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Dexter Strickland scores 21 in huge victory over #2 St. Benedict's

St. Patrick was firmly entrenched as the No. 1 team in The Star-Ledger Top 20 and a heavy favorite to capture its third NJSIAA Tournament of Champions title in four years.

But, by most accounts, it still was regarded as only the second-best team in New Jersey behind undefeated St. Benedict's, which was flaunting a 19-0 record and No. 2 national ranking in USA Today.

St. Patrick, No. 9 nationally, is far from second-best now after guards Dexter Strickland and Kyrie Irving struck for 21 points each to lead a rousing 88-62 victory at the Hoop Group Showcase before about 4,000 at the Rutgers Athletic Center last night in Piscataway,

St. Benedict's will still hop a plane and fly to the West Coast for its long-awaited showdown with No. 1 Mater Dei [and the UNC-bound Wear twins] of Santa Ana, California. (Newark Star-Ledger)

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