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***Verona's Travis Jocelyn keeps shooting the basketball as well as anyone in county and is also now the SC/360 Athlete of the Week!

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***The West Orange girls swim team persevered and proceeded to cop a first-ever SEC/Essex crown. Read more in "Feature Articles"

***A stronger & very determined Aidan Monteverdi led Seton Hall Prep to second straight ECT team title on a entertaining evening for mat finals while Cedar Grove also shined. Read more in "The Buzz"

Millburn (10-1), led by 6-8 senior Zach Ravitz (23), is just one of the teams that will be vying for a top 10 seed when the 71st Essex County Tournament seeds its field Jan. 30. (Photos by Gene Nann-nannphoto)

Question Will Remain Right Up To Meeting:
How Will ECT Committee Seed After No. 4?
By Steve Tober

Rodger Blind is your veritable gym rat and devoted high school basketball fan, which makes him an almost perfect member of the committee of coaches ready to assemble the field of teams for the 71st Essex County Boys Basketball Tournament when the actual seeding meeting is held Monday night, Jan. 30, at Glen Ridge High School.

Blind, whose Millburn Millers (11-1) are just one of the successful teams in Essex that could be a bit difficult to fully gauge as far as how they compare with, say, Orange (10-2), Bloomfield (13-2) and Verona (8-4) from their own third division, the Super Essex Conference-Colonial, which not only epitomizes the closeness of several teams, but also reveals how when they don’t take on the ‘big boys’ or rather the SEC’s top division, the American, it can be a challenge to know exactly just how good they all are.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for the seeding committee, no doubt about it,” said Blind, whose detailed coaching resume at both the high school and college level dates back as far as the late 1970s at West Orange High School and later for several seasons as both an assistant and head man at St. Peter’s College. “I know our division is wide open and any one of four teams right now could win it, but there are a lot of other teams out there we have to try and learn as much as we can about.”

The top seed will almost certainly be Newark East Side (11-1), while the next three should be Seton Hall Prep (8-6), West Side (11-4) and Montclair Immaculate (6-8) since the surging Pirates have split two games with East Side and have knocked off both West Side and IC.

But, seeding 5 through 15 will be very intriguing indeed, and perhaps few people will envy the formidable task ahead for the 9-member seeding committee working under the guidance of this year’s ECT co-directors, athletic directors Tim Liddy of Glen Ridge and Dave Cohen of Livingston.

“I think it is a good thing that this year the seeding meeting is later because there are still some key games to be played for a number of teams, including us,” said Blind, whose Millers visit Orange Monday night in a key division contest and then host Montclair in an attractive SEC crossover on Tuesday afternoon. “We’re probably going to have to look at a number of results in the final days leading up to the night of the 30th because a lot could still change in the next week or so.”

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