Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hurley's Friars Steamroll Iron Mikes, Set National State Championship Mark

You may be aware by now of my love affair for St. Anthony's hoops, specifically from my raves about Adrien Wojnarowski's Miracle book.

This week they took on local phoenix Trenton Catholic Academy (formerly McCorristin Catholic High School) and went on to win the NJSIAA Non-Public B Tournament.

TCA - once a moderate powerhouse in its own right, though no where on the scale of a St. Anthony's or St. Pat's, once boasted the likes of Greg Grant, Kevin Bass and Bryan Caver - who, if nothing more, were at the very least local do-gooders. Until recently TCA/McCorristin was just about dead and nearly shut its doors (something St. Anthony's/Bob Hurley knew a thing or 2 about). It's football teams sometimes fielded just enough players to be able to play. That eventually folded. But the hoops program continues to grow and give Central Jersian's a little pride.

Last night, however, was all about St. Anthony's. The Friars (30-0) "set a national mark for boys basketball with its 25th state title, including the 23rd under veteran coach Bob Hurley."

In front of former school icons Danny Hurley and Terry Dehere, the Friars easily handled the Iron Mike, 74-44.

Amazingly, six of the St. Anthony's seniors "already are signed with Division 1 schools and together they helped construct an 84-3 record over the last three seasons."

Under Hurley, St. Anthony's has won 931 games, 23 state championships and nine Tournament of Champions crowns.

From the AP: This was St. Anthony's first appearance in the state final since 2004, after losing the previous three North B sectional finals to St. Patrick's of Elizabeth.

Noted Hurley, "We haven't lost a game in our last two summers and haven't lost this year. We lost one game last year to St. Patrick. They've won 134 of their last 135 games, or something along those lines. And we had to win Wednesday (over St. Patrick in the sectional final) and tonight to validate the fact that we're a good team. Sports are not forgiving."

A great team they are and a great legacy Hurley continues to add to.

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