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Four of area's powerhouses in hoops classic

Four teams in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania preseason top-10 boys' basketball poll will be showcased this weekend in the Tip-Off Classic.

Four teams in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania preseason top-10 boys' basketball poll will be showcased this weekend in the Tip-Off Classic.

The 11-game event will be held over two days, with five games Saturday at Philadelphia University and six Sunday at West Chester Rustin High.

On Saturday at 5:15 p.m., No. 7-ranked and defending PIAA Class AAA state champion Neumann-Goretti takes on No. 10 Council Rock North. At 7 p.m., No. 2 Academy of the New Church faces high-powered Life Center Academy, of Burlington, N.J.

Neumann-Goretti, which has claimed the last two Catholic League titles, is led by St. Peter's-bound senior guard Lamin Fulton and 6-foot-5 junior forward Derrick Stewart. Council Rock North, the defending Suburban One League National Conference champ, has an experienced roster headed by 6-4 junior swingman Arron Goodman.

ANC has three Division I commits: 6-6 junior swingman Savon Goodman (Villanova), 6-8 senior forward Rakeem Christmas (Syracuse), and 6-11 center Malcolm Gilbert (Pittsburgh). On Nov. 28, the Lions knocked off Findlay Prep (Nev.), one publication's preseason No. 1, in the State Farm Tournament of Champions event in Chicago.

Life Center's lineup includes senior transfer and Pittsburgh signee John Johnson, who came over from Girard College. Last season, while averaging 22.2 points for the Cavaliers, the 6-1 guard earned second-team all-area honors.

The Warriors also have 6-8 senior forward LaQuinton Ross, committed to Ohio State, and rising junior wing guard Andre Horne, who spent his freshman year at Roman Catholic and played last season at Hodgson Vo-Tech, in Newark, Del.

Saturday's noon opener is a matchup between La Salle and Dobbins. The veteran-heavy Explorers are led by Rider-bound senior guard Eddie Mitchell. For Dobbins, 6-6 senior forward/center and La Salle recruit Jerrell Wright leads the way.

On Sunday, host school West Chester Rustin is pitted against No. 4 Archbishop Carroll at 8 p.m.

Rustin is fueled by 6-4 senior Cory Blake and 6-6 junior Anthony Nash. Carroll counters with a trio of seniors: combo guard Juan'ya Green, a Niagara recruit; 6-5 forward/center and Malvern Prep transfer Tracy Peal; and wing guard Jay Donovan.

Philly.Com/Rally Tip-Off Classic

Here is the schedule for the boys' basketball tournament.

Saturday at Philadelphia University

La Salle vs. Dobbins, noon.

Lower Merion vs. Bensalem, 1:45 p.m.

Malvern Prep vs. Roman Catholic, 3:30 p.m.

No. 7 Neumann-Goretti vs. No. 10 Council Rock North, 5:15 p.m.

No. 2 Academy New Church vs. Life Center Academy (N.J.), 7 p.m.

Sunday at West Chester Rustin High School

Olney vs. Harriton, 11:30 a.m.

Constitution Charter vs. Girard College, 1 p.m.

Shipley vs. Math, Civics and Sciences Charter, 2:45 p.m.

Octorara vs. Pennsbury, 4:30 p.m.

Coatesville vs. Norristown, 6:15 p.m.

West Chester Rustin vs. No. 4 Archbishop Carroll, 8 p.m.