Roman Advances After Defeating Plymouth Whitemarsh
At Bensalem’s spacious gym on March 14th, another classic matchup was played between the Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials and Roman Catholic’s long legendary Cahillites.
The Colonials struck early and often, piling up points in the first period and breaking out to a 16 point spread at one point. The Cahillites kept their poise however, and their young coach Matt Griffin called a time out to calm the troops and put everything in perspective.
The Colonials owned the size battle with legit 7’2” junior center Naheem McCleod of whom much has been written, and if he continues to grow and progress much more will be said. He has a soft touch, and very nice footwork.
The Cahillite game plan was to use John (the beast) Kelly to do what he does best as the undersized near 6’4” center does so well. He spent a lot of time in the first half getting physical. McCleod fought back but picked up his third foul with 5:11 left in the second quarter. He took a seat.
RC chipped away and went to the locker room down 11 with a 34-23 score.
They came out with the same strategy in the third, and were able to get a fourth foul on the big man. What surprised everyone in the arena was the sudden and relentless effort of underrated Allen Betrand. The 6’4” wing for Roman took over the game with confident ball handling and penetration resulting in a slew of points that helped close the gap to 3 at the end of the third, 48-45. Lynn Greer III was impressive also along with friend and teammate Seth Lundy. Both showed very high skill level especially in ball handling and defense, Lundy and Greer III ending the game with 13 each.
At one point in the 4th quarter, 5’11 Louie Wild came into the game when Kelly got in a little foul trouble and was in a man to man defense covering McCleod. He performed very well using his much smaller but strong body to guide the big guy where he didn’t want to be. The crowd enjoyed those moments.
After that Kelly and Wild were inserted for defense and offensive purposes (Wild on the “O”) every time a substitution became possible. The Cahillites took the lead for the first time late in the game and held on. Important foul shots were hit by Hakim Hart who finished with 18, and Lynn Greer III. Greer put the team up by three with just over 2 seconds left. The final was 74-71 in favor of Roman who moves on to play CB West on Saturday 3-17-18 at 2:30 in the ¼ finals.
PW’s season is over, but it was a great one at 28-2. Ish Horn the great guard for the Colonials ended the game with 13, while the Williams twins (Ahmad and Ahmin) garnered 31 between them. The only games they lost were this one and to Abington in the District One final. Next year should be another potential success as McCleod will be on the AAU circuit where he should pick up some new abilities as he continues to grow into his body. His doctor has projected his final height at about 7’5”-7’6”. It should be a very interesting return in his senior season.
Allen Betrand (Towson commit) was the MVP of this contest posting a very impressive 26 points and showing great confidence when the Cahillites needed it most. Kelly had only 2 on a beautiful weak side pass from Betrand, but he is the heart and soul of this squad right now and everyone who follows this team knows it.