A Look at the NJSIAA Boys' Basketball Groups

by Marc Narducci | Feb 19, 2024
A Look at the NJSIAA Boys' Basketball Groups
The NJSIAA South Jersey boys’ basketball state tournament begins on Wednesday and there should be some truly competitive games in all the Groups.

Last week, we spotlighted one of the top SJ Group 1 teams, Pitman. This week we'll take a look at the other three Public School Groups:

 

SJ Group 2

Defending champion: Middle Township.

Outlook: This year Middle Township is the No. 1 seed, and the Panthers will be very dangerous. Still, the favorite will be No. 2 seeded Camden, which entered the tournament with a 24-2 record while playing a difficult schedule. The Panthers beat Camden Catholic, 60-44 in the Camden County Tournament championship last week. 

Camden missed last year’s NJSIAA tournament after the school district withdrew both Camden and Camden Eastside from the tourney after a melee occurred while the two teams were competing in the Camden County Tournament.

Camden, which won the 2022 state Group 2 championship, is led by 6-6 senior Billy Richmond, a Kentucky commit, who is averaging 18.3 points per game. He scored 20 points in Camden’s win over Camden Catholic in the Camden County Tournament final. 

Middle Township (25-2) has tremendous balance, which was displayed in last week’s 61-45 win over Mainland in the Cape Atlantic League championship. Anthony Trombetta, a 5-10 senior, led the balanced Middle Township attack with 14 points. The Panthers enter the state tournament with a 14-game winning streak.

It would be a surprise if any team other than Camden or Middle Township won the event, but No. 3 seed Cinnaminson and No. 4 seed Haddonfield could provide plenty of resistance. 

 

SJ Group 3

Defending champion: Moorestown

Outlook: Mainland is the top seed, and the Mustangs are coming off the above-mentioned loss to Middle Township in the Cape Atlantic League final. That snapped a seven-game win streak. The Mustangs will be a major threat, as will defending champion Moorestown, the No. 4 seed. Moorestown beat Ocean City, 60-52, in last year’s sectional final. This year Ocean City is the No. 2 seed and also a major contender. Ocean City has split two games with Mainland, winning 59-52 in the regular season and losing, 55-50, in a Cape Atlantic League semifinal. Camden Eastside, the state Group 3 champion in 2022, is another team to watch. Senior guard Jalen Green (16.4 ppg.) leads an Eastside team that has four players who have scored 200 or more points. 

 

SJ Group 4

Defending champion: Egg Harbor Township

Outlook: No. 1 seeded Lenape (23-3), which lost to Egg Harbor Township, 41-36 in last year’s sectional final, appears to be a slight favorite in this loaded field. The Indians enter the tournament on a 15-game win streak after defeating Rancocas Valley, 41-38 in last week’s Burlington County Tournament championship. Senior Tye Dorset (18.7 ppg.) leads Lenape in scoring. 

There will be plenty of challengers. Rancocas Valley is the No. 6 seed, but showed in the Burlington County tourney final that the Red Devils are a contender. Rancocas Valley is 0-3 vs. Lenape, but the most recent game was the most competitive. No. 2 Eastern should be formidable, especially after losing twice this season to Lenape by a combined 10 points. 

Photo courtesy of Lenape Basketball

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Author: Marc Narducci

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