Paterson Eastside Awaiting Fate from New Jersey State Association; St. Anthony’s, St. Pat’s Awarded Top Seeds
Paterson Eastside awaits its fate in the New Jersey state basketball tournament as the state investigates the school’s eligibility.
When the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) released its state tournament brackets on Thursday, the North 1, Group 4 bracket was not among them because the Eastside investigation is holding things up.
The state could opt to ban the Ghosts — who have won two of the last six Group 4 state titles — from the state tournament because of an explosive report released this week by NJ Advance Media which revealed that head coach Juan Griles was housing six players — three Nigerians and three Puerto Ricans — in his Paterson condo. Griles and assistant Al Maldonado have since been suspended, and former assistant Shaniqua Bacote was installed as the head coach.
In an exclusive interview with SNY on Wednesday, Maldonado said he was “shocked” by the allegations.”
The state tournament begins Feb. 27.
Eastside remains the No. 1 seed in the Passaic County Tournament and will play its quarterfinal against Clifton at home on Saturday.
Meantime, perennial state powers St. Anthony’s and The Patrick School were installed as No. 1 seeds in the North Non-Public B and South Non-Public B brackets, respectively.
Bob Hurley and the Friars are the defending New Jersey Tournament of Champions winner and could face a talented Hudson Catholic team, the No. 2 seed, in the North B final on March 8 at Rutgers.
Led by Kentucky-bound big man Nick Richards, the Celtics are the No. 1 seed in South Non-Public B and could meet rival Roselle Catholic in the sectional final on March 8 at Jackson Liberty High School. The Lions are the No. 6 seed.
St. Anthony’s and The Patrick School could meet in a rematch in the Non-Public group finals on March 11 — the same day as the Big East and ACC Tournament finals in New York. The public group finals will be held March 12 at Rutgers.
The Tournament of Champions tips off on March 15 with its quarterfinal round. The semifinals will be on March 17 and the tournament will crown its champion on March 20.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.