For the second year in a row, Bob Hurley and his St. Anthony Friars took the decision-making in terms of crowning a high school basketball national champion out of the media's hands.
The New Jersey juggernaut went 32-0 – building its overall win streak to 65 games – and was one of just two Top 10 teams in the final Xcellent 25 presented by the Army National Guard to finish unblemished.
Key wins over in-state foes included Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone)
, Hudson Catholic (Jersey City)
and St. Benedict's Prep (Newark)
. The Friars also scored important out-of-state victories over Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
, Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.)
and Georgia Class AAAA state champ Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
St. Anthony was dominant down the stretch in pursuit of its second-straight NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title. In six postseason games, the Friars won by an average of 36.3 points per outing and won five of those by 23 points or more.
The Jersey City powerhouse played just five games decided by single digits all season long.
Two-time Texas Class 5A state champion Marcus (Flower Mound)
also deserves special mention as we put a wrap on the 2011-12 rankings. The Marauders did something pretty unique by finishing No. 2 in the Xcellent 25 in back-to-back seasons. Under head coach Danny Henderson, the program compiled a remarkable 114-6 record over the past three seasons and won 14 state tournament games in a row in perhaps the nation's toughest classification.Past Xcellent 25 National Champions
2011 – St. Anthony
2010 – Yates (Houston)
2009 – Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Read on for a complete look at MaxPreps.com's final Xcellent 25 rankings.