Much has been made about the overabundance of talent on Archbishop Carroll’s boys’ basketball roster, and many have surmised that the Patriots are the most dangerous threat to unseat Neumann-Goretti as Catholic League champs.
Maybe that will indeed come to be, but on Sunday afternoon, the Cahillites of Roman Catholic served notice that they might have something to say about that come early March.
At a jam-packed Philadelphia University gymnasium, Roman defeated Carroll, 54-46, using a 36-28 second half to pull away after the first two quarters went back and forth and ended in an 18-18 deadlock.
“You hear different things about how another team is so much better than you,” said Roman junior Manny Taylor. “It gets kind of tiring. But the only way to change that is to win, so this was a big opportunity for us.”
Thanks mostly to Taylor, the Cahillites made the most of that opportunity. After being challenged by Roman’s coaching staff to display more of his natural abilities following a rather mundane stretch of effort, Taylor responded with arguably the best performance of his career.
Taylor led all scorers with 20 points and played aggressive defense against a Carroll team that is loaded in the front court.
Roman teammates Shep Garner (10 points), Rashann London (9), Tony Carr (7) and TreVaughn Wilkerson (6 points, 7 rebounds) aided the victory. Carroll’s Derrick Jones scored 17 points and Austin Tilghman added 11 in defeat.
In other news … in a Catholic Academies League contest Thursday afternoon, Mount St. Joseph’s basketball coach John Miller won his 200th coach as head of the Magic, a 57-30 victory over host Nazareth Academy that improved the Mount’s record to a gaudy 13-1 overall.
When considering that Miller won 150 games as a high school boys’ coach, then 317 as head honcho of La Salle University’s women’s program, it’s safe to say that Miller has established himself as one of Philadelphia’s best-ever coaches.
“It was great to share this with the girls,” said Miller, whose special moment was celebrated with a sea of balloons formed into the number “200.”
“I’ve had a lot of wonderful players at the Mount and have enjoyed my time there very much. It’s a special place.”
The Magic, who raced to a 22-5 advantage after one quarter, were led by sophomore Libby Tacka’s 22 points and Alex Louin’s 12. For Nazareth, Marissa Sylvester tallied 11 points.
John Knebels can be reached at email@example.com.
Catholic League boys’ basketball standings
(through Jan. 16)
5-0 — Roman Catholic
5-0 — Archbishop Wood
5-0 — Neumann-Goretti
4-1 — Archbishop Carroll
3-2 — Conwell-Egan
3-2 — La Salle
3-2 — St. Joseph’s Prep
3-3 — Bishop McDevitt
2-4 — Lansdale Catholic
1-4 — West Catholic
1-4 — Father Judge
1-4 — Archbishop Ryan
0-5 — Bonner-Prendergast
0-5 — Cardinal O’Hara