Game 1 - 6:30 PM at The Palestra, University of Pennsylvania
#2 Neumann-Goretti vs. #3 Roman Catholic
50 combined Catholic League basketball championships.
30 for Roman Catholic. 20 for Southeast Catholic/Bishop Neumann/St. John Neumann/Neumann-Goretti.
This is the game Philadelphia high school sports fans circle on their calendar.
In the past 27 years, only five seasons have ended with a champion not named Neumann or Roman. During the past twelve seasons, there has only been one (North Catholic in ’08).
Roman Catholic seeks a chance at a three-peat while Neumann-Goretti is on the hunt for its seventh title in the past nine seasons.
Roman Catholic ended Neumann-Goretti’s historical six year championship streak in 2015, which was the beginning of their back to back title runs. The past three Catholic League title games have featured both schools.
On January 8, these two powerhouses faced off at Holy Family University. The Saints were just too much for the Cahillites to handle. Neumann-Goretti bested Roman, 87-53.
A lot has changed since then, most importantly, the stakes and atmosphere of tonight’s game.
Neumann-Goretti head coach, Carl Arrigale seeks his 11th title at the reigns. His squad is led by McDonald’s All-American and Kentucky commit, Quade Green (Sr). Green averaged 22.8 PPG during the regular season on his way to 1st team All-Catholic honors. Green’s classmate, (Sr) Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree is a force to be reckoned with in the paint. The Villanova commit is coming off of a huge 22 point, 22 rebound game in Neumann-Goretti’s quarterfinal win last week. Alongside Cosby-Roundtree is Marcus “Not So” Littles. The 6’9” Junior provides more height to the Saints huge frontcourt. (Jr) Noah Warren and (Soph) Christian Ings have been key contributors to the Saints’ backcourt.
Roman Catholic is headed by first year coach, Matt Griffin. Griffin looks to add his name to the historic list of Roman Catholic championship coaches such as Billy Markward, Speedy Morris (Griffin’s high school coach), and Dennis Seddon. Griffin’s team is led by 1st team All-Catholic Allen Bertrand. Bertrand transferred from Fels to Roman Catholic this past summer. Seniors Dak’quan Davis and JP Sanders were key players off the bench for the Cahillites the past two seasons. They now find themselves leading the charge for their squad. (Soph) Seth Lundy and (Fresh) youngster Lynn Greer are key components to Roman’s success this season.
Expect nothing less than a hard fought, high intensity and fun matchup tonight. Whenever these two dominant programs meet, especially at the Cathedral of basketball, it is always a goodie. We know for a fact that one of these teams will be back in the championship. Neumann-Goretti seeks its ninth straight championship appearance and Roman is still the two-time defending champs. Both teams would love to end the other’s season.