Moorestown the favorite in SJ Group 3 boys basketball

by Marc Narducci | Feb 16, 2022
Moorestown the favorite in SJ Group 3 boys basketball

One of the interesting upcoming boys’ basketball players is in South Jersey Group 3, where there is no overwhelming favorite, but several quality teams.

At press time, Moorestown was the No. 1 seed based on power points, according to NJ.com. The cutoff date was Saturday, with a team’s 13 best power point games considered.

The tournament begins the week of Feb. 28.

The Quakers know what it is like to make a deep playoff run.

In 2018 the Quakers advanced to the Central Jersey Group 3 final before falling to Nottingham.

The next season in 2019, Moorestown won the Group 3 state championship.

In 2020 the Quakers advanced to the SJ Group 3 semifinals before losing to Cherry Hill West.

There were no NJSIAA basketball playoffs last season due to COVID.

Now Moorestown is ready to make another run.

What is interesting about this team is that coach Shawn Anstey lost six seniors from last year’s 10-5 team.

Entering this season, Moorestown was considered a potential contender, but the favorite?

It’s a tribute to Anstey that he bypassed rebuilding and continues to have the Quakers playing at a high level.

The key to success?

Depth.

“Any night we could play 9-11 guys,” Anstey said. “We feel we are a pretty deep team with the options we have on the bench.”

Moorestown isn’t the type of team that revolves around a 20 point per game scorer.

The Quakers have already captured the Burlington County Liberty Division. They began this week with an 18-3 record.

The leading scorer is junior David Gheysens, who began the week averaging 12.2 points. Senior Nick DiMarino was second at 9.3 points per game.

What helps Moorestown is playing a quality schedule, that includes the likes of Burlington Township and Rancocas Valley.

There was an impressive 56-54 win over SJ Group 4 contender Egg Harbor Township in the Holy Cross Prep Showccase. Senior Moe Airall hit a long three-pointer at the buzzer for the comeback win.

That victory was a huge confidence booster.

Even though Moorestown will be the top seed, Anstey understands the difficulty of navigating through Group 3.

“It is going to be tough,” Anstey said. “You have really strong Burlington County teams like Pemberton and Burlington Township and a really tough Woodrow Wilson team. Plus there are other teams capable of winning it.”

It’s possible that if Wilson remains the No. 4 seed and Moorestown is No. 1 that the teams could meet in the semifinal.

Wilson just beat one of the SJ Group 4 favorites, Lenape. The Tigers also lost by just 12 points to the state’s No. 1 ranked team Camden.

So Anstey is right, there are several contenders in Group 3.

Yet the Quakers will be difficult to beat.

The regular season has included one championship. The postseason could very well deliver more.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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