2017-18 SEASON WRAP-UP
The Ranney boys' basketball team made history during the 2017-18 season, as the No. 2 seeded Panthers defeated fifth-seeded Trenton Catholic 71-56 in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Non-Public B final. The win brought Ranney its first sectional championship, coming just a week and a half after the team won the school's first Shore Conference Championship title.
The Panthers, ranked third, fell to top-ranked Roselle Catholic 63-61 in the NJSIAA Non-Public B championship at RWJ Barnabas Health Arena in Toms River.
In celebration of their successes during the 2017-18 season, the Ranney boys’ basketball team made the rounds to accept post-season honors.
Jersey Sports Zone held a banquet for the All-State All-Zone team at the APA Hotel in Woodbridge on March 20. Ranney had four players selected: senior Savior Akuwovo and juniors Bryan Antoine, Scottie Lewis, and Ahmadu Sarnor.
On March 26, Bryan Antoine received Shore Conference Player of the Year, awarded by the Shore Conference Coaches’ Association. Coach Tahj Holden won Coach of the Year, which his players accepted on his behalf. Scottie Lewis took home the ImPossible dunk contest for the third-straight year.
2016-17 SEASON WRAP-UP Season 22-5
Nine of the 10 Varsity Boys' Basketball team players on the 2016-17 roster were returning players, with new team member and sophomore Ahmadu Sarnor joining the ranks. The team entered the Shore Conference with a rank of #2 based on its 2015-16 22-4 record. With the season kick-off in early December 2016, APP
named Ranney sophomores Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis, both of whom have been playing Ranney basketball since the eighth grade, on its top five players to watch list this season. And the Two River Times
reported that Ranney could be the "Shores's Best" once again this season, along with Mater De (read
how Ranney broke Mater Dei's 27-game Shore Conference winning streak with a first-in-Ranney-history win against the team January 12, 2017, before losing to the team in a February 6 rematch
; Ranney was the only Shore Conference team to beat Mater Dei this season).
Presidents’ Day Weekend 2017 was full of Ranney Athletic milestones. The team defeated St. Rose on Feb 16, to advance to the Shore Conference Tournament (SCT) quarterfinals, where they defeated Middletown North 79-63 on Feb 19. The Panthers faced Marlboro Feb 21 at the Toms River Pine Belt Arena in the conference semifinals - a first in Ranney School history. In addition, sophomore Bryan Antoine scored 33 points in the win over Middletown North, surpassing the 1,000 point mark in his Ranney basketball career. Bryan is reportedly the first sophomore in Shore Conference history to reach 1,000 points! Despite wins in the quarter finals of the SCT, the young team took a loss to Marlboro High (50-47 L), seeded #6, in the February 21 semifinal.
State Sectional Tournament
: The Varsity Boys Basketball team continued to advance in the 2017 NJSIAA Non-Public South B State Tournament. Winning their first tournament game against Timothy Christian in early March, 98-57 (the Panthers’ highest score to date), the Panthers went on to defeat Rutgers Prep on March 3, 78-70, with top scorers including Bryan Antoine at 25 points, Scottie Lewis at 22, and Sarnor Ahmadu at 18. On March 6, #4 seeded Ranney played #1 seeded Patrick School, a nationally ranked team, in the semifinal round at Rahway High School. The team had previously not gotten this far in the State Sectionals.
Writes APP in its 2016-17 season wrap up, published March 13, 2017: "The Panthers lived up to expectations this season by winning a share of the Class B Central title, by advancing to the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and by reaching the semifinals of the NJSIAA Non-Public South B bracket. Without question, the Ranney School was one of the more electrifying teams in the Shore Conference as they won highly competitive games such as a 90-83 overtime victory over Rutgers Prep on Jan. 6 and a 58-56 victory over Mater Dei Prep on Jan. 12 and finally a 59-56 win over Newark East Side on Feb. 12. Since the Ranney School had a sophomore-dominated roster, they’ll be one of the teams to beat in the 2017-2018 season."
2015-16 SEASON WRAPUP
Ranney School's Varsity Boys’ Basketball team made its way to the Shore Conference Tournament
for the first time in Ranney athletic history in the 2015-16 season! On February 16, 2016, the Panthers took on Brick Township on Ranney's Tinton Falls campus, winning the game 75-51. Read APP's
coverage of the game here
. Ranney then hosted Freehold Twp High School in game 2 on February 18, winning 51-48. They moved on to the tournament quarterfinals against rival Mater Dei on February 21 at 2:30 p.m. in a packed arena at Brookdale Community College. Ranney, seeded 8, put up a great fight against Mater Dei, seeded 1, in the quarterfinal round, ending with a score of 39-47.
Next up for the Panthers was the 2016 NJSIAA Non-Public B state tournament
game against St. Rose on March 1, with Ranney winning 74 to 45. See related article
. The team played its second state playoff game March 3rd on campus against Roselle Catholic. The final score of the game was Ranney 44, Roselle 69. Overall the team ended the season 22-4.
The team also earned the Buc Classic title in 2015-16 against Red Bank Regional (67-51), a tournament the team elected to skip in 2016-17 in order to play in the Village Tournament in Tampa, FL, against the Tampa Sickles (63-53, Tampa, Dec. 2016).
A bit about the coach...
Tahj Holden took on the Head Basketball Coach position at Ranney in the summer of 2015. Holden previously served as the junior varsity coach for Christian Brothers Academy, as well as director of basketball operations and an assistant at Monmouth University. At 6’10, he is known and admired throughout the area not only as a coach and Red Bank Regional high school star, but also for his stellar collegiate athletic career at the University of Maryland. As a starting forward, Holden led the Maryland team to the 2002 national championship. He played professionally in Istanbul, Turkey, during 2003-04.
“Coaching was the natural progression after my playing days,” says Holden, who referred to Ranney’s basketball program early in the 2015-16 season as a “sleeping giant.”
Of the players, he says, “I am impressed by the students’ attitudes and their genuine mentality to learn and get better every day. I expect from them a little more each time we practice. We have an internal definition of success that will allow us to reach our goals as a team. The goals may be a stretch but they are reasonable, and I expect us to attain them.”
Holden is assisted by long-time varsity head coaches Rich Sherman and John Tierney.