Boys Basketball – Ranney Wins at Empire Invitational With Lewis Sidelined
The Ranney boys basketball team - ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - spent its Sunday afternoon a week ago getting beat handily by an out-of-state powerhouse while one of the Panthers starters was relegated to the bench.
One week later, Ranney again played without a key starter, but this time, the Panthers embraced the role of underdog and scrapped their way to another impressive win.
With their team missing junior standout Scottie Lewis, sunior Bryan Antoine scored a game-high 25 points and senior center Savior Akuwovo added 17 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Panthers to a 58-51 win over Westtown of West Chester, Pa. Sunday at the Empire Invitational at Adephi University.
Lewis sat out Sunday's game with an ankle injury he sustained on Thursday in a win over Point Pleasant Beach.
At the Hoophall Classic at Springfield College last week, Ranney played without junior Ahmadu Sarnor in a 71-48 loss to Mount St. Joseph of Maryland.
This time, without its second-leading scorer, second-leading rebounder and leader in assists and blocked shots in Lewis, Ranney got strong scoring efforts from Antoine and Akuwovo and an even better defensive showing by the collective team.
With the Panthers floating between man-to-man and zone, Antoine spent the majority of the time in the man-to-man locked up with Duke University commit Cam Reddish. Antoine, with help from fellow juniors Alex Klatsky and Mike Dettro, led a defensive performance that held Reddish to 16 points on 6-for-19 shooting.
Ranney held a five-point lead at halftime and went up double-digits in the second half. Westtown battled to within 52-49 late in the fourth quarter but Antoine drained a three-pointer to halt Westtown's momentum with two minutes to go.
Antoine shot 9-for-21 from the field in his first game with 25 or more points since Jan. 8. Antoine went seven straight games scoring at least 20 points before going five straight with no more than 21 - which was also his only game with more than 20 during that stretch.
After Sunday's performance, Antoine is averaging 21.3 points per game, which is good for third in the Shore Conference.
Akuwovo's double-double was his seventh in the last eight games and eighth on the season. Klatsky, meanwhile, added nine points on a trio of three-pointers to go with his defensive input against Reddish.
Sarnor scored just one point, but handed out seven assists while running the point for the Panthers.
Junior Jalen Gaffney, owner of 14 Division I offers, led Westtown with 17 points.