It’s a battle of defending CHSAA boys basketball champions as St. Raymond hosts Iona Prep Tuesday night in The Bronx. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and the game can be seen live on MSGVarsity.com.
Both squads look vastly different from last March. Every player who saw significant time in St. Raymond’s run to a seventh CHSAA Class AA intersectional title either graduated or transferred.
Even head coach Oliver Antigua left, accepting a position on Steve Masiello’s staff at Manhattan College.
But longtime assistant Jorge Lopez knows there’s still plenty of talent off Castle Hill Ave.
“We’re young, but we’re going to have some depth,” Lopez said in the preseason. “I’m very optimistic about this team.”
St. Ray’s, preseason ranked No. 12 in New York City by MSG Varsity, is off to a 2-0 start.
The Ravens rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to beat Poly Prep, 59-48, Friday in Bay Ridge. Junior Sean Jones was the high scorer with 17 points, sophomore point guard Jaquan McKennon had 12 points and six assists, and senior Lorenzo Rojas nailed three 3-pointers en route to 11 points.
On Sunday afternoon, St. Ray’s beat Fordham Prep in its home opener, 54-47. Luis Santos, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from the Dominican Republic who already has Big East looks, scored a team-high 14 points.
Iona Prep is playing in Class AA for the first time after winning the Class A intersectional title for a fourth time and second time in four years.
Four starters graduated from that squad, including forwards Felix Abongo and Tim McCarthy, as well as guard Luke Wooters.
But the Gaels make the jump with guards Brandon Williams and Isiah Ice, who were instrumental in a trip to the New York State Federation Class A semifinals in a 24-4 season.
Newcomers Matt Ryan, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, and 6-foot sophomore guard Tom Capuano are the key newcomers for Vic Quirolo’s squad, which opened the season with back-to-back wins.
Iona won at St. Francis Prep, 62-45, and beat Cardinal Spellman, 64-50, at home. The Gaels are coming off their first defeat, 67-53, against Xaverian in New Rochelle Friday night.
Which 2011-12 CHSAA champion will reign in The Bronx Tuesday night? Find out starting at 7:15 p.m. right here on MSGVarsity.com.