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Central Jersey Top 10: Week One boys’ basketball rankings

The scholastic boys’ basketball season in New Jersey opened this past weekend when area teams showcased their talents on the hardwood.

Here is a look at the Central Jersey Top 10 rankings after one weekend of play.

(Ranking. Team, Record)

1. Middletown South, 2-0: Middletown South got the season started off right on Dec. 19, defeating Manalapan, 70-51, in its season opener played at Middletown South High School. Senior sharp-shooter James Anderson scored a team-high 24 points in the victory for Middletown South. The senior scored a team-high 22 points in the team’s 71-44 victory over Lacey in the first round of the WOBM Holiday Tournament on Dec. 21.

2. Saint Thomas Aquinas, 2-1: After posting a 21-7 mark last season, Saint Thomas Aquinas (formerly known as Bishop George Ahr) is built up again for a great season with Quadry Adams, Derrick Grant and Jalen Jones all returning to the starting lineup. Saint Thomas Aquinas put on a scoring clinic in its impressive season opening performance against South River on Dec. 19, picking up a 81-26 victory over the Rams. The Trojans defeated Mater Dei Prep, 98-65 before losing its first game of the season to parochial powerhouse Bergen Catholic.

3. Marlboro, 2-0: Marlboro has gotten off to a hot start to begin the 2019-2020 season. The Mustangs made a big statement in its season opener against CBA on Dec. 20, going on the road to defeat the Colts 85-70. Sophomore Jack Seidler had a monster game in the victory for Marlboro, scoring a career-high 29 points. Senior Alex Ranter led the Mustangs to a 85-76 victory over Manchester in the first round of the WOBM Holiday tournament on Dec. 21 with a game-high 28 points.

4. Ranney, 0-1: There will be a lot of changes this year for Ranney after the school from Tinton Falls captured its first  NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title last season. Scottie Lewis (Florida) and Bryan Antonie (Villanova) have both graduated and are playing NCAA Division 1 basketball. Phillip Lewis decided to not come back for his senior year and is playing professional basketball in Italy. Ranney had a tough matchup against Lawrence Woodmere Academy of New York to open up on the season on Dec. 21, suffering a 70-53 loss to start the season.

5. Red Bank Catholic, 2-0: The Caseys have been rolling to start the season, outscoring their opponents,217-89, through the first two games of the season. Red Bank Catholic defeated Shore Regional, 75-48, in its season opener on Dec. 20. Senior Charlier Gordinier scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Caseys to a 67-41 victory over Jackson Memorial in the first round of the WOBM Holiday Tournament on Dec. 21.

6. Holmdel, 0-0: Defense was the key to Holmdel’s success last season, holding its opponents to 50 points or below in every one of the team’s 15 victories. That was the case in the team’s season opener this year against St. Rose on Dec. 20, with the Hornets earning a 52-33 victory to begin the season. Senior Eric Hinds scored a team-high 12 points in the victory for the Hornets.

7. Allentown, 1-0: Seniors RJ Wise and Tim Mastromarino both had great games to lead the Redbirds to a season opening victory over Notre Dame on Dec. 20. Mastromarino scored a team-high 15 points, while Wise came up with 14 points to help Allentown earn a 60-59 victory to begin Colonial Valley Conference play. 

8. Freehold Township, 1-1: The defending NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 champion and Group 4 state finalist got a nice 59-49 season opening victory over Howell on Dec. 20 to start the season. Junior Joe Lardaro scored a team-high 14 points in the Patriots’ victory. Freehold Township came up short in its second game of the season on Dec. 21, losing to Donovan Catholic, 61-56.

9. Old Bridge, 0-1: The Knights were upset by South Brunswick in their season opener on Dec. 20, losing to the Vikings, 69-52. Senior Sean Williams lead all scorers with 25 points in the contest for Old Bridge.

10. Christian Brother Academy, 0-2: The start to the 2019-2020 season has not been kind for the Colts. After losing, 85-70, in its season opener to A-North Division rival Marlboro on Dec. 20, CBA was handed its second straight loss to begin the season on Dec. 22, with a 69-33 loss to a parochial powerhouse, Hudson Catholic.

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports

Middletown South boys' basketball player Luke Albrecht prepares to shoot a three-pointer during the team's practice on Dec. 18. Middletown South went 16-12 last season.
Old Bridge High School boys' basketball player Sean Williams dribbles the ball at the top of the key during the team's practice on Dec. 3. Old Bridge went 21-5 last season.
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