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Millburn's veteran coach Rodger Blind is one the seeding committee members faced with rather daunting challenge of trying to properly assemble the order of teams for 2017 Essex County Boys Basketball Tournament. (Photos by Gene Nann-nannphoto)

Bloomfield, with its talented senior forward Myles Toppin (1), is one of the intriguing teams in the SEC which has had success (13-2 record so far), but might be difficult to figure just where it fits in the field for the 71st ECT when seeding committee gathers.

Montclair Immaculate, with DeRohn Mitchell, Jr. (22, left) and Justin Winston (1), are under .500 at the moment (6-8), but are a likely top four seed in the 71st ECT field as committee will gather Jan. 30. (Photo by Vinny Carchietta/MCV Video & Photography)

Sophomore Charles Murphy is one of the exciting young players for a Montclair team that looks to be in the thick of consideration for top 10 seed. (Photo by Gene Nann)

(continued from page 1)

The SEC-Colonial epitomizes how topsy-turvy the county has been in many respects so far this season as Millburn has beaten Bloomfield and lost to Verona, while Bloomfield has beaten Orange and split two meetings with Verona, while Verona has the aforementioned West Essex defeat in addition to the Orange and Bloomfield losses.

Add in the SEC-Liberty Division where Montclair (10-4) has lost to both Columbia (8-7) and Barringer (8-3), while defeating Newark Tech (7-6) and SHP in a crossover, and more necessary deciphering of the different matchups so far creates simply more puzzles than seeding solutions at the moment.

And, beyond the top four (East Side, SHP, West Side and IC) in the SEC-American, there is also Central (7-6), which deserves a top 10 or perhaps top 8 seed.

Then, there is the SEC’s fourth division, the Independence, where another Newark school, Christ The King (11-2) is enjoying an outstanding season under coach Cecil Stinson, the former Montclair standout, and has lost only to Millburn and Montclair (57-54, Saturday, Jan. 21).

“Christ The King is a very good basketball team with excellent guards and will be a handful for many teams in the tournament,” added Blind. “They are yet another team to consider when the seeding committee gets together.”

All told, once past the top four seeds, the process will indeed be fun to review for media members, coaches and fans not in the room with Liddy, Cohen, Blind and company on the 30 th.

And, let the conversation continue!

2017 Essex County Tournament seeding meeting: 7:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30, at Glen Ridge High School

This Year’s ECT Seeding Committee:

SEC-American: Shawn McCray, Central, and Akbar Cook, West Side

SEC-Liberty: Joe Owns, Barringer; Elias Brantley, Irvington

SEC-Colonial: Rodger Blind, Millburn; Eric McElroy, Verona

SEC-Independence: Cecil Stinson, Christ The King

SEC-Freedom: Jim Stoeckel Jr., Belleville

Al-Large coach: yet to be named

Tourney co-directors: ADs Tim Liddy of Glen Ridge & Dave Cohen of Livingston

ECT Schedule Dates To Remember:

The 'Play-In' bracket preliminary round games must be completed by Thursday, Feb. 2, Saturday, Feb. 4 and then Thursday, Feb. 9.

The 'Round of 16' first round is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 11, with the quarterfinals, Saturday, Feb. 18, both at the court of the higher seed. The semis are Tuesday night, Feb. 21, at West Orange High School with the final, 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, at Essex County College in Newark with the ECT girls final to precede the boys championship at 1 p.m. at the ECC gym.

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

Point guard Wesley Lefleur leads a talented Orange team. (Photo by Jason Bernstein)

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