CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- J.R. Smith erupted for 15 first quarter points as St. Benedict's raced to a 29-8 lead and never looked back, cruising to a 93-53 victory over Winslow Township H.S. at the Scholastic Play by Play Classic.
Smith finished with 23 points, despite the fact that he and the other Gray Bee starters sat for a good portion of the second half.
"J.R. is an explosive guy that has a great upside, and when he makes that first perimeter shot, it really energizes him," St. Benedict's Head Coach Dan Hurley said. "When he improves his game off the dribble, he'll be a ridiculous player with his size, stroke and athleticism. He'll be an unguardable player."
Artie Bowers also enjoyed a big first quarter, scoring eight of his 14 points in the opening eight minutes as St. Benedict's built its 21 point first quarter advantage.
Winslow Township made a run to start the second half. Trailing 49-28 at the break, the Eagles rallied to slice the Gray Bees' lead to 51-36, primarily against the St. Benedict's starters.
An angry Dan Hurley yanked all of his starters at that points and inserted his backups, who did a commendable job in building the lead back up to 66-40 after three quarters of play. Junior guard Jon Ezeokoli scored most of his nine points in that period, and Hurley put his starters back in the game in the fourth quarter with the game already in the balance.
That's when Alex Galindo, St. Benedict's lanky 6-6 junior swingman, heated up. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Gray Bees built the margin to 40 points.
Andre Whittick, a 6-4 lefty junior forward, was the lone Winslow Township player to hit double figures. He finished with 12 points.