PHILADELPHIA, PA –
In a rematch of last year’s championship game, Neumann-Goretti defeated Roman Catholic 67-56 in this year’s semi-final game to advance to the Philadelphia championship game on Monday night. In the win, Villanova commit Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks and Kentucky commit Quade Green had 18 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. In the loss, Roman’s Seth Lundy led the way with 20 points and nine boards and guard Alan Betrand had 19.
Neumann-Goretti’s Mike Milsip got the scoring started with a three from the left wing to make it 3-0 lead. The two teams traded baskets until Neumann-Goretti went on a 7-2 run to end the quarter and take a 14-9 lead at the end of the first stanza. Roman sophomore forward Seth Lundy had seven of his team’s nine points in the first quarter.
After a Quade Green jumper, Lundy had a driving layup and got the foul to end a 7-0 run for the Saints. Roman got to within one point on a JP Sanders jumper at the 3:27 mark, but a Milsip jumper and an emphatic slam by Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree off a Green lob made it 25-20 and Roman head coach Matt Griffin called a timeout. After two Lundy free throws, Green knocked down a deep three in front of the Roman bench with five seconds remaining in the first half, to make it 28-22 at the break.
The big story for Roman was the absence of standout freshman guard Lynn Greer III for most of the first half. Greer tweaked his knee in the opening minute and coach Griffin made an immediate substitution. Greer did not return for the remainder of the game.
The Cahillities of Roman Catholic had a very strong start to the third quarter, outscoring the Saints 11-5 to start the period, including an emphatic dunk by Lundy to tie the game at 33 apiece with 3:28 to play in the quarter. Neumann-Goretti head coach Carl Arrigale immediately called a timeout and his Saints came out to end the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 41-35 lead in to the fourth quarter.
The Saints pretty much dominated the fourth quarter thanks to Cosby-Roundtree, who had 11 of his 19 in the period. Roman was hanging tough until Saints guard Noah Warren hit a layup and made a free thrown on the “and-1” to make it a 55-45 game with 3:28 to go. Roman missed some free throws down the stretch and the Saints hit theirs to ice the game and seal their bid to the PCL Championship game on Monday night.
“It wasn’t pretty we got it done,” said Arrigale about his team’s win. “I would have liked to see the team play a little bit better defense but we have a few days to worry about the next game and get better in that area.”
When asked about his star center Cosby-Roundtree who dominated inside for the Saints, Arrigale said he’s the “most improved player I’ve ever coached. From the day he walked into the gym…I thought we had a chance to get him, but I had no idea – I’d be lying to you – if I knew he was going to get this good. And that’s a testament to him and the best part is he is a better person than he is a player.”
Now Cosby-Roundtree, Green and the rest of the Saints will get a rematch with the Archbishop Wood Vikings, who handed the Saints their only league loss of the year in an 82-73 Vikings at Archbishop Ryan High School on Thursday January 26.
“It’ll be fun – we were friends long before basketball,” Arrigale said of Archbishop Wood head coach John Mosco. “I usually pull for him, but I won’t on Monday. He’s a good guy, I hated to lose to him but he’s doing a great job over at Wood and I think it’s going to be a very good game.”
(Video Credit: Aaron "Ace" Carter)