Sunday, February 7, 2016

Basketball: New Top 10

Basketball: New Top 10

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By Phil Anastasia

Here's the new Top 10, as of Sunday, Jan. 6:
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. Atlantic City (1) 7-0
Junior forward Dennis White, who scored 19 in a 58-39 victory over then-No. 5 Middle Township on Thursday, has been "our MVP," according to Vikings coach Gene Allen. The Vikings played sensational defense against the Panthers, sustaining their intensity through long possessions. Junior guard Isiah Graves is an emerging star. This team is 28-2 since last Jan. 17, when they started their march to the Group 4 state title.

2. Paulsboro (2) 7-0
The Red Raiders are 37-1 since the start of last season. They are averaging 73.4 points per game. Senior Xavier Lundy continues his march toward 2,000 career points. A quiet week ahead with a pair of Colonial Conference games, although surprising West Deptford could present a challenge on Thursday night.

3. Paul VI (3) 6-0
The Eagles have won every game by double digits and their average margin of victory is 24 points. Their closest win was 73-62 over Del Val Charter. Their average margin against SJ teams is 29 points. Tranfers Ivan Robinson and Alex Danko are eligible next week.
 
4. Lenape (7) 7-0
Junior forward Cameron Green is emerging as a go-to offensive player for the Indians. He teams with senior Tabu Gaither to form solid 1-2 punch at forward. Lenape is allowing an average of 39 points per game. If they keep that under 40, coach Chuck Guittar will be happy. He just won't show it.

5. Shawnee (6) 6-1
Senior guard Josh Borrelli needs two points to reach 1,000 for his career. The Renegades have won games by 4, 6, 3 (in OT), 6 and 1 point. Interesting week includes games vs. CH West, No. 6 Eastern on Thursday (at Eastern) and Delsea on Saturday.

6. Eastern (8) 4-1
The Vikings have held their last two opponents to a total of 58 points. Eastern has a busy week with improved Cherokee on Tuesday, No. 5 Shawnee on Thursday and dangerous Williamstown on Saturday.

7. Middle Township (5) 5-2
The Panthers missed their first eight foul shots of the second half in a 58-39 loss to No. 1 Atlantic City on Thursday. Their legs were shot from working so hard to get open looks against AC's long and athletic defense. MT's two losses were to St. Anthony and AC, teams that are a combined 14-0. Busy week includes games with OC, Hammonton and at No. 9 Holy Spirit on Saturday.

8. St. Augustine (10) 5-1
The Hermits have won three in a row by a total of 35 points. They have what looks like a quiet week ahead with games against Bridgeton and Southern.

9. Holy Spirit (4) 5-2
The Spartans were 0-for-7 from distance in falling behind 30-16 at half in 49-45 loss to surging Rancocas Valley on Saturday night. The Spartans will take a few days off, then face a tough stretch with games against EHT Friday, No. 7 Middle on Saturday and No. 1 AC the following Tuesday.

10. Haddonfield (9) 7-1
The Bulldogs were 6-for-30 from three-point range in a 67-49 loss to Delsea on Saturday. They weren't great from the line, either. Might just have been one of those games. Maybe the Bulldogs saw Delsea lost by 20 on Thursday night and didn't expect the Crusaders to play with much passion and energy.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically):

Camden Catholic (5-3): Irish have won three of four and the loss was by 49-48 to No. 5 Shawnee. Interesting game with dangerous Bishop Eustace on Thursday. CC coach Jim Crawford needs two wins for 700 for his career.

Rancocas Valley (7-2): Red Devils showed something with big win at home over Burlington Twp. on Friday and road victory over then-No. 4 Holy Spirit on Saturday. These guys will make major hay in 2014. But don't sleep on this squad in 2013 -- they play too much defense and have too much talent.

Wildwood Catholic (7-1): Those wins over Penns Grove and Rancocas Valley are looking pretty impressive. Senior Ed McWade is leading the way.

In the mix:


Burlington City (6-0): Big game (believe or not) against 6-0 Doane Academy in a cross-town clash on Monday under Burlington Bristol Bridge.

Bishop Eustace (5-2): Crusaders have won four in a row and have rivals PVI and CC this week. Senior guard Tom Falconiero leads balanced attack.

Medford Tech (3-2): Elijah Cain (20.2) and Myles Powell (25.0) are SJ's top 1-2 scoring punch.

West Deptford (5-1): Eagles get a shot to show how far they've come in a visit to No. 2 Paulsboro on Thursday.

Camden (5-4): This team's been on a roller coaster all season. Not sure they'll ever get off.

Pitman (6-1): Addition of St. Anthony transfer Darnell Foreman gives Panthers an added element and makes them even more of a threat in SJ 1.

Cherokee (4-2): Chiefs are 7 points away from being 6-0. Juniors are growing up. Big week with games vs. Eastern, Lenape and CHE.

CH East (5-2): Cougars have won three in a row, beating Camden and Pennsauken. Senior Andrew Brown has been tough.

Penns Grove (7-1): Red Devils have an interesting game on the horizon vs. Camden Catholic in MLK Day event at Kingsway.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.


 

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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.

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