TINTON FALLS, N.J. – Ranney School hosts Rutgers Prep on Monday in a Non-Public South B semifinal, and one way or another, the high school careers of Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine are going to end inside the next two weeks.
Maybe it comes tonight against Rutgers Pre, maybe in a sectional final Wednesday. Maybe it comes in Saturday’s NJSIAA Non-Public B final against Roselle Catholic or Gill St. Bernard’s, maybe the Panthers win the Tournament of Champions on March 17.
Either way, this thing is coming to a close, and months, even years from now, it will be interesting to see how this overnight, out-of-where parochial power and its two studs recruits are viewed and remembered.
Whatever the casual fan thinks of Ranney, here’s the truth: Lewis and Antoine are not just two more kids passing through the area. They are special talents, the likes of which never come through Monmouth and Ocean Counties. When I say never, that is literal.
This area hadn’t had a McDonald’s All-American in a generation (John Crotty, CBA ’87) until Lewis and Antoine got the nod in late January. Both are consensus five-star recruits, both had nearly every heavyweight college program, both are on the NBA radar, both projected as top-12 picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. Those things simply do not happen here regularly.
No matter when Ranney’s season ends, just know that something like its two stars may not come around again for a very long time.