By Adam C. Warner
December 13, 2008, Lincoln Railspitters (NY) vs. Duncanville Panthers (TX) at TCU: This matchup features two of the nation’s best teams going head-to-head as both commence the season ranked in the top five at BasketballPower. These teams have rosters loaded with college prospects and rotate through the lineups frequently due to the amount of talent that exists. Expect a fast-paced, up-tempo contest that is high scoring and comes down to the wire. From Lance Stephenson to Roger Franklin to Shawn Williams and to Darwin Ellis, this game is filled with superstars and cannot be missed.
January 8, 2009, Life Center Academy (NJ) vs. St. Benedicts Prep (NJ): Two of New Jersey’s finest hit the hardwood in a battle of multi-dimensional teams. Either squad can hit you in transition or work effectively in a half-court setting. All eyes will be on junior standout Dion Waiters at guard for Life Center, in addition to top recruits Tristan Thompson and Lamar Patterson for St. Benedict’s.
Jan. 24, St. Anthony Friars (NJ) vs. Whitney Young Dolphins (IL): It’s a matchup of regional powers with great expectations in the Brian Doherty Memorial Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark. St. Anthony will pit guard Dominic Cheek and forward Derrick Williams against guard Marcus Jordan and forward Anthony Johnson in a showdown of Div. I recruits. With two out-of-state teams go head-to-head, just sit back and enjoy the show.
Jan. 27, Holy Cross Knights (NY) vs. Rice Raiders (NY): There’s nothing better than a competitive battle between two rivals. The passion and intensity is rarely matched. After Holy Cross bounced Rice out of the playoffs last year, 64-62, you know that revenge will certainly be on the minds of the Raiders. Expect a wildly entertaining game featuring two powerful teams in one of the country’s best conferences. Senior guard Durand Scott is just one of a handful of headliners in this New York battle.
Jan. 30, Roman Catholic Eagles (PA) vs. Chester Clippers (PA): A pair of Pennsylvania’s most storied basketball programs meet at the Primetime Shootout at Villanova University. Standout point guard Maalik Wayns leads an improved cast for Roman Catholic, while Chester is looking to follow up on last season’s district and state championship with another title. Although they played the hardest schedule in history, the Clippers broke a program record for most single-season victories. While Chester may not get there against in ’09, they will still be a contender for sure. With two Keystone state juggernauts going at it, you can expect plenty of fireworks.
Jan. 30, Penn Wood Patriots (PA) vs. Neumann Goretti Pirates (PA): The Primetime Shootout shapes up to be one of the greatest regular season stages for first class basketball in the state of Pennsylvania this year. Both of these teams have championship aspirations and the talent to certainly make good on their dreams. Junior guard Tony Chennault is a playmaker on both ends for Goretti. Meanwhile, Aaron Brown will make Penn Wood even better after transferring from Roman Catholic. This one has the potential to be the game of the year in the Keystone State.
February 3, Lincoln Railsplitters (NY) vs. Jefferson Orange Wave (NY): Both of these teams had some epic matches last year, and the ’09 season poses to be very similar. Last year, Jefferson lost a lead to rival Lincoln late in the PSAL semifinals and eventually fell. This time around, each team’s core is back, so expect high-tempo basketball that is ultimately decided in the second half. This game features a laundry list of Div. I talent and could be the decider for the league title as well.
Feb. 20, DeMatha Stags (MD) vs. Gonzaga Eagles (DC): There is little argument here. These teams are the best D.C.-area squads heading into the ’08-’09 season and are also two of the nation’s most talented. Gonzaga had its best season in program history last year and earned a WCAC title and D.C. City Championship in the process. PG Tyler Thornton, a Duke recruit, heads the offense, while Ian Hummer and Cedrick Lindsay will likely provide the scoring and some tough defense. Meanwhioe, DeMatha could be in store for another spectacular season thanks to a lineup full of Div. I talent. Naji Hibbert, Josh Selby, Marcus Rouse and Quin Cook are phenomenal athletes and will look to spread the wealth on offense. With two ultra-talented teams that are regional rivals going at it, you know this is going to special.
March 6, Montrose Christian Mustangs (MD) vs. Oak Hill Academy Warriors (VA): Two nationally ranked powers go at it late in the season. Oak Hill may have a tough time figuring out how to defend 6-10 center Mouphtaou Yarou, a Villanova recruit. Meanwhile Dominic Milburn, Isaiah Armwood and Dadrian Collins round out a tremendous quartet. Meanwhile, Oak Hill will likely counter with PeShon Howard and Glenn Bryant and push the ball early and often to prevent a half-court game. Some of the best talent in the nation will meet on the hardwood in this potential nonleague thriller.
To contact editor Adam C. Warner, send an e-mail to email@example.com.