ROSELLE PARK, N.J. –
Inside of six months, Tariq Carey
took his talents from East Side (Newark)
to St. Benedict's Prep (Newark)
to downtown Jersey City, where the senior transferred because he wanted to learn from Hall of Fame bench boss Bob Hurley.
His early days at St. Anthony
were anything but easy.
"I know he went into the weight room and practice, and then went home and thought, 'Oh my God, what did I get myself into?'" Hurley said.
But thanks to some clutch scoring by Carey on Saturday night, the top-ranked Friars survived their toughest test this season against Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
– No. 3 in MaxPreps.com's Academy Top 10.
More than just scoring nine points in the final nine minutes, Carey played defense like a longtime Friar, helping St. Anthony overcome just its second halftime deficit this season for a 50-49 victory as part of the PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle Catholic High School.
The Friars (20-0), who extended their win streak to 53 games, scored the game's final points with 1:12 left after Jerome Frink
(11 points) converted a terrific feed from UCLA-bound senior Kyle Anderson
(18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists).
"It was definitely good for my confidence," Carey said. "I was playing a little bit of a role, but I think I showed Coach Hurley I could do more."
Before Carey sparked St. Anthony late in the third quarter, his squad struggled to establish any sort of identity offensively. Temple commit and junior guard Josh Brown
barely played because of a stomach ailment that left him unable to go through the team's walkthrough yesterday, contributing to the issue.
After seizing a 5-3 lead more than two minutes into the action, Huntington Prep (17-2) reeled off 11 straight points – including nine from superb sophomore Andrew Wiggins
(19 points, 8 rebounds), son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins – to claim a 14-5 lead with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
St. Anthony pulled within 25-21 at halftime thanks to a 6-0 run that included a Jimmy Hall
(11 points) lay-up off a Carey steal just before the buzzer.
Carey canned a three ball and converted a runner in traffic just before the third-quarter buzzer to give the Friars their first lead since the opening minutes, 36-35.
Another Carey lay-up extended the advantage to 38-35 before the Express got back-to-back 3-pointers from Xavier Rathan-Mayes
(11 points) and Stefan Jankovic
(10) gave them a 41-38 lead with 6:21 left. It was white-knuckle time for the Friars, who found themselves in a similar scenario when they trailed St. Benedict's Prep, 25-23, at the break before rallying for a 51-50 victory on New Year's Day.
Meanwhile, the Friars kept finding ways to make stops – including a key trap in front of the Express bench in which a Carey steal set up an Anderson floater from eight feet out that gave the nation's No. 1 team a 46-43 lead with 3:25 left.
Wiggins and Rathan-Mayes sandwiched three balls around a Hall bucket to give Huntington a 49-48 cushion with 2:18 left before Anderson brought the ball up the floor and set up the St. Anthony offense. Hurley contemplated a timeout, but decided against his initial instinct.
"I trusted him," Hurley said. "He trusted that someone would get to the open spot."
Frink did, converting a lay-up that enabled the Friars to extend their winning streak thanks to contributions from veterans like himself and Anderson, as well as newcomer Carey.
"It isn't beautiful," Hurley said. "I'm not always happy with how things are going. But we manage to win."More Saturday action from the PrimeTime Shootout
St. Benedict's Prep (Newark) 76, Lakewood 49
In danger of suffering their second loss, the Gray Bees (25-1) used a second-half rally to stave off South Jersey Group 4 contender Lakewood (15-4). Prep outscored Lakewood 47-19 over the final 16 minutes, led by 19 points from Miami signee Melvin Johnson
The Gray Bees, whose lone loss came in a 51-50 setback Jan. 1 against No. 1 St. Anthony, will face St. Patrick (Elizabeth)
tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. in the day's marquee matchup.No. 4 Chester (Pa.) 78, Neptune 62
Despite a game-high 28 points from junior Keith Kirkwood, Neptune (12-6) trailed most of the way in Saturday's fourth game. Senior Erikk Wright
paced Chester (22-0) with 26 point, while classmate Tymier Butler
added 16 and 6-7 junior Rondae Jefferson
dumped in 15.Linden 61, Colts Neck 48
Buoyed by a 25-point performance from 6-8 sophomore Quadri Moore
, the Tigers shook off an early scoring slump in Saturday's third game. Linden (11-6) pulled away with a 12-5, second-quarter surge. Hunter Wysocki paced Colts Neck (15-2) with 18 points.St. Joseph (Metuchen) 67, Our Savior New American (Centereach, N.Y.) 61
Temple signee Quenton DeCosey
, a 6-5 swingman, paced five players in double figures with 17 points as St. Joseph's (19-1) captured the opening game.