Four of the top five Garden State teams, according NJ.com's Top 20, are featured in this weekend's Metro Classic in Union, N.J.
New Jersey's top two teams are national No. 14 Ranney (Tinton Falls) (18-2) and No. 24 Roselle Catholic (Roselle) (19-2), and they will be joined by the state No. 3 Gill St. Bernard's (17-3) and No. 5
Elizabeth (18-0). Along with New Jersey's best, national No. 4 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) also will travel to the Metro Classic and face off against Ranney and Roselle Catholic.
The defending GEICO Nationals champions have beaten their last three ranked opponents by an average of 21.3 points per contest and dismantled previous No. 5 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 76-51 on national television this past weekend.
Montverde Academy draws Ranney in Friday's nightcap — a game the Panthers could use to bolster their national resume back into the Top 10. Ranney must neutralize the paint against a much bigger Eagles squad to keep things close and avoid becoming victims of another Montverde blowout. Ranney also will need big performances from their McDonald's All-Americans duo — Florida signee Scottie Lewis
and Villanova-bound Bryan Antoine
Montverde tackles the defending New Jersey tournament of champions winner Roselle Catholic in Saturday's nightcap. Last season, Roselle Catholic took unbeaten Montverde Academy to the wire, leading by six with 29 second remaining before 2017-18 MaxPreps National Player of the year R.J. Barrett
pulled off late-game magic with seven unanswered points to capture a 60-59 victory.
The Lions will need a monster effort from their McDonald's All-American Kahlil Whitney
, while UNLV-commit Josh Pierre-Louis
and highly touted 6-foot-11 junior Clifford Omoruyi
must contribute strong efforts. Roselle Catholic doesn't have the firepower it possessed last year, making this one a challenge for the Lions.
The event's other signature game Saturday night features Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone, N.J.) and Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) in a showdown of two intriguing point guard prospects.
For Gill St. Bernard's, 6-6 Rutgers signee Paul Mulcahy
has been on another level this season, averaging 18.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists per contest with nine triple-doubles to date. On the other side, Andre Curbelo
of Long Island Lutheran has filled the stat sheet as well, posting a quadruple double in the Montverde Academy Invitational with 28 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and 10 steals against Miami Christian (Miami).
The action takes place at Friday through Sunday at Kean Union in Union N.J.
Here is a look at the full schedule:
Friday, Feb. 8
Saturday, Feb. 9
3:00 p.m. — Montverde Prep (Montverde, Fla.) vs. TSF Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
Sunday, Feb. 10
Noon — Covenant Prep (Belmar, N.J.) vs. TSF Academy (Atlanta, Ga.)
4:30 p.m. — Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) vs. Texas Christian (Houston)