Corey Greer doesn’t wear a brace on his surgically repaired left knee.
But he carries a reminder of the injury that cost most of his junior season at Camden.
“It made me stronger,” Greer said Tuesday after leading Camden to a 54-41 win over Camden Catholic at Rutgers Camden. “It made me smarter, just from watching the game.”
The 6-foot-1 Greer was injured in December 2016. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that required reconstructive surgery.
Greer did not play basketball in the spring or summer. “All I could do was stand and shoot,” he said. “I couldn’t put any weight on it.”
Greer has led Camden to a 4-1 record and the No. 2 spot in the Inquirer Top 25. He is Camden’s leading scorer with an 18.8 average. He is tops on the team in assists (23) and steals (8) and second in rebounds (29).
Greer controlled play for stretches of Camden’s win over Camden Catholic. He finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and three assists.
“Greer is one of the best players around,” Camden Catholic coach Matt Crawford said. “He is very smart. He plays the game the right way.”
Greer, the son of former Middle Township and Florida State star LaMarr Greer, who now is a Camden assistant coach, relies more on skill and guile than athletic ability.
In that sense, sitting out a season enabled him to work his greatest strength: his understanding of the game.
“I feel like I’m better,” Greer said. “I’m better than I was before. Just being smarter. Not athletically because I never really was an athletic player.
“But I’m smarter from watching the game.”
Greer said it’s “possible” that he will spent next year at a postgraduate or prep school before college. He has drawn interest from schools such as St. Francis (Pa.), but missing his junior season as well as the AAU circuit in the spring and summer has limited his recruitment.
“I’m not even worried about college,” Greer said. “I’m just focused on this team, one game at a time, grinding, and getting where we want to be.”
Moorestown (5-2) has risen to No. 13 in the rankings with a strong start that includes wins over Trenton Catholic and Rancocas Valley.
The Quakers’ losses were to No. 6 Haddonfield and No. 10 Eastern by a combined five points.
“We have some experience and we’re playing well,” Moorestown coach Shawn Anstey said. “We’re getting the ball to the basket.”
The Quakers have been led by juniors Jagger Zrada, Nick Cartwright-Atkins, Akhil Giri, and Brian McMonagle, among others.
Anstey also had high praise for Connor Dickerson, the lone senior who sees significant playing time. Dickerson scored 11 points in Tuesday night’s 61-50 win at Rancocas Valley.
“That was a signature win,” Anstey said.
The reborn Seagull Classic, held last weekend at Holy Spirit High School, featured many of South Jersey’s top teams.
The original Seagull Classic, which was ahead of its time as a showcase event, ran from 1972 to 1990. The event was brought back this season by the South Jersey Basketball Summit, an organization of referees and basketball enthusiasts.
Twelve teams in the Inquirer Top 25 were scheduled to play at the Seagull Classic, although Camden’s game against Philadelphia Public League program Martin Luther King was canceled because of weather. The event was a showcase for top Shore-area teams as Atlantic City and Wildwood Catholic in particular were highly impressive in wins over Camden Catholic and Lenape, respectively.
Officials plan to continue the Seagull Classic and perhaps expand the field in the future.
This and that
No. 10 Eastern (5-3) should get a big boost this week with the eligibility of senior Matt Cotton, a Yale recruit who sat out the season’s first 30 days as a transfer from St. Benedict’s. … Camden sophomore Lance Ware, a 6-foot-8 swingman drawing major college interest, will be eligible for the Panthers’ game Jan. 18 at Lenape. Ware is a transfer from Life Center. … No. 22 Cherry Hill East (5-3) has gotten strong work from junior guards Sam Serata and Carl Gibson. They each scored 24 in a recent win over Woodrow Wilson .
No. 15 Cherokee (3-4) has won two straight as junior Antony DiCaro has scored a combined 30 points. … No. 8 Timber Creek (6-2) was impressive in a loss to defending Group 4 state champion Linden at the Seagull Classic. The Chargers built a halftime lead against perhaps the state’s premier public-school program. … No. 1 Shawnee hopes to have junior guard Pat Kernan back by February. The 6-foot-3 Kernan, one of South Jersey’s most polished and poised athletes, has not played this season because of a knee injury. … No. 9 Paul VI (5-2) has won four in a row behind juniors Tyshon Judge and Hartnel Haye, both of whom have scored in doubles figures in every game in the streak. The 6-foot-4 Haye went for a career-best 24 in a win over Cherry Hill West. … Gloucester Catholic (4-3) has won three in a row behind senior Nico Ferrari, an exchange student from Italy. Ferrari went for 22 in a win over Palmyra and 18 in a win over crosstown rival Gloucester.
Junior Aaron Estrada is averaging 21.3 points for No. 16 Woodbury (5-1). … Sophomore Kwandel Tokley is averaging 14.8 for No. 17 Glassboro (6-0). … Neighbors No. 20 Holy Spirit (5-4) and No. 21 Pleasantville (5-2) have split two games, with the Spartans scoring a combined 143 and the Greyhounds 140. … No. 18 Millville (7-1) has won five in a row as junior Rynell Lawrence has averaged 19.8 points. … Six of the seven losses for Winslow Township (2-7) have been to Top 25 teams and the other to non-public power Union Catholic. Senior Rob Magnum scored 22 for the Eagles in a 75-64 loss to No. 1 Shawnee . … Sophomore Deonte Woodbury has averaged 14.5 points in a four-game winning streak for No. 19 Burlington City (5-1).