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Clayton, playing a frenetic pace, is 3-0

Clayton's frenetic style of basketball produces points in bunches for both teams. So far this season, it's also generating wins for the Clippers.

Clayton's frenetic style of basketball produces points in bunches for both teams.

So far this season, it's also generating wins for the Clippers.

Playing what coach Frank Rago calls the "tornado system," Clayton is 3-0 and averaging 92.3 points.

"We're having fun," Rago said of the Clippers' unique approach, which features full-court pressure defense and quick-fire offense. "This game is supposed to be fun."

Clayton opened the season with a 106-100 win over Penns Grove, then rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to beat Wildwood, 85-84, and topped Gloucester, 86-79.

"Eighty is our number," Rago said. "We want to play games in the 80s, and maybe that will make teams that aren't used to playing in the 80s uncomfortable."

Clayton senior guard Michael "Scooby" Gibson scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday at Gloucester. Gibson is averaging 23.6 points.

Clayton got a big lift this season from the arrival of junior guard Saleem Brown, a transfer from Philadelphia. Brown is averaging 18 points.

"He can play," Rago said. "He gets to the rack, finishes left, finishes right. He's like Scooby [Gibson]."

Rago uses 10 to 12 players in a steady rotation and employs a style that lifts elements from former Loyola Marymount coach Paul Westhead's "Guru of Go" approach during the late 1980s as well as the Grinnell (Iowa) College system of relentless pace and three-point shooting.

The Group 1 Clippers impressed in scrimmages, competing with Group 3 contenders Timber Creek and Highland.

"They were up 25 on us at halftime," Timber Creek coach Rich Bolds said of a scrimmage his team eventually rallied to win by a point. "It was like, 'Wow, what hit us?' "

Work in progress. St. Augustine (2-0) starts the season in a familiar spot: as the No. 1 squad in the rankings.

The Hermits return four starters from last year's 30-2 team that won the Non-Public A state title, but lost player of the year Sa'eed Nelson, now making an immediate impact at American University.

"It's hard to replace a guard like that," St. Augustine coach Paul Rodio said. "It's hard to replace that leadership. But we're getting there. We're making progress."

The Hermits are off until a holiday showcase in Jersey City next week in which they will play Holy Trinity (N.Y.) and Covington (Ky.) Catholic.

"We'll find out what we're all about as we move along this season," Rodio said.

Fast start. Pennsauken is out to a 2-0 start under first-year coach Al Fisher, a former star player for the Indians.

Seniors Josh Oxendine and Jaylen Robinson have led the way. Oxendine is averaging 16 points, and Robinson is averaging 17.5 points.

"We've got a chance to go far," Robinson said after a season-opening victory over Rancocas Valley. "I want to take the bus trip to Rutgers [for the Group 3 state final]."

Feraco Court. Middle Township plans to name the playing surface in its gymnasium Coach Tom Feraco Court before the Panthers' Jan. 3 game vs. St. Joseph.

Feraco coached Middle Township for 35 seasons, retiring in March. His teams won 719 games, nine South Jersey titles, and three state titles.

In addition, St. Augustine Prep plans to honor Feraco when the Hermits host Middle Township Jan. 7.

That event will have extra significance since Middle Township's new coach, Anthony Farmer, is a former star player for St. Augustine Prep and spent the last three seasons as Rodio's assistant coach.

On the move. Former St. Joseph star Jordan Herrin has transferred from Woodbury to Winslow Township, according to Woodbury athletic director Grant Shivers.

Herrin spent his freshman year at Woodbury, then transferred to St. Joseph and played for the Wildcats as a sophomore and junior, leading the team in scoring both seasons.

Herrin transferred to Woodbury in September. He was required to sit out 30 days before suiting up for the Thundering Herd because he had not changed residences.

But as a transfer to Winslow Township, Herrin was required to move into that district. Normally, that would mean that he would be eligible play right away.

Winslow Township athletic director Kemp Carr said he didn't know yet of Herrin's status because the "transfer waiver [is] in process."

This and that. Seniors NaQuan McPherson (26) and Rich Racobaldo (21) both scored career highs as Washington Township (1-1) beat Seneca, 71-61, on Tuesday. . . . Cherokee (2-1) is allowing just 31.7 points per game. . . . Woodbury (3-0) beat Paulsboro for the first time since 2009 on Tuesday night. "That's off my shoulders," Woodbury senior Ja'Zere Noel said after the Thundering Herd's 65-48 victory.

Haddonfield (2-0) is off to a good start behind sophomore guard Mike DePersia, who is averaging 20.5 points. . . . Willingboro (1-1) freshman Nazim Chavies is averaging 19 points. . . . Moorestown (3-0) sophomore Jagger Zrada is averaging 14 points.

Triton (2-0) senior Tyrese Dallas is averaging 18 points. . . . St. Joseph (2-0) stunned Holy Spirit, 61-60, in overtime Sunday at Ocean City on J.D. DiRenzo's tip-in at the buzzer. Sophomore Marcellus Ross and senior Ron Gaskins have combined for 82 points for the Wildcats.