Defending national champion St. Anthony proved too much for New Mission last night in the first round of the inaugural Shooting Touch Shootout boy’s basketball tournament before a capacity crowd at the Kroc Center in Boston.
The Friars, a powerhouse from Jersey City, N.J., dominated from the opening tip en route to a 68-25 win over the Titans, who played much of the game without two benched starters.
‘‘Greg [Bridges] and Nate [Anderson] showed up late today and I’m not tolerating that,’’ said New Mission coach Cory McCarthy. ‘‘It doesn’t happen at New Mission. I’m sorry. I know people came to see Nate, and people came to see Bridges, but not at New Mission. Hopefully basketball players will learn from this and we’ll move forward.’’
Bridges entered the game briefly in the second quarter but did not score. ‘‘[Bridges] was lethargic,’’ said McCarthy. ‘‘He wasn’t himself. If Greg Bridges was himself, you’re looking at a lot closer of a game. That’s a testament to his talent.’’
The Friars used their size advantage and discipline on defense to jump to a 30-9 lead at the half, holding the defending EMass Division 2 champions to 2 points in the second quarter.
‘‘We came out, we had a plan, and we didn’t execute our plan for the entire first half,’’ said McCarthy. ‘‘Then [St. Anthony] started getting cheap buckets and once they got those, it messed with our mentality.
‘‘They were in awe,’’ McCarthy continued. ‘‘If you’re from the city you’re not supposed to be in awe of anybody. The mayor could walk down the street, I’ll give him a ‘Hey, what’s up?,’ I won’t take his picture. We were ready to take pictures.’’
New Mission struggled to get into an offensive flow against St. Anthony’s full court trap, turning the ball over 13 times in the first half.
‘‘They overwhelmed us,’’ said McCarthy. ‘‘They’re well coached. Their defense was incredible and I’m shameless when I say to their coach, ‘Mr. [Robert] Hurley, can I get the tape, because I want to show my team how you play defense.’ They had size, they didn’t have a ton of speed, but they had a ton of discipline and we lacked that.’’
The Friars stretched their lead in the third, scoring 23 points, with 8 coming from 6-foot-9-inch senior guard Kyle Anderson.
Anderson, who sat out the fourth quarter, finished with a game-high 14 points.
The Friars, who are ranked in the top-10 nationally, won the turnover battle, 25-13, and dominated the boards.
Leroy Hamilton led the Titans (3-2) with 8 points.
‘‘I could apologize to the city of Boston for us not delivering, doing what we’re supposed to do, but I promise we’ll be back here next year and we’ll have [St. Anthony] again and the product will be a whole lot better,’’ McCarthy said.
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Then there are our fall correspondents:
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- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
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