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In New Jersey, St. Anthony Vs. St. Patrick Just One Step Away From National Showdown

With another win each, the top two high school basketball teams in the nation could play for a state title on Wednesday.

Coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony have one more New Jersey playoff game to win before a possible matchup on Wednesday against St. Patrick. (Associated Press file photo)
Coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony have one more New Jersey playoff game to win before a possible matchup on Wednesday against St. Patrick. (Associated Press file photo)

St. Anthony and St. Patrick each took another step Friday toward a potential showdown Wednesday between the nation's top two high school basketball teams.

St. Anthony routed Hudson Catholic, 68-35, in the New Jersey North Non-Public B quarterfinals behind Lucious Jones' team-best 18 points and Kyle Anderson's 14. Rutgers-bound point guard Myles Mack added 11 points for No. 2-seeded St. Anthony.

The Friars (28-0) trailed 13-12 after one period, but outscored No. 7 Hudson Catholic, 56-22, the remainder of the game.

The Friars will host No. 14 Oratory Prep in the semifinals on Monday.

"I think we looked sharp [Friday]," Anderson said Saturday by phone. "Going into our next game I'm real confident. For the rest of the season I feel we're just getting better."

Meantime, uncommitted senior guard Chris Martin scored 20 points as top-seeded St. Patrick routed Marist, 84-48. Kentucky-bound senior wing Michael Gilchrist, one of four finalists for the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award, added 15 points and Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon scored 14.

"We played a great game [Friday] and I had a lot of fun," Martin said by phone. "We feel confident about it. We're preparing well. We really want to play on Wednesday so we're hyped and ready."

The Celtics (25-0) will play No. 3 Gill St. Bernard (26-2) at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Rahway High School. The Celtics cannot play in their home gym because the seating capacity is too small.

That would mean St. Patrick would have an extra day to prepare for St. Anthony, and that both teams would be able to scout each other.

"I think I'm going to go watch the game," Anderson said.

"That's likely, I probably will," Martin said.

If both St. Anthony and St. Patrick win as expected, they will meet in the unofficial national championship game Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Rutgers. St. Patrick is ranked No. 1 and St. Anthony No. 2 in several national polls.

"So many people are talking about the game if it really happens," Martin said. "We're thinking about it every day."

NOTES: Martin said he holds offers from TCU, VCU and Drexel and that UNLV is "really, really interested." Marquette and Boston College have also expressed interest in the sharpshooting senior... The four finalists for the Morgan Wootten Player of the Year Award were announced on Wednesday. Along with Gilchrist, Anthony Davis (Perspectives Charter School -- Chicago, Ill.), James McAdoo (Norfolk Christian -- Norfolk, Va.) and Austin Rivers (Winter Park High School -- Winter Park, Fla.) were the other three finalists. Gilchrist and Davis are headed to Kentucky, McAdoo to North Carolina and Rivers to Duke.

(Information from the Star-Ledger was used in this report)