First, it was a minor snowstorm that threw a wrench into the St. Anthony basketball schedule. Then, it was the unforeseen cancellation of an entire tournament.
In any case, the unexpected loss of three regularly-scheduled games caused the St. Anthony basketball program, ranked No. 3 in the entire nation, to go searching far and wide to replace the games lost by the unexpected chain of events.
The madness began when a regularly scheduled game with Christian Brothers Academy was postponed due to snow and officials at CBA have been reluctant to reschedule the game with the Friars, winners of 47 straight games dating back to last year.
Then, four days later, the Friars were all set to participate in the fifth-annual SNY Invitational, a tourney sponsored by the local cable network that the Friars won in impressive fashion a year ago.
The Friars were all set to play in the two-day tourney last weekend, but at the last minute, it was learned that the tourney had to be cancelled due to a new NCAA rule that prohibits in-season tournaments being played on the site of NCAA Division I schools.
The tourney was going to be played at the Long Island University-Brooklyn campus. But a new NCAA rule, instituted this year, prohibits schools from hosting such high school tournaments, believed to be an unfair recruiting advantage for the host school.
It seems to be a ridiculous rule, but it was one that sent tourney organizers scrambling for another viable location to host. However, SNY had distributed more than 2,000 free tickets for the tourney and there wasn’t another location that could have held such a crowd.
So at the last minute, the tourney was scrapped entirely, leaving the Friars in a lurch.
“We only played two games in the last two weeks,” said legendary St. Anthony head coach Bob Hurley. “The kids can’t wait to play a game. They had to deal with bringing both their home and away uniforms to school, not knowing who they were playing or where. It was disappointing.”
After the nearly two-week layoff, the Friars finally played a game on Monday and they defeated Newark Tech, 65-48, in a game where Hurley was clearly not pleased. The rust from a lack of competition definitely showed.
The Friars have since scheduled other games to make up for the ones that were lost with the snow and the tourney cancellation.
They will face Jefferson of New York at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. Lincoln of Brooklyn will then in turn come to the Golden Door Charter School on Feb. 19 to face the Friars and the third makeup will come from Medford Tech of Burlington County, who will come to Jersey City on Feb. 25.
Needless to say, there aren’t a lot of teams lined up to face the No. 3 team in the country that hasn’t lost in nearly two years, but St. Anthony athletic director Sean Fallon was able to secure those games, having to go outside of New Jersey to get two of the three games.
“The New York schools knew that we needed games, so we were able to pick up games with them,” Hurley said. “It’s not easy finding games at this point of the season.”
Hurley said that he felt bad for the SNY Invitational organizers, who spent a lot of money trying to keep the tourney going.
“Not only did they spend money on giving us tickets and transportation to and from the games, but they also donated $2,500 scholarships to students in each of the schools,” Hurley said. “They spent a ton of money and were doing things for the right reason. They didn’t know the rules. Someone just fell asleep at the wheel when it comes to the rule. It’s very disappointing for everyone.”…
There’s not a hotter team in the state right now than Hudson Catholic. The Hawks, ranked No. 8 in the state, own a 15-2 record, but more importantly, they’ve won an astounding 11 in a row, including a solid 58-50 win over Lincoln of New York in the Newark Invitational over the weekend at the Prudential Center.
Reggie Cameron, who is closing in on his 1,000th point, had 32 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Ferris on Monday. Cameron also had 16 in the win over Lincoln. His stock with the college recruiters continues to rise every passing day…
Lincoln’s Breana Bey is still ranked third in the entire state in scoring, averaging 25.1 points per game. It’s the highest point per game total by a Hudson County girls’ basketball player since the days of Angela Zampella at St. Dominic Academy in the early 1990s…
Hudson Reporter Boys’ H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. St. Anthony (13-0). 2. Hudson Catholic (15-2). 3. St. Peter’s Prep (11-5). 4. Bayonne (10-4). 5. Dickinson (12-4).
Hudson Reporter Girls’ H.S. Basketball Top Five: 1. Bayonne (15-3). 2 Lincoln (13-2). 3. Secaucus (13-3). 4. St. Dominic Academy (8-7). 5. St. Anthony (7-7)….
Not only did St. Peter’s Prep enjoy football letter signings, but the school also celebrated the signing of three soccer players, namely Rory Duffy (Rider), Ryan Baird (Rutgers) and Roberto Chernez (Bloomfield College), as well as track and field sensation and three-time state champion Najee Glass (University of Florida)…
The New Jersey City University softball team did a nice bit of community service last week, conducting a free clinic at Anna L. Klein School in Guttenberg. Most of the Gothic Knight players participated in the clinic involving girls ages nine through 16. It was a nice gesture that other schools and teams should follow…
The Demarest/Hoboken High School Sports Hall of Fame is seeking nominations for the class of 2012. Anyone wishing to nominate an athlete must provide proper information regarding the candidate. Only athletes who have graduated 10 years ago or more are eligible. Nominations are being accepted from now through Feb. 28, 2012. Please send all correspondence to Buddy Matthews, 15 Church Towers, Apt. 8L, Hoboken, NJ 07030. The Hall of Fame Dinner will be held on April 28 at the Hoboken Elks….—Jim Hague.
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.