Ranney Duo Primed for Big Year
As the summer goes by high school athletes are getting ready for the start of the new school year and the next chapter in their young careers. The conclusion of summer means that fall sports will be starting soon.
While the basketball season is still months away, Ranney’s sensational sophomore duo of Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis have been showing off their skills at the Steph Curry camp and other major recruiting events in Las Vegas. Lewis was invited to the Under Armour All-American camp where only the top 80 players in the country get invited. He said the atmosphere of the camps gave him the opportunity to succeed. “When you get that kind of opportunity, [you] kind of have to take advantage of that,” Lewis said. “There were a lot of college coaches there. John Calipari (Kentucky) showed up as did a Duke assistant coach and Florida and Kansas were there. When you play in that kind of environment and play against those high caliber coaches, you just have to go out there and give it your all.”
Lewis and Antoine helped their AAU team, Team Rio, finish second in the Las Vegas Fab 48. Antoine believes finishing that high in Las Vegas will help him in the future. “It feels great,” said Antione of his team’s high finish. “We played in Georgia, prior to Las Vegas. Getting to the championship against the top guys in the country means a lot.”
The players’ hard work has not been taken lightly as ESPN has ranked both Lewis and Antoine among the top 25 freshmen in the nation. Lewis is rated as the 16th best player in the class of 2019, while Antoine is 21st. Lewis likes being ranked as high as he is and is quite proud that he is looked at so highly. Antoine believes he played better than his ranking suggested over the summer and will look to prove the people that gave him the rating wrong. “I’m not going to settle for 21,” said Antoine. “I feel like I played this summer not like as the 21st ranked player in the country.”
The work for both players has them believing Ranney could have an even better season than last season when the Panthers won 22 games. However they lost three times to Class B Central rival Mater Dei, who won the division title as well as the Shore Conference Tournament.
With the season being months away, it is quite difficult to say what would characterize a successful season for the Panthers. Ranney athletic director Bobby Malone believes winning a division championship would constitute a good year for the Panthers. “My goal for the basketball team is to win the division,” said Malone. “Last year, we did win the Red Bank Buccaneer Classic over the holidays, convincingly, and that was very exciting for the program. But for us as a program to take the next step we need to win the division and get a higher seed in the conference.”
The duo of Lewis and Antoine is one of the best in the Shore as they combined to score over 36 points per game as freshman. Many sophomore players experience slumps during their second year, but these two stars look to become not just the best duo in the state, but the entire nation.