NEWTON, Mass. -- What kind of player travels four hours to attend his first Boston area tournament, packs a bag for the trip, but leaves his home uniform in New Jersey? The kind of player that will score 17 points and grab six rebounds after sitting out the first round of the tournament, hoping to earn his starting spot back from his Hall of Fame coach.
Six-foot-six junior Jimmy Hall came off the bench for the St. Anthony Friars (Jersey City, N.J.) and helped lead his team to a 77-33 victory over host Newton North to capture the Garden City Classic tournament tonight.
“Welcome to high school basketball,” said St. Anthony (5-0) coach Bob Hurley after the game. “I can see you forgetting a toothbrush, or a book to read while you’re on the trip, which we talked about. But I gotta think, that after we finished practice the day before we arrived up here, we had a thirty minute meeting about how to pack your stuff, that the first thing you would have in there would be all of your uniforms.
“That’s what I would’ve thought.”
To Hall’s credit, he knows just where the uniform is.
“It’s at home in my dirty clothes basket,” said Hall, who on top of sitting out yesterday’s first round victory over Catholic Memorial and coming off the bench today, also had to endure the haranguing his teammates handed him for such a gaffe.
“We got on him all night until he went to sleep,” said St. Anthony senior guard Myles Mack, who contributed 14 points and three rebounds. “There was nothing he could do about it. He realized it was his fault, so we’ve forgiven him.”
Bringing the ball up for the Friars was Kyle Anderson, a 6-8 junior, who scored 12 points and added eight rebounds, three steals and a block. He was able to keep the ball moving across half court with relative ease and maintained good ball movement once in the half court set.
“I use [my height] to my advantage,” said Anderson, “Being a tall point guard, I’m able to see over a lot of defenses and help make plays for my teammates.”
Anderson scored from the perimeter and from the paint, where he was able to catch and put the ball up quickly on in-bounds plays.
“That’s another advantage,” said Anderson. “Because of the height of most big men, I may be taller than other teams’ centers or power forwards.”
The leading scorer for Newton North was Avi Adler-Cohen, who scored 11 points, including the Tigers’ only four points in the first quarter, which did not surprise Newton North coach Paul Connolly.
“I was really proud of Avi,” said Connolly. “He really asserted himself. He’s a senior captain, three-year varsity kid. He’s been through it with me and I was really proud of the way he hung in there. He didn’t back down, but that’s what you expect from a senior captain.”
Tonight’s win was No. 989 for Hurley, but according to him, it doesn’t mean much more or less than win number one.
“If I win 1,000 games, I’m still coaching for awhile, so that’s just a number,” said Hurley, 63. “One week later, I’ll be happy or sad about something that my team is doing. Regardless of how many wins, things won’t change.”
KNIGHTS CLAIM CONSOLATION
In the consolation game of the tourney, Catholic Memorial (3-3) was led by junior guard Dan Powers, who went 8-8 from the free throw line on the way to 37 points, defeating Newton South, 82-71.
Powers’ ability to sink free throws, as well as his team who shot 18 of 22 from the line, comes from a tradition that head coach Denis Tobin ends every practice with.
“We’ll run them, get them tired, then pair them off with a different partner each day,” said Tobin, who then has the pair shoot head to head. “And the loser runs. We think that helps just by putting a little competition into the drill. They’re not just firing them up there.”
“Nobody wants to run at the end of practice,” said Powers, who also had eight rebounds and four steals.
Senior captain Matt Droney had 23 points in the win for the Knights and added nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Up 62-47 at the end of the third quarter, Newton South (2-3) outscored the Knights 24-20 in the last quarter, but Droney felt that the team was in control and is always well prepared for the final stretch of games.
“We pride ourselves on being in good shape,” said Droney. “Our goal is to have the other team be more tired than us by the end of the game. It’s conditioning and mental toughness so that when the fourth quarter comes, we’ll be more prepared than they are.”