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Basketball: Showcase events this season

By Phil Anastasia

Several showcase events will highlight the South Jersey boys' basketball season that begins Friday.

Here are some other top showcase boys' basketball events scheduled for South Jersey this season (rankings reflect The Inquirer's preseason Top 20):

-- Jimmy V Classic, Saturday at Schalick:

The second year of this event will feature seven games in a day-long format. Tickets are $5 for all day and proceeds benefit the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research.

Five Top 10 teams will be in action, with No. 10 Camden playing Medford Tech at 1; No. 9 Paulsboro playing Gloucester Catholic at 2:30; No. 8 Rancocas Valley meeting No. 5 Haddonfield at 4; and No. 1 Paul VI clashing with Philadelphia Catholic League power Archbishop Wood at 7.

American Basketball Classic, Jan. 11 at St. Augustine Prep.

This new event, organized by the Hermits athletic office in conjunction with Rich Marcucci, will include matchups such as No. 4 Holy Spirit vs. No. 9 Paulsboro; powerful non-NJSIAA program Life Center Academy vs. Princeton Day Academy of Maryland and No. 17 St. Augustine vs. Montrose Christian of Maryland.

Jeff Coney Classic, Jan. 25 at Rancocas Valley.

This 11-game, 22-team, two-gym, all-day event will feature most of the top squads in South Jersey.

Among the top games will be No. 12 Wildwood Catholic vs. No. 5 Haddonfield; No. 4 Holy Spirit vs. No. 11 Eastern; No. 6 Bishop Eustace vs. state power Trenton Catholic and No. 1 Paul VI vs. No. 8 Rancocas Valley in the nightcap of the event.

Tri-State Classic, Feb. 7-8 at Bishop Eustace

This two-day, 12-game event feastures a loaded Saturday slate with matchups between No. 13 Schalick and No. 11 Eastern; No. 3 Pitman and No. 8 Rancocas Valley and No. 6 Bishop Eustace and No. 5 Haddonfield in the final game of the showcase.

Shoot Down Cancer Classic, Feb. 8-9 at St. Augustine Prep.

Formerly known as the Olympic-Cape Challenge, this event now will include teams from outside those conferences as Williamstown and Delsea are scheduled to participate this season.

Among the top matchups at the two-day event are No. 12 Wildwood Catholic vs. No. 15 Cherokee; No. 2 Atlantic City vs. No. 10 Camden; and No. 4 Holy Spirit vs. No. 17 St. Augustine.

-- Cherry Hill East Invititational, Feb. 15-16 at Cherry Hill East.

This two-day, 11-game event should have great action on both days as teams look to sharpen their play in advance of the state tournament.

The top games on Feb. 15 likely will include No. 5 Haddonfield vs. No. 4 Holy Spirit; cross-town rivals No. 16 Cherry Hill East vs. Cherry Hill West; and No. 10 Camden vs. No. 3 Pitman.

On Feb. 16, No. 17 St. Augustine plays No. 11 Eastern in an 11 a.m. lid-lifter and No. 1 Paul VI meets national power St. Anthony of Jersey City in the last event of the showcase, set to tip at 5 p.m.

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