The Roman Catholic Cahillites advanced to the Philadelphia Catholic League final after defeating the St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks 69-66 on Wednesday night at the Palestra.
The two league rivals battled back and forth the entire game, exchanging big offensive runs in the first quarter. Through the first four minutes of the game, Roman Catholic opened on a 10-2 run. However, after a St. Joe’s timeout, the Hawks closed the quarter on an 11-0 run to take a 1-point lead into the second quarter.
The Hawks continued to control the game through the rest of the first half, going into halftime with a slim 24-20 lead.
Coming out of the break, Roman Catholic looked to be inspired and started the third quarter on a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead. That run carried the Cahillites to a lead throughout the quarter, holding a 42-36 lead going into the fourth.
Through three quarters of play, Roman Catholic’s offense was led by junior forward Seth Lundy. Despite fouling out with just over seven minutes to play, Lundy led the team in scoring with 22 points.
Lundy’s early exit could have easily been a turning point, but senior guard Allen Betrand and sophomore guard Lynn Greer III stepped up to carry the load offensively. “It just meant that we had to do a lot of the extra stuff like getting rebounds and making the right play,” said Greer.
Betrand scored 20 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and came up with a key defensive stop when the Hawks cut the lead to three in the final minute. Greer scored 17 points and came up with five rebounds.
Betrand transferred to Roman Catholic from Philadelphia Public League’s Samuel Fels High School for the opportunity to play in the Catholic League. “In the Public League, there isn’t as much competition,” he said. “I came to the Catholic League to have competition and play in this.”
With just over five minutes to play, Roman Catholic led by 13 points. St. Joe’s senior guard Kyle Thompson went off to make it a tight game again in the closing minutes. While the Hawks came up short, his 23 points led all scorers.
In addition to defeating one of the Catholic League’s powerhouse programs and advancing to the finals, Roman Catholic pulled off a sweep of St. Joe’s Prep, defeating them 77-71 just 10 days ago.
In the finals they will have another rematch, but hope for a different result when they face the Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast Friars.
The Cahillites lost to Bonner in overtime back in January in a close 68-66 game. On Monday, February 26 at 8:30 p.m. at the Palestra, they will get a shot at revenge and a Catholic League championship.
Photo Credit: Jack E. Kapp