EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the weather, Huntington Prep will not be playing in this weekend’s PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic.
Much of the talk in New Jersey high school basketball circles in recent weeks has centered around traditional powers St. Anthony and St. Benedict’s Prep.
Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony won 83 games in a row before coach Mark Taylor and St. Benedict’s ended that streak last Friday at the Prudential Center.
But on Saturday night at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic High school — weather permitting — it won’t be St. Anthony, ranked No. 11 nationally by ESPN, or No. 5 St. Benedict’s playing in the highest-profile game of the night.
Instead, it will be The Patrick School — formerly known as St. Patrick — that takes on Andrew Wiggins and No. 6 Huntington (W.V.) Prep in the nightcap of the PrimeTime Shootout.
If the game is not snowed out, Wiggins will be coming off a performance Thursday in which he exploded for 57 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals in a 111-59 win over Marietta JV.
He did it on the same day a controversial article about him appeared on SI.com and the same day he was named one of three finalists for the Naismith Boy’s High School Player of the Year. He is considering Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina and will sign in the spring.
The way DeAndre Bembry sees it, all of that gives St. Pat’s a chance to get some much-needed respect.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot, especially since [Wiggins] is the No. 1 player [in the Class of 2013],” said the 6-foot-6 Bembry, who committed to St. Joe’s on SNY.tv in November. “I’m looking forward to that a lot.”
Wiggins, whose team lost to Kyle Anderson and St. Anthony, 50-49, a year ago in this event, follows a long list of high-profile high school stars to compete in the PrimeTime Shootout. That list includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and others.
Tournament director Jeff Hewitson tried to make a St. Benedict’s-Huntington Prep game happen for this event, but Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford was against it.
St. Benedict’s and Huntington Prep both feature several Canadian players, including the 6-foot-8 Wiggins, and players on both sides surely would’ve relished the matchup.
“Yeah, definitely,” Syracuse-bound point guard Tyler Ennis of St. Benedict’s told SNY.tv in November. “Coming to a national school, we want to play the top competition. So being able to play the No. 1 player in the country with a bunch of other top players would be a great game to be a part of.”
St. Anthony will face New Jersey rival Linden on Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by St. Benedict’s against Christian Faith Center Academy (N.C.) at 7:30.
But the nightcap will feature The Patrick School (17-3) against Huntington Prep.
In years past, St. Pat’s has produced current NBA players Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but since coach Kevin Boyle left for Montverde (Fla.) Academy in the spring of 2011, the school has had to shift locations within Elizabeth, change its name and endure a loss in prestige.
“I think we haven’t [gotten respect] at all the last couple of years since Boyle left,” Bembry said. “We proved that we’re one of the best teams as far as the record goes. We proved a point but we still haven’t gotten any love so we gotta win this one.
“It would prove to the state that we actually beat a higher-ranking team.”
Chris Chavannes, who took over for Boyle as head coach, knows that a win on this grand stage would go a long way toward restoring the school’s image as a national power.
“We’re in the process of trying to get the program back to where it was and I definitely think it would be a tremendous step in that direction,” he said. “So we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
PRIMETIME SHOOTOUT SCHEDULE
|Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Roselle Catholic
350 Raritan Road, Roselle, NJ.
12:00 pm | Bishop Kearney (Rochester,NY) vs. Elizabeth,NJ
1:30 pm | Atlantic City, NJ vs. Union Catholic (NJ)
3:00 pm | Canisius (Buffalo, NY) vs. St. Joseph’s (Metuchen, NJ)
4:30 pm | East Brunswick, NJ vs. Plainfield, NJ
6:00 pm | St. Anthony’s, NJ vs. Linden, NJ
7:30 pm | Christian Faith Center Academy (Creedmoor, NC) vs. St. Benedict’s, NJ
9:00 pm | Huntington Prep (WV) vs. St. Patrick’s (NJ)
|Sunday, February 10, 2013 at Roselle Catholic
350 Raritan Road, Roselle, NJ.
12:30 pm | Middle Twp., NJ vs. Gill-St. Bernards, NJ
2:00 pm | Pope John 23, NJ vs. Faith Christian Academy (NC)
3:30 pm | Bishop Kearney (Rochester, NY) vs. Roselle Catholic, NJ
5:00 pm | Paulsboro, NJ vs. Hudson Catholic, NJ
6:30 pm | St. Peters Prep, NJ vs. St. Benedict’s, NJ