2017-18 Season at a glance: 18-7 overall record, 3-5 league record
Players to Watch: Amare Marshall, Elijah Hutchins-Everett, Zion Bethea
The Immaculate Conception Lions boys basketball team made major strides in the NJ state playoffs when they defeated The Patrick School and Hudson Catholic. This year the Lions return a team with some of the top sophomores and juniors in the area as well as the country.
6-10 big man Elijah Hutchins-Everett will be a major force in the paint for the Lions this season. The junior who has a plethora of offers from Rutgers, Villanova, Seton Hall, Penn State and others. With his ability to step out and hit mid-range jumpers, it’s known that he will be a matchup nightmare for other big men on a nightly basis. As for the guards, Bethea and Marshall will look to have another big year after playing aside Jalen Carey who is currently a freshman at Syracuse.
Key games to watch
12/18-12/22: City Of Palms Tournament (Fort Myers, FL)
The Lions will be making the trip down to the sunshine state to go up against some of the top high school teams in the nation at the prestigious City of Palms tournament in Fort Myers, Florida. The Lions first opponent is Paul VI high school out of Fairfax, Virginia. Paul VI came into this season ranked No.15 in the country according to USA Today’s national preseason rankings. One intriguing matchup in this game will be between the guards Zion Bethea and top 2020 guard Jeremy Roach. The Lions will face a big test early, but they are one team that will accept any challenges.
1/1/19 vs Roselle Catholic @ the Tim Thomas New Year’s Jumpoff
The Lions will start off the new year going up against defending state champions Roselle Catholic, the same team that ended their season in dominant fashion. This will be a revenge game for the Lions who are already known for beating nationally ranked teams at this event. At the last New Year’s Jumpoff, the Lions upset The Ranney School a team led by Florida commit Scottie Lewis and Villanova commit Bryan Antoine.
1/6/19 vs St. Benedict’s
Five days after the game vs Roselle Catholic, the Lions will be playing St. Benedict’s at Kean University. This game will be part of an event called the Scholarship Festival.
1/26/19 vs Imhotep Charter at the Philly vs NJ Collision
The Lions will face another test as they go up against Philadelphia powerhouse Imhotep Charter at the Philly vs NJ Collision on January 26th. The Lions will be going up against a tough Imhotep team that features Xavier commit Dahmir Bishop.
Outlook and prediction for 2018-19
With a strong schedule the Lions will be prepared for another run towards the TOC in New Jersey in 2019. The team’s core might be sophomores and juniors but with the experience they have under their belts they should be considered favorites to win the SEC league as well as a state title contender.