"He was snubbed," Taylor said. "His teammates decided they were going to show that he belonged in the game. They were going to help him get 50."
Ennis' 53 points were the most in the 14-year history of the Scholastic Play-by-Play series of showcase games. The old mark was 50 by Camden's Dajuan Wagner in 2001.
Ennis scored 24 in the first half and 25 in the third quarter. He made five three-pointer jumpers and three traditional three-point plays. He was 13 for 16 from the foul line.
Tyrell Green and Isaiah Briscoe, regarded as one of the nation's top sophomores, each added 16 for St. Benedict's, a non-NJSIAA team. Pitt recruit Mike Young added eight points and three blocks for the Gray Bees (25-1), who are ranked 13th in the nation by MaxPreps.
St. Benedict's was ranked No. 5 before a one-point loss two weeks ago to Blair Academy.
"If that's the No. 5 team in the nation, I'd like to see the other four," Eastern coach Joe Murphy said.
Bell, a 6-foot-2 senior, scored his points on a pair of three-pointers and a series of hard drives to the basket. Senior forward Avery Walker added 15 points and Matt Klinewski, a 6-7 junior, scored 14 for Eastern (17-5), the No. 7 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings.
Taylor was impressed with Bell and Klinewski.
"I don't know names, but [Nos.] 10 and 44 are good players," Taylor said. "They [the Vikings] are going to do well in their division."
Murphy and Bell said the experience will benefit the Vikings in the postseason.
"Other teams are going to seem a lot smaller and slower after playing these guys," Murphy said.
Eastern 11 15 15 24 – 65
St. Benedict's 31 30 34 21 – 116
E: Devon Bell 24, Avery Walker 15, Matt Klinewski 14, Alex Barr 3, Tom Flacco 1, Logan Edwards 2, Alec Walker 2, Malik Sanders 2, Ron St. Croix 2.
SB: Tyler Ennis 53, Isaiah Briscoe 16, Denzell Taylor 6, Mike Young 8, David Wilson 2, Tyrell Green 16, Jon Williams 8, Rodney Miller 4, Trevon Gross 2, Mark Thomas 1.
Contact Phil Anastasia at email@example.com or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports