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Basketball: New Top 20

By Phil Anastasia

Here's the new Top 20 rankings in South Jersey boys' basketball:

(Last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. Paul VI (1) 3-0

Senior forward Matt Risse (14.6 average) has scored in double figures in every game. Senior guard DeVahnte Mosley has picked up his game in the absence of senior forward Jay Howard (ankle injury). Mosley is "playing with confidence," according to PVI coach Tony Devlin. Howard, a first-team All-South Jersey selection as a junior, is likely out for another week or two, Devlin said. PVI plays Friere Charter home Monday at 7.

2. Atlantic City (2) 1-1

The Vikings lost a tough game by a 58-52 score to Pa. power Chester on Saturday night at Widener. Chester (6-0 entering Sunday's game vs. Neumann-Goretti) is No. 3 in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pa. rankings. AC guard Isiah Graves scored 21 in the loss.

3. Pitman (3) 4-0

Senior guard Eric Stafford, a Lafayette recruit, likely is out for a week or two after sustaining a head and neck injury in a hard fall during a game on Friday night, according to Pitman coach Kevin Crawford. Stafford will see a concussion specialist. Crawford said the season is "a marathon" and that Stafford's condition will be handled "conservatively." The Panthers have been getting great work from senior guard Darnell Foreman and junior forward Tim Delaney. Foreman has scored between 19 and 25 in every game; Delaney between 18 and 21.

4. Holy Spriti (4) 3-0

Junior guard John Middleton (12.6 average) has scored in double figures in every game. The Spartans have a big game Monday night against Philadelphia Catholic League power Roman Catholic at the Hermit Alumni Christmas Classic at St. Augustine.

5. Haddonfield (5) 4-0

Junior guards Nick (14.7 average) and Rob (16.0) DePersia have scored in double figures in every game. The Haddons have won every game by at least 13 points and have an average margin of victory of 21.5 points.

6. Bishop Eustace (6) 4-0

Sophomore guard Mike Cohen has scored 59 points in the last three games. The Crusaders play Fox Chapel of Pittsburgh in the title game of their tournament bracket Monday in Orlando.

7. Camden Catholic (7) 2-1

Junior swingman Courtney Cubbage had 16 points, six rebounds and three steals in a 61-40 win over Bonner-Prendergast Saturday at St. Augustine. Junior center Demola Onifade, who missed the first game with a shoulder injury, gives the Irish an intimidating defensive presence. The 6-9 Onifade wants to block every shot. He gets more than his share -- 13 in two games against Philly Catholic League teams at St. Augustine.

8. Paulsboro (8) 4-0

Junior forward Saleem Little (15.7 average) has scored in double figures in every game. Junior forward Theo Holloway (16.5) has done the same except for one game when he scored nine.

9. Eastern (10) 3-0

Senior forward Matt Klinewski (pictured), a Lafayette recruit, is leading South Jersey in scoring with a 27.3 point-per-game average through three games. The Vikings are meshing a lot of relatively inexperienced players around Klinewski, so they should improve as the season goes along.

10. Cherry Hill East (16) 4-0

Junior guard Jake Silpe (17.2) and senior guard Austin Wetzler (14.5) have scored in double figures in every game. The Cougars showed no hangover from that big win over Camden as they came out the next day and beat Williamstown by 35.

11. Rancocas Valley (11) 4-1

Senior center Nick Davidson, a Bloomfield recruit, is averaging 19.6 points. He went for 15 and was named game MVP as Rancocas Valley beat Lakewood 51-39 on Sunday.

12. Schalick (13) 4-0

Senior center Rashaan Holloway, a Massachusetts recruit, is averaging 20.0 points and senior swingman Melvin Allen is averaging 17.0.

13. Camden (9) 4-1

Sophomore guard Brad Hawkins (17.4) and sophomore forward Jamal Holloway (16.8) have scored in double figures in every game.

14. Wildwood Catholic (12) 2-2

Seniors Jordan Robertson (16.5) and Eddie McWade (13.6) power a team with competitive losses to Atlantic City and Philadelphia Catholic League power La Salle.

15. Cherokee (15) 3-0

The Chiefs allowed 63 points, total, in two games in winning their bracket at the Boardwalk Basketball Classic in Wildwood. Junior forward Paul Bellamy is among South Jersey's scoring leaders with an 18.6 average.

16. St. Augustine (17) 4-0

The balanced Hermits have featured three different leading scorers in Nate Segal, Mike Vasturia and Brian Seward.

17. St. Joseph (19) 3-0

Senior guard Charlie Riccardi is averaging 21.0 points and is one of South Jersey's top three-point gunners.

18. Washington Twp. (18) 2-1

Behind senior swingman Julian Jastrzebski (22.6 average), the Minutemen have emerged as another team to watch in what should be a wide-open Olympic American race with Eastern, Cherry Hill East, Cherokee and defending champion Lenape.

19. Clearview (NR) 4-0

Junior forward Sterling Sheffield went for 17 points and 11 boards, Adam Herman forced the first OT with a hoop at 0:02 and Anthony Martin won the game with a tip at the buzzer in the second OT in a 60-58 win over previously undefeated Woodstown in a tournament final on Friday.

20. West Deptford (20) 4-0

Justin Hansen is averaging 17.2 and Preston Harcum has scored 37 in the last two games for the Eagles.

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Delsea (2-2), Pemberton (3-1).

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