Roselle Catholic girls’ basketball seeks to become 4th straight top seed to win UCT; Cranford is 2nd seed

Defending champion GL is the 3rd seed and New Providence 4th

The top seed has been very successful the last three seasons, all of them going on to win the championship with the added pressure of being expected to do so.

So will top-seeded Roselle Catholic – also the last team to knock off a top seed – make it four straight?

Those questions and many more will begin to get answered once the 38th annual Frank J. Cicarell girls’ basketball Union County Tournament commences with preliminary round games scheduled to begin – weather permitting – Saturday at Rahway.

Roselle Catholic is seeking its fourth title in the last five years and fifth overall. The Lions won as the top seed in 2010 and 2011. As the fourth seed in 2009, Roselle Catholic defeated top-seeded Scotch Plains in a semifinal at RC.

Roselle Catholic captured its first title in 2003, defeating Union Catholic in the final at the Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth.

With a record of 16-3 as of Thursday, Roselle Catholic’s only county losses are its two to Governor Livingston in Watchung Division play. Roselle Catholic ended up winning the Watchung Division title for the third year in a row.

Cranford (14-6) earned the second seed as a result of its two wins over GL in Watchung Division play. The Cougars lost in the final last year and are seeking to win their second title and first since 2006.

Cranford will be attempting to do what GL did last year, which is win the title one year after losing in the championship game.

Defending champion GL (16-4), with less overall losses than Cranford and a 2-0 record over Roselle Catholic, earned the third seed. The Highlanders, who won their first crown a year ago and as the top seed, reached the past two finals.

New Providence (18-2) has a county-leading eight-game winning streak as of Thursday and its losses were close, first at GL 44-42 and then at Roselle Catholic 60-53 in a span of four days. Those consecutive setbacks followed a 10-0 start.

New Providence also won the Mountain Division for the second time. The Pioneers – who won the division for the first time in 2011 – were perfect in the division, fashioning a 14-0 mark.

Watchung Division teams Linden (12-9) and Union (13-8) earned the fifth and sixth seeds, respectively. Linden swept Union in division play. Union split with GL and Cranford and Linden split with Cranford.

Rounding out the top eight seeds were Mountain Division squads Westfield at 7 and Oak Knoll at 8. Westfield (14-7) and Oak Knoll (17-3) split Mountain Division games. In conference-crossover contests against Watchung Division foes, Westfield defeated Linden and Oak Knoll downed Scotch Plains.

Westfield sports a seven-game winning streak as of Thursday.

Valley Division repeat winner Hillside had a nine-game winning streak snapped at Johnson 51-46 Tuesday. The Comets, with a record of 12-4, earned the 11th seed.

Twenty of the 23 teams situated in the Union County Conference are participating. The only ones that are not include Valley Division teams Roselle Park, St. Mary’s of Elizabeth and Benedictine Academy.

For the third straight year the final will be played at Kean University’s Harwood Arena in Union on the day before the state tournament commences.

The site for the semifinals, scheduled for Feb. 18, will be determined once the quarterfinals are completed and the matchups are set.



WATCHUNG DIVISION: Roselle Catholic for the 3rd straight year

MOUNTAIN DIVISION: New Providence for the 2nd time

VALLEY DIVISION: Hillside for the 2nd straight year





SEEDS: 1-Roselle Catholic. 2-Cranford. 3-Gov. Livingston. 4-New Providence.

5-Linden. 6-Union. 7-Westfield. 8-Oak Knoll.

9-Dayton. 10-Scotch Plains. 11-Hillside. 12-Summit.

13-Plainfield. 14-Johnson. 15-Union Catholic. 16-Elizabeth.

17-Kent Place. 18-Brearley. 19-Rahway. 20-Roselle.



Saturday, Feb. 9

At Rahway

20-Roselle vs. 13-Plainfield, noon

18-Brearley vs. 15-Union Catholic, 1:30 p.m.

17-Kent Place vs. 16-Elizabeth, 3 p.m.

19-Rahway vs. 14-Johnson, 4:30 p.m.



Monday, Feb. 11

At Rahway

10-Scotch Plains vs. 7-Westfield, 6 p.m.

UC-Brearley winner vs. 2-Cranford, 7:30 p.m.

At Roselle Catholic

11-Hillside vs. 6-Union, 6 p.m.

Johnson-Rahway winner vs. 3-Gov. Livingston

At both Johnson gyms

9-Dayton vs. 8-Oak Knoll, 6 p.m.

Plainfield-Roselle winner vs. 4-New Providence, 6 p.m.

Elizabeth-KP winner vs. 1-Roselle Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

12-Summit vs. 5-Linden, 7:30 p.m.



Thursday, Feb. 14

At Rahway


6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

At Roselle Catholic


6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.



Monday, Feb. 18

At a site still to be determined.

6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.



Sunday, Feb. 24

At Kean

Junior Varsity: 4 p.m.

Varsity: 6 p.m.




2012 – Gov. Livingston – first time

2011 – Roselle Catholic

2010 – Roselle Catholic

2009 – Roselle Catholic

2008 – Westfield – first time

2007 – Scotch Plains

2006 – Cranford – first time

2005 – Scotch Plains

2004 – Scotch Plains – first time

2003 – Roselle Catholic – first time

2002 – Roselle – first time

2001 – Union Catholic

2000 – Union – first time

1999 – Summit – first time

1998 – Union Catholic

1997 – Elizabeth

1996 – Elizabeth

1995 – Elizabeth – first time

1994 – Linden

1993 – Linden

1992 – Union Catholic

1991 – Linden – first time

1990 – New Providence – first time

1989 – Union Catholic

1988 – Union Catholic

1987 – Union Catholic

1986 – Union Catholic

1985 – Hillside – first time

1984 – Plainfield

1983 – Plainfield

1982 – Plainfield

1981 – Plainfield

1980 – Plainfield

1979 – Plainfield – first time

1978 – Mother Seton – first time

1977 – Union Catholic – first time

1976 – Benedictine – first time

Championships: Union Catholic 8; Plainfield 6; Roselle Catholic 4;

Linden, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains 3;
Benedictine, Mother Seton, Hillside, New Providence, Summit,

Union, Roselle, Cranford, Westfield, Governor Livingston 1.