We've just archived the summaries on several scrimmages that we covered in the pre-season, the Freshmen and JV Games of the Week, and Freshmen and JV Roundups.

GMC Hoops Summaries--December 18, 2011
Opening Weekend--2011 Tip Off Classic


St. Benedict's Cruises Past Roselle Catholic, 70-48

By Greg Machos
December 18, 2011

WEST ORANGE, NJ--After defeating Plainfield in day one action at the 2011 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic from West Orange High School, the Grey Bees of St. Benedict's were given another test as they took on a Roselle Catholic team, which will be looking to jump into the thick of the Union County Tournament fray come February and the Non-Public state tournaments when they get underway in March. However, playing without Union transfer, Tyler Roberson among others, the Lions were shorthanded for this matchup.

Couple that with the fact that St. Bennie's was playing with a lot of confidence after defeating the Cardinals in the final seconds on Saturday night, and the Grey Bees were on their way to winning their sixth straight to start the season. Led by Saturday night's hero, Tyler Ennis, who collected 17 points and 5 steals to earn team MVP honors in the game, St. Benedict's jumped out to a 20-8 lead, and were never really threatened after that in a 70-48 victory. Melvin Johnson, who was team MVP on Saturday, led the Grey Bees with 19 points and 4 steals. Jameel Warney of Roselle Catholic led all scorers with a game high 20 points along with 12 rebounds for a double-double in defeat.

Another bright spot for the Lions was the play of Eddie Harris, who chipped in with 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting from the floor, and 2 of 3 from the foul line. RCHS actually shot 20 of 40 from the floor for the game, but was just 9 of 22 from the floor in the second half, and 1 of 7 from beyond the arc in the contest. St. Benedict's shot 31 of 60 from the floor to overcome a 2 of 12 effort from three, and a 6 of 13 showing from the line. The big difference in this game was points off of turnovers. St. Bennie's, which forced 23 turnovers, enjoyed a 36-12 edge in this department. By getting steals and forcing miscues, the Newark school was able to get into its transition game, which it executed almost flawlessly.

In addition, the Grey Bees also dominated the offensive glass with a 15-8 showing, and that resulted in a 13-11 edge in second chance points. Bench points were close with St. Benedict's getting a 15-14 edge while the second ranked team in New Jersey also enjoyed a 6-3 edge in points scored from beyond the arc. St. Bennie's outscored Roselle Catholic in every quarter, and led by as many as 26 points in the fourth period. Even reserves such as Isaiah Watkins got into the act with 10 points including an emphatic two handed jam in the final stanza. Meanwhile, the Lions had a tough time getting others into the act. Outside of Warney and Harris, the team shot just 7 of 19 from the field.

Ennis was very active in the first period with 6 points including the final four to give the Grey Bees a twelve point lead heading into the second. Roselle Catholic tried to show some life early on in the second as Chris Gross (8 points) and Harris got buckets at the 7:45 and 7:11 marks respectively to close the gap to 20-12 while Warney blocked a shot by Kevin Mickle at the 6:59 mark. However, St. Benedict's put a halt to the RCHS rally, and scored the next six points over a span of just 1:23 for a 26-12 lead. Johnson sparked the run by putting in a follow after Velez had hustled back to block a two handed dunk attempt by Ennis at the 6:16 mark. Kamall Richards then tipped in a score for a 24-12 lead with 5:13 to go in the half, and Richards scored again 20 seconds later as he converted a steal with a breakaway layup.

Roselle Catholic tried to battle back thanks in large part of Warney. The Lions scored 10 of the next 16 points to pull within ten, but the Grey Bees got a jumper before the end of the first half to take a 35-22 advantage into the locker room. Sensing that the game was pretty much over, the crowd began to file out and head home. The energy left the gym. After two thrilling games involving Rutgers Prep and St. Joseph's that had gone down to the final minute of play, St. Anthony's and St. Benedict's turned in dominant performances against solid opponents. The Grey Bees earned a 16-13 edge in the third period thanks to a 6-0 run consisting of scores from Johnson, Richards, and Ennis to close out the period for a 51-35 lead heading into the fourth.

St. Bennies then opened the fourth with a 13-3 tear over the first three minutes or so to take its largest lead of the game. Johnson opened the final frame with a jumper from the right wing. Moments later, Richards swiped a steal for a layup and a 55-35 lead. After Warney got the Lions only points during the run with a conventional three point play at the 7:01 mark, Richards got another layup off a steal, Watkins had his big two handed throw down, and Ennis swiped a steal for layup that made the score 64-38 with about five minutes to play. From there, Roselle Catholic outscored the Grey Bees by a 10-6 margin thanks to the efforts of Harris, but St. Benedict's had come away with two wins at the Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic this weekend.

Team
1 2 3 4
Total
St. Benedict's (6-0)
20 15 16 19 70
Roselle Catholic (1-1)
8 14 13 13 48

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