p.m.
*The highest remaining seed will be designated home team for 7 p.m. match, next-highest seed left plays at 5:30

Thursday, May 12 at Hackensack, 7 p.m.

Scoops on Football: The Don Bosco Prep 2016 schedule

Photo by Chris Pedota of The Record Don Bosco Prep quarterback Tommy DeVito celebrates after the Ironmen's state semifinal win last year over Bergen Catholic. DeVito recently committed to Syracuse. The Ironmen open 2016 season as defending Non-Public Group 4 champs and with head coach Greg Toal approaching a victory milestone.

Photo by Chris Pedota of The Record
Don Bosco Prep quarterback Tommy DeVito celebrates after the Ironmen’s state semifinal win last year over Bergen Catholic. DeVito recently committed to Syracuse. The Ironmen open 2016 season as defending Non-Public Group 4 champs and with head coach Greg Toal approaching a victory milestone.

So, with the news today from the NJSIAA that Delbarton is in the New Jersey Super Football Conference, at least for now.
(See story here.)
This means another one of the Big Five can finally go public with its schedule. Don Bosco Prep. The St. Joe’s schedule, amazingly, is not finished, because Pope John had done some of the same stuff as Delbarton, and put out a schedule without St. Peter’s and St. Joes. Now that Delbarton has lost its case (again, for now) there appears to be little ground for Pope John to stand on. They can play the schedule they created independently and accept forfeits from the NJSIAA/NJSFC, or amend their schedule to include Peters and Joes.
So that is the next chapter in this. We should find out about that soon.
Of course, Delbarton has the right to appeal the ruling today. Wednesday they can appeal to the NJSIAA’s Executive Committee (which happens to include Bosco Principal John Stanczak) and after that, guess who? The Commissioner of Education of New Jersey David Hespe. Hmm, he’s been in the news before.
The DePaul, Bergen Catholic and Paramus Catholic schedules are already out. Check the archives.
And by the way, former Bosco AD Frank Rezzonico has put together an amazing Bosco football website. I had a chance to go over some of the stuff a few years ago and it’s amazing. Check it out here.

And now for the 2016 Don Bosco Prep football schedule, assuming a Delbarton game.
Friday, Sept 2, at American Heritage of Ft. Lauderdale (FLA), 7 p.m.
Sat, Sept. 10, at St Joes Philly at Widener University, 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Sept. 17 vs. Moeller (Ohio) 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 23, vs. DePaul, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1 at Delbarton, TBA
Friday, Oct. 7 vs. St. Joe’s Regional, 7 p.m. (may be Saturday)
Friday, Oct. 21, vs. Paramus Catholic, 7 p.m. (may be Saturday)
Saturday, Oct. 29, at Bergen Catholic, 1 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4, at St. Peter’s Prep, 7 p.m.

Some notes…
First, there are multiple American Heritage(s) in Florida. I am told this is ‘the good one’. Ok then. Very interesting as the Ironmen may be in Florida and Wayne Hills may open the season in Florida that same weekend. Please don’t let those games be at the same time. So there is 1 big out-of-state trip on the Bosco schedule this year.
As far as the Oct. 7 and Oct. 21st games. Bosco AD Brian McAleer said for now those games are scheduled for Friday night, but depending on television (you never know) or just the desire of the coaches to move the games, they could be moved to Saturday night or sometime Saturday during the day.
Also, just to know, Delbarton hasn’t sent out anything showing a Bosco football game yet. But the date would be that weekend, Sept. 30/Oct. 1st.

Golf: Skae lifts Don Bosco at Arcola Invitational

Senior Ryan Skae eagled his final hole today to repeat as individual titlist at the Arcola Invitational and lift Don Bosco to the team title.

Skae chipped in on the par-5 ninth hole of the nine-hole, shotgun event at Arcola CC in Paramus to shoot 1-under-par 35 and lead the Ironmen to a shoot-five, count-four score of 151.

Bergen Catholic was runner-up with 153, with senior George Cultraro and junior Jimmy Criscione tying for second with 36. Paramus was third with 163 and NV/Old Tappan fourth with 166.

Read more about it in Thursday’s Record, and below are complete team and individual scores:


Arcola Invitational
at Arcola CC, Paramus
Par: 36; Yardage: 3,300
Don Bosco 151
Bergen Catholic 153
Paramus 163
NV/Old Tappan 166
Ridgewood 168
Glen Rock 169
Ramapo 169
Ramsey 169
St. Joseph 176
River Dell 178
Mahwah 180
Ryan Skae, Don Bosco 35
George Cultraro, Bergen Catholic 36
Jimmy Criscione, Bergen Catholic 36
Alex Zahn, Don Bosco 37
Ken Dykes, Paramus 37
John Driscoll, Don Bosco 38
Tom LaMacchia, Glen Rock 38
Ryan Lee, NV/Old Tappan 38
Dan Yam, Bergen Catholic 39
Brandon Russo, Mahwah 39
Cole Peabody, Ridgewood 39
Nick Miller, River Dell 39
Chan Park, NV/Old Tappan 40
James Rendine, Paramus 40
Harrison Kulick, Ramapo 40
Robert Beers, Ramsey 40
Matt Saraceno, Ridgewood 40
Toby DiPaolo, Don Bosco 41
MinJun Choi, Glen Rock 41
Peter Cassidy, Glen Rock 41
Tony Sirianni, St. Joseph 41
Chris Lee, Bergen Catholic 42
Will Celiberti, Bergen Catholic 42
Sam Yom, NV/Old Tappan 42
Eric Waxman, Paramus 42
Ian Lee, Ramapo 42
Nick Cottle, Mahwah 43
Andrew Scher, Ramapo 43
Ryan Faulkner, Ramsey 43
Sean Choi, Ramsey 43
Connor Chamberlain, Ramsey 43
Gaetano Fernandes, Paramus 44
Stephen Schwab, Ramapo 44
Bryan Schwab, Ramapo 44
Ryan Santoliquido, Ridgewood 44
Nick Diani, St. Joseph 44
Dale Cheyne, Ramsey 45
Davis Weil, Ridgewood 45
Dylan Vanderbeck, River Dell 45
Drew Hliboki, St. Joseph 45
Chris Rauchet, Don Bosco 46
Ryan Travers, NV/Old Tappan 46
Liam Seston, Ridgewood 46
Mike Posma, St. Joseph 46
Matt Rushforth, River Dell 47
Kyle Vanderbeck, River Dell 47
Alex Miller, River Dell 47
Graysen Kim, NV/Old Tappan 48
John LaMacchia, Glen Rock 49
Vinay Moorthy, Mahwah 49
Daniel Schnoll, Mahwah 49
Nick Burk, St. Joseph 49
Spencer Jefferies, Glen Rock 50
Alex Ernst, Mahwah 51
Joe Rendine, Paramus 52

BCCA Boys Lacrosse Tournament: Seeds, Matchups and Analysis

The schedule for the Bergen County boys lacrosse tournament is now out.

Here’s the bracket, courtesy of the BCCA. Click the image to enlarge and find my thoughts below.

Updated bracket

Key takeaways

No surprises at the top. Ridgewood is a no-brainer at No. 1. Northern Highlands and Ramapo are equaling as deserving. Take a look at The Record top 10 poll and you’ll see the same teams and order occupying the top three slots.

Where our poll and the bracket greatly differs come at Don Bosco’s seeding – 12th. The Ironmen (4-6) don’t have a gaudy record because of a four-game losing streak to start the season. But their challenging schedule and quality wins of late earned them a No. 4 ranking in The Record poll. They recently defeated Mountain Lakes, who in turn beat Northern Highlands and Ramapo. They beat Bergen Catholic by two and lost to Ramapo by just two. So when you look at the full body of work in context, it’s hard to separate them from the other top dogs of Bergen County.

However, the seeding process for this is done through the website LaxPower.com and does not include influence from coaches, according to tournament organizer and Mahwah athletic director Roger Pelletier. He pointed out that the system has been fairly accurate in predicting the semifinalists every year.

“We also use a jumping process,” Pelletier said.  “If No. 20 defeated No. 19 earlier in the year, No. 20 will jump over and take over that spot.”

LaxPower.com doesn’t take into account a team’s strength of schedule, Pelletier said. The Ironmen were able to move up a few slots because of recent wins against CBA and Mountain Lakes, but their position several spots behind Bergen Catholic meant that they could not make the “jump” despite the head-to-head win.

Ironically, the system doesn’t help Pelletier’s school – Mahwah – who draws the 12th seeded Ironmen in the first round. It could easily be a semifinal matchup.

“It’s a pretty rough road no matter where you are,” he said.  “If you got to beat everybody, you might as well beat the best along the way.”

Another unintended consequence is that hardest path to victory might be for the defending champions. Bergen Catholic could potentially have to go through 12th seeded Don Bosco (or Mahwah) in the quarterfinals and Ridgewood in the semis before even making it back to the championship game.

The tournament expanded from 17 to 20 teams this year and will be the biggest field in Bergen County history, according to Pelletier.

And regular season results suggest that there could be a lot of parity at the top. In regular season matchups between the strongest teams, only a few goals have separated the winners and losers.

As JJ Conrad pointed out, the tournament is wide open.

“There’s a lot of teams going into this tournament that think they have a chance to makes some advances,” Pelletier noted. “We’ve got some very good teams in Bergen County, but I think there are a lot of teams going in thinking that they’ve got a shot.”

Opening round matchups: 

(16) Paramus Catholic vs. (17) Park Ridge/Emerson: The co-op program has flourished in its inaugural season with Shawn Sweeney and Andrew Pierce leading the team. The Paladins (6-6) are a tough draw and might be under-seeded at 16. They are winners of three of four and should be a slight favorite with high-volume scorer Henry Pearson driving the offense.

(13) Paramus vs. (20) Fair Lawn: It’s a rematch of a regular season game, won by the Spartans in overtime. For Paramus (6-5), Chris Voorhis and TJ Sharples make up one of the best 1-2 punches in the entire tournament.

(15) NV/Old Tappan vs. (18) Waldwick: Much has changed since the Warriors’ 14-5 over NV/Old Tappan to start the season. Waldwick went on a midseason slump, losing four straight before beating Passaic Tech on Monday. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, have won four of six. Scoring has been at a premium for both teams throughout parts of the season so a few plays could be the difference in this contest.

(14) Westwood vs. (19) Tenafly: Here’s a true battle of contrasts. Westwood (6-5) dominates with defense. It recently went on a four-game win streak when the Cardinals allowed a combined five goals. Tenafly, meanwhile, is at its best when the offense is clicking. Junior Alon Berkowitz has scored 34 goals. If he’s on, the Tigers are a dangerous team.