TINTON FALLS - Four years ago, the talk was all about the future for a special group of eighth-graders who were eager to transform Ranney from a basketball backwater into a national power.
Buzz about capturing Shore Conference and state titles, maybe even winning the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, was all just a far-off dream back then...
MIDDLETOWN - As much as Mater Dei Prep and Ranney have grown into rivals during their respective two-year meteoric rises, the two had yet to play the kind of classic, down-to-the-wire game that is an essential part of any rivalry.
Thursday at Mater Dei, the rivalry between the Seraphs and the Panthers reached the next level and so did Ranney...
MIDDLETOWN - Senior guard Joe Mahoney remembers what Ranney's boys basketball games used to be like only two seasons ago, before the Panthers became a must-see show in the Shore Conference.
"My sophomore year, we probably had four or five Ranney fans in the stands,'' he said before smiling...
Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase
Saturday, Jan. 7
At Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College
Game 4: No. 2 Ranney vs. St. Anthony, 5 p.m.
For a group of 15 and 16 year-olds, the five sophomore starters on the Ranney boys basketball team have played in high-level tournaments against some of the best amateur talent in the country – a body of work that rivals that of most incoming college freshmen.