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Lenny Carmichael, the journeyman coach who’s been at seven schools in 25 years and currently coaches Granville Charter High School basketball, will stay there long enough to build a winning program.
Lawrenceville basketball coach Ronnie Kane, known for his blurts of ‘Ouch!’when he believes his player is fouled under the basket, shouts it a bit louder for the officials to hear.
PDS basketball coach Charlie Ross and assistant coach Carmen Nitti, who retain their teaching positions at Hamilton High, share the gas mileage expenses on their daily trek to Princeton Day.
At least one of the county’s five prep school basketball teams and Bucks prepsquad Solebury, lure a bonafide size player of 6 8 or taller, ala ex Pennington giant Grant Billmeier (6 11).
How about the nerve of that Pennington School basketball team, invading McCorristin High’s Iron Palace and upsetting the defending champ Iron Mikes, 48 47, in the semifinals of the 19th annual Eastern States Christmas Tournament over the weekend.
The shocking victory, however,
wasn’t so shocking to Mikes’ coach Freddie Falchi, an alumnus of Pennington.
“Honestly, I sensed something was wrong the whole game even though we were winning. It didn’t seem we were in control. I kept whispering to my (assistant) coach (Travis Murphy) I had a bad feeling.”
McCorristin led, 43 37, with 4:12 left in the fourth quarter before succumbing to the Red Raiders’ rally.
“Nobody stepped up. We have a new group of kids. Pennington’s experienced. They’re kind of senior oriented. They had the will to win more than us. Two years ago, those kids were sophomores. They had us by 13 (points) in our (ESCIT) Tournament. We came back somehow and won. Now these kids, like (Dave) Millstein, (Timmy) Sliker, (Brian) Wynder, (Chris) Munley, they’re seniors,and (experienced junior Muhammad) Siddiqu. They were just as good if not better than us. The better team won.”
The Red Raiders built a 13 point lead before falling under the firepower of ND’s newest 1,000 point scorer, Sean Cooke,
and the rest of the Fighting Irish, who rallied for a 68 64 victory.
The Red Raiders finished runnerup in the ESCIT, but didn’t leave empty handed.
They were presented the second place team trophy. Siddiqu and Wynder were chosen on the 10 player All Tournament Team. Millstein was given the Sportsmanship Award.
Millstein and Wynder bucketed 47 and 46 points, respectively, in the three game classic. Siddiqu surprised everybody with a stellar 14 point performance in the title game.
McCorristin’s Brian Sakowski and ND’s Rich Gunnell were also awarded All Tournament Team honors.
“Trenton (High) didn’t invite us back to their (Capitol City Classic) this year. I called all over the state and country looking for a tournament,” said coach Jon Stone. “I found one.”
It was the six team Joe Silver Holiday Tournament at Hillside High.
Hun lost to Plainfield High in the opener, 58 49, then beat Staten Island Tech, 68 51, and Bayonne High, 79 59.
Calvin Arnold, the 6 9 post graduate center, was chosen on the All Tournament team. Hun raised its record to 8 4.
“We still have a lot of improving to do,” Stone said. “We’re distributing the ball better and we have an intense defense.”
the 6 0, senior guard from St. Anthony’s of Jersey City, who will enter St. John’s University next fall, averages 17 points a game with 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals a contest.
All American Brandon Heath, a 6 3 senior guard from Westchester High of Los Angeles, named the junior Player Of The Year in California last year. He averaged 21.4 ppg, with 7.5 assists and three steals. This star may take his talents to Arizona or UCLA.
Simon Gratz’s 6 6 senior forward, Michael Blackshear, will return for the second year in the PTS. Named Philadelphia’s All Metro player, Blackshear averaged 16.5 ppg, 13.5 rebounds and three assists per contest.
Zack Martin of Shawnee High also is back. The 6 5 senior guard was given an Honorable Mention All American berth last year when he averaged 21.5 points a contest, grabbed 7.5 rebounds game and dished out 6.5 assists per contest.
Neptune High’s Taquan Dean, a 6 3, senior forward,
also received Honorable Mention All American status and will return.
St. Augustine Prep, a perennial state power, will feature Nana Mensah Bonsu, the 6 9, senior center. His offense has improved to 10.2 ppg to go with his 6.5 blocks a contest.
Randy Foye, a 6 3 senior guard, brings with him a 23.4 ppg average and 7.5 assists per contest. He’ll enter Villanova next year.
Camden Catholic’s Will Bakanousky, a 6 9 senior center, led the Irish to the NJSIAA Parochial A title last year. He averages 12 ppg game and 10 rebounds a contest.
He was an assistant coach at Trenton High from 1972 77. Two games into the ’77 78 season, he took over the head job and remained until 1980. From THS, Carmichael traveled south to Orlando, Fla. for three years to coach. He returned north to coach Hopewell Valley High for three years, then Cinnaminson High for five years, Paulsboro High three years,
Woodrow Wilson High two seasons and Pennsauken High three years.