Blair Spoils St. Ben’s Perfect Season Ahead of St. Anthony Showdown
St. Benedict’s won’t be undefeated when they head into Friday’s monster showdown with St. Anthony at The Prudential Center.
Blair Academy stunned the previously unbeaten Gray Bees, 54-52, Wednesday night on a game-winning 3-pointer by junior Mike Silverthorn with 4 seconds remaining in a game played at Blair.
“It’s certainly one of the biggest wins in our program’s history,” Blair coach Joe Mantegna told SNY.tv by phone.
St. Benedict’s (18-1) is ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN.com and will face No. 4 St. Anthony (18-0) on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in the Newark National Invitational.
St. Anthony, which over the weekend won the SNY Invitational, is riding an 83-game winning streak dating to March 2010.
“Certainly, we’re well aware that they’re playing St. Anthony on Friday,” Mantegna said. “It was nice to seize the opportunity.”
He added: “I’m not worried about their game on Friday.”
Silverthorn finished with 12 points, Marial Shayok, a 6-5 2014 wing being recruited by Seton Hall and others, had 15 points and senior big man David George added 14.
“We were very happy with the way we won it,” said Mantegna, whose team improved to 14-5. “It was a very balanced team effort.”
St. Benedict’s coach Mark Taylor was not immediately available for comment, but his team may have been guilty of looking ahead to Friday.
A year ago, the Gray Bees led current UCLA freshman Kyle Anderson and St. Anthony by eight points in the third quarter before falling, 51-50, in a January game in Hackensack.
They feature a slew of Division 1 signees, including Syracuse-bound point guard Tyler Ennis and Pitt-bound forward Mike Young.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Briscoe earlier guaranteed a win against St. Anthony to USA Today.
“I’m just so confident in my team that I’m guaranteeing a win,” he said. “You can print that.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.