TAMPA — Not much is expected from Sickles this year, considering the loss of nine seniors, including current UNC 6-foot-10 freshman center Jon Henson, from a team that went 24-5 last season before losing in the region semifinals.
But if Friday's performance against Ridgewood in the SEBA Classic at Berkeley Prep is any indication, teams had better not sleep on the Gryphons.
Rashawn Rembert scored nine of his team-high 25 in the first quarter as Sickles built a 22-0 lead on its way to a convincing 78-48 win. Three other Sickles players scored in double digits with senior points guard Jordan Davis chipping in with 18, Caleb Kamm 11 and Jack Holland 10.
"People think we're going to fall off the map (without Henson) and it's a real motivator for us," said Davis, who added seven assists. "Obviously, you can't replace a player like Jon but we have a team where everyone knows his role."
The Gryphons hit their first five shots, including four 3-pointers and finished the first quarter with a 28-8 lead.
In the nightcap, Berkeley Prep and King combined to shoot 66 free throws with the Buccaneers pulling out a 54-47 win.
The Bucs overcame a 27-18 halftime deficit and outscored the Lions 15-7 in the fourth quarter in which Berkeley shot 20 of its 39 free throws and King attempted 14 of its 27.
Josh Williams led Berkeley with 14 points, including 10 in the second half with Barnes adding 11. Rethell Oliver led the Lions with 12 points.
In the other game, Damian Dixon had 25 points and Xavier Owens scored 21 to lead Wharton to a 65-56 overtime victory over Orlando Evans.