They might be the basketball programs with the richest traditions on either side of the Delaware river.
They might be the strongest squads in their respective areas this season.
When Roman Catholic and Camden clash in the Dajuan Wagner Player-by-Play Classic Monday night at Cherry Hill East, it will be a little more than just another early-season battle between top teams continuing their preparation for the start of league play and laying the foundation for what they hope will be a long post-season run.
Expect a huge crowd and a palpable buzz for the star-studded battle between the Cahillites and Panthers, set to tip at around 8 p.m., in the nightcap of a four-game showcase in DiBart Gymasium.
Another highlight of the event is the scheduled 6:15 p.m. game between Archbishop Wood and Wildwood Catholic, two more powerhouse teams from opposite sides of the river.
Camden (4-0) has dominated in the early going, winning each game by at least 20 points. The Panthers are led by 6-9 senior Lance Ware, a Kentucky recruit, as well as 6-7 juniors TaQuan Woodley and Jerome Brewer.
Camden’s most intriguing player is 6-1 freshman D.J. Wagner, son of former Camden star Dajuan Wagner — namesake of the event — and grandson of former Camden star Milt Wagner.
D.J. Wagner attended two training camps for USA Basketball’s Junior National Team this summer in Colorado Springs., Colo., along with many of the country’s top high school players. He was one of just four players invited from the class of 2023.
Roman Catholic (4-2) had two players attend those USA Basketball Junior National Team camps in sophomores Jalen Duren and Justice Williams. Duren, a 6-10 forward, and Williams, a 6-4 guard, are regarded as two of the country’s top players in the class of 2022.
The Cahillites (4-2) also feature 6-1 senior guard Lynn Greer III, who led the way in a 56-51 win over Imhotep Charter on Friday night.
Archbishop Wood (4-3) has played a national-caliber schedule that has included four games at the Iolani Classic in Honolulu, Hi.
The Vikings also lost a seven-overtime classic by a 130-128 score to nationally ranked Paul VI of Fairfax, Va.
Archbishop Wood is led by a loaded junior class that features 6-3 guard Rahsool Diggins and 6-5 swingman Marcus Randolph, a transfer from Willingboro (N.J.).
Wildwood Catholic (4-0) is led by 6-7 senior Taj Thweatt, a West Virginia recruit, and 6-6 senior Jahil White, a Temple recruit.
Action at Cherry Hill East will start at 2:45 p.m. with a matchup between Pemberton (N.J.) and Highland (N.J.).
At 4:30 p.m., Cherry Hill East (3-1) will meet Cherry Hill West (4-0) in a renewal of a rich, cross-town rivalry.