By Phil Anastasia
Here's the new Top 20 in South Jersey boys' basketball, with preseason rankings in parentheses:
1. Camden Catholic (1) 1-0
The Irish made some clutch free throws late to pull away from scrappy Shawnee on Friday night. Senior forward Brendan Crawford showed improved range on his jump shot.
2. Camden (2) 0-0
The Panthers open the season Monday at Eastern.
3. Haddonfield (3) 1-0
Senior twins Nick DePersia and Rob DePersia made plays late to help Haddonfield pull away from Collingswood on Friday night. "They're so tough," Colls coach Pat Dorney said of the DePersia brothers.
4. Atlantic City (4) 2-0
The Vikings' defense was in mid-season form in hounding Delsea into 26 turnovers in a 54-50 win at the Ocean City PBA Tipoff event Saturday night.
5. Holy Spirit (6) 2-0
Senior guard John Middleton generated 18 points, 6 assists and 4 steals in an 83-59 win over Pemberton Sunday at Ocean City.
6. St. Augustine (7) 2-0
Junior guard Sa'eed Nelson has topped 20 points in both games. Sophomore Austin Kennedy is emerging as a scoring threat as well.
7. Cherry Hill West (9) 1-0
Junior forward Danny Buckwalter went for 23 with 10 boards in the season opener. Big challenge for CHW on Tuesday as smarting Bishop Eustace visits the Lions' gym.
8. Paulsboro (11) 2-0
Senior guard Brandon Hamilton is off to a good start. He's a good complement to senior swingmen Saleem Little and Theo Holloway.
9. Cherry Hill East (9) 1-0
Junior big man Tim Perry was 11-for-12 from the field against Paul VI in the opener.
10. Bishop Eustace (5) 0-1
Senior swingman Connor McLaughlin played a strong all-around game in the loss to Lenape.
11. Delsea (8)
Junior guard Kaleb Morton went for 28 in the loss to Atlantic City.
12. Middle Twp. (12) 2-0
The Panthers' half-court defense was terrific in a 50-38 win over then-No. 18 Gloucester Catholic Saturday at the Jimmy V Showcase at Schalick. The Panthers were in front 41-21 after three.
13. Lenape (NR) 1-0
Sturdy man-to-man defense, patient offense and just enough offensive firepower led to a 39-35 upset of then-No. 5 Bishop Eustace on Friday night.
14. Rancocas Valley (NR) 1-0
Junior lead guard Adam Perry went for 20 as RV opened with a victory over Willingboro on Friday. Watch out for this team when senior guard Ned Ogoemesim becomes eligible after transferring back from Life Center.
15. Pemberton (13) 1-1
The Hornets have been re-classified to Central Jersey 2 this season after making the SJ 2 finals last season.
16. Shawnee (15) 0-1
The Renegades appear poised for a big bounce-back from last year's 10-18 season.
17. Collingswood (17) 1-1
The Panthers got a big game from senior forward Isaac Destin (17 points, 8 boards) in a 54-45 win over Deptford on Sunday at Schalick.
18. Bridgeton (NR) 1-1
The Bulldogs were mighty impressive in a win over Medford Tech on Saturday after losing a tight one to Middle Twp. on Friday night. Senior lead guard Stefon Bowman went for 24 against Medford Tech.
19. Penns Grove (NR) 2-0
The Red Devils had a big weekend with wins over Williamstown and Schalick. "They wanted it more than we did," Schalick coach Eric Cassidy said.
20. Eastern (19) 1-0
The Vikings' first game under new coach Kevin Crawford featured a dramatic rally from an 11-point deficit and win over Timber Creek.
Under consideration (lisred alphabetically): Gloucester Catholic (1-1), Kingsway (2-0), Schalick (1-1).
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