Rutgers Recruit Dazzles In South Orange

J.R. Inman dazzled this past weekend at the AND 1 Tournament ....

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- Despite a near super human effort from 6-7 combo forward Gerald "J.R." Inman, St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) dropped a 51-49 decision to defending state champion St. Anthony's on Saturday night at the AND 1 High School National Championship East I Regional.

The victory vaulted the Friars into today's quarterfinals, where they'll seek to repeat last year's East I Region title and national high school crown.

Inman, who earlier this month committed to Rutgers, erupted for 30 of his team's 49 points in a losing effort. Had he not run out of steam late in the second half (he missed about six or seven shots in a row at one point down the stretch), he might have carried the Green Knights to the upset win.

St. Anthony's rising senior guard Sean McCurdy helped the Friars salt the game away from the foul line. Clinging to a precarious 48-46 lead with :26 remaining following trey by St. Joe's Devin Wooten, McCurdy hit three of four free throws over the final 23 seconds to help St. Anthony's escape. His pair at the 5.5 second mark extended the Friar lead to 51-46 and essentially salted the game away.

McCurdy paced St. Anthony's with 22 points in the win. Guard Derrick Mercer chipped in 13 and forward Barney Anderson eight for the Friars.

In addition to Inman's fine effort, St. Joe's got 10 points from Devin McCourty and eight from Wooten.

Thanks to Inman, St. Joseph's got off to a flying start, jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead. McCurdy then started to heat up, scoring the first six points of the game for St. Anthony's to deadlock the game at six.

As the Green Knights cooled off, the Friars assumed control of the game late in the first half. A trey by McCurdy capped a 15-5 run that gave St. Anthony's a 21-11 advantage.

St. Joe's rallied with an 8-0 run to close the gap to two, but a mini-run before the end of the half gave St. Anthony's a 29-22 lead at the break.

The Green Knights remained in the hunt the entire second half, as the Friars could never get the lead back up to double figures. Each time that St. Joe's pulled to within a bucket (as it did on a few occasions in the second half), St. Anthony's responded with a basket or two to quell the rally.

The Friars had trouble checking Inman all game long. His quickness and activity were evident throughout the game, as he consistently beat St. Anthony players to loose balls.

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