High-SchoolNew-Jersey: BASKETBALL Weekly Rankings

Final N.J. POWERADE hoops rankings: St. Anthony repeats

March, 27, 2012
3/27/12
2:58
PM ET
After games on Sunday, March 25

Let me throw out some numbers for you in light of St. Anthony's 66-62 win against Plainfield in the Tournament of Champions final:

65: That's how many consecutive wins St. Anthony has posted. The last time the Friars lost was on March 13, 2010 to Trenton Catholic in the Non-Public B championship.

12: Number of Tournament of Champions title won by the Friars in the tournament's 24-year history.

27: Number of state sectional titles won by the Friars after hoisting the Non-Public B trophy this year.

93-1: Kyle Anderson's record in four years of high school basketball (two at Paterson Catholic, two at St. Anthony). Friars legendary coach Bob Hurley calls Anderson the most complete player to ever play at St. Anthony.

That pretty much sums up the Friars' dominance during the past two seasons. Plainfield put up a good fight in the final, pushing St. Anthony for most of the contest despite losing Justin Sears to an ankle injury for much of the game. But it wasn't enough to overcome 26 points and 18 rebounds from Jerome Frink, 14 points and five blocks from Anderson and the suffocating defense that's carried this team all season. St. Anthony remains third in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

And with that, the 2011-12 season is technically in the books. St. Benedict's plays in this week's NHSI Tournament in Maryland, but regardless of the outcome, the Friars are cemented in the same spot they've been all year: No. 1.

Here are the final state rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 32-0 (1)
Another year, another Tournament of Champions title for the Friars. Jerome Frink had 26 points and 12 rebounds while Kyle Anderson had 14 points and five blocks to push team to 65th straight win, a 66-62 victory against Plainfield.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 34-2 (2)
Gray Bees enter this week's NHSI tournament as the No. 4 seed. They will face Ely (Fla.) in Thursday's quarterfinals.

3. Plainfield 30-4 (3)
Cardinals put up a good fight, but an injury to Justin Sears coupled with St. Anthony's defense was too much in a 66-62 loss in the Tournament of Champions final. Cardinals set a school record for wins in a season.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.
After games on Sunday, March 18

Just like last year, St. Anthony and Plainfield will play in the Tournament of Champions final. But when the two meet Tuesday at the Izod Center, this time it will truly be a battle between the state's top two eligible teams. (The emphasis is on "eligible" since St. Benedict's doesn't compete in the NJSIAA.)

Last year, that matchup came in the Non-Public, North B final when St. Anthony battled St. Patrick, but with the defending champ Friars on a ridiculous 64-game win streak and Plainfield having blown out contenders like St. Joseph (Met.) and Teaneck, this the matchup we've all wanted to see.

A preview of the contest came on Feb. 7, when St. Anthony held Plainfield to a season-low in points during a 43-31 win. The Friars' defense is just as stifling as it was then, meaning the Cardinals will have to find ways to get scorers like Sekou Harris and Jahmal Lane going.

Nationally, St. Anthony remains at No. 3 in the POWERADE FAB 50 while St. Benedict's fell to No. 15 after losing to national No. 13 DeMatha (Md.) in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational in Maryland. The Gray Bees, who were without the injured Tyler Ennis, will look to rebound at the NHSI tournament next week. Finally, Plainfield enter the national list at No. 49.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 31-0 (1)
Friars pushed their win streak to 64 games by blowing out Atlantic City in the Tournament of Champions semifinals. Next up: Plainfield on Tuesday in a rematch of last year's T of C final.

2. St. Benedict's 33-2 (2)
After beating John Carroll (Md.), the Gray Bees fell to eventual champ and FAB 50 No. 13 DeMatha in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational. Gray Bees move on to the NHSI tournament on March 28-31 with hopes that Tyler Ennis, who sat out the loss with injury, will be back to full strength.

3. Plainfield 30-3 (3)
Cardinals surged past St. Joseph (Met.) and into the Tournament of Champions final to face St. Anthony for the second year in a row. Plainfield fell to St. Anthony in February by the score 43-31.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

N.J. Week 12 hoops rankings: State champions crowned

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
1:21
PM ET
After games on Sunday, March 11

The marathon that is the high school basketball season is winding to a close, as the state sectional champions were crowned this past weekend.

Some brought little surprise, like when St. Anthony, the third-ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50, used stifling defense to repeat as Non-Public B champions. The Friars' 67-39 victory against Gill St. Bernard's ran their win streak to a national-best 63 games, secured their 27th group title and earned them the top seed in this week's Tournament of Champions.

Others triggered shock and suspense, like when Plainfield had to storm back from a halftime deficit to beat Neptune in the Group 3 championship — this coming one round after the Cardinals downed previously undefeated Teaneck by 22. Or when Atlantic City had to pull off a similar late run to beat an upstart Elizabeth squad in the Group 4 title game.

And one contest made history. Ewing's 59-50 win against Pascack Hills in the Group 2 final made Shelley Dearden the first female coach in state history to lead a boys basketball team to a state championship.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 30-0 (1)
Friars repeated as Non-Public B champs while running their win streak to 63 games by easily beating Hudson Catholic and Gill St. Bernard's. They enter the Tournament of Champions as the top seed, awaiting the March 14 winner of Ewing and Atlantic City.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 31-1 (2)
The Gray Bees begin a tough two-week stretch, playing in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in Maryland beginning with a contest against John Carroll (Md.). Then they will take part in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament beginning on March 28.

3. Plainfield 28-3 (4)
The Cardinals handed Teaneck its lone loss of the season before rallying back against Neptune to win the Group 3 title. Next up: Asbury Park in Wednesday's opening round of the Tournament of Champions.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

N.J. Week 11 hoops rankings: Sectional titles on the line

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
1:11
PM ET
After games on Monday, March 5.

Championship weekend is underway in the Garden State, as teams are vying for the various sectional titles as well as a spot in the Tournament of Champions.

With that said, it's still somewhat crazy to think a year ago at this time, St. Patrick and St. Anthony were facing off for the Non-Public, North B crown and nation's top ranking. It's also crazy to think that that was the last time the two powerhouses would ever play, as St. Patrick's loss in the Non-Public, South B quarterfinals this past week was likely their last game with the school expected to close in June. Meanwhile St. Anthony, which is ranked No. 3 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and faces a test in Hudson Catholic, is a win away from repeating as sectional champs.

Also, a huge matchup looms Wednesday, as Teaneck puts its undefeated record on the line against a talented Plainfield squad in the Section 3 semifinals.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 28-0 (1)
Friars cruised back to the Non-Public, North B final with wins against Oratory Prep and Dwight-Englewood, as Kyle Anderson totaled 60 points in the two victories. Next up: Hudson Catholic in the March 8 title game.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 29-1 (2)
The Gray Bees rode the momentum from their Prep A title to rout Rise Academy (Philadelphia). Two more games are on tap this week before they compete in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational in Maryland on March 15-17.

3. Teaneck 29-0 (3)
Highwaymen routed Passaic Tech to clinch the North 1, Group 3 title. Next up: a huge matchup with No. 4 Plainfield in Wednesday's Group 3 semifinals.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

N.J. Week 10 hoops rankings: State playoffs get underway

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
2:16
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Feb. 26.

This year's state playoffs begin on a bittersweet note, as St. Patrick announced this past weekend that financial issues have forced it to close its doors at year's end. But before this happens, the Celtics will look to end their storied history with a bang in the Non-Public, South B playoffs.

Joining their quest for section supremacy as well as a spot in the Tournament of Champions is St. Anthony (the POWERADE FAB 50's No. 3 squad and winners of 59 straight), St. Joseph (Met.) (led by Quenton DeCosey, the state's best-kept secret), Teaneck and its 26-0 record as well as a battle-tested Plainfield squad that finished as last year's T of C runner-up.

Not in the mix is St. Benedict's. The Gray Bees are not part of the NJSIAA, meaning last week's easy win against Blair Academy in the Prep A championship signals the end of their season, unless they earn a spot in the ESPNHS NHSI tournament.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 26-0 (1)
Friars pushed win streak to 59 games with three victories to cap the regular season. They begin play in the Non-Public, North B tournament on Friday after a first-round bye.

2. St. Benedict's 28-1 (Newark) (2)
Melvin Johnson dropped 27 points to lead the Gray Bees to an easy win against Blair Academy in the Prep A championship, making for their 19th straight win.

3. Teaneck 26-0 (3)
After downing Indian Hills, the Highwaymen will put their undefeated record on the line Wednesday against Jefferson Township in the second round of the North 1, Group 3 tournament. Chris Jones leads the way with 21.3 points per game.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.
After games on Sunday, Feb. 19

While most of the county tournaments end with the top seed hoisting the crown, these games have become ever important in building momentum for the state playoffs, which begin next week. Perhaps that's why Trenton Catholic decided to play in the Mercer County Tournament after sitting out the last three years.

As for St. Anthony, which remains at No. 3 in the POWERADE FAB 50, New York is their current training ground for the postseason. After downing red-hot Jefferson along with Long Island Lutheran, the Friars will take on a Lincoln squad that's welcoming back its best player (Isaiah Whitehead) from an ankle injury on Tuesday.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 23-0 (1)
Friars took care of two New York teams last week in Jefferson and Long Island Lutheran to push their win streak to 56 games. Another NY team, Lincoln, looms this week.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 27-1 (2)
Gray Bees have now won 18 straight after downing Lawrenceville in the semifinals of the Prep A state tournament. They will meet Blair Academy in the finals this week.

3. Teaneck 22-0 (3)
Chris Jones dropped 19 points in a win against Tenafly during the Bergen Jamboree semifinals.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

NJ Week 7 hoops rankings: St. Anthony moves to third in FAB 50

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
2:51
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

Conference tournaments are starting up for some teams while many of the state's top squads will descend upon Roselle this weekend for the PrimeTime Shootout. Nothing beats the postseason, but there are some great appetizers on tap this week.

St. Anthony, which pushed its win streak to 48 games and is now third in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings, will be put to the test Tuesday when it faces No. 6 Plainfield. The Cardinals are hungry for a big win after seeing their 14-game win streak snapped against St. Patrick last week. St. Anthony will then take on West Virginia power Huntington Prep at the PrimeTime Shootout on Saturday.

Tuesday will also feature a big matchup between No. 4 Teaneck and No. 10 Paterson Eastside. Teacneck has yet to lose this season but the Ghosts are riding a 12-game win streak.

On a side note, big ups to Kavon Stewart, who had 20 dimes in Hudson Catholic's blowout win against University Charter Academy.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 15-0 (1)
Friars pushed their win streak to 48 games with blowout victory against Ridgewood last week. Multiple tests are on the horizon versus No. 5 Plainfield on Tuesday and West Virginia power Huntington on Saturday.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 16-2 (2)
Knights secured the top seed in the Somerset County Tournament with easy wins against Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 22-1 (3)
Gray Bees have now won 13 straight. This week, they play Solebury (Pa.) before playing Lakewood and St. Patrick at the loaded Primetime Shootout.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

NJ Week 6 hoops rankings: Paterson Eastside enters top 10

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
2:30
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Jan. 29

After a slow start to the season, Paterson Eastside is off and running, winning its last nine games and vaulting into the top 10 this week. DeAndre Noble-Haywood and Ky're Jackson have led the way, with Jackson dropping 20 points in the Ghosts' win against Paterson Kennedy on Saturday. The Ghosts stand to make a big jump in the rankings in the near future, should they be able to knock off No. 5 Teaneck next Tuesday.

Hudson Catholic also moved up the rankings after downing then-nationally ranked Lincoln (N.Y.). It wasn't the best showing for either team, but Reggie Cameron's 16 points helped the Hawks secure a 58-50 victory.

Top-ranked St. Anthony has had to fight off rust after having the weather and rules have cancelled three of their games in the past two weeks. The Friars still pushed their win streak to 47 games and remain fourth in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. (St. Anthony beat a solid Newark Tech on Monday, after these rankings were done.)

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 13-0 (1)
Friars have had some time to rest after the SNY Invitational was cancelled. In just their second game in two weeks, they easily handled East Orange, 68-28. Next up: Ridgewood on Wednesday.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 13-2 (2)
Knights easily took care of Franklin and St. Peter's Prep last week. Contests against Rutgers Prep and Watchung Hills loom this week.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 19-1 (3)
Gray Bees pushed their win streak to 10 by capturing the Newark National Invitational with a 66-64 victory against Blair Academy behind Melvin Johnson's 20 points. Next up: Lawrenceville on Wednesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

NJ Week 5 Hoops Rankings: Gray Bees keep rolling

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
5:01
PM ET
After games on Sunday, Jan. 22

On some days, St. Benedict's players and coaches must wonder what could have been. Despite catching defending national champ and rival St. Anthony on a "terrible" day (Bob Hurley's words; not mine), the Gray Bees fell one point short of the upset.

But with the way it's have played since then, St. Benedict's must be thinking of what could be. Having won their last seven games by an average of 54 points, the Gray Bees appear to be a strong contender for the state title, along with St. Anthony and Gill St. Bernard.

Nationally, both St. Benedict's and Gill St. Bernard's moved up two spots to Nos. 19 and 23, respectively, in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings while St. Anthony still sits at No. 4.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 12-0 (1)
The Friars' scheduled game against CBA was cancelled due to the weather, making their next contest a Tuesday tilt versus East Orange.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 10-2 (2)
Cruised to 87-60 win against Hillsborough. Up next: at Hunterdon Central on Tuesday.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 15-1 (3)
After easy victories against Trent Internationale (Texas) and NIA Prep, the Gray Bees have won their last seven games by an average of 54 points.

Click here for the full POWERADE New Jersey weekly hoops rankings.
After games on Tuesday, Jan. 17

They're the defending POWERADE FAB 50 CHAMPS, boast the nation's No. 5 recruit in Kyle Anderson and have won 45 straight games, but St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley says the Friars are far from peaking.

"I hate to tell you this because I don't think you're going to believe this, but this is an absolute work in progress," Hurley said Monday after the Friars' impressive 60-48 win against Miller Grove (Ga.) at the Hoophall Classic. The Hall of Fame coach cited the Friars' effort against St. Benedict's Prep, a game in which they won by one point and "left there very confused offensively."

But with Anderson facilitating the team and a lockdown defense that's held opponents to 27.8 points per game (!), Hurley feels confident that his work in progress will evolve into another masterpiece season.

"This is as good a St. Anthony defensive team as I've had," Hurley said of his fourth-ranked POWERADE FAB 50 squad. "We follow the scouting report pretty good and we have real good length, so we don't give up a lot of easy stuff."

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 12-0 (1)
Friars ran their win streak to 45 games with an impressive win against Miller Grove (Ga.) at the HoopHall Classic. Next up: Life Center Academy.

2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone) 9-2 (2)
Knights remain perfect in the new year, downing North Hunterdon, Immaculata and Ridge this past week. Next up: Hillsborough on Friday.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 15-1 (3)
Gray Bees had their way with Upper Room Christian (N.Y.) and Patterson (Md.), pushing their win streak to five games and their scoring average to more than 100 points during this string. Tyler Ennis had 14 points and 10 assists in the win against Patterson. Next up: NIA Prep on Friday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.

Gill St. Bernard's downs Mater Dei, moves into POWERADE FAB 50

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
2:07
PM ET
After games on Monday, Jan. 9

Before this season, Gill St. Bernard's coach Mergen Sina told me with plenty of conviction: "It's a good time to get to the top of the pack...this year, we honestly feel we can win a state title."

The Knights have backed up Sina's claim in the early going by holding their own against some of the nation's best. After posting a 2-2 mark at the prestigious City of Palms in Florida, the Knights earned a huge, 76-73 win in overtime this past Saturday by downing previous national No. 8 Mater Dei (Calif.). Dominic Hoffman led the way with 24 points and 13 rebounds and the Knights showed resolve, bouncing back in the extra period after Mater Dei forced overtime with a three at the buzzer.

The win moves the Knights into the No. 21 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50, seven spots ahead of St. Benedict's Prep and 17 slots behind St. Anthony, which pushed its win streak to 43 games in dominant fashion.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 10-0 (1)
Kyle Anderson had 21 points and eight boards in the Friars' 62-32 win against East Brunswick. They will face a big test Monday against national No. 34 Miller grove at the HoopHall Classic.

2. Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone) 6-2 (3)
Big games from Dominic Hoffman (24 points, 13 boards), Alex Mitola (20 points) and Jaren Sina (19) pushed the Knights to a 76-73 overtime win against Mater Dei (Calif.) on Jan. 7.

3. St. Benedict's (Newark) 11-1 (2)
Miami recruit and Rice senior transfer Melvin Johnson has been huge for the Gray Bees, draining six 3-pointers in a win against Bergen Catholic to match his season average of 24 points.

Click here for the full POWERADE New Jersey hoops rankings.

Close calls highlight New Year's Jump Off and Week 2 NJ hoops rankings

January, 3, 2012
1/03/12
5:45
PM ET
After games ending Jan. 2

For years, two of the state's perennial powers in St. Anthony and St. Benedict's never faced off, as father and son preferred not to do battle on the court. But when Danny Hurley left St. Benedict's for the NCAA in 2010, the Friars became fair game.

The two made up for lost time with a classic contest during an eventful New Year's Jump Off Classic. St. Benedict's led most of the game, but the defending national champs wore down the Gray Bees behind Kyle Anderson's 13 points and 10 rebounds and pulled out a 51-50 win. The 7-0 Friars are now fourth in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Last year's state runner-up also engaged in a close battle, as No. 4 Plainfield held on for a 59-57 win against No. 8 Hudson Catholic. Ahmid Williams free throws in the final seconds proved to be the difference.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City) 7-0 (1)
Friars survived their first test of the season, overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit to beat No. 2 St. Benedict's Prep, 51-50.

2. St. Benedict's (Newark) 9-1 (2)
Gave top-ranked St. Anthony all it could handle in 51-50 loss at New Year's Jump Off.

3. Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone) 3-2 (3)
Knights have been idle since City of Palms. Return to action this week against Bridgewater-Raritan.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey hoops rankings.
After games ending Dec. 27

St. Anthony picked up right where it left off last year as POWERADE FAB 50 champs by winning its first four games by an average of 48.5 points. The Friars have now won 37 straight games and sit at No. 9 in the most recent POWERADE FAB 50.

Perennial power and rival St. Benedict's is also off to its typically good start, winning its first seven games. Melvin Johnson has fit in nicely with his new team and Tyler Ennis has also played well to move the Gray Bees up to the No. 2 spot.

Here's how the first rankings shake out:

1. St. Anthony 4-0
Friars look scary good (again), beginning the season with four wins by an average of 48.5 points. Kyle Anderson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career along the way.

2. St. Benedict's 7-0
Gray Bees are off to a solid start with big wins against Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) and Plainfield.

3. Gill St. Bernard 3-2
Knights put together a respectable showing against very tough competition at the City of Palms, going 2-2 behind sharpshooting of Alex Mitola.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly New Jersey basketball rankings.

No. 1 St. Anthony looks to defend state title in New Jersey

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
11:50
AM ET
The good news for the rest of the Garden State is that the likes of Michael Gilchrist, Myles Mack Derrick Gordon and other stars from the St. Anthony and St. Patrick powerhouses aren't around to dominate the state and national scene anymore.

The bad news is that coach Bob Hurley and Kyle Anderson are back with plenty of help to defend St. Anthony's crown. Anderson, a UCLA commit who has lost just once in his prep career, headlines a Friars team filled with tough players like Jerome Frink and Jimmy Hall. This nucleus placed the Friars at No. 9 in the POWERADE FAB 50 preseason rankings.

With a new coach and standout underclassmen Dakari Johnson and Austin Colbert transferred, it could be a relatively off year for St. Patrick, leaving upstarts like St. Benedict's Prep and Gill St. Bernard to push ahead as a result.

Here are how the preseason state rankings shake out:

1. St. Anthony (Jersey City)
2. Gill St. Bernard (Gladstone)
3. St. Benedict's Prep (Jersey City)

Click here for the full POWERADE preseason New Jersey basketball rankings

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