Living up to hype and expectations is sometimes too much to handle in sports and everyday life. Others (often outsiders) set the bar so high that when a person or team falls short it’s considered a failure when in truth it should not be.

Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine have had to live with the hype and expectations since middle school when their basketball talents first became known to the public as part of an AAU team that included Alex Klatsky and Chris Autino. Those four became teammates at the Ranney School as freshman and overnight transformed the small independent school in Tinton Falls into a basketball powerhouse that on Sunday realized all its goals and dreams.

The Panthers became the first Shore Conference boys team to win the Tournament of Champions with a come-from-behind win over Bergen Catholic at Rutgers University.

Lewis (20pts) and Antoine (17pts) capped their brilliant high school careers in grand style before taking the next step in what most believe and expect will be NBA careers.  Lewis is headed to the University of Florida while Antoine will take his talents to Villanova.

They will leave legacies that may not be matched again as they lived up to and in many ways exceeded all those expectations placed on them and did so in a fashion that has earned them and their teammates respect around the shore and state.

Not to be lost in all of this was the coaching and guidance of Tahj Holden who directed the team to the ultimate prize in New Jersey High School basketball.

While they won’t be playing in the game both Scottie & Bryan will make their final local appearances at Thursday’s Shore Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena.

Presented in a partnership with our Shore Sports Network there will be a girls game at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow.  What should be a highlight is the I’m Possible Slam Dunk Contest at halftime in which Lewis will once again defend his title against a group of challengers.

For more on the game including rosters visit shoresportsnetwork.com.