By TOM WILLIAMS
Both the Ocean City High School boys and girls basketball teams will apparently be seeded third for the upcoming NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 Tournament according to the power points accumulated by the qualifying deadline on Saturday. That means both Raiders teams would play their first two games at home.
The top 16 teams in every group will begin play in the tournament starting the week of Feb. 26. All teams with eight wins or more in their first 16 games will play in the tournament with the rest of the field being determined by the NJSIAA power point system. Once the 16 teams are determined in each group, they are seeded based only on their power points. The brackets will be officially confirmed by the association on Thursday.
There are 33 basketball teams from the area qualified for the tournament, including non-Cape-Atlantic League teams from Wildwood, Hammonton and Cumberland.
As the No. 3 seed in South Jersey Group 3, the OCHS boys would host Camden Tech on Feb. 26. The winner of that game would play the winner between Hammonton and three-time defending champion Winslow Township. Cumberland is seeded No. 7 and would host Highland. The Mainland boys are seeded ninth and would open tournament play at Toms River East. No. 1 Timber Creek and No. 2 Seneca are the two teams seeded ahead of Ocean City.
In Group 3 girls, Ocean City is the two-time defending South Jersey champion and has won the sectional title six times in the last 10 years. The Raiders would open on Feb. 26 against Toms River South in the first game of an OCHS doubleheader in the Dixie Howell Gymnasium. The winner of that game would play either Camden Tech or Gloucester Tech in the second round. The Mainland girls are the No. 1 seed in Group 3 and would open against No. 16 Absegami. Hammonton is seeded No. 5 and would open at home against Highland. Since Ocean City is No. 3 and Mainland No. 1, if they meet in the Group 3 Tournament it would be in the South Jersey championship game and it would be in Linwood.
Here are the area teams in the other groups.
Boys Group 4: Atlantic City is the No. 3 seed and would host Clearview in the first round. Millville is the No. 6 seed and would host Howell. The winners of those two games would play in the second round. Vineland is seeded No. 15 and would travel to Toms River North in the first round. Defending champion Shawnee is the No. 1 seed in Group 4.
Girls Group 4: Millville is seeded sixth and would host Clearview. Atlantic Tech is No. 13 and would travel to Jackson Memorial. Atlantic City is No. 14 and would open at Toms River North. And Egg Harbor Township is No. 16 and would play its first game at No. 1 Cherokee, the defending champion.
Boys Group 2: Lower Cape May is seeded No. 5 and would host Pennsauken Tech in the first round. Middle Township is No. 8 and would host Barnegat. Pleasantville is No. 10 and would travel to Haddon Heights. And Cape May Tech is No. 15 and would play at Haddonfield in the first round. Cinnaminson is the top seed in Group 2 and No. 3 seed Camden is the four-time defending champion.
Girls Group 2: Cedar Creek is seeded No. 5 and will host Haddon Heights. Middle Township is No. 6 and would host West Deptford. Lower Cape May is No. 9 and would visit Collingswood. And Oakcrest is No. 14 and would play Haddonfield in the first round. Defending champion Manchester Township is the No. 1 seed.
Boys Group 1: Wildwood is seeded No. 4 and would host Schalick. Buena is No. 16 and would visit No. 1 Glassboro. Woodbury, seeded third, is the defending champion.
Girls Group 1: Defending champion Wildwood is seeded third and would host No. 14 Buena. Haddon Township is the No. 1 seed.
Boys Non-Public A: Two-time defending champion St. Augustine Prep is seeded No. 1 and would get a bye in the first round. The Hermits would host the winner between Paul VI and Notre Dame.
Boys Non-Public B: Wildwood Catholic is the No. 1 seed and would host Moorestown Friends. St. Joseph is seeded No. 4 and would host Doane Academy. And Holy Spirit is seeded No. 8 and would host Immaculata in the first round. If Wildwood Catholic and Holy Spirit both win, they would play each other in the second round in North Wildwood.
Girls Non-Public B: Holy Spirit is seeded No. 5 and would host Gill St. Bernard’s. Wildwood Catholic is seed No. 10 and would travel to Holy Cross. Trenton Catholic is the No. 1 seed and defending champ Rutgers Prep is seeded No. 2.
The Non-Public and girls state finals will be held at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River on March 10-11. The boys state finals will be at Rutgers University on March 11. Public school South Jersey championship games will be played on the court of the highest seeded participant. South Jersey Non-Public championships will be at Jackson Liberty High School on March 7-8.
But, remember, there could be changes on Thursday when the NJSIAA announces the final brackets. Schools have until then to seek corrections in the power ratings.