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  • Kevin Emmons

South Jersey Sports Zone high school boys basketball Top 15 rankings (Week 5)

Eastside's Jahaan Green (5) dunks in a game against Bishop Eustace at Eastside High School in Camden, New Jersey on Thursday, January 5, 2022. The Tigers defeated Bishop Eustace, 60-42. Ryan Fuhs/D2 Sports Network

1. Camden (8-1 record; previous ranking 1)

Camden rallied from a 14-point deficit to defeat Don Bosco Prep, 83-68, in the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic at Kean University last Friday. Kentucky commit D.J. Wagner led Camden with a team-high 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Saint Louis signee Cian Medley added 18 points and five assists.

The top-ranked Panthers suffered their first loss of the season with a 75-66 setback to nationally ranked Columbus (Fl.). Wagner led Camden with a game-high 32 points, including five 3-pointers. The Explorers were led by Cameron Boozer (21 points), the No. 1 ranked player in the Class of 2025, and his twin brother, Cayden Boozer (19 points). The sons of former NBA star Carlos Boozer combined for 40 points in the victory.

Camden also notched victories over Panther Creek (Nc.) and Northwood (Nc.) at the John Wall Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina last week. Kentucky commit Aaron Bradshaw posted a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double in the triumph over Panther Creek. Wagner scored 22 and four-star recruit Billy Richmond added 14 in the victory over Northwood.

The Panthers also hold wins over West Catholic (Pa.), Camden Catholic, Eastern, Patrick School and Rancocas Valley.

2. Camden Eastside (7-0; 2)

The Tigers remain in the No. 2 spot after squeezing out a 65-60 win over St. Augustine in overtime last Wednesday. Eastside trailed 30-21 at halftime and used a 33-point second half to force overtime. Jahaan Green scored on an offensive rebound with only seconds remaining to force the extra period. Wildwood Catholic transfer Rashee Bell powered the Tigers with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Long and Cairo Rivera added 12 points each.

The Tigers also earned a thrilling 73-72 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in triple overtime in the Seagull Classic at Holy Spirit on Sunday. Green and four-star football recruit Will Love tallied 16 points and five rebounds each.

Camden Eastside also earned a 49-39 victory over then-No. 12 Middle Township in the Boardwalk Classic at the Wildwoods Convention Center during the holiday break and possesses wins over St. Joseph by the Sea (Ny.), Seneca and previously ranked Paul VI.

3. St. Augustine (8-1; 3)

The Hermits held their place at No. 3 with a narrow 65-60 setback to Camden Eastside in overtime last Wednesday. Semaj Bethea led St. Augustine with a game-high 19 points in the loss.

The Prep bounced back with dominating wins over Wildwood Catholic and Toms River North. Elijah Brown exploded for 22 points in the 76-44 triumph over the Mariners at the Seagull Classic.

St. Augustine also earned a trio of dominating victories over Roselle, Orange and West Caldwell Tech in the Joe Silver Tournament. Paul Rodio's squad opened the 2022-23 campaign with three Cape-Atlantic League conference wins over Middle Township, Egg Harbor Township and Holy Spirit.

Rodio has 999 career wins and will look to secure No. 1,000 against Ocean City on Wednesday.

4. Camden Catholic (7-1; 5)

The Irish improved their record to 7-1 with a dominating victory over then-No. 7 Egg Harbor Township at the Seagull Classic. Senior Andrew Crawford posted a triple-double (12 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) in the win. Camden Catholic led by as much as 27 points. Sophomore Luke Kennevan tallied 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Tobe Nwobu contributed 17 points.

Nwobu exploded for a game-high 24 points in a 60-51 triumph over Timber Creek last Tuesday. Kennevan added 14.

The Irish' only loss is to top-ranked Camden. Matt Crawford's squad owns quality wins over Rancocas Valley, Gloucester Catholic, Shawnee and Overbrook.

5. Bishop Eustace (7-2; 4)

The Crusaders were upset by Middle Township after falling to No. 2 Camden Eastside, 60-42, last Thursday. James Iannelli totaled 13 points in the 49-42 loss to the Panthers.

Bishop Eustace also defeated Glassboro, 55-43, last Tuesday. Iannelli led the Crusaders with 16 points and Tommy Semiraglo added 15.

The Crusaders are still 3-1 in Olympic Conference play and hold key wins over St. Joseph, Paul VI and Lenape.

Robert Falconiero's squad also handed Pemberton (9-1 record) its only loss of the season with a 63-44 triumph in the Boardwalk Classic at the Wildwoods Convention Center on December 28.

6. Lenape (8-2; 6)

The Indians initially leaped into the rankings with a 41-29 triumph over then-No. 6 Mainland in the Score at the Shore holiday tournament final on December 30.

Lenape followed up its signature defensive performance with a 66-58 victory over Medford Tech. Tye Dorset exploded for a game-high 25 points and Matt Liebling added 12 against the Jaguars. Two days later, the Indians cruised past Cherry Hill East, 49-37. Myles Primas notched a team-high 17 points and Dorset added 14.

Lenape's eight-game win streak ended with a 53-46 setback to Ewing on Saturday. Dorset scored 18 and Primas finished with 17 in the loss.

7. Mainland (9-1; 8)

The Mustangs responded to a 41-29 setback to No. 6 Lenape with a dominating performance against Pleasantville. Four players reached double figures as Mainland surged past the Greyhounds, 72-37. Cohen Cook notched a game-high 20 points. Mawali Osunniyi added 14, Tim Travagline contributed 13 and Jamie Tyson tallied 10.

The Mustangs tacked on two more wins against Ocean City and defending Group 4 state champion Elizabeth in the Seagull Classic to extend their winning streak to three games. Travagline scored a game-high 24 points and Cook provided 19 in the 62-33 triumph over the Red Raiders. Cook (19 points) and Tyson (15 points) combined for 34 points in the 62-48 victory over Elizabeth.

Mainland also earned quality wins over Howell, Millville, Absegami and Eastern in 2022.

8. Moorestown (6-2; 14)

The Quakers extended their winning streak to three games with a 40-26 triumph over Winslow last Thursday. David Gheysens collected a game-high 16 points and Josh Byrd added 11. C.J. Hayes scored a team-best 11 points and Mikail Richardson added nine in a 60-22 win over Camden Tech last Tuesday. Byrd and Lamar Davis contributed eight points each.

Moorestown owns victories against Kingsway, Cherry Hill West, Rancocas Valley and Cherry Hill East. The Quakers have lost two contests to two out-of-area Group 4 programs by a combined six points.

9. Rancocas Valley (6-3; not ranked)

The Red Devils have won three consecutive games since a 62-56 loss to No. 4 Camden Catholic on December 28.

Jack Orendac collected a team-high 17 points in a 53-38 win over Wildwood Catholic at the Seagull Classic last Saturday. Jameir Rollins tallied 11 and Montre Wilson added nine. Rollins provided nine points, nine rebounds and six blocks off the bench in a 48-45 triumph over Cherokee last Thursday. Orendac scored a game-high 13 and Wilson tallied 10. The guard duo also combined for 27 points in a 56-43 victory over Winslow.

Rancocas Valley has won six out of its last eight games with dominating wins over Florence, Kingsway and Delsea.

The Red Devils led against the fourth-ranked Irish when entering the fourth quarter and fell to No. 8 Moorestown in overtime. Rancocas Valley also lost to top-ranked Camden, 91-50, in its season opener.

10. Egg Harbor Township (8-2; 7)

The Eagles were thumped by No. 4 Camden Catholic, 69-57, in the Seagull Classic at Holy Spirit last Saturday. D.J. Germann went off for a game-best 32 points. The senior also scored a game-high 25 points in a 61-41 victory over Ocean City last Tuesday.

Egg Harbor Township edged Middle Township, 41-37, last Thursday. Jay-Nelly Reyes scored a game-high 12 points and secured five rebounds. Jamil Wilkins posted 10 points and seven rebounds.

EHT has won seven out of its last eight contests including a 39-34 win over Haddonfield on December 29. The Eagles lost to No. 3 St. Augustine, 54-51, in the Ocean City PBA Tipoff on December 17.

11. Sterling (8-1; NR)

The Silver Knights earned a pair of statement wins against then-No. 10 Haddonfield and then-No. 9 Eastern last week.

Caleb Mundell racked up 13 points and eight rebounds against the Haddons to push Sterling into first place in the Colonial Conference Liberty Division. Julian Johnson added 10 points and Travis Schmid contributed nine points and six rebounds.

Jaydis McFadden poured in a team-high 19 points and six assists as Sterling outlasted Eastern, 65-60, in overtime last Saturday. Schmid added 18 points and five rebounds. Justin Barringer's group erased a nine-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Vikings 21-5 in the third quarter.

The Silver Knights have won four consecutive contests since a 62-53 setback to Timber Creek.

12. Eastern (6-3; 9)

The Vikings watched a nine-point halftime lead evaporate in a 65-60 overtime loss to Sterling last Saturday. Max Portnoy exploded for a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds. Sharpshooting southpaw Damien Edwards added 15.

The setback ceased a five-game win streak that featured victories over Paulsboro, Clearview, Hightstown, Kingsway and Cherry Hill East. Edwards scored 19 points and Portnoy added 15 in the 78-52 triumph over the Red Raiders last Friday. John Chamberlin collected a team-high 11 points in the 62-42 win over the Pioneers of Mullica Hill.

Eastern's only conference loss is an 89-39 setback to top-ranked Camden. The Vikings fell to No. 7 Mainland by one point at the Jimmy V Tournament and defeated Shawnee, 41-39, in their season opener.

13. Cherry Hill East (8-3; NR)

The Cougars edged Washington Township, 59-56, last Saturday. Senior Ian Gross posted a game-high 22 points, Roman Catholic (Pa.) transfer Jack Flannery added 13 and freshman Chris Delgado contributed 11.

The victory came on the heels of a 49-37 setback against No. 6 Lenape. Gross accumulated a game-high 19 points in the setback and Flannery added 11. The duo combined for 32 points in a 53-51 win over Williamstown last Tuesday. Gross buried a pair of game-winning free throws with 4.1 seconds left.

Cherry Hill East owns wins over Cherry Hill West, Pleasantville, and Clearview, and lost to No. 8 Moorestown and No. 12 Eastern by a combined eight points.

14. Washington Township (8-1; 15)

The Minutemen suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Cherry Hill East last Saturday. Chris Racobaldo tallied a team-high 16 points in the 59-56 setback. Owen Friel added 11. Washington Township trailed by five points after three quarters.

The Minutemen rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to knock off Williamstown, 78-63, last Thursday. Township outscored the Braves 53-23 over the final two quarters. Racobaldo notched a game-high 26 points. Friel and Dan Reistle added 14 each. The Minutemen also knocked off Delsea, 68-66, in overtime last Tuesday. Racobaldo went off for 27 points.

Matt Kiser's squad inaugurated the season with an eight-game win streak. Washington Township earned a 68-64 statement win over Timber Creek on December 22.

15. Lower Cape May (8-0; NR)

The Caper Tigers rallied from a 22-point deficit with 4:44 left in the third quarter to force overtime and stun Holy Cross Prep, 52-50, at the Seagull Classic last Saturday. Lower Cape May was without leading scorer Archie Lawler due to a foot injury. Macky Bonner powered the Caper Tigers with a game-high 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jacob Bey added 14 points and six rebounds.

Lower Cape May also notched victories over Pleasantville and Buena last week. Bey tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds in the 54-35 triumph over the Greyhounds.

The Caper Tigers have a 5-0 record against Cape-Atlantic League opponents with key wins over Hammonton, Wildwood Catholic and St. Joseph.

Others under consideration (listed alphabetically):

Atlantic Tech (7-2)

Cinnaminson (9-0)

Haddonfield (6-3)

Hammonton (5-2)

Medford Tech (5-3)

Middle Township (4-4)

Millville (6-2)

Overbrook (6-2)

Paul VI (5-4)

Pemberton (9-1)

Shawnee (4-4)

St. Joseph (5-4)

Timber Creek (4-4)

Westampton Tech (7-2)

Wildwood (8-1)

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