Here are the Inquirer’s all-South Jersey boys’ basketball teams by groups, with players and coaches of the year in each group.
Ray Bethea 6-5 Sr. Atlantic City
Dylan Deveney 6-6 Sr. Shawnee
Dean Noll 6-1 Sr. Shawnee
Daevon Robinson 6-4 Sr. Shawnee
Andrew Sims 6-6 Sr. Lenape
Jesse Barbera 5-11 Sr. Eastern
Tymere Bennett 6-6 Sr. Cherokee
Kadian Dawkins 6-1 Sr. Rancocas Valley
Rynell Lawence 6-0 Jr. Millville
Flash Morgan 6-2 Sr. Atlantic City
Honorable mention: Curtis Bright, Sr., Rancocas Valley; Nazim Derry, Sr. Atlantic City; Tony DiCaro, Jr. Cherokee; Troy Edwards, Sr., Eastern; Carl Gibson, Jr., Cherry Hill East; Jamir Patterson, Sr., Kingsway; Omar Ramos, Sr. Williamstown; Jake Topolski, Sr., Lenape.
Group 4 Player of the Year: Dean Noll sparked Shawnee to the Group 4 state title, a victory in the Tournament of Champions and the No. 1 final ranking. A clever ball-handler who specialized in mid-range jumpers off the move, Noll averaged 21.6 points and played his best in big moments, scoring seven in the fourth quarter of the state final and finishing his career with a flourish with 24 in a T of C loss to Don Bosco Prep. He set the school record for points in a season with 737, shattering the mark set in 1992 by the legendary Dan Earl.
Group 4 Coach of the Year: Joe Kessler, Shawnee. Despite losing two returning starters to injuries, the Renegades went 29-5 and captured the state title. After a surprising loss to district rival Seneca on Jan. 26, Shawnee went 18-2 in its final 20 games, with losses to Blair and Don Bosco Prep. The Renegades spread the floor, shared the basketball and shot out the lights in classic Shawnee style, beating perennial powers Atlantic City, Trenton and Newark East Side in succession in a remarkable tournament run.
Jack Brockett 6-1 Sr. Seneca
Jalen Collins 6-6 Sr. Triton
Javon Gordon 5-9 Jr. Delsea
Maurice Murray 6-6 Sr. Timber Creek
Isaiah Sanders 6-4 Sr. Timber Creek
Kolby Braxton 5-9 Sr. Delsea
Nick Cartwright-Atkins 6-0 Jr. Moorestown
Connor Dickerson 6-3 Sr. Moorestown
Mike Ginyard 6-4 Sr. Seneca
Josh Jackson 6-0 Sr. Northern Burlington
Honorable mention: Pat Costa, Sr. Hammonton; Nate Cox, Sr., Delsea; Dante Masino, Sr., Highland; Tysheim Perkins, Sr., Winslow Twp.; Joey Sacco, Jr., Ocean City; Jagger Zrada, Jr,. Moorestown.
Group 3 Player of the Year: Timber Creek’s Maurice Murray saw his scoring average dropped by nearly seven points per game this season but that was because he was a much more well-rounded player. He still averaged 17.3 points. But he was a facilitator for his teammates, creating opportunities for Sanders to lead the Chargers with a 17.8 average. In his last two games in the Group 3 state tournament, Murray scored 26 and 24 points, respectively.
Group 3 Coach of the Year: Tom Freeman, Delsea. Without a starter taller than 6-foot-1, the Crusaders won the South Jersey Group 3 title as a No. 4 seed and pushed eventual state champion Nottingham to the brink in the state semifinals. Delsea was a favorite of the sport’s aficionados as the Crusaders played with great diligence on defense and shared the basketball on offense, as responsible and unselfish a team as there was in South Jersey.
Mike DePersia Jr. Haddonfield
Corey Greer Sr. Camden
Pat Holden Sr. Lower Cape May
Jared Latane Sr. Haddon Hts.
Myles Thompson Sr. Camden
Divine Anderson Sr. Pleasantville
Dan Fleming Jr. Haddonfield
Jacquay Mendez Sr. Bordentown
Chris Roe Sr. Sterling
Craig Turner Sr. Cinnaminson
Honorable mention: Aiden Blake, Jr., Haddonfield; Nathan Conyer, Sr., Medford Tech; Jalen Freeman, Jr., Middle Twp.; Te’Sean Pressley, Soph., Haddon Hts.; Noah Syer, Jr., Sterling; Jaden Wallace, Sr., Collingswood;
Group 2 Player of the Year: Mike DePersia hit the biggest shot in recent Haddonfield history, a put-back at 0:03 that proved the game-winner in a 54-53 overtime victory over Camden in the sectional semifinals. He led all scorers with 20 that day. He also scored 22 in the state-final victory over Newark Central. His ball-handling, versatility, poise under pressure and unflappable confidence led the Bulldawgs to a 29-4 record and the program’s first state title since 2006.
Group 2 Coach of the Year: Paul Wiedeman, Haddonfield. The veteran coach led the Bulldawgs on a remarkable post-season run that included the victory over four-time defending sectional champion Camden as well as wins over Central Jersey power Rumson-Fair Haven and Newark Central. Nobody works harder than Wiedeman in terms of scouting and preparation. His diligence paid off in a season in which the Bulldawgs played their “home” games at Cherry Hill East and won the program’s sixth state title when many observers figured the team was a year away from big thunder.
Luke Castagna Sr. Pitman
Aaron Estrada Jr. Woodbury
Anthony Mitchell Sr. Glassboro
Jawan Roane Sr. Penns Grove
D’Andre Thurmond Sr. Burlington City
Eric Diaz Sr. Paulsboro
Jabrill Enmonds Sr. Florence
Kyion Flanders Sr. Wildwood
Mahir Yilmaz Sr. Clayton
Jeremy Young Sr. Burlington City
Honorable mention: Brian Burns, Jr., Haddon Twp.; T.J. Carter, Jr. Woodbury; Sai’Mere Colon, Sr., Gloucester; Kavon Lewis, Soph., Penns Grove; Marcus McGruder, Sr., Woodbury; Kwandel Tokley, Soph., Glassboro; Deonte Woodbury, Soph., Burlington City.
Group 1 Player of the Year: Woodbury’s Aaron Estrada was good in the regular season. He was great in the playoffs. His free throw at 0:03 was a game winner against Haddon Twp. in the sectional semifinals. He scored 24 in a road win over Penns Grove and 20 in a road win over Glassboro. He generated 30 with 11 rebounds in the state semifinals against Pt. Pleasant Beach, and he made the winning free throws with 0:04 on the clock in the state final against Cresskill. He finished in fine fashion, scoring 23 in a loss to Group 4 state champion Shawnee in the Tournament of Champions.
Group 1 Coach of the Year: Mark DiRugeris, Woodbury. A first-year coach just eight years removed from his playing days on the same court, DiRugeris went through some choppy times in the regular season. The Thundering Herd was just 15-11 when the playoff started. But the coach got his team, with just two seniors in the rotation, to play its best basketball in March, with road wins over higher seeds Penns Grove and Glassboro and a triumph over a 29-2 Cresskill team that secured the first state title in Woodbury history.
Baba Ajike Jr. Camden Catholic
Caleb Fields Sr. Wildwood Catholic
Marlon Hargis St. Augustine
Marcellus Ross Jr. St. Joseph
Peyton Vostenak Sr. Bishop Eustace
Dominic Dunn Sr. Camden Catholic
Mattia Morini Jr. Bishop Eustace
Taj Thweatt Soph. Wildwood Catholic
Tyshon Judge Jr. Paul VI
Hartnel Haye Jr. Paul VI
Honorable mention: Drew Gallagher, Sr., Holy Spirit; Charles Fields, Sr., Wildwood Catholic; Uche Okafor, Jr., Camden Catholic; Connor Regan, Jr., Gloucester Catholic; Charles Solomon, Jr., St. Augustine; Travis Stoll, Sr. St. Augustine.
Non-Public Player of the Year: Caleb Fields led Wildwood Catholic to the winningest season in program history. The Crusaders won the Cape-Atlantic League title, beating perennial powers St. Augustine and Atlantic City in the space of three days. Fields averaged 21.1 points for the season, scoring in double figures in every game. He set a career-best with 38 in a win over St. Joseph, and finished his career with 1,665 points.
Non-Public Coach of the Year: Matt Crawford, Camden Catholic. Crawford led the Irish on a late-season surge that produced 10 consecutive victories and the program’s first Non-Public A title since 2008. With just one senior in the rotation, the battled-tested Irish played smart, steady basketball through February and March, beating two-time sectional champion St. Augustine on the road in overtime and taking down Central Jersey power St. Joseph of Metuchen in the South A title game before falling to eventual Tournament of Champions finalist Don Bosco Prep in the state championship game.
Who is the Player of the Year in South Jersey boys’ basketball?
The Coach of the Year?
Who made first-, second- and third-team All-South Jersey?
Find out Sunday as the Inquirer wraps up the boys’ basketball season with its annual All-South Jersey package.