Plainfield, St. Anthony, Neptune Win at Tip-Off; St. Benedict's Reaches Semis of Kreul Classic | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / September 30.
  • Plainfield, St. Anthony, Neptune Win at Tip-Off; St. Benedict's Reaches Semis of Kreul Classic

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    Below are some highlights from today’s Hoop Group Tip-Off Classic at Seton Hall. I’m told the following coaches / schools were on hand to watch the action: Bob Huggins and Billy Hahn of West Virginia, Fred Hill and Jim Carr of Rutgers, David Cox of Georgetown, Scott Adubato and Dermon Player of Seton Hall, Jared Grasso of Fordham, Mike Rice and Andy Toole of Robert Morris, Steve Sauers of Iona, Horace Owens from La Salle, Geoff Arnold from St. Joe’s, and assistants from Rider and NYU….

    ***Behind 24 points from junior guard Isaiah Epps, Plainfield beat Paterson Catholic, 73-61, marking the second year in a row Plainfield has downed the Cougars.

    Epps, Anthony Baskerville (21 points) and Tyrone Johnson (16 points) combined for 61 of Plainfield’s points. Epps scored 13 in the fourth period.

    “Their guards are seasoned guards and they’re good,” PC coach Damon Wright said of the Plainfield guards, who committed 2 turnovers compared with 15 for the PC guards.

    Sophomore point guard Myles Mack scored 15 on 6 of 9 shooting to lead PC, Fordham-bound wing Lance Brown added 12 points and nine rebounds and Trevor Clemmings had 10. Fuquan Edwin came off the bench to score 8 points on 3 of 7 shooting.

    This game featured four players who were offered by Seton Hall a year ago: Epps (pictured courtesy NJHoops.com) and the PC trio of Clemmings, Edwin and Jayon James.

    Epps is also being courted by Maryland and Pitt, while Edwin and James have interest from A-10 schools like Xavier.

    In the last three years at this tournament, PC has lost to Linden, St. Raymond’s of the Bronx and Plainfield, all teams with tremendous guard play.

    PC leaves Friday for the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina and plays the home team (Socastee, SC) Friday. They could play St. Patrick of Elizabeth in the second round Saturday in a possible preview of the Non-Public B playoffs.

    ***St. Anthony pulled out a narrow 37-36 victory over Trenton Catholic despite trailing 23-16 at the half. Villanova-bound wing Dominic Cheek finished with 14 points on 3-for-13 shooting and 7-for-8 from the line and 10 rebounds and was named MVP. Friars coach Bob Hurley was T’d up at halftime for yelling at the officials. Dondre Whitmore paced TC with 15 points.

    The Friars — the defending New Jersey Tournament of Champions winners — are lacking for a true point guard and must wait 30 days to get all their transfers eligible: Derrick Williams, Ashton Pankey and Devon Collier.

    So you figure we won’t really know what the true St. Anthony team is like until Feburary or so.

    Still, it’s St. Patrick’s Tournament of Champions to lose. You heard it here. The Celtics are at the City of Palms, preparing for Monday night’s semifinal against Winter Park (Fla.). They will then appear Tuesday on ESPNU in either the first- or third-place game.

    ***Neptune rolled over Mendham 76-55 in the first game after it was tied at 32 at the half. Neptune outscored Mendham 27-9 in the third quarter. Dwayne Gutridge and Jabari Joyner scored 17 apiece for Neptune. Joyner hit four 3-pointers.

    Columbia University commit Mark Cisco had 17 and 11 for Mendham.

    ***Seton Hall Prep beat Columbia 66-51 behind 22 points from sophomore point guard Sterling Gibbs. 6-8 senior Tony Peters had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Seton Hall Prep.

    ***The DePaul-Eastside game was cancelled, which is too bad because it would have given the two Passaic County powers a gauge on where they stand entering the season. Let’s face it, it’s Paterson Catholic’s county tournament to lose.

    But DePaul with St. Joe’s-bound Justin Crosgile and Eastside with Robert Morris commit Karon Abraham both could reach the final if things fall their way.

    ST. BENEDICT’S REACHES SEMIS AT KREUL CLASSIC

    St. Benedict’s Prep is in the semifinals of the Kreul Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Here’s a writeup from our friend Ron Jandoli of St. Benedict’s. The Gray Bees are No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25.

    St. Ben’s crushed St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida, 84-59, in the quarters on Saturday after beating Florida’s Cardinal Gibbons 82-52 on Friday.

    Rice-bound shooting guard Tamir Jackson scored 18 of his 25 against ST. Thomas Aquinas in the opening quarter, hitting four 3-pointers.

    Texas commit Tristan Thompson added 23 points and 8 rebounds, Steve Frankoski scored 12 points and Mike Poole added nine rebounds.

    The Gray Bees will play Miramar (Fla.) High at 4 p.m. on Monday in the semis, with the winner to advance to Tuesday’s championship at 9 p.m. Both games can be viewed at: http://kreul.ezstream.com/index.cfm



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.