CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- In a nip and tuck battle, Camden (NJ) Catholic made the key plays down the stretch to upend St. Anthony H.S. of Jersey City, N.J., 52-48, at the Scholastic Play by Play Classic.
With the game knotted at 48, Syracuse bound Terence Roberts missed a pair of free throws with :48 remaining. Roberts atoned for his free throw misses moments later when he intercepted a Camden Catholic pass, but gave the Irish the ball right back when he threw a lazy pass that was picked off by Irish senior forward Byron Williams.
Senior forward James Ulrich was fouled by Roberts on Camden Catholic's next possession, as Roberts rotated back to swat away Ulrich's potential game winning shot with seven seconds remaining.
Ulrich sank a pair of free throws to give the Irish a 50-48 lead, and on the Friars' ensuing possession, 5-8 sophomore point guard Derrick Mercer traveled with :05 remaining as he crossed the halfcourt line.
St. Anthony fouled Camden Catholic's Eric Cangelosi, who calmly sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left to salt away the game's outcome.
The Friars played the game without starting junior point guard Ahmad Mosby and injured starting forward Obie Nwadike. Nwadike has missed much of the season with his injury, while Mosby reportedly quit the team late last week.
"I think we handled a very good team on the road, but I wasn't happy with the officiating, and I think that playing without Nwadike has really hurt us," St. Anthony Head Coach Bob Hurley said. "I like the fact that we were capable of being in the game, but as we've done in all four losses, we shot free throws poorly."
Camden Catholic, by contrast, was a perfect 18 of 18 from the charity stripe, while the Friars struggled to hit five of 13 attempts. Roberts managed to convert just one of seven free throw attempts.
"I've been practicing hard all week to make them," Roberts said. "I concentrated, but I just couldn't make them -- they wouldn't fall for me."
Roberts finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Sean McCurdy tallied 14 points for St. Anthony.
Ulrich, a 6-5 junior forward, topped all scorers with 20 points. Senior forward Eric Cangelosi and junior guard Rich Racobaldo pitched in 12 points apiece for Camden Catholic.