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St. Anthony wins Tournament of Champions

3/21/2012

The titles keep coming for Bob Hurley and St. Anthony (N.J.).

The Friars finished off back-to-back undefeated season and won their second straight Tournament of Champions as they bested Plainfield, 66-62, Tuesday night at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. It's the school's 12th Tournament of Champions title in the 24 years of the tournament.

"Each year, you play with different ingredients, a different group of kids," said Hurley, the pioneer behind the team's success. "It's hard to stay atop the mountain. We had to beat some really good teams to get here."

With the win, the Friars also have now won 65 straight games over the past two seasons, including wins over all the New Jersey powers, as well as New York City's best like Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Boys & Girls and Mount Vernon. The Friars are ranked third in the country in the Powerade Fab 50 poll.

"We schedule teams to get better. The State championship is the goal, the wins are not something we're trying to do," Hurley said. "Those games are all good tests and helped us get there, but we weren't planning on it. It's amazing what they have accomplished and I'm very proud of the team."

Wednesday's game was tied at the half but St. Anthony (32-0) opened up an eight-point lead in the third and ballooned it up to 17 in the fourth quarter. Jerome Frink scored 26 points to lead St. Anthony while Tariq Carey had 18. UCLA-bound small forward Kyle Anderson, who never lost a game at St. Anthony, pitched in 14 points.

"You need good talent to have these runs and we've had good talent the last two years," Hurley said. "We have about two to three kids each class that gets a scholarships and these kids sacrifice their own statistics for balance. These kids play hard and they play good defense."