South Jersey Non-Public Boys’ Basketball Preview

by Marc Narducci | Feb 23, 2023
South Jersey Non-Public Boys’ Basketball Preview
The South Jersey Non-Public A boys’ basketball tournament is usually competitive and this year should be no exception.

Whoever wins South Jersey will likely be an underdog to the North Jersey champion, but that is a story for later.

Unlike the public school tournament, which began with a game on Saturday, the Non-Public field doesn’t start until Wednesday.

Here is a preview:

SJ Non-Public A

Defending champ: Rutgers Prep.

Expected contenders: Before talking about contenders, it must be noted that in the Non-Public field, there are several teams outside of the seven-county South Jersey area and that’s because there are fewer teams competing than the Public school Groups have.

This year’s section is so well-balanced. Camden Catholic (21-5) is the top seed and the Irish certainly have the talent to win. The Irish compete in one of the toughest divisions in South Jersey, the Olympic National. Two of the losses were to Camden, while not in this year’s tournament, still is the hands own No. 1 team in South Jersey. The Irish went 2-1 against Woodrow Wilson, which like Camden, won’t be in this year’s tournament, but is among the top teams in South Jersey. There was also an impressive win over Cape Atlantic champion Egg Harbor Township.

This is a young team with the two leading scorers sophomores Tobe Nwobu (17.7 ppg.) and Luke Kennevan (13.8).

St. Augustine is the No. 2 seed and will have a chip on its shoulder after losing to Egg Harbor Township, 63-60 in the Cape Atlantic League championship game. The Hermits are under the guidance of legendary coach Paul Rodio, who earlier this year earned his 1,000th career win. Like Camden Catholic, St, Augustine (23-5) has played one of the area’s tougher schedules, with two of the losses to Camden and Don Bosco Prep, two of the top teams in the state.

A Camden Catholic-St. Augustine final is very possible, but there are several other contenders, including No. 4 seeded Paul VI, which split its two games this season against Camden Catholic.

There are also teams from outside the seven-county South Jersey area who will be threats.

Defending champ Rutgers Prep (20-7) is only the No. 7 seed, but can’t be discounted. Don’t be surprised if a lower-seeded team is in at least the semifinals, if not a championship. This one is truly up for grabs.

 

South Jersey Non-Public B

Defending champ: Trenton Catholic

Expected contenders: No. 1 seeded St. Rose Belmar (21-4) played a tough schedule and will be tough to beat. No. 2 seeded Bishop Eustace (16-9) will benefit from playing in the Olympic Conference National Division, with a win over Paul VI and also a win over the Olympic American’s Lenape, the top seed in SJ Group 4.

Like Non-Public A, there should be plenty of contenders. No. 3 seed Ranney (16-10) played in the tough Shore Conference and will be a contender.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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