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By Adam C. Warner

SportsPower Editor

 

Jan. 16

 

1.) Chester Clippers (State PR: 87.97, Rank: 5) vs. Cathedral Prep Ramblers (State PR: 80.02, Rank: 19), McDonald’s Classic

 

This matchup should serve as a good gauge as to where these two teams are at within Class AAAA in the Keystone State. Both teams are currently ranked within the top five in AAAA by BasketballPower. Prep is seeking its fourth state title and first under rookie coach Mark Majewski. The Ramblers are coming off a District 10 Class AAAA title game appearance last season and have won three D-10 titles overall. Expect Rasean Thrower, Andrew Sweny, Bob Spoden and Adam Blazek to make frequent contributions for the Ramblers and cause some matchups problems for Chester.

 

Meanwhile, Chester has six state titles to its resume and two in the last four years. 6-7 standout Rahlir Jefferson, a Temple recruit, is coming off of a 27-point performance against Chichester and will be poised for another dominant output. Laquan Robinson and Maurice Nelson will also provide key support for the Clippers, who are riding a six-game winning streak since losing to Reading, 76-72, in two overtimes on Dec. 17. 

 

2.) Fowler Falcons (State PR: 68.97, Rank: 20) vs. Jamesville-Dewitt Red Rams (State PR: 91.12, Rank: 1)

 

Two Onondaga League Freedom Conference powers clash on Friday night in Central New York. Jamesville-Dewitt is currently at the top of the Freedom National Division standouts and are riding a 30-game winning streak, which is tops in the state. Look for Syracuse recruit Brandon Triche to have a strong performance after his 26-point output against Christian Brothers Academy. Senior guard Alshwan Hymes and 6-8 freshman center Dajuan Coleman are also formidable players and should complement Triche well.

 

On the other side, Fowler is headed by the dynamic quartet of Ron Monroe, Malcolm Jones, Chris Gilkes and Tysheim Barfield – four players capable of putting up double digits every night. The Falcons showed their potential in a 99-point effort against East Syracuse-Minoa on Dec. 11.

 

 

 

 

Jan. 17

 

3.) Rice Raiders (State PR: N/A, Rank: N/A) vs. Pine Crest Panthers (State PR: 84.89, Rank: 1), Big Apple Classic at Baruch College

 

The Raiders (NY) have jumped out to a 6-1 record so far this season thanks to the sensational play by standouts James Stukes and Durand Scott. Rice has already shown the ability to win from behind last week after beating Christ the King despite trailing after three periods.

 

Meanwhile, the Panthers (FL), who are the reigning class 3A state champs, are looking like championship contenders once again behind the steady play of elite guard Brandon Knight, who recently scored 41 points against Dillard. 6-5 forward Ed Waite, Traveon Henry and Billy Thompson, Jr. also round out a talented cast. This should be a terrific matchup of two teams that love to push the basketball down the floor and score points on transition.

 

4.) St. Patrick Celtics (National PR: 84.91, National Rank: 14) vs. Christian Brothers Academy Colts (State PR: N/A, Rank: N/A), Battle at the Boardwalk in Asbury Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans can expect a close game between these two Garden State powers. St. Patrick is playing extremely well as of late and is coming off an undefeated performance at the Myrtle Beach Ball Classic, which saw them knock off national power Wheeler (GA) to win the tournament. Derrick Gordon, Dexter Strickland and Paris Bennett makeup one of the most formidable trios in the nation and they excel at both ends of the floor. Each player has the ability to take over a game at any given time.

 

Christian Brothers Academy also sports a balanced scoring attack that is known to be aggressive and unrelenting. Junior guard Roy Mabrey, sophomore forward Matt McMullen, senior forward Pat Light and senior guard Brian Neller head his talented unit, which is coming off a 17-8 campaign in ’08. A win against the Celtics will prove that the Colts belong in the same conversation of the best teams in the region.

 

5.) Northland Vikings (State PR: N/A, Rank: N/A) vs. San Diego Cavers (National PR: 67.59, Section Rank: 13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two talented squads from different ends of the country will battle for supremacy in the Flyin’ to the Hoop Tournament in Dayton on Saturday. This showdown will feature two of the most talented players in the nation in Jared Sullinger and Jeremy Tyler.

 

Sullinger, an Ohio State recruit, is the top playmaker for the Vikings and has been carrying the load for his side thus far. The frontcourt force routinely posts double-doubles and will be hard-pressed not to do so this weekend.

 

Meanwhile, at 6-9 and 240 lbs., Tyler is a special player and will command extra attention by Sullinger and the Vikings. The junior averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds and 8 blocks per game last season in leading the Cavers to the California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section Division I crown for the first time in over 30 years.

 

This will be a fun game to watch as both teams hope to lean on their

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.) DeMatha Stags (National PR: 97.47, National Rank: 3) vs. Neumann-Goretti Pirates (National PR: 80.03, Class Rank: 9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the region’s premier teams battle in a nonconference matchup over the weekend. – a showcase of multiple future NCAA recruits. Josh Selby and Naji Hibbert lead an impressive cast for DeMatha. The Stags are arguably one of the deepest teams in the nation, which has been evident in wins against Whitney Young and Paul VI.

 

While the Stags have been dominating most of their competition, they will likely be facing one of their toughest tests of the season in Neumann-Goretti. The Pirates are led by Wake Forest recruit Tony Chennault, Lamin Fulton, Mustaffa Jones and Dan Stewart. This poses as a great matchup of inside/outside talents. Stewart is monster on the boards, as evidenced by his 22 point, 17 rebound performance vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH). Meanwhile, Chennault is an explosive force on both ends and especially on transition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.) St. Anthony Friars (State PR: N/A, Rank: N/A) vs. Putnam City Pirates (National PR: 81.87, Class Rank: 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two unlikely powers go head-to-head in the eighth annual Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. at Blake Arena. More than 40 squads will be participating in the annual event, which will represent 16 states and Washington D.C.

 

St. Anthony (NJ) -- headed by great talents Jamee Jackson and Dominic Cheek – is currently off to a great start thanks in part to team defense. The Friars have been holding many teams so far in the 30s and 40s.

 

Meanwhile, the Pirates (OK) are headed by Oklahoma signee Kyle Hardrick and Memphis recruit Xavier Henry, who has already scored 40 points in a game this season. With the addition of Hardrick this year, who transferred from Norman, the Pirates are title favorites in Oklahoma and now recognized as one of the midwest’s top teams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.) Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets (State PR: 95.69, Rank: 1) vs. Belleville Tigers (State PR: 92.11, Class Rank: 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pair of Michigan heavyweights take to the hardwood in one of the premier matchups of the year in the state. The Yellowjackets face several talented Ohio squads before they face the Tigers, so to come out on top, the unit will likely need a top performance. Detroit is led by Ray McCallum, Jr. and sharpshooter Jordan Dumars, who is lights-out from beyond the arc. Bennie Fowler is also a key contributor and has double-digit scoring ability.

 

On the other side, the Tigers have been flying under the radar this year in Michigan and hope to have a breaking out party against DCD. The Tigers are headed by sharp-shooter DeShon Dobbins, Booker Stoudmire, Mohamed Conte and Kourea Hayes, who all form a talented lineup that can hit you in a variety of ways.

 

9.) Kiski Area Cavaliers (State PR: 69.17, Class Rank: 60) vs. Latrobe Wildcats (State PR: 90.69, Class Rank: 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last time these two conference rivals met back on Dec. 16, Latrobe pulled out a thrilling 62-61 victory on the road. This time, Kiski is looking to pull of a road win against the top team in the conference. Kiski was once a pushover, but not anymore as evidenced by the first battle between these two. The Cavaliers are led by 6-2 senior guard Brady Pacific, who averaged 18 points per game last season, and Zack Barker, who is a major three-point threat.

 

Jeff Yunetz leads Latrobe and can put up 30 points on any given night. The Wildcats are currently in the drivers seat in the conference at 6-0, but Kiski has a major opportunity here to gain ground. Latrobe will need to be at the top of its game. The squad has impressive wins over Penn-Trafford and Hempfield, in addition to Penn Hills earlier in the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.) St. Frances Academy Panthers (National PR: 85.25, Region Rank: 10) vs. Mount St. Joseph Gaels (National PR: 85.25, Regional Rank: 9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This should be a great matchup of Mid-Atlantic powers. St. Frances is in the drivers seat of the Baltimore Catholic League and MIAA Class A conference thanks in part to the play of top scorer Terrell Vinson and 6-9 forward Greg Lewis.

 

Mount St. Joseph is led by the trio of senior Gerald Hill and juniors Eric Atkins and Ryler Beaumont, all tremendous scoring threats that can also back it up defensively. St. Frances is 7-1 in the conference and MSJ is 9-2.

 

This is the second of two regular season matchups between these conference rivals. Back on Jan 2, St. Frances pulled out a 49-40 win which saw Vinson score a game-high 19 points. Mount St. Joseph needs one of its best performances of the year to come out on top this time around.                                                                               

To contact editor Adam C. Warner, send an e-mail to adam.warner@activenetwork.com.

 

 

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By Ryan Rohde,

 

 

SportsPower Correspondent

 

 

 

1/16

 

 

Scott County Cardinals (State PR: 91.72, Natl. Rank: 21) vs. Bryan Station Defenders (State PR: 90.09, Regional Rank: 23):

Scott County comes in off of a big win over defending state champ Mason County. The game featured six ties and seven lead changes as the Cardinals scored the game’s final nine points to secure a 71-64 win. Rickie Phares led the way for the Cards with 22 points and 10 boards. 6-3 freshman guard Tamron Manning has shown that he’s one of the best young players in the state.

 

Bryan Station is coming off a big win of its own over Dunbar (KY), 80-61. Senior Charles Ashford has emerged as a big-time scoring threat for the defenders. Against Dunbar, he dropped 25 points to go along with 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Fellow senior Jeremiah Mabson has added a nice scoring threat from beyond the arc. The winner of this one is the frontrunner for the District 42 crown.

 

1/17

 

Oak Hill Warriors (Natl. PR: 76.66, Regional Rank: 23) vs. South Atlanta Hornets (Natl. PR: 85.26, Class Rank: 1)

 

1/19

 

Oak Hill Warriors (Natl. PR: 76.66, Regional Rank: 23) vs. Christ School Greenies (Natl. PR: 96.00, Rank: 2):

Oak Hill (VA) has been a longtime national powerhouse and plays probably the hardest schedule in the nation. This weekend might be the squad’s toughest stretch of the year. The Warriors begin on Saturday against South Atlanta (GA) and star forward Derrick Favors in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Favors has been dominant all season and is the frontrunner for National Player of the Year honors. He leads a Hornet offense that averages 94 points per game.

 

Oak Hill then takes on North Carolina private school power Christ School in the Greensboro Coliseum. The Greenies feature Duke recruit Mason Plumlee. The senior center has averaged 20 points in his last two contests. Look for a great inside battle all game as Plumlee goes up against Oak Hill’s Keith Gallon. The 6-9, 300 lbs. athlete is an Oklahoma commit and possesses raw strength and size. Warrior point guard Lamont Jones is the quarterback of the club and look for him to control the tempo in both games. The rest of Oak Hill’s schedule is very hard, but if they get through this weekend unscathed, they have a good shot of finishing undefeated.

 

Leflore Rattlers (Natl. PR: 94.50, Rank: 8) vs. Lincoln Railsplitters (Natl. PR: 72.07, Group Rank: 13):

Here’s another top matchup in the heralded Hoophall Classic. Leflore (AL) has rebounded nicely after dropping two midseason games to Oak Hill (VA) and Fairfax (CA) by a combined six points. Senior forward DeMarcus Cousins is one the top prospects in the nation. He is the backbone of a team that averages 80 points per game while holding opponents to just 50. This contest should be high-scoring as Lincoln (NY) is a fast-moving team. SG Lance Stephenson is one of the most prolific scorers in the nation and has the ability to pull up from anywhere. This is going to be a great inside vs. outside high-scoring affair.

 

DeMatha Stags (Natl. PR: 97.47, Rank: 3) vs. Gonzaga Eagles (Natl. PR: 85.76, Region Rank: 24):

There are a lot of great rivalries in the DC area, and this is one of the tops on the list. Gonzaga is coming off a big statement win over league rival Bishop McNamara. 6-7 senior Ian Hummer (Princeton) led the charge for the Eagles by dropping 17 points and grabbing nine boards. The Eagles have a deep bench, which will likely play a key role if they want to upend the Stags. DeMatha is arguably the most talented team in DC, if not the region. The squad’s lone loss came to Leflore in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii. The Stags have dominated league play thus far, most recently handing Bishop Ireton a 32-point beating. SG Naji Hibbert is one of the city’s best and will take his talents to Texas A&M next fall. Expect a huge crowd for this one, as the winner will be in good position in the ever-crowded WCAC.

Gonzaga Eagles

 

 

Boyd Anderson Cobras (State PR: 99.50, Rank: 1) vs. Winter Park Wildcats (State PR: 78.88, Rank: 15):

Two of the top teams in Florida square off in this big Class 6A match up. Anderson has steamrolled through the first part of the schedule, posting wins against Montverde Academy (FL) and Miller Grove (GA). Brian Bynes leads the undefeated Cobras and is regarded as one of the top guards in the state. Winter Park’s Adam Jones is a versatile forward who can score from anywhere. The 6-7 junior is one of the top prospects in the state in the class of 2010. This is the toughest game for either team all year and the winner should be the frontrunner heading into the playoffs.

 

Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions – Springfield, MO

The eight-team field features some great individual and team talent in the 25th annual Tournament of Champions. Word of God (NC) and No. 1 recruit John Wall is paired with local power Glendale (MO). White Station is a traditional Tennessee powerhouse and will face St. Raymond out of New York. Junior guard Joe Jackson runs the offense for White Station and his tremendous quickness will impress a lot of onlookers. The game to keep an eye on might be McEachern (GA) vs. Central (MO). McEachern ranks second in the AAAAA Georgia rankings and now has a chance to prove themselves against some quality out-of-state competition. This is a must-see for Springfield-area high school hoops fans.

 

Martin Luther King Hardwood Classic - Centennial High, GA

There will be a great slate of action in the Atlanta area as local powers get after it. Miller Grove (GA) takes on Wheeler (GA) in what is probably the headline game. Wheeler’s staring five might be the best in the state and features four major Div. I prospects in Ari Stewart, Phil Taylor, Dequan Jones and Richard Howell. Mfon Mdofia will be heavily relied on if Miller Grove wants to upend Wheeler. McEachern comes back from the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions to take on Columbia, a team that possesses one of the top seniors in the nation in Travis Leslie. Other games on the docket are Tucker vs. Wesleyan and Marietta vs. host school Centennial. The Hardwood Classic is a great chance to showcase the talent-rich Atlanta area.

 

Flyin’ to the Hoop Tournament – Dayton, Ohio

It’s considered one of the top high school tournaments of the year. The ’09 tourney features some of the most talented schools in the state of Ohio and from around the nation. Las Vegas-area powerhouse Findley Prep will flex its muscles as they get to play three of Ohio’s best squads in Bedford, Garfield Heights and Wayne. Maryland power Montrose Christian is making an appearance as well. Montrose head coach Stu Vetter leads the Mustangs. In his 33rd year at the helm, Vetter has posted an astounding 783-98 record. 6-8 forward Isaiah Armwood and 6-10 center Mouphtaou Yarou are both seniors and have signed with Villanova. This is a great opportunity for some Ohio schools to test their mettle against some top national talent.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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By Brett Manney

SportsPower Correspondent

 

 

Westchester Comets (State PR: 91.66, Rank: 30) vs. Fairfax Lions (State PR: 93.36, Rank: 14), January 16th:

 

 

 

This is a huge league game for two national powers and will decide which will be head honcho in California. Fairfax features two BasketballPower players to watch in USC recruit Solomon Hill and big time recruit Renaldo Sidney. Westchester will look to take down the talented and tall Lions on their home court behind its up-tempo style.  This big-time matchup features two of the best teams not just in the city of Los Angeles, but in the nation. It should be a gem to watch.

Fairfax Lions

 

 

 

 

McClymonds Warriors (State PR: 92.38, Regional Rank: 2) vs. De La Salle Spartans (State PR: 84.53, Section Rank: 3), Martin Luther King Classic, Jan. 16:

 

 

 

The defending state champions and super athletic Warriors meet the fundamental Spartans in a matchup of two contrasting styles. The Spartans tend to be patient and run a Princeton-style of offense. Look for the Warriors to push the ball at every chance in this matchup of Bay Area powers. McClymonds' 47-game winning streak is on the line with forward Damon Powell leading the way. The Spartans have been led all season by their catalyst Brandon Smith in the backcourt.

 

De La Salle Spartans

 

 

Provo Bulldogs (State PR: 95.00, Regional Rank: 12) vs. Orem Tigers (State PR: 87.62, Regional Rank: 48), Jan. 16:

 

 

 

Provo brings a perfect record into the game and might meet its toughest opponent yet. Orem also is undefeated and looks to make its mark on high school basketball in Utah. Both teams need a win which would look good on their resume when tournament seeding comes out. The loser goes home with a sour taste in its mouth as the winner advances still unscratched.

 

 

 

 

Westview Wildcats (State PR: 74.33, Class Rank: 11) vs. Jesuit Crusaders (State PR: 93.72, Regional Rank: 4), Jan. 16:

 

 

 

This one poses as a huge Metro Conference game between Oregon Class 6A foes. Jesuit has stormed out of the gates but Westview has already played a tough schedule featuring Fairfax (CA) and Mt. Vernon (NY). The Crusaders' lone loss was to Dominguez (CA) and they look like the early favorite to capture the 6A state crown in March.  A win would make either team the frontrunner in a very competitive league. Reliable Hayes Garrity and the Wildcats hope the home court advantage will help against Stephen Holt and an athletic Crusader group.

 

 

 

 

Federal Way Eagles (State PR: 83.28, Class Rank: 3) vs. Kentwood Conquerors (State PR: 72.34, Class Rank: 9), Jan. 17:    

 

 

 

The No. 2 and No. 3 ranked Class 4A teams by the Seattle Times square off for supremacy in Washington. Federal Way is loaded with talent and has only lost once, a one-point decision, 67-66, to Kentridge. Kentwood is led by big man Josh Smith, who is regarded as one of the top juniors in the country. Are Smith’s shoulders broad enough to carry the Conks to a win over the talented Eagles?

 

 

 

 

Highland Hawks (State PR: 92.05, Class Rank: 2) vs. North Mustangs (State PR: 79.03, Class Rank: 7), MLK Classic, Jan. 19:

 

 

 

Highland has been a pleasant surprise this season in Arizona and will take on North in the Martin Luther King Classic. North has suffered some tough losses but looks to rebound against arguably the best team in the state. Highland brings plenty of offense and multiple scoring options. Look for a full house to watch these two teams slug it out at the Classic.

 

Rainier Beach Vikings (National PR: 94.00, Rank: N/A) vs. Dominguez Dons (National PR: 63.68, Section Rank: 95), Holiday HoopFest, Jan. 19:

 

 

 

A clash of two state powers from different states meet at the Holiday HoopFest. Dominguez struggled early in the season without star Jordan Hamilton but have regrouped. Most recently, the unit took down Fairfax. As the No. 2-ranked team in Class 3A, according to the Seattle Times, Rainer Beach is always one of the best teams in Washington and features a high-flying squad equipped with plenty of athletes. D'Vonne Pickett is a major scoring threat for the Vikings and Dominguez will have to shut him down if they want to come out on top. If you like defense, this is not your game, but fans will certainly be entertained in a likely high-scoring affair.

 

Mater Dei Monarchs (National PR: 99.80, Rank: 1) vs. Young Dolphins (National PR: 78.86, Rank 332), Hoophall Classic, Springfield , Mass., Jan. 19:

 

 

 

Mater Dei will look to keep its winning streak alive as they travel across the country to play in the Hoophall Classic. Young is a very talented team with fearless shooters. All of the team's losses have come against some talented teams, but they can certainly make a statement by taking down the nation's top squad, according to BasketballPower. Mater Dei's starting five is comprised of all Div. I recruits who all have the ability to score at ease. Will a cross country trek have an impact on the Monarchs against a tough and talented Young squad?

 

Bellevue Wolverines (State PR: 79.50, Class Rank: 3) vs. Bellarmine Prep Lions (State PR: 52.58, Class Rank: 34), Jan. 19:

 

 

 

Two of the best teams in the state of Washington battle for bragging rights at the King Hoopfest. Bellarmine Prep guard Abdul Gaddy will play on his future home court at the University of Washington as he tries to lead his squad with a victory over a very talented Wolverines squad. The Wolverines have three players scoring in double figures and are a tough matchup for any team. Will Gaddy put on a showing on his future home floor and give his squad a needed win?

 

Decatur Golden Gators (State PR: 77.85, Class Rank: 6) vs. Federal Way Eagles (State PR: 83.28, Class Rank: 3), King Hoopfest, Jan. 19:

 

 

 

Here's another top-notch game at the King Hoopfest featuring two experienced teams. Federal Way will have a tough weekend as they first have to get through Josh Smith and Kentwood a few days earlier before matching up against the Gators, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A by BasketballPower. The Gators have tremendous all-around talent headed by Marcus Tibbs, who is Mr. Everything. Meanwhile, the Eagles' duo of Andre Barrington and Michael Hall III are a dangerous 1-2 scoring punch. Decatur could pull off the upset with tough defense against the powerful Eagles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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