- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Bob Hurley has another title to add to his mantle.
Hurley's St. Anthony (N.J.) boys' basketball team completed an undefeated season and will be known as national champions after defeating Plainfield (N.J.) 61-49 in the Tournament of Champions on Monday night at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Friars, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Powerade Fab 50 ESPN Rise rankings, improved to 33-0 with the win. Hurley has now won 11 Tournament of Champions, and this is his fourth squad to win the unofficial national championship, as awarded by USA Today. He also has won more than 1,000 games and 24 state titles.
The game marked the true coronation of the Friars as national champions. While the Friars won what some called the national title game when they bested then top-ranked St. Patrick 62-45 on March 9 in the Non-Public North B title game, St. Anthony still had to win the Non-Public B tournament and then the Tournament of Champions to finish its season undefeated.
First, St. Anthony defeated Cardinal McCarrick in the Non-Public B final on March 12. In the Tournament of Champions, St. Anthony defeated Newark Central in the semifinals on March 18 before besting Plainfield for the second time this season on Monday to win the tournament.
St. Anthony, the top seed, led after each quarter before finally pulling away from Plainfield, the No. 3 seed, in the fourth quarter to take home the crown.
Matt Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.