MSG Varsity provides in-depth coverage of "The Game" between St. Patrick and St. Anthony, the top two boys basketball teams in the nation!
St. Anthony Upends St. Patrick for North Non-Public B Title, Possibly National Crown
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- In the most anticipated high school basketball game in the Garden State's history, St. Anthony rose to the occasion.
Thanks to a big fourth-quarter run and some timely defense, the Friars pulled off an upset of St. Patrick, 62-45, and captured the North Non-Public B championship before a sold-out crowd of 8,057 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers.
Myles Mack, a future Scarlet Knight, stole the show by scoring a team-high 19 points, and was instrumental in helping St. Anthony (30-0) outscore the opposition, 23-5, in the fourth.
Mack and teammate Kyle Anderson, who both transferred to the Jersey City school upon the closing of Paterson Catholic, have been the staples of a team many now will consider the best in the country.
"We've been a work in progress all year," St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley said. "We've come to know it's been a difficult situation, but they adapted well. That's why we're so dangerous right now, because we're kind of figuring out how we can all play. We managed to figure out how to share the ball."
By winning, the Friars likely will move to the top spot of the national rankings, previously held by their in-state rival for about a month. Hurley's team entered the contest ranked second.
In order to maintain its course for a mythical national championship, however, St. Anthony will have to defeat Gloucester Catholic in the Non-Public B title game on Saturday. Then, the Tournament of Champions awaits.
"I hate to burst your bubble, but this was a North Jersey semifinal," Hurley said, deflating the buzz of No. 1 facing No. 2 at this stage of the playoffs. "We need to win our game Saturday. This was a monumental win, but it'd be responsible for the team that won today to go and win again."
Lucious Jones added 12 points and played fantastic defense on All-American counterpart Michael Gilchrist, while Anderson registered 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Friars.
St. Patrick (26-1) held a 40-39 edge after three quarters of play, but shot 1-for-10 in the dreadful fourth, which also saw Gilchrist foul out. Derrick Gordon paced the Celtics with 26 points.
"We looked a little fatigued," St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle said. "Even though we got the lead back in the second half, it looked like we didn't have enough energy in the tank to sustain it."
It was a bitter ending for St. Patrick, which enjoyed a season filled with memorable moments. The team started as the No. 11 program in the nation and slowly climbed up the ladder upon winning the City of Palms Classic and posting victories against national powerhouses Winter Park (Fla.) and Bishop Gorman (Nev.).
GAME NOTES: St. Anthony was 7-for-21 from the free throw line. ... St. Patrick shot 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. ... Kevin Boyle, named the Naismith National Coach of the Year this week, fell to 7-6 all-time against Bob Hurley. ... Kentucky coach John Calipari, Rutgers coach Mike Rice, "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Croft, Caroline Kennedy, and State Sen. Richard Codey were the most notable celebrities in attendance. ... Scalpers outside the arena were selling tickets for $75.
LIVE UPDATES - REWIND
9:31: It's over! St. Anthony upsets St. Patrick, 62-45, and claims the North Non-Public B title. Keep it here on MSGVarsity.com for postgame wrapups.
9:31: Reserves are in for both teams.
9:29: Mack hits one of two free throws. St. Anthony leads 60-45 with 44 seconds left. The national title could be Hurley's once again.
9:28: Gilchrist commits his fifth foul. This is the last time he will play high school basketball. He exits and is consoled by assistant coaches.
9:27: Final minute. St. Anthony holding the ball.
9:24: Mack hits the free throw. St. Pat's is down 59-45 with 1:48 left. Fans are starting to file out.
9:24: Jones, Frink and Mack with three straight layups to give St. Anthony a 58-45 lead with 1:48 left. This one is over. Hurley has both hands up high.
9:23: Gordon at the line. He hits the first and misses the second.
9:22: Quick at the line now for St. Anthony. He misses both.
9:21: Martin hits two free throws for the Celtics, who cut the deficit to 52-44 with 3:17.
9:20: Anderson buries a jumper as St. Anthony takes a 52-42 lead with 3:22 left.
9:20: Anderson at the line. He makes the first and misses the second. St. Anthony leads 50-42 with 3:44 left.
9:19: Frink with the layup and the foul. He misses the free throw. On the next play, Gilchrist is called for his fourth foul.
9:18: Gordon misses the free throw.
9:16: Gordon with a short jumper and the foul! That's St. Pat's first points of the quarter. With 4:09 left, St. Pat's trails 47-42 with Gordon due at the line.
9:15: Gordon at the line. Misses both.
9:13: With 5:26 left, Jerome Frink hits a layup. St. Anthony extends lead to 47-40. St. Pat's is in big trouble.
9:10: Anderson with a layup and Quick converts a layup after a steal on the ensuing play. St. Anthony leads, 45-40 with 6:13 left. Timeout St. Pat's.
9:09: Lucky Jones converts a layup and was fouled. He misses the free throw, but St. Ant's leads 41-40 with 7:15 left in the most hyped game New Jersey has ever seen.
9:07: At the end of the third, St. Pat's leads, 40-39.
9:05: Gordon at the line. Hits the first, misses the second. Here's a sidenote and quite possibly the story of the game: Lucious Jones has done a fantastic job shutting down Gilchrist.
9:03: Mack draws the foul after hitting a hard shot. He misses the free throw, but St. Anthony ties the game at 39 with 53 seconds left in the third.
9:02: Rutgers coach Mike Rice is in the house. Shot back from the Garden to watch his future floor general, Myles Mack.
9:00: Lucky Jones is finding ways to escape helpside defense by St. Pat's. That's his third wide-open lay-up or dunk of the game. St. Pat's leads 39-36 with 1:48 remaining.
8:59: Gordon is a fantastic big-game player. Clutch at the City of Palms two years in a row and now clutch here. Western Kentucky got a steal.
8:58: Gordon again. Wow.
8:57: Gordon hits two free throws for his 20th point. St. Pat's leads 37-34 with 3:10 left in the third.
8:55: Lucious Jones with a dunk! One-point game.
8:53: Gordon with a driving jumper is good, plus the foul. He drills the extra free throw for his 18th point. St. Pat's leads, 35-32 with 5:00 left to go in the third.
8:52: Colbert with a layup and the foul. Mack called for his first. Colbert misses the free throw, but St. Pat's is even at 32 with 5:30 left.
8:51: Gordon with a driving layup to stop the bleeding. St. Pat's trails 32-30 with 5:53 left in the third.
8:50: Quick with another 3. Friars lead 35-28. Wow.
8:49: Jordan Quick drills a 3 and Kyle Anderson gets a steal, layup and the foul. With 7:12 left, St. Anthony leads 32-28.
8:47: Second half underway!
8:35: Martin misses a 3 as time expires. St. Pat's leads St. Anthony, 28-23, at the half. We'll be back in a bit. Keep it here on MSGVarsity.com!
8:34: Anderson misses a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left in the half. St.. Pat's keeps its 28-23 advantage.
8:33: Gilchrist drills a 3-pointer. By the way, Kentucky coach John Calipari is here watching his future star. No sign of Jay-Z, however. The rapper was rumored to be in attendance tonight.
8:32: Watching Hurley and Boyle coach is worth the price of admission. Anyway, Mack with a basket, cutting St. Pat's lead to two.
8:31: Gordon missed an open jumper. He and Martin have cooled off a bit, allowing Hurley's crew to make it a close one.
8:30: Gilchrist comes up with a steal, drives and draws the foul. He hits both free throws. St. Pat's up 25-21 with 3:20 left.
8:28: Gilchrist with a big rejection! Gordon follows that up with a short jumper and St. Pat's regains the lead.
8:26: Jimmy Hall gets a putback after several offensive rebound attempts back and forth. Boyle is fuming and calls timeout. We're tied at 21 with 4:30 left in the second.
8:25: Johnson is taken out by St. Pat's coach Kevin Boyle, who found out three days ago he was named as the Naismith National Coach of the Year. Austin Colbert, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, is back in for the Celts.
8:23: Kyle Anderson, one the top juniors in the nation, is starting to get involved here. Two baskets in a row and a steal. St. Anthony cuts the deficit to 21-19 with 5:33 left.
8:22: Lucky Jones of St. Anthony is a real nice player. Easily one of the most overlooked players in the state.
8:21: Martin (8 points) with a driving layup upon receiving a nice dish from a pushing Suber. 21-13, St. Pat's.
8:19: At the end of the first quarter, St. Patrick is up on St. Anthony, 19-13.
8:18: This crowd loves Myles Mack. I wonder if many Rutgers basketball fans came to see their future. With nearly 9,000 people here, my guess is yes.
8:17: Dakari Johnson, St. Pat's 6-foot-10 freshman center, and junior point guard DeShawn Suber enter the game. Johnson will likely get some good minutes tonight. Keep in mind, aside from Kyle Anderson (6-8), St. Anthony's tallest player is Tyuan Williams at 6-foot-5.
8:16: Gilchrist responds after Mack hits a lay-up and a long 3-pointer. St. Pat's leads 17-11 with 1:40 left.
8:16: Gordon drives the lane for a pair of nice finishes, putting St. Pat's up 15-6 with 2:54 left in the first.
8:14: I'm up in the press area, a good 20 rows from the court and I can hear Bob Hurley yelling.
8:12: Timeout St. Pat's. It's interesting that St. Anthony point guard Myles Mack (Rutgers) is playing on the same floor he will be starring on in college.
8:11: Martin with another three. St. Pat's up 11-4 with 4:45 left.
8:10: Timeout St. Anthony. St. Patrick leads 8-4 with 5:19 left.
8:09: Chris Martin drills a three for the Celtics, who now lead 8-4 with 5:52 remaining. If Martin gets hot, the Friars are in big trouble tonight.
8:08: Gordon for 3. St. Pat's leads 5-4 with 6:39 left in the first.
8:07: Lucious Jones answers back with a wide-open lay-up and Myles Mack gets a steal and lay-in two possessions later for a 4-2 lead.
8:07: Derrick Gordon opens the game with a lay-up off the tip just five seconds in. 2-0 St. Pat's.
8:06: We're about to tip off. St. Patrick is wearing its white jerseys, while St. Anthony is wearing its alternate black uniforms.
8:00: Welcome to MSGVarsity.com! We are live at The RAC in Piscataway, where St. Patrick is about to tip off against St. Anthony for the North Non-Public B title game.
Email Brian Fitzsimmons at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter