Pitman Boys Basketball a Formidable Group 1 Team

by Marc Narducci | Feb 16, 2024
Pitman Boys Basketball a Formidable Group 1 Team
One of the more entertaining teams in South Jersey boys’ basketball is Pitman. The Panthers love to play the transition game, beating teams down the court while playing at a frenetic pace.  

Yet, this is more than just an entering club—it is a talented squad.

The Panthers began the week with an 18-6 record. They are projected to be the No. 2 seed in South Jersey Group 1, according to power points on NJ.com. Kipp Cooper Norcross Academy was the No. 1 seed and should also be dangerous, as should several other teams.

Still, Pitman has the ability to compete favorably with anybody. 

Last year Pitman advanced to the South Jersey Group 1 semifinal before losing, 48-44 at eventual state champion Woodbury. To show how competitive Pitman was, no other team last year held Woodbury to under 60 points in the state tournament and the four-point win tied the Thundering Herd’s closest postseason margin of victory.

Pitman is a team that consists of a few players whose fathers were South Jersey basketball fixtures.

The leading scorer is junior Elijah Crispin, who began the week averaging 18.75 points and recently went over the 1,000-career total. His father is Joe Crispin, a legendary star at Pitman and Penn State who also spent some time in the NBA and enjoyed a prosperous career overseas. Formerly the head coach at Rowan, Joe Crispin is now an assistant coach at Penn State. 

Fellow junior guard Michael Fisicaro is averaging 13.4 points. His father Bob, was an All-South Jersey guard at Bishop Eustace who went on to play at Rider.

Pitman’s leading rebounder is 6-2 senior Sonny Myers, averaging nearly 10 boards per game. 

His father is current Pitman coach Ron Myers, who was part of the greatest run in Pitman basketball history.

Ron Myers starred on Pitman’s first two state title teams in 1997 and 1998.  As a senior, he averaged 23 points per game. Joe Crispin was the leader of the 1997 state title team while his brother Jon, like Myers, was a member of both state championship squads. 

Since then, Pitman has won another state title, in 2014.

Another key player for Pitman has been 6-2 senior Stephen Devanney, who is averaging nearly 11 points per game. Devanney is among the top baseball players in South Jersey, and he is also an accomplished football player. Simply put, he is among South Jersey’s top athletes and that athleticism has helped Pitman immensely.

This year’s team certainly has a chance to earn a sectional title if not more, but of course, the Panthers have to get out of South Jersey first, no easy feat.

“I think we have a good shot to be competitive, the way we play, it’s hard for other teams to match up,” coach Ron Myers said. “We are deep, shoot it well and it is very difficult to press us.”

What’s more, this is an experienced, veteran unit.

“These kids have been playing for three years together and we made a commitment a few years ago to the young players and to give them experience,” Myers said. “There is nothing these guys haven’t seen.”

That said, Myers says he knows there will be difficult competition in South Jersey and nothing will be easy. 

Besides Kipp Cooper Norcross Academy, other potential contenders include projected No. 3 Salem and No. 4 Wildwood and don’t forget No. 8 Woodbury, which was hit hard by graduation, but remains highly competitive. 

As an aside, Pitman is 2-0 this season against both Salem and Wildwood. Among the wins, one was by two points over Salem and another by 9 points over Wildwood.

All that gets thrown out the window come tournament time. Still, Pitman appears geared for an extended postseason, with a team looking to draw positively on last year’s playoff experience.

Photo Courtesy of Pitman Basketball

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Author: Marc Narducci

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