Scottie Lewis is looking to make history tonight with a Shore Conference Championship – Q&A with HG Insider

Scottie Lewis and the Ranney Panthers are looking to make history tonight at 8:00 p.m. in the Shore Conference Championship against Mater Dei Prep. He spoke to Hoop Group Insider about this and much more.

Q: How would you say your team has done so far this year what is the mindset heading going forward?

A: “We had a goal to go undefeated in the regular season and that is something that we did not do,” said Lewis. “We lost some games that we should have won. My teammates and I are competitors so our season did no go the way we wanted it to go because our goal was to go undefeated. Going 20-4 in the regular season is still not something to hang our heads about. Going into states we have new goals, new milestones to hit and we are focused on that.”

Q: New Jersey is one of the more talented states in terms of basketball talent, from 2018 down to 2021. Seeing all that talent, what is your feeling towards going against all of the top guys in the state?

A: “Most of those guys in the class of 2018, we have been watching since we were in seventh grade,” he said. “Growing up they were our idols and now they’re the enemy. We have to play against them, but of course we are still friends with them. We’re rooting for them and they’re rooting for us. It is all a brotherhood in New Jersey at the end of the day, but when we step on the floor, we are all competitive. We all have that New Jersey grit so being from New Jersey and playing for New Jersey is a huge thing. It is a lot to hold up to.”

Q: And obviously, you take it one step at a time, but what would it mean for a school like Ranney that is just getting exposed to all of this talent and the state tournament?

A: “Ever since eighth grade when Alex Klatsky and I first got here we knew we were going to create something special and wanted to make history,” Lewis said. “Our freshman year we added Bryan Antoine and Chris Autino and went on a run. We saw the love and the vibe that the Ranney School showed towards the basketball team and the rise of our program. To win a state tournament, then potentially go far, and win a T.O.C. Championship this year would only further our story.”

Q: What is it like creating your own path here at Ranney? Rather than going to a storied program in the past that has won state championships you guys took a different route.

A: “We feel accomplished,” he said. “We talk about it every day. Year to year after the season ends we get right to focusing on the next season here at Ranney. We’ve built a culture, a base for what we want to do. We are trying to build a culture of winning. We want to be that school not only in the Shore conference but also in the state. That is something that we have been trying to build for the last three years. Ranney entered the Shore conference prior to me enrolling and their first order of business was to win a Shore conference championship and from there would be to win the Tournament of Champions.”

Q: You individually, what do you think your role is? What does Coach Tahj Holden say your role is?

A: “Coach Tahj Holden has given me the role to be the coach Tahj of the floor while we are out there,” said Lewis. “He wants to me to be a leader and a captain. There is not much that he does not ask me to do, from getting assists to scoring and creating for my teammates and just having everyone involved and us staying together as a family. We all know we play our best when we play together. I’m kind of the floor general and the captain no matter what position I play and when I’m at on the floor. If I’m not on the floor, I’m on the bench doing the same thing, just being a captain.”

Jared Rhoden Excited to be on National Stage

In the past year, Jared Rhoden has emerged as one of the top class of 2018 prospects in the northeast. Rhoden took AAU by storm with the NY Lightning this past summer and added numerous high major offers. He eventually decided on the Seton Hall Pirates, which is likely to be a school where he can make an immediate impact. Now Rhoden is leading Our Saviour Lutheran into becoming one of the best basketball teams throughout the country as they have beaten talented teams like Prolific Prep and Hillcrest Prep. He is beyond excited for what he and his team have done so far this year.

“My senior campaign has gone great and it is by far the most exciting season of my high school career,” said Rhoden. “With me getting a chance to get put on a national stage after being overlooked by almost everybody is the best part especially doing it with everybody they said we couldn’t do it with.”

Being recognized as a national level team was a goal for Our Saviour Lutheran heading into this year and they have accomplished that. Rhoden is happy to see all of this hard work pay off.

“Playing a part in bringing this team to the nation’s top high school level has been surreal,” Rhoden said. “With us being a small independent Lutheran school located in the Bronx everybody over looked us. Every day we stepped on the court from the rebuild two years ago, we made sure we were straight business. We worked so hard and put in so much time for this opportunity to be a top team in the nation.”

Even with the amount he and his team have accomplished this year, Rhoden has plenty of goals on his mind going forward.

“One of my goals of this high school season is to leave my best legacy at Our Saviour Lutheran,” he said. “I want to influence all of the future kids and current kids that will be in the program. Another goal is to win Mr. Basketball for the state of New York. The last goal for me is that I want to make it to the Dicks Nationals.”

Once the high school season ends, Rhoden gets to look forward to playing his college career at Seton Hall. He broke down for Hoop Group Insider why he chose the Pirates.

“The main deciding factors for me choosing Seton Hall was the genuine trust I felt with the not only the school but in particular the coaching staff,” he said. “Another reason is because I felt they had the best balance of basketball and education.”

For Rhoden there is a lot to look forward at Seton Hall. He is excited about the opportunity that is presented with the coaches and teammates that he will be surrounded with.

“There are too many things to be excited about for next year because playing college basketball has been a dream of mine since I can remember,” Rhoden said. “I guess the thing that excites me the most is I’ll be playing under and with people I trust. I’ve found that the Seton Hall guys have similar mindsets, which will be great to see on the one of the biggest stages in college basketball.”

Paul Mulcahy Raises Play and Leadership This Season

Class of 2019 guard Paul Mulcahy has emerged into being one of the top prospects in New Jersey. The Gill St. Bernard’s product has taken a leadership role this season and has been successful with it as his team is 18-4 through this season. Mulcahy has enjoyed this new role of his.

“Last year as a sophomore I had to lead more by example, but as a junior I’ve definitely been forced to lead vocally on both ends of the floor,” he said. “Being a leader is something I take a lot of pride in and I think I’ve done a really good job this year.”

Mulcahy and his team have their eyes on one goal and that is the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.

“I want to win it this year for our six seniors and our school,” he said. “Gill St. Bernard’s has never won a state championship before so why not now. I think as a team we have made great progress this year and are playing our best basketball this season. Our schedule has been no joke so I think it will prepare us down the line.”

The state of New Jersey has some of the best talent throughout country. The Gill St. Bernard’s product takes pride in being from the Garden State.

“Basketball needs New Jersey,” Mulcahy said. “I think what makes New Jersey great is the fact that you don’t need to travel far to play great competition. Everybody knows everybody so people play with a lot of pride and competitiveness. I would put NJ players up against any other state in the country.”

Marquette, Xavier, Rutgers, Temple, Boston College, Saint Joseph’s, Seton Hall and Northwestern have been in to see Mulcahy recently. These schools are primarily the ones recruiting him the hardest. He isn’t rushing the process and is learning a lot about each of the schools on him.

“I think it’s great, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people and have learned so much about the different areas and schools,” said Mulcahy. “I’m really grateful to be where I am and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.”

Tyrese Martin Using Fifth Year to Prepare for Rhode Island

Rhode Island commit and current Massanutten Military Academy wing Tyrese Martin took the Lehigh Valley Showcase by storm by winning Co-MVP in a 84-82 win against the Westtown School. Martin scored 31 points and went back in forth with Duke commit Cameron Reddish. He enjoyed playing against tough competition at such an exciting setting.

“He made a lot of tough shots and made the gym go crazy so I felt like I had to step up again and go make a play,” said Martin. “It was just one of those games where I felt like the team said they were just going to ride with me. Whatever I did they just followed me, helped me and pushed through.”

Martin graduated from a Lehigh Valley based team in William Allen High School last year, but decided to do a post-graduate year at Massanutten this year. Martin had this game circled on his schedule as soon as he heard that he would be playing at home again.

“Since the beginning of the season I was looking forward to this game coming back home,” he said. “I played against them before, but we lost so this time I made sure we’d come out with the win.”

Getting the feeling back of what it meant to play in front of his home crowd meant a great deal to Martin.

“It was great I mean I hadn’t known what this felt like in a year,” Martin said. “Last year for high school we had games like this, but this game meant a lot. Everyone came out and showed love so I felt like I had to put on a show.”

He got the opportunity to catch up with old friends after the game, but before it was all business.

“Before the game I didn’t talk to anyone, I got really locked into the game,” he said. “I blocked a lot of things out, but after the game I talked to students and people.”

Schools like Maryland, NC State, Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech and more got involved with the recruiting process late for him. Even with top notch, schools like these recruiting him, Martin still found Rhode Island to be the place for him.

“They just stayed with me the whole ride and have been loyal,” he said. “With the picture they have for my four years at Rhode Island I feel like that it is going to fit my style of play. That’s where my heart felt like I needed to go.”

Martin transferring and taking a post-graduate year at Massanutten Military Academy didn’t align with the usual reasons a high school prospect takes a fifth year of high school. Usually done for a need with additional exposure, Martin felt he needed another year to expand on his game in order to make a big impact at Rhode Island next year.

“No it really had nothing to do with offers I mean since last year I knew I was going to go to Rhode Island before I even came to this school,” said Martin. “I wanted to get stronger and take the extra year to prepare myself mentally and physically for the next level.”

The new school has been an easy adjustment for Martin and he cannot wait for what is next with this team.

“I’m enjoying it a lot, we have a national championship to get so were just chasing that right now and its pretty fun with these guys,” Martin said.

Paul Mulcahy Looks to Become Vocal Leader of Gill St. Bernard’s

Paul Mulcahy gets mobbed by teammates after game winner at Hoop Group Fall Showcase

Paul Mulcahy is one of the main components to one of the most talented teams in New Jersey, Gill St. Bernard’s. The class of 2019 guard had a great showing at the Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase even with his team having the toughest schedule in the event.

“I think it’s cool to see how everyone stacks up because we have some of the best teams in the northeast here,” said Mulcahy. “We played Westtown, The Ranney School and The Patrick School so to go against all of those great players was exciting for us.”

With his improvement from last year, Mulcahy is excited for what is to come this high school season.

“I’ve think I’ve improved with my game a lot from last year,” he said. “I had a slow summer so it was hard to showcase that, but that’s why I’m excited for the high school season. I’ve gotten bigger and more athletic so I’m starting to fill out well.”

Gill St. Bernard’s Head Coach Mergin Sina expects a lot out of the junior standout this year, as he will have a much bigger role.

“I just need to be a vocal leader, I have to be another coach on the floor for Coach Sina,” he said. “I need to always be on the same page as him because I’m going to be the primary ball handler.”

Many schools will be following Mulcahy this year, but he pointed out that Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. Joseph’s, Temple and Northwestern have made him a priority. Even with these top schools after him, he is focusing on one thing.

“The one thing on my mind for this year is the TOC without a doubt,” said Mulcahy. “Gill St. Bernard’s has always been at that level, but this year is really exciting. We have all the right pieces and I think many people will sleep on us. Everyone is going to buy in this year and play for each other.”