Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Basketball: Updated Top 10

The first two-plus weeks of the winter season always are choppy, what with holiday schedules and vacations and this and that.

Basketball: Updated Top 10

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The first two-plus weeks of the winter season always are choppy, what with holiday schedules and vacations and this and that.

Here's an updated Top 10 in boys basketball, even though the new Top 10 won't appear in the newspaper until Jan. 9 (and that one will be different than this one).

The big change, of course, involves Bishop Eustace dropping out of No. 1 because of a loss to surprising CH East. The Cougars surge into the Top 10 at No. 5.

PVI moves up to No. 1 after a good start. Some people think the Eagles should have been there from the opening of the season, and maybe they're right.

BOYS BASKETBALL TOP 10

Previous ranking in parentheses.

1. Paul VI (2) 5-0.

Big win for the Eagles over Philadelphia Catholic League power Roman Catholic, at Philadelphia University. James Madison-bound senior guard Ron Curry went over 1,000 career points the other night. This team is getting a lot of offense from senior guard Kris O'Connor, who is known more for his defense. O'Connor has scored 21, 21 and 20 in the last three games.

2. Eastern (3) 4-0.

No holiday tournament for the Vikings. Junior swingman Devon Bell is averaging 20.5 and senior guard Mike Wilson is averaging 20.2. This team can light up the scoreboard. Interesting test against improved Washington Twp. this week.

3. St. Augustine (5) 5-0.

The Hermits are getting some offense from burly center Austin Johnson, a Penn State football recruit. He's been in double figures in four games and went for a career high 25 against Kingsway. Junior guard Mike Greenman busted loose for 27 in a big comeback win over Shipley in the Jameer Nelson Classic.

4. Shawnee (6) 7-0.

The Renegades won three games and captured a tourney title in Disney World. Junior Tristan Polnitz went for 21 in a 63-44 win over Norton, Ohio, in title game. Junior guard Josh Borelli has been a consistent scorer for this balanced team.

5. CH East (NR) 6-0.

The Cougars stunned No. 1 Bishop Eustace by 65-55. Seniors Marc Schlessel (18.5) and Jake Gurkin (13.5) have been strong all season. CH East is getting a lift from freshman Jake Silpe, who had 9 against Eustace and 13 in a double-OT win over Camden.

6. Bishop Eustace (1) 5-1.

The Crusaders are getting balanced scoring from Carson Puriefoy (20.1) Sho DaSilva (13) and Trevor Norton (14). Free-throw shooting remains a bit of an Achilles Heel.

7. Lenape (NR) 5-0.

Defense and balanced scoring are fueling the Indians. Tabu Gaither, Kyle Robostello and Evan Ward all have a 20-point game, and Avery Brown has a 17-point game. Big game at CH East on Tuesday.

8. Willingboro (4) 3-1.

Senior guards Ronny Paden (20.2) and Tyrell Maloney (12) are still learning to play together. This is a team that should improve over the course of the season.

9. Camden Catholic (9) 6-1.

Junior swingman Kyle Green (24.4) has been remarkably consistent. He's scored between 22 and 26 in every game. The Irish will be tested this week with games against Olympic Narional rivals Bishop Eustace and Paul VI.

10. Paulsboro (10) 4-0.

Junior Xavier Lundy is averaging 24.7. I'm not sure I've ever seen this: He shot 18 free throws in the third quarter against Haddon Township. Lots of guys can go a month without shooting 18 free throws.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically):

Florence (4-0): Flashes are allowing just 44.5 points and had a good win over Haddonfield

Haddon Heights (5-0): Davon Jones (22.6) and Brandon Joyner (20.2) are SJ's highest scoring backcourt.

Holy Spirit (3-0): Junior Paul Moore is averaging 20.3 for the Spartans, who host rival Atlantic City on Friday.

Rancocas Valley (4-1): Tariq Jett has been scoring but the best sign for the Red Devils was the strong game the other day from Dom Twitty, who has battling a football injury.

Westampton Tech (5-0): Shaun Russell (16.8) leads a balanced squad that already has solid wins over Burlington Twp., Medford Tech and Delsea.

-- Phil Anastasia

 

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

Phil Anastasia Inquirer Columnist
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