Just three years ago, it would have been hard to imagine the Ranney boys basketball team ever even setting foot on the same court at the same time as St. Anthony - the premier program in N.J. since Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley took over.

That's exactly what happened on Jan. 10 and in their first test against a state power, the Panthers showed they belonged, albeit in a losing effort. Sophomore Alexander Rice hit a go-ahead three-pointer with four seconds left and the Friars escaped Brookdale College with a 51-48 win.

Although it was a loss, the St. Anthony game was a sign of things to come for Ranney, which played the toughest five-game stretch in school history over a nine-day span from Jan. 6 to Jan. 14. Other than the narrow defeat against St. Anthony, the Panthers did not lose a game and after a 4-1 record during that stretch, they are the Shore Sports Network Army Strong Team of the Week for Week Three.

Ranney's gauntlet began with a scintillating overtime win over Rutgers Prep in which the Panthers overcame a white-hot shooting night by the Argonauts to pull out the win. Scottie Lewis turned in a career performance with 34 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks to lead the way while Bryan Antoine and Ahmadu Sarnor added 23 points apiece.

After handling their business with a 68-50 win over Asbury Park, the Panthers took St. Anthony to the final seconds of the game. Antoine led the way with 19 points and seven rebounds and scored the tying basket with 1:30 left after stealing the ball near midcourt. Lewis also had a big performance for Ranney, posting his first career triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks.

Ranney bounced back in a big way on Thursday by rolling into Mater Dei Prep and knocking off the defending Shore Conference Tournament champions, 58-56, to take over the No. 1 spot in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - the program's first ever No. 1 ranking in basketball. Antoine scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Panthers rallied from a seven-point deficit with under four minutes to play despite Lewis siting the first 3:30 of the fourth quarter with four fouls. Sarnor also came up big in the win over the Seraphs by scoring 14 points.

The Panthers wrapped up their big week with a convincing 66-57 win over Montclair Immaculate - a game that Ranney led by 21 heading to the fourth quarter - at the Dan Finn Classic at the Jersey City Armory. Antoine again led the charge with 26 points, while Sarnor added 17.

Ranney is off to a 10-2 start to the season following a win over St. Rose Wednesday.


2017 Team of the Week Winners

Week 2: Rumson-Fair Haven

Week 1: Ocean