By Phil Anastasia
Trai Greer has high expectations for his younger brother, Corey.
"He's going to be better than I am," Trai Greer said.
Someday, Corey Greer might be a more accomplished player than his older brother and could even approach the level of the siblings' famous father, former Middle Township and Florida State star Lamar Greer.
But for now, Middle Township's unquestioned leader is Trai Greer, a senior who sparked the Panthers to an impressive 50-38 victory over Gloucester Catholic in a clash of Top 20 teams on Saturday at the third annual Jimmy V Showcase at Schalick.
"It's a tribute to his character and his work ethic," Middle Township coach Tom Feraco said of Trai Greer, who stands 6-foot-2. "He's worked so hard to become the player he is now."
Trai Greer scored 20 points and senior guard Michael Feraco, the son of the coach, added 10 for Middle Township (2-0), the No. 12 team in The Inquirer Top 20 preseason rankings.
Senior Matt Green scored 13 for No. 18 Gloucester Catholic (1-1), which was hurt by 18 turnovers.
"We were a step behind," Gloucester Catholic coach Todd Powers said. "That (Middle Township) is a well-coached, well-drilled team."
The 5-foot-11 Corey Greer scored seven points and showed, at times, why he's one of South Jersey's most highly-touted freshmen.
But it was the Panthers' seniors who seized command of the game, as Trai Greer and Feraco led a 19-4 surge in the third quarter.
Middle Township opened the second half on a 12-0 run, with Trai Greer scoring four and Feraco five. The Panthers forced the Rams into turnovers on four of the first six possessions of the third quarter.
"I was really proud of our half-court defense," Tom Feraco said.
Both teams were coming off emotional victories on Friday night. Middle Township rallied on the road to beat Bridgeton 51-48, while Gloucester Catholic needed overtime to overtake visiting Highland 74-71.
Trai Greer led Middle Township with 19 points on Friday night and was the best player on the floor on Saturday.
"That's the first thing that stands out, how well he played," Feraco said of Trai Greer.
Trai Greer was the team's starting point guard as a junior but struggled at times as the Panthers finished 12-14, their only losing record in 32 seasons under Feraco.
"I lost sleep over it," Trai Greer said of last season. "It was hard. We lost so many close games. We can't let that happen again."
Trai Greer said he was motivated during the off-season to improve his game because he knew his highly-touted younger brother would be joining the Middle Township team.
"We know each other so well," Trai Greer said of his younger brother. "Our paths were different. We knew in middle school how good he was going to be. You could see it.
"I took longer. I worked really hard this off-season because I knew I had to step up as a senior."
Gloucester Catholic 10 7 4 17 -- 38
Middle Township 12 10 19 9 -- 50
GC: Matt Green 13, Keanu Kelii 8, Fran Kinsey 6, Austin Regan 3, Chris Kain 2, Tyler Mondile 4, Gregg Williams 2.
MT: Trai Greer 20, Tim Toney 4, Corey Greer 7, Michael Feraco 10, Marty Caron 9.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com