By Phil Anastasia
Here's the new Top 10, as of Sunday Dec. 30, with previous record in parentheses (Records through Saturday):
1. Atlantic City (1) 6-0
Senior center Jah-leem Montague generated 11 points and 15 rebounds in a 65-51 victory over previously undefeated Abington (Pa.) in the Jameer Nelson/Pete Nelson Classic at Widener University. That was a big win for the Vikings against a Southeastern Pa. power. Big game Thursday at home against No. 5 Middle Twp.
2. Paulsboro (2) 6-0
The Red Raiders rallied from deficits entering the fourth quarter against both Winslow Township and Timber Creek at the James Atkinson Tournament at Gloucester County College. The Red Raiders showed something in those comebacks. But they also showed some vulnerability in falling behind. Although this team has a lot of guys back from last year's 30-1 team, they still are a work in progress with different roles for a some key players.
3. Paul VI (3) 4-0
Senior forward Matt O'Keefe has given the Eagles a lift. PVI has a good problem: The Eagles will have to find minutes for junior transfers Ivan Robinson and Alex Danko when they become eligible and senior Pat Kennedy when he gets healthy. Potentially, this could be the deepest, most versatile team in SJ come the end of February. But the playing-time distribution and assignment and acceptance of roles can be tricky business, too.
4. Holy Spirit (4) 4-1
The Spartans' late rally fell short in a 46-39 loss to Philadelphia Catholic League power Archbishop Wood in a showcase event at St. Augustine Prep. HS has two division battles with No. 1 AC ahead on the schedule.
5. Middle Township (6) 5-1
The Panthers allowed just 74 points in two victories at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic in Wildwood last week. This seasoned, balanced team gets its shot at the No. 1 team on Thursday in a visit to Atlantic City. The teams could meet again in the CAL tournament.
6. Shawnee (5) 5-1
The Renegades have not allowed more than 56 points in a game. Seniors Josh Borrelli and Tristan Polnitz continue to carry scoring load. Calvary could be on the way my mid-January as three of the team's top seven are working through injuries.
7. Lenape (7) 5-0
Junior Cameron Green went for a career-high 17 in a 51-40 victory over Sterling at the Board 34 Showcase. The Indians are playing their typically sturdy defense and shwowing some offensive balance.
8. Eastern (8) 3-1
The Vikings' game with Bishop Hendrickson at the Bishop Eustace tournament was cancelled Saturday because the Rhode Island team was concerned about weather in its home state. In Eastern's only game of holiday break, the Vikings rolled over Gloucester Catholic by 62-31 at BE tournament.
9. Haddonfield (9) 6-0
The Bulldogs looked strong in Board 34 Showcase at Lenape with victories over Archbishop Ryan of Philadelphia and Willingboro. Good leadership from seniors Chris Biddle and Billy Griffin and a loaded sophomore class -- that's a nice combination. Interesting non-conference challenge at Delsea on Saturday. Crusaders won at Haddonfield last year.
10. St. Augustine (NR) 4-1
Seniors guards Mike Greenman (18) and David Sullivan (16) led the way in a 62-48 victory over Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast of Philadelphia. This is a deep team that has a chance to be much stronger in February.
In the mix:
Camden (4-3 entering St. Anthony game): The Panthers are erractic but capable of striking deep in SJ 3 tournament.
Camden Catholic (2-2): Big game at Shawnee Thursday gives the Irish chance to get right back in Top 10 conversation.
Woodstown (6-0): Woodies are winning with depth and balance. They have a top sophomore in Jay Hankins.
Penns Grove (5-1): Red Devils won Saturday without a big game from Ge'shawn Davis, their leading scorer. That's a good sign.
Burlington Twp. (4-1): Falcons have an emerging star in junior Kenny Davis, MVP of the Butch McLean tournament at Haddon Heights.
Rancocas Valley (5-2): Red Devils have won four in a row and have a go-to guy in Ned Ogemesim.
Timber Creek (4-2): The Chargers two losses were in OT to No. 6 Shawnee and 60-55 to No. 2 Paulsboro. Senior guard George Sapp is making everybody else better.
Cherokee (4-2): The Chiefs have won three in a row and their two losses were by a combined 6 points to Shawnee and Cherry Hill East.
Burlington City (5-0): Josh Young led Blue Devils to title in 8-team Delran tournament.
Wildwood Catholic (5-1): Jordan Robertson and Ed McWade led the way in an impressive 52-39 win over Penns Grove on Sunday in Wildwood.