Defending champion Shabazz, No. 1 in the MSG Varsity New Jersey Top 15, was awarded the top seed for the upcoming Essex County Tournament on Monday night.
The Bulldogs (11-1), who own 13 ECT titles, captured last year’s final with a 61-58 overtime decision against University to mark their eighth championship in nine years.
Montclair (11-2) drew the second seed followed by Mount St. Dominic (9-5), which is riding a five-game winning streak, East Orange Campus (9-3) and Bloomfield Tech (11-2).
Play-in games must be completed by Saturday with the preliminary round set for Feb. 2 followed by the first round two days later. The quarterfinals are Feb. 11 with the semifinals on Feb. 18 and the championship scheduled for Feb. 25.
ESSEX COUNTY TOURNAMENT
17-Montclair Kimberley at 16-Millburn, winner at 1-Shabazz; 9-West Orange at 8-Weequahic; 24-Belleville at 21-Newark Academy, winner at 12-Caldwell with winner at 5-Bloomfield Tech; 25-Golda Och at 20-Arts, winner at 13-Cedar Grove with winner at 4-East Orange Campus; 18-Orange at 15-Central, winner at 2-Montclair; 10-Columbia at 7-University; 23-West Side at 22-Livingston, winner at 11-Irvington with winner at 6-Newark Tech; 26-Newark Vocational at 19-Bloomfield, winner at 14-Nutley with winner at 3-Mount St. Dominic
Gregg Lerner covers girls basketball for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @gregglerner