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