Owen McGlashan's first basketball season for Don Bosco Prep has progressed as far as possible.
McGlashan, a junior forward who spent his first two seasons at Cherokee, is a reserve swingman for Don Bosco Prep (29-2), which will meet Roselle Catholic (28-4) in the Tournament of Champions title game Sunday at 5 p.m. in CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.
"It's very exciting," McGlashan said on Thursday night, after the Ironmen beat Shawnee, 49-39, in the semifinals at Toms River North. "It's something new for me. I'm looking forward to it."
This school year has been very new for the 6-foot-6 McGlashan, who transferred to Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J., after moving to Bergen County with his mother and step-father in the summer.
"My step-dad got a job in Montvale," McGlashan said.
McGlashan said it was an adjustment for him, since he had grown up in Marlton, playing youth sports with athletes who soon would become his teammates at Cherokee.
He was especially tight with Cherokee junior guard Anthony DiCaro, having played travel basketball together since middle school.
"I grew up whole life in Marlton so going to Cherokee was like a dream for me coming out of middle school," McGlashan said. "I still stay in touch with those guys and (Cherokee) coach (Eric) Cassidy.
"Even though I only played one year for him, we became very close. He always had my best interests at heart. Before I moved, we had a long conversation and he was talking to me about moving, how to go about it."
Cassidy, who led Cherokee to a 17-10 record this season, said the Chiefs missed the rangy and athletic McGlashan, who started as a sophomore.
"We missed him," Cassidy said. "He's a great kid. I'm still his biggest fan."
McGlashan said he's been struck by the differences in style of play between North Jersey and South Jersey teams.
"It's a lot different than playing at Cherokee, without a doubt," McGlashan said. "It's a much faster pace up in North Jersey.
"In South Jersey, and especially in the Olympic Conference, it's a different game, a slower pace, slow down, run your sets, a fundamentally sound game.
"Up here is more speed and physicality. It's more of an up-beat game."
McGlashan has played against familiar foes in the last two games, as Don Bosco Prep beat Camden Catholic in the Non-Public A state final and Shawnee in the T of C semifinals.
"I knew what they could do," McGlashan said of Shawnee. "I told my teammates."
McGlashan has been a role player for the Ironmen, coming off the bench as a sixth man. He played a big part in the victory over Camden Catholic with six points, including a dunk, along with three rebounds, three assists and a block.
"My teammates have accepted me, made me feel at home," McGlashan said.
McGlashan plans to keep his connections with South Jersey basketball during the AAU season by playing with Team Speed, which includes several area players such as Haddonfield's Mike DePersia and Dan Fleming and Camden Catholic's Baba Ajike and Uche Okafor.
"I'm looking forward to that," McGlashan said.
Tournament of Champions title game
No. 1 seed Roselle Catholic (28-4) vs. No. 2 seed Don Bosco Prep (29-2)
Sunday at 5 p.m. at CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton
Roselle Catholic road to final: Beat Koinonia Academy, 90-51; Christ the King, 101-48; Montclair Immaculate, 92-63; Gill St. Bernard, 57-40; Ranney, 63-61; Nottingham, 75-62.
Roselle Catholic players to watch: Senior guard Ithiel Horton (Delaware recruit); senior center Naz Reid (LSU recruit).
Don Bosco Prep road to final: Beat Union Catholic, 88-47; Bergen Catholic, 71-48; St. Peter's Prep, 60-59 (2 OTs); Camden Catholic, 61-54; Shawnee, 49-39.
Don Bosco players to watch: Senior forward Marcellus Earlington (St. John's recruit) and senior guard Ron Harper (Rutgers recruit).
Pick: Roselle Catholic 64, Don Bosco Prep 56.
2017: Patrick School over Don Bosco Prep
2016: St. Anthony over Linden
2015: Roselle Catholic over Pope John
2014: St. Joseph Metuchen over Newark East Side
2013: Roselle Catholic over St. Joseph Metuchen
2012: St. Anthony over Plainfield
2011: St. Anthony over Plainfield
2010: Trenton Catholic over Camden Catholic
2009: St. Patrick over Science Park