Smother Trenton Catholic, 53-33
By Greg Machos
December 18, 2011
WEST ORANGE, NJ--One of the pillars of success for St. Anthony's not only last season during their National Championship run of 33-0, but also for many decades has been its stalwart defense. It is one thing to have talented players such as Kyle Anderson and Jerome Frink make dazzling plays and put up big numbers night in and night out, but it is something special when you can get the talent the Friars have to play such tenacious defense.
The Friars solid defense was on display again as it began the defense of its Tournament of Champions title and National Championship with its contest against sixth ranked Trenton Catholic in the fourth game of the final day of action in the 2011 Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic from West Orange High School. St. Anthony's came out of the gates slowly with the first six points of the game in a span of nearly four minutes, but during that same time frame, the Friars shut out the Iron Mikes. Things snowballed from there as the powerhouse school from Jersey City took a 28-8 lead late in the second quarter before TCA got a late three to go into the locker room down by 17.
The trey gave the Iron Mikes some much needed momentum as they entered the second half. Trenton Catholic made another three, but St. Anthony's still seemed to be in control at 36-14, but the Iron Mikes would take advantage of the Friar reserves with a 13-0 run to close the gap to 36-27. TCA didn't score much over the final couple minutes of the third, but still had a chance to get back into the game with St. Anthony's up 38-28 heading into the final period.
Anderson and Frink would have none of that. Along with guard Hallice Cooke, the Friars put together a 9-0 run that included a basket by Anderson, two free throws by Frink, and a triple from Cooke to take command at 47-28 midway through the fourth. From there, St. Anthony's went on to post a 53-33 victory. Over the last ten minutes or so of the game, TCA was limited to just five points. In just under 26 of the 32 minutes, St. Anthony's outscored the Iron Mikes by a margin of 44-13. Leading the way was Frink with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Anderson chipped in with 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists while guard Cooke added 10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists. Malachi Richardson led Trenton Catholic with 12 points, 3 rebounds and two assists. Veterans Chazz Patterson and Brandon Taylor were limited to just four points on a combined 2 of 7 shooting from the floor. Taylor was also hampered with foul trouble as the 6'8" forward ended up with four fouls. St. Anthony's was 19 of 42 from the floor including 2 of 13 from three point range, but TCA was 9 of 36 from the field including 5 of 21 from three.
Despite struggling from the floor including beyond the arc, the Iron Mikes were able to get back into the contest thanks to the long distance shots, and actually outscored the Friars by a 15-6 margin from deep. Trenton Catholic also did a better job of capitalizing off turnovers with 17 points off 10 St. Anthony's turnovers while the Friars scored only 12 points off the 15 miscues that they forced. The Jersey City school held a big edge on the boards at 37-24 including 11-8 on the offensive glass, but only held a slight edge in second chance points (5-2). Bench points were also quite even with TCA holding a 19-18 edge thanks to Richardson.
St. Anthony's fared better at the line gong 13 of 17 from the charity stripe for 77 percent while Trenton Catholic was only 10 of 19 for 53 percent. The Friars, which went 10 of 24 from the field over the first two periods, were able to amass their 20 point first half lead by holding the Iron Mikes to just 4 of 20 shooting from the floor. The largest lead of the game was 34-11 after the Friars opened the third with the first six points.
St. Anthony's (2-0)
Trenton Catholic (1-1)
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