Boys Basketball – Ranney Flexes on National TV, Handles Federal Way
The Ranney School boys basketball team is still not totally complete yet as they await the return of senior point guard Ahmadu Sarnor, but on Monday at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., the nationally-ranked Panthers looked about as complete as they ever have.
Senior Scottie Lewis led the way on both ends of the court, scoring 26 points and shutting down fellow Class-of-2019 five-star recruit Jaden McDaniels to spark Ranney - the No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 and ninth-ranked team in the country by USA Today - to a convincing 73-63 win over Federal Way out of the Tacoma, Washington area.
Lewis scored 20 of his points in the second half, added eight rebounds, six assists and three steals and hounded the 6-foot-10 McDaniels into 4-for-18 shooting from the field. McDaniels - who is considering offers from Kentucky, Washington, San Diego State, UCLA and Texas - finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Florida-bound Lewis also led a perfect game from the free-throw line from Ranney, going 8-for-8 as part of a 22-for-22 performance by the Panthers as a whole. Lewis hit all six of his attempts from the line in the second half and shot 7-for-9 from the floor after halftime on the way to a 9-for-14 day in all.
Senior Bryan Antoine added 23 points, four assists and six steals for Ranney and carried the scoring load with 14 of Ranney's 26 first-half points. The Panthers trailed Federal Way, 28-26, at the half and were down 26-16 at one point in the second quarter.
Lewis's second three-pointer of the third quarter capped a 15-2 run to open the third and a 25-4 run combined with the 10-2 burst that ended the half, putting Ranney ahead, 41-30. Antoine's final basket of the game - an acrobatic layup in transition - gave Ranney it's largest lead of the game at 69-54.
Antoine finished the game 9-for-18 from the floor and passed former St. Joseph (Donovan Catholic) great Jim Dolan (2,175 career points) for fourth place on the Shore Conference all-time scoring list. Antoine now has 2,176 points and is 127 away from becoming the Shore's all-time leader.
Junior forward and Rumson-Fair Haven transfer Phillip Wheeler contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 8-for-8 at the free-throw line. Wheeler scored his Ranney career-high 19 points on Saturday against Keansburg but considering the opponent, Monday was his signature game in his brief tenure with the Panthers to date.
Senior Alex Klatsky hit a pair of second-half three-pointers and finished with eight points for Ranney, which shot 0-for-8 from beyond the arc in the first half before going 5-for-7 in the second half.
Ranney fell into a turnover trap during a 19-4 run by Federal Way that began at the end of the first quarter and carried through most of the second. The Panthers committed five turnovers in four possessions as a 12-7 lead turned into a 22-16 deficit before ultimately building to 26-16.
Turnovers turned out to be a key in Ranney's favor as the Panthers forced 19 by Federal Way and committed 13 of their own for the game.
Junior Tari Eason led Federal Way with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Jalen Womack added 14 points and senior Jishai Miller chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds in the second loss of the season for the Eagles.
Ranney will play two Class B Central games against Keyport and Point Pleasant Beach during the remainder of the week before taking on Gill St. Bernard - a top-10 team in N.J. led by standout point guard and Rutgers commit Paul Mulcahy - on Sunday at Kean University in the Hearts 2 Hands Basketball Invitational.
In that game, Ranney is expected to welcome back Sarnor, who had to sit 16 games because he played 16 games as an eight-grader in Pennsylvania before eventually transferring to Ranney for his sophomore season. Sarnor is a two-time All-Shore guard and was the MVP of the Shore Conference Tournament championship game last season.