St. Ben's Returns to ESPN National High School Invite | 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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Tuesday / June 25.
  • St. Ben’s Returns to ESPN National High School Invite

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    St. Benedict’s Prep will return to the ESPN National High School Invitational after a three-year absence.

    Led by uncommitted junior point guard Tyler Ennis, freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe and Miami-bound senior shooting guard Melvin Johnson, the Newark school is 30-1 under first-year coach Mark Taylor and ranked No. 10 by ESPN Rise. Their only loss was a one-point defeat to unbeaten St. Anthony, 51-50, in January.

    The Friars are riding a 61-game winning streak.

    The event will be held March 29 – March 31, at Georgetown Preparatory School’s Hanley Center for Athletic Excellence in Bethesda, Md.

    St. Benedict’s last appeared in the inaugural event in 2009 when Dan Hurley was the coach, losing to eventual finalist Oak Hill Academy in the semis.

    A year later, St. Ben’s Headmaster Father Edwin Leahy made his team withdraw from the event because it conflicted with Good Friday.

    As first reported here last month, Oak Hill, No. 1 in the ESPN poll, is skipping the event because they are going to China later this month and didn’t want to do both.

    Joining St. Benedict’s in the ESPN event are defending champ Montrose Christian, Montverde Academy, Findlay Prep, Blanche Ely, Coolidge, La Lumiere and Ravenscroft.

    Montverde is coached by former St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle.

    Participating boys’ teams:
    School (City, State) 2011-2012 Record ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 Ranking
    Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 29-1 2
    St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.)* 29-1 10
    Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 20-2 11
    Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fl.) 21-3 14
    Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fl.) 30-2 16
    La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 26-2 25
    Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) 31-3
    Coolidge (Washington, D.C.)** 30-8
    *St. Benedict’s Prep has five games remaining in their season.
    ** Coolidge has one game remaining in their season.
    Photo: St. Benedict’s


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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.

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