High-SchoolNew-Jersey: Teaneck

N.J. Week 12 hoops rankings: State champions crowned

March, 13, 2012
After games on Sunday, March 11

The marathon that is the high school basketball season is winding to a close, as the state sectional champions were crowned this past weekend.

Some brought little surprise, like when St. Anthony, the third-ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50, used stifling defense to repeat as Non-Public B champions. The Friars' 67-39 victory against Gill St. Bernard's ran their win streak to a national-best 63 games, secured their 27th group title and earned them the top seed in this week's Tournament of Champions.

Others triggered shock and suspense, like when Plainfield had to storm back from a halftime deficit to beat Neptune in the Group 3 championship — this coming one round after the Cardinals downed previously undefeated Teaneck by 22. Or when Atlantic City had to pull off a similar late run to beat an upstart Elizabeth squad in the Group 4 title game.

And one contest made history. Ewing's 59-50 win against Pascack Hills in the Group 2 final made Shelley Dearden the first female coach in state history to lead a boys basketball team to a state championship.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 30-0 (1)
Friars repeated as Non-Public B champs while running their win streak to 63 games by easily beating Hudson Catholic and Gill St. Bernard's. They enter the Tournament of Champions as the top seed, awaiting the March 14 winner of Ewing and Atlantic City.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 31-1 (2)
The Gray Bees begin a tough two-week stretch, playing in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in Maryland beginning with a contest against John Carroll (Md.). Then they will take part in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament beginning on March 28.

3. Plainfield 28-3 (4)
The Cardinals handed Teaneck its lone loss of the season before rallying back against Neptune to win the Group 3 title. Next up: Asbury Park in Wednesday's opening round of the Tournament of Champions.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

N.J. Week 11 hoops rankings: Sectional titles on the line

March, 6, 2012
After games on Monday, March 5.

Championship weekend is underway in the Garden State, as teams are vying for the various sectional titles as well as a spot in the Tournament of Champions.

With that said, it's still somewhat crazy to think a year ago at this time, St. Patrick and St. Anthony were facing off for the Non-Public, North B crown and nation's top ranking. It's also crazy to think that that was the last time the two powerhouses would ever play, as St. Patrick's loss in the Non-Public, South B quarterfinals this past week was likely their last game with the school expected to close in June. Meanwhile St. Anthony, which is ranked No. 3 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and faces a test in Hudson Catholic, is a win away from repeating as sectional champs.

Also, a huge matchup looms Wednesday, as Teaneck puts its undefeated record on the line against a talented Plainfield squad in the Section 3 semifinals.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 28-0 (1)
Friars cruised back to the Non-Public, North B final with wins against Oratory Prep and Dwight-Englewood, as Kyle Anderson totaled 60 points in the two victories. Next up: Hudson Catholic in the March 8 title game.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 29-1 (2)
The Gray Bees rode the momentum from their Prep A title to rout Rise Academy (Philadelphia). Two more games are on tap this week before they compete in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational in Maryland on March 15-17.

3. Teaneck 29-0 (3)
Highwaymen routed Passaic Tech to clinch the North 1, Group 3 title. Next up: a huge matchup with No. 4 Plainfield in Wednesday's Group 3 semifinals.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

N.J. Week 10 hoops rankings: State playoffs get underway

February, 28, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 26.

This year's state playoffs begin on a bittersweet note, as St. Patrick announced this past weekend that financial issues have forced it to close its doors at year's end. But before this happens, the Celtics will look to end their storied history with a bang in the Non-Public, South B playoffs.

Joining their quest for section supremacy as well as a spot in the Tournament of Champions is St. Anthony (the POWERADE FAB 50's No. 3 squad and winners of 59 straight), St. Joseph (Met.) (led by Quenton DeCosey, the state's best-kept secret), Teaneck and its 26-0 record as well as a battle-tested Plainfield squad that finished as last year's T of C runner-up.

Not in the mix is St. Benedict's. The Gray Bees are not part of the NJSIAA, meaning last week's easy win against Blair Academy in the Prep A championship signals the end of their season, unless they earn a spot in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 26-0 (1)
Friars pushed win streak to 59 games with three victories to cap the regular season. They begin play in the Non-Public, North B tournament on Friday after a first-round bye.

2. St. Benedict's 28-1 (Newark) (2)
Melvin Johnson dropped 27 points to lead the Gray Bees to an easy win against Blair Academy in the Prep A championship, making for their 19th straight win.

3. Teaneck 26-0 (3)
After downing Indian Hills, the Highwaymen will put their undefeated record on the line Wednesday against Jefferson Township in the second round of the North 1, Group 3 tournament. Chris Jones leads the way with 21.3 points per game.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

NJ Week 7 hoops rankings: St. Anthony moves to third in FAB 50

February, 7, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

Conference tournaments are starting up for some teams while many of the state's top squads will descend upon Roselle this weekend for the PrimeTime Shootout. Nothing beats the postseason, but there are some great appetizers on tap this week.

St. Anthony, which pushed its win streak to 48 games and is now third in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings, will be put to the test Tuesday when it faces No. 6 Plainfield. The Cardinals are hungry for a big win after seeing their 14-game win streak snapped against St. Patrick last week. St. Anthony will then take on West Virginia power Huntington Prep at the PrimeTime Shootout on Saturday.

Tuesday will also feature a big matchup between No. 4 Teaneck and No. 10 Paterson Eastside. Teacneck has yet to lose this season but the Ghosts are riding a 12-game win streak.

On a side note, big ups to Kavon Stewart, who had 20 dimes in Hudson Catholic's blowout win against University Charter Academy.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 15-0 (1)
Friars pushed their win streak to 48 games with blowout victory against Ridgewood last week. Multiple tests are on the horizon versus No. 5 Plainfield on Tuesday and West Virginia power Huntington on Saturday.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 16-2 (2)
Knights secured the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament with easy wins against Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 22-1 (3)
Gray Bees have now won 13 straight. This week, they play Solebury (Pa.) before playing Lakewood and St. Patrick at the loaded Primetime Shootout.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

NJ Week 6 hoops rankings: Paterson Eastside enters top 10

January, 31, 2012
After games on Sunday, Jan. 29

After a slow start to the season, Paterson Eastside is off and running, winning its last nine games and vaulting into the top 10 this week. DeAndre Noble-Haywood and Ky're Jackson have led the way, with Jackson dropping 20 points in the Ghosts' win against Paterson Kennedy on Saturday. The Ghosts stand to make a big jump in the rankings in the near future, should they be able to knock off No. 5 Teaneck next Tuesday.

Hudson Catholic also moved up the rankings after downing then-nationally ranked Lincoln (N.Y.). It wasn't the best showing for either team, but Reggie Cameron's 16 points helped the Hawks secure a 58-50 victory.

Top-ranked St. Anthony has had to fight off rust after having the weather and rules have cancelled three of their games in the past two weeks. The Friars still pushed their win streak to 47 games and remain fourth in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. (St. Anthony beat a solid Newark Tech on Monday, after these rankings were done.)

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 13-0 (1)
Friars have had some time to rest after the SNY Invitational was cancelled. In just their second game in two weeks, they easily handled East Orange, 68-28. Next up: Ridgewood on Wednesday.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 13-2 (2)
Knights easily took care of Franklin and St. Peter's Prep last week. Contests against Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills loom this week.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 19-1 (3)
Gray Bees pushed their win streak to 10 by capturing the Newark National Invitational with a 66-64 victory against Blair Academy behind Melvin Johnson's 20 points. Next up: Lawrenceville on Wednesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

Five Days of List-Mas: Wild Card Edition!

December, 16, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The best mascots in New Jersey high school sports

Any school can be a mascot like the Hawks or the Bulldogs. It takes a creative school to come up with something that is a little more exciting. And some of the New Jersey schools have some awfully creative mascots. But which schools made our top five? Read below, and let us know if you think your school should have made the cut.
5. Neptune Scarlet Fliers

4. Fair Lawn Cutters

3. Florence Township Memorial Flashers

2. Verona Hillbillies

1. Belvidere County Seaters

Honorable Mention: Bordentown Scotties, Millville Thunder Bolts, Nutley Maroon Raiders, Pompton Lakes Garnet Gulls, Teaneck Highwaymen, West Side Roughriders

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter@brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Don Bosco tops Bergen Catholic, Holy Spirit falls in Week 4 NJ rankings

October, 3, 2011
After games of Sunday, Oct. 2.

Talk about a wild weekend of football. In a much-anticipated rivalry game, Don Bosco Prep showed why the fourth quarter is its time to shine while St. Joseph (Hamm.) avenged its lone loss from a year ago.

Let's start at No. 1, where the nation's top-ranked team once again overcame a fourth-quarter deficit behind its defense. Kyle Sakowski's interception sparked a 12-point final period, as Elijah Shumate scored two of his three touchdowns to push the Ironmen past a tough Bergen Catholic squad, 33-22. For three quarters, it looked like the Crusaders would pull off the upset, but as they showed against Manatee (Fla.) two weeks ago, the Ironmen's resolve carried them to their 39th straight win.

Meanwhile, Holy Spirit saw its 16-game win streak snapped against St. Joseph (Hamm.). You might remember last year that the Spartans easily beat a turnover-prone Wildcats squad, 35-0 last year, so the reversal of fortune in this past Saturday's 34-7 win for the Wildcats was probably very sweet. The defensive duo of Max Valles and Kaiwan Lewis looked stout in holding Holy Spirit to just 56 rushing yards and 155 total yards.

Needless to say, Holy Spirit dropped out of the POWERADE FAB 50 while Don Bosco remains on top. This week, the Ironmen cap an intriguing tripleheader at Fordham University (N.Y.), as they face national No. 6 St. Edward (Ohio) after Bergen Catholic takes on Friendship Academy (Washington, D.C.) and St. Peter's Prep battles Ursuline (Ohio). In the meantime, click here to see what else is going down on the New Jersey high school sports scene.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) 4-0 (1)
The Ironmen once again overcame a fourth-quarter deficit against a tough opponent, this time beating rival Bergen Catholic, 33-22, behind three touchdowns by Elijah Shumate. And as has been the trend this season, the road doesn't get any easier, with national No. 6 St. Edward (Ohio) coming to town this week.

2. Wayne Hills 4-0 (4)
Andrew Monahan scored three more touchdowns and the Patriots shut out their third straight opponent in a 34-0 win against Teaneck. Next up: Paramus.

3. Bergen Catholic (Oradell) 2-2 (3)
A 22-21 fourth-quarter lead ended in a loss for the Crusaders, who have now lost nine straight to rival Don Bosco Prep. Still, the Crusaders can notch a huge bounceback win when they face Friendship Academy (Washington, D.C.) this Saturday in New York.

Click here for the full POWERADE New Jersey weekly football rankings.

Rivals Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic clash in Week 3 NJ football

September, 30, 2011
Most New Jersey football fans have had this weekend circled on their calendar for weeks now. Not only are is national No. 1 Don Bosco Prep hosting rival Bergen Catholic on Friday but the next day, state No. 2 Holy Spirit faces off against No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.).

The five-time defending state champ Ironmen (3-0) have won the last eight meetings, with the most recent coming in last year's Non-Public Group 4 title game. But after losing a close one to Plant (Fla.) two weeks ago and with coach Nunzio Campanile in his second year after moving over from Don Bosco, the Crusaders (2-1) have upset on their mind.

Both teams boast stout defenses and inexperienced quarterbacks, so mistake-free football will be key for each squad. Don Bosco QB Mike Yankovich showed poise in the 22-16 comeback win against Manatee (Fla.) and threw two scores in last week's victory against Ridgewood — their 48th straight against New Jersey teams — but he's still raw under center.

Same goes for Crusaders QB Jonathan Germano. The junior totaled five scores in last week's win against Teaneck but struggled to find a rhythm amid the constant pressure from Plant. Friday won't be any different for either team, but both possess a wealth of weapons on offense to complement their QBs. That's why my guess is that a defensive turnover (and possibly touchdown) will decide this close battle.
My pick: Don Bosco 24, Bergen Catholic 17

No. 2 Holy Spirit (3-0) at No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.) (2-0)
An explosive offense meets a stingy defense in what should be an intense version of Saturday football. Holy Spirit boasts the productive tailback tandem of Donta Pollock and Nigel Jones while St. Joseph has All-State defenders Kaiwan Lewis and Max Valles clogging the running lanes. The Spartans are putting up more than 40 points per game, but the Tigers have outscored opponents 107-7 through two games. Last year's battle proved surprisingly lopsided, as Holy Spirit capitalized on five Tiger fumbles for a 35-0 win. It's safe to say this year's matchup will be much closer.
My pick: Holy Spirit 27, St. Joseph (Hamm.) 21

Westfield (3-0) at Elizabeth (3-0)
The other day, I told you about Elizabeth's offensive weapon in Elijah Hughes (533 total yards, six scores), but the senior tailback and his fellow Minutemen will be tested against a talented Westfield squad this Saturday. Tailback James O'Rourke (394 rushing yards, two TDs) leads the Blue Devils, who also possess an aggressive defense that's allowed just seven points in three games. Thing is, the Blue Devils will have to deal with Hughes and the Minutemen passing game, which was put on hold during last week's win against Linden due to a rain-soaked field.
My pick: Elizabeth 28, Westfield 17

Brandon Parker covers New Jersey for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Immaculata debuts, Piscataway falls out of Week 3 NJ rankings

September, 26, 2011
After games ending Saturday, Sept. 24

You can call this the calm before the storm for several of the state's top teams. No. 1 Don Bosco Prep and No. 3 Bergen Catholic got a in-state tuneup before facing up in their annual intense rivalry. Likewise, No. 2 Holy Spirit rolled while No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.) rested before facing each other this Saturday.

Last week proved to be restless for Piscataway, though, as the Chiefs lost their second straight game. Immaculata moved into the open slot in the rankings on the strength of a defense that's allowed just 32 points this season.

Oh and I have to give respect to West Orange, which hasn't allowed a single point through three games while averaging 48.3 points per game this season. Impressive stuff.

Nationally, Holy Spirit moved up to No. 43 while Don Bosco still rests 42 spots up in the top slot of the POWERADE FAB 50.

And without further ado, here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) 3-0 (1)
The nation's top team won its first in-state game, a 35-0 victory against Ridgewood. Next up: the much-anticipated game against rival Bergen Catholic.

2. Holy Spirit (Absecon) 3-0* (2)
Tom Hehre threw two touchdown passes in a 38-0 rout of Bridgeton. Awaiting the Spartans this Saturday is No. 8 St. Joseph (Hamm.). (*does not include forfeit wins)

3. Bergen Catholic (Oradell) 2-1 (3)
Behind Tom Germano's five first-half scores, the Crusaders bounced back from last week's loss with a 62-12 win against Teaneck. A battle against rival and national No. 1 Don Bosco Prep.

Click here for full POWERADE New Jersey weekly football rankings.