Here are predictions for the South Jersey tournaments in the four public groups and two non-public groups:
Shawnee. The Renegades have a team built to win in March: nine seniors, enough inside presence in Austin Lang and Frank Destito to stand up to physical opponents, and guards such as Josh Borrelli and Ryan Bodnar who can control tempo and hit three-pointers. Atlantic City, the defending state champion, returns a ton of talent, including 6-8 senior Jah-leem Montague, football star Dayshawn Reynolds and talented forward Ga-brail Chandler. Eastern is a strong contender with a top three of Devon Bell, Avery Walker and Matt Klinewski that can match up with anybody. Lenape is the darkhorse.
Camden. The Panthers won their 42d sectional title last season and will be back for more behind 6-7 senior forward Amir Maddred. Delsea will be in the mix with senior forward Cedric Elleby leading the way and Kingsway has a recent history of tournament success and an explosive athlete in junior guard Ray Lawry. Woodrow Wilson, Timber Creek and Winslow Township could be factors as well.
Middle Township. The Panthers bring back four starters, led by senior guards Tom Catanoso and Tom Feraco, and play a smart, sturdy style that lends itself to postseason success. Haddonfield will be right there behind seniors Chris Biddle and Billy Griffin as well as sophomore twins Rob and Nick DePersia. Medford Tech has a top player in junior guard Elijah Cain and Sterling could be in the mix with a veteran backcourt in seniors Jerry Crismond and Marcus Taylor.
Paulsboro. The Red Raiders rate the edge in what might be the deepest public-school sectional race. Seniors Xavier Lundy and Julien Davenport give Paulsboro a serious inside prsence. Pitman has a terrific 1-2 punch in 6-9 sophomore Tim Delaney and 6-5 junior Eric Stafford. Schalick has an inside force in 6-9 junior Rashaan Armstead-Holloway and three other returning starters from a 21-win team. Penns Grove has a top scorer in DeShawn Davis and several other veterans. Wildwood is a darkhorse.
St. Joseph Metuchen. The defending state champions rate the edge in this loaded group. The Falcons return 6-11 sophomore Karl Towns and got a big boost from the addition of 6-2 Marques Townes, a transfer from Cardinal McCarrick who averaged 19.2 points. Paul VI will challenge with a loaded junior class led by Matt Risse and Jay Howard as well as highly touted transfers Jahvante Mosely and Ivan Robinson. Holy Spirit is a serious contender behind senior guard Paul Moore and junior swingman Junior Saintel. Camden Catholic will be led by Temple recruit Kyle Green. St. Augustine has a deep and dangerous squad led by senior guard Mike Greenman. Gloucester Catholic has a versatile athlete in baseball star Mike Shawaryn, an experienced point guard in senior Steve Jackson and a top sophomore in guard Fran Kinsey.
Gill St. Bernard's. South Jersey teams in this group used to have to worry about facing St. Anthony or St. Patrick in the state finals. Now they have to worry about getting past this Somerset County powerhouse. The Knights return lead guard Jarren Sina, a Northwestern recruit, from a 27-4 squad and might have the state's top freshman in guard Tyus Battle. Sacred Heart has a top sophomore in Mike Holloway.