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By Adam C. Warner

SportsPower Editor

 

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 adam.warner@activenetwork.com.

 

 

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By Ryan Rohde

SportsPower Correspondent

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 18, Arlington Country Day Apaches (FL) vs. Roman Catholic Eagles (PA): Arlington Country Day has won four consecutive Class 2A state titles and has the talent to make it a record five in a row. Roman Catholic is a traditional Philadelphia Catholic power and the program has featured some of the best teams in the city’s history. Roman Catholic point guard Maalik Wayns is

one of the best ball handlers in the country and has signed with Villanova. Country Day forward Walley Judge is a Kansas State recruit who stands 6-9 and is a great rebounder. Meanwhile, guard Rodney McGruder is smooth player in the open court. This game takes place in the exclusive City of Palms tournament.

 

 

 

Dec. 19, Montverde Academy Eagles (FL) vs. Boyd Anderson (FL): Montverde could be the most talented team in the state. The Eagles are ranked in most national polls, thanks in part to seven legit Div. I players. Ruslan Pateev has signed with Arizona State, Robert Chubb with Auburn and James Bell with Villanova. Meanwhile, Boyd Anderson fell five points short of a 6A state title last season and is ready to take that next step. This is a great match up of Public vs. Private schools and should turn out to be one of the best games of the year.

 

 

 

Jan. 9, Scott County Cardinals (KY) vs. Mason County Royals (KY): Two top teams in Kentucky square off in a matchup of storied programs. Mason County heads into the contest as the defending state champs and look to make another run at a title. Scott County bowed out early in the playoffs but returns a deep team that can make make it deep into the playoffs. Scott County get an early season test to see how good they are in the heralded Hoop Fest at Mashall County High. This game might be an early preview of the state championship

game.

 

 

 

Jan. 15, South Atlanta Hornets (GA) vs. Leflore Rattlers (AL): The best from Atlanta takes on the best from Alabama. Each team arguably features the best crop of players in their respective state. Derrick Favors vs. DeMarcus Cousins will be one of the best showdowns this season. South Atlanta was bounced out in the first round of the playoffs last season and Leflore looks to get back to the title game after winning it in ’06.

 

 

 

Jan. 19, Veritas Academy (NC) vs. Centennial Knights (GA): Centennial Guard Lorenzo Brown is the best in the state and is headed

to N.C. State next fall. Brown is a playmaker out on the court and possesses great vision. Veritas Academy is another North Carolina private school power. Sasha Borovnjak is a versatile forward and he can score both inside and out. The senior is considering N.C. State, Xavier and Cincinnati. This game is going to be an out of state classic.

 

Jan. 20 Gonzaga Eagles (DC) vs. DeMatha Stags (DC): The eyes of the WCAC will pay close attention to this game. DC’s top two teams play twice during the season with this being the first. This game will give good indication as to who is the frontrunner for the best squad in the city. DeMatha shooting guard Naji Hibbert is potent from the outside and is going to Texas A&M. These teams split the season series last year and look for this season to feature more of the same intensity. 

 

 

 

Jan. 21, Olympia Titans (FL) vs. Winter Park Wildcats (FL): These are two of Central Florida’s best. Winter Park’s Austin Rivers is

widely regarded as one of the state's best players. Only a sophomore, Rivers has already committed to Florida and is a preseason all-state selection. Olympia is a deep team that has four Div. I signees in the starting five. Olympia came up short in the playoffs after losing in the district semifinals and is poised to make a run this time around. This game in January could be a preview of the 6A state title game.

 

 

 

Feb. 14, Oak Hill Warriors (VA) vs. St. Patrick Celtics (NJ): Oak Hill has been a dominant force in high school basketball for a long time. The Warriors are known for producing NBA talent and winning national titles. Oak Hill also does not shy away from top teams around the nation. This year's schedule includes Veritas Christian (NC), South Atlanta (GA) and Christ School (NC), but it’s this game against St. Patrick’s that is the one to keep your eye on. St. Patrick’s is a traditional national power as well and fell to Oak Hill last season, 63-55. Celtics shooting guard Dexter Strickland is a North Carolina commit who has the ability to penetrate or shoot from the outside. Our preseason No. 3 and No. 6 teams showcase their talent this February. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To contact correspondent Ryan Rohde, send an e-mail to ryan.rohde@activenetwork.com

 

 

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By Brett Manney

SportsPower Correspondent

 

Dec. 27, Lone Peak Knights (UT) vs. Mountain View Lions (AZ) (Arizona Basketball Challenge): Lone Peak will travel to Arizona to take on some of the state's finest basketball programs. BasketballPower Emerging Star Tyler Haws looks to wreck havoc against Mountain View. The Lions are well coached and will certainly be prepared when the two teams battle for state bragging rights.

 

Jan. 3, 2009, Findlay Prep Pilots (NV) vs. Mount Zion Christian Academy (NC): Two Prep schools  face off in a nonleague matchup in Lexington, Kentucky. Mt Zion, which is the alma mater to Tracy McGrady, will be looking to knock off one of the best teams in the country. Meanwhile, Findlay will have plenty of miles on their frequent travelers card by then and is not afraid of playing anybody. Texas recruit Avery Bradley is their key playmaker.

 

Jan. 9, St. Marys Knights (AZ) vs. Desert Vista Thunder (AZ): This rematch of last year's state final will surely be the must-see game in Arizona. St. Mary’s will still have a bitter taste in its mouth and look for Demetrius Walker, one of BasketballPower's emerging stars, to lead the charge against Desert Vista. Guard Josh Lowry will control the Thunder in his senior campaign. This game will be played with a lot of emotion and intensity when both teams collide.

 

Jan. 15, Etiwanda Eagles (CA) vs. Rancho Cucamonga Cougars (CA): These league rivals meet for the first time after splitting last year's regular season matchup. In addition, last season's games were both decided by four points or less. Etiwanda is coming off an impressive season, one that saw the squad lose only to King, Fairfax and Rancho. These two heated rivals both like to push the ball. Look for plenty of scoring and animosity in California when its tip-off time.

 

Jan. 16, Fairfax Lions (CA) vs. Westchester Comets (CA): Two of the best teams in Los Angeles clash in what will be their first league matchup. These two teams spilt their games in the regular season last year before Fairfax won in the playoffs.  The Lions feature BasketballPower emerging players Solomon King and Renardo Sidney. All early season indications favor Fairfax with the talent returning, but Westchester head coach Ed Azzam always prepares his Comets in one of the toughest leagues in the country.

 

Jan. 19, De La Salle Spartans (CA) vs McClymonds Warriors (CA): Two of the top teams in the state battle for supremacy in California. McClymonds  -- last years' state champions -- returns three starters and one of the most athletic teams in the state. Longtime McClymonds head coach Dwight Nathaniel has stepped down and the Warriors have to move on. De La Salle lost to the Warriors twice last season but are much improved. Transfer and Georgetown recruit Hollis Thompson, along with point guard Brandon Smith, will head a formidable Spartans squad.

 

Feb. 7, Mater Dei Monarchs (CA) vs. St. Benedicts Prep (NJ): This matchup of West Coast vs. East Coast combines two of the most respected programs in the country in the Nike Extravaganza. Mater Dei has the home court advantage and will rely on its size and five Div. I recruits to keep the athletic Grey Bees off the offensive glass. Mastermind Dan Hurley will try to bring toughness and athleticism to Santa Ana in February.

 

Feb. 7, De La Salle Spartans (CA) vs. Dominguez Dons (CA) (Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei): The second game featured as part of the Nike Extravaganza will be played at neutral court Mater Dei. Both squads are polar opposites in terms of style of basketball. The Spartans run a similar version of the Princeton offense and will look to slow down Dominguez. Run-and-gun could be used to describe Dominquez, who only lost to City Champions Taft and state champion McClymonds last year. This should be a great game and an exciting event for any basketball enthusiast. 

 

Feb. 24, Putnam Kingsmen (OR) vs. Oregon City Pioneers (OR): Oregon City only had two losses last year and just one to an in-state team (Grant). The Pioneers' biggest rivalry is with Putnam and in last year's two meetings, Putnam played the Pioneers tougher than any other team that came out on the losing end. The Pioneers are the returning state finalist but will have to fight off a pesky Kingsman team if they hope to repeat as league champions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To contact correspondent Brett Manney, send an e-mail to brett.manney@activenetwork.com

 

 

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