This entire season, Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Prendergast (better known as Bonner Prendie or just B/P) boys’ basketball team surprised everyone in the highly competitive Philadelphia Catholic League by going nearly undefeated and just barely losing the PCL title to Roman Catholic.
Transfer student Isaiah Wong from New Jersey’s Notre Dame rose to the top in his first campaign by earning MVP honors, and he is only a junior. Wong can take over a game like nobody else.
On Friday 03-16-18, the B/P Friars reached the quarter finals of the 5A classification of the PIAA state tournament playing a very strong, very athletic and more importantly very smart team of Vikings from Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) of the Eastern PA Conference-District 11.
ACC is led by savvy point guard Jay Vaughn, a 6’, 165 pound senior who seemed to be everywhere on the court. Vaughn is undecided as to his college choice at this point. He is academically qualified for Drexel and feels he might be able to “walk on” at this mid level D1 program. From what the fans at the Geigle Center saw, this is a possibility. At the least, he will get a fine education.
Vaughn and his fellow Vikings put up a valiant fight under the watchful eyes of St Joseph coach Phil Martelli and Temple’s Fran Dunphy. Of course those two were there to see the very talented and athletic Wong of the Friars.
Wong spends the early part of games seeming to poke and feel out his opponents, and then at the end of games seems to come to life and uses his skills and long frame to penetrate and draw fouls at a relentless clip. He has done this all season long. He also seems to have physically grown up during this long campaign. He looks taller than he did at the beginning of this season. His vertical leap is measured at approximately 45”, and he uses it to his advantage.
Big men for B/P Ajiri Johnson (Rider) and Tariq Ingraham scored 15 and 11 respectively, but both struggled a bit with their footwork and fluidity when receiving the ball down low.
Nevertheless, B/P prevailed in this well fought affair, and ACC went home after a spirited, scrappy game and ended a very fine season. Final score was 71-61. Wong finished with 27. Vaughn led ACC with 17.
The Friars will move on to the semi final against the Comets of Abington Heights on Monday 3-19-18. The other semi final will feature the Fighting Planets of Mars (still the best mascot name in sports) from District 7 against upstart Milton Hershey from District 3 and their small whirlwind Don’yae Baylor Carroll.