By Phil Anastasia
Bob Hurley believes his St. Anthony of Jersey City basketball team has "lots of room to grow."
The Friars likely will be better in March, based on Hurley's Hall of Fame coaching and the program's demanding schedule.
But St. Anthony can be dominant in December, too.
Playing in the Boardwalk Basketball Classic for the first time, St, Anthony was clinical in its defensive execution and rolled to a 57-23 victory over Camden on Sunday night.
"We're not smooth at the offensive end," Hurley said after the game in the Wildwoods Convention Center on the boardwalk of this seaside resort town. "But I thought we did some good things at the defensive end."
Senior guard Hallice Cooke, an Oregon State recruit, scored 12 for St. Anthony (6-0), the No. 6 team in MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings.
Senior guard Josh Brown, a Temple recruit, generated eight points with five assists as St. Anthony won its 70th game in a row.
"They're St. Anthony," Camden coach Cetsh Byrd said. "You know they're good. You know they are going to execute. But I thought our kids could have competed a little better."
Camden shot just 8-for-42 from the field and committed 19 turnovers in face of St Anthony's defensive pressure.
The Panthers took a 2-0 lead as senior Amir Maddred muscled for a layup. But St. Anthony seized command with its defensive intensity, and broke the game open with a 21-1 edge in the second quarter.
"We start two freshmen and a sophomore," Byrd said of freshmen Brad Hawkins and Jamal Holloway and sophomotre Rasool Hinson. "Hopefully, this is going to help them grow up evenj faster in February and March."
Camden 7 1 8 7 -- 23
St. Anthony 13 21 14 9 -- 57
C: Amir Maddred 4, Tavaris Headen 3, Rasool Hinson 4, Jamal Holloway 4, Brad Hawkins 1, Will McCants 3, Kirk Johnson 3, Josh Devine 1.
SA: Josh Brown 8, Hallice Cooke 12, Kentrall Brooks 4, Tim Coleman 6, Tarin Smith 9, Aaron Ariri 4, Jordan Campos 4, Kody Jenkins 3, Jair Bolden 4, Jagen Mosely 2, Chaz Smith 1.