"It was kind of surreal, the way we played defensively, taking the ball from their guards," said Haddonfield Head Coach Paul Wiedeman. "We didn't turn the ball over ourselves, we fed the ball to Brian, our guys made shots and we moved the ball well on offense."
Ironically, the Bulldogs fell behind 30-28 at the half, even though they outplayed the Friars throughout much of the first half. Haddonfield opened up a 22-13 lead early in the second quarter, but St. Anthony's closed with a 17-6 run to grab a two-point edge at the intermission.
The Bulldogs came out flying in the third quarter, scoring the first nine points of the period to go up 37-30. Zoubek scored the last six points of the run on strong low post moves that St. Anthony's was powerless to stop.
Princeton bound guard Blake Wilson was also instrumental in the third quarter onslaught. He started the 9-0 run with a three-pointer, then connected on two more treys to cap a 17-2 half opening burst that yielded a 45-32 advantage with 2:58 left in the period.
It was clear in the first half that Zoubek would be a pivotal mismatch in favor of Haddonfield, as the Friars burned through a number of fouls trying to curtail his effectiveness.
"It was over once Brian got the ball," Wiedeman said. "With three guys hanging on him, it's either going to be a foul or a lay-up."
Indeed, Wilson's trio of treys and four high percentage lay-ins from Zoubek powered the Bulldogs' 17-2 surge.
The Friars unraveled as Haddonfield continued to gain momentum. Sophomore point guard Travon Woodall was picked cleanly by Bulldog senior guard Joey Malcarney, and Malcarney scored with 17 seconds left to cap the carnage and give Haddonfield a lofty 53-37 lead entering the fourth quarter.
As one might expect from a Bob Hurley coached team, St. Anthony's regrouped and came out firing early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Michael Rosario plunked down a three-pointer and made a steal that led to a Jiovanny Fontan trey, slicing into Haddonfield's sizable bulge.
Another Rosario steal gave the Friars back the ball and the momentum, and slender 6-8 senior power forward Giovanni Carenza scored inside to cap a quick 8-0 run that drew St. Anthony's within 53-45 with six minutes to play.
However, the Friars would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. Haddonfield restored order by tossing the ball inside to Zoubek, who scored six of his team's next eight points.
Zoubek's basket with 2:40 to play was especially important, because he had to contort his 265 pound frame to corral an entry pass and finish inside. The basket gave the Bulldogs a 61-52 edge, but equally important, it took steam out of St. Anthony's comeback effort. The Friars managed but two points the rest of the way.
The Duke bound Zoubek finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, connecting on 13 of his 16 field goal attempts. Wilson, Haddonfield's cerebral wing, tallied 21 points and five assists.
"We are a second half team," Zoubek said. "We were able to execute in the second half, get our shots and play our type of game."
Junior shooting guard Miles Beatty topped St. Anthony's with 13 points, while Carenza added 12 from his post slot.
"We've beaten good teams in the past, but this is a different level," Wiedeman said. "Especially for our program, to be on the same floor as St. Anthony's and not only compete, but to win the way we did says something about our senior leadership."
St. Anthony's Head Coach Bob Hurley declined comment after the loss.