Round One of Catholic League boys’ basketball took place on Jan. 2. There wasn’t much drama, but fans were treated to some outstanding hoops throughout the Delaware Valley.
All of the six Catholic League openers (Bishop McDevitt and Roman Catholic have yet to play) were decided by double digits, and 30 different players scored 10 or more points. The final scores by widest margin of victory and the aforementioned snipers:
La Salle 78, Lansdale Catholic 49 (La Salle: Sean Simon 22, Zach Crisler 15, Allen Powell 10; Lansdale Catholic: Jack Kusters 22.)
Bonner-Prendergast 80, Conwell-Egan 54 (Bonner-Prendergast: Isaiah Wong 21, Ajiri Johnson 18, Tariq Ingraham 14; Conwell-Egan: Patrick Robinson 15, Sean Stokes 14, Eric Esposito 11)
St. Joseph’s Prep 75, West Catholic 55 (Prep: Darius Kinnel 20, Kyle Thompson 18, Ed Croswell 18, Gabe Arizin 12; West Catholic: Imere Harris 18, Samier Kinsler 11, Jerome Brewer 10)
Neumann-Goretti 78, Archbishop Carroll 58 (Neumann-Goretti: Dymir Montague 20, Chris Ings 16, TaQuan Woodley 15; Archbishop Carroll: Luke House 19, Justin Anderson 18)
Archbishop Wood 53, Father Judge 42 (Archbishop Wood: Seth Pinkney 15, Andrew Funk 12, Tyree Pickron 10; Father Judge Drew Riley 14, Tom Quarry 12, Shane Dooley 12)
Archbishop Ryan 67, Cardinal O’Hara 57 (Archbishop Ryan: Colin Reed 22; Cardinal O’Hara: Antwuan Butler 27)
By the numbers
During their non-league portion of the season, the 14 Catholic League teams played 108 games and finished with a 76-32 record for a sparkling .704 winning percentage.
Every team finished with a winning margin except for defending champion Archbishop Wood, which went 3-3. The others: Bishop McDevitt 8-0; Father Judge 8-1; St. Joseph’s Prep 7-1; Bonner-Prendergast 7-2; La Salle 7-2; Archbishop Carroll 6-3; West Catholic 5-3; Lansdale Catholic 5-3; Neumann-Goretti 5-3; Archbishop Ryan 5-4; Roman Catholic 4-3; Cardinal O’Hara 3-2; and Conwell-Egan 3-2.
They said it!
“Reaching the thousand points is a great accomplishment and puts my name with some great players. I always thought about getting to it. I think every high school player does. I was just not sure if or when I would. I was happy when the ball went in because I didn’t want to score it on the road. I wanted to make sure I got it at La Salle.” – La Salle senior Sean Simon, who scored his 1,000th career point (including two years at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy) on a three-point swish in the second quarter, followed by a brief ceremony on the court.
“The atmosphere was awesome. We played hard against a tough, scrappy O’Hara team. We won as a team by staying together the whole game.” – Archbishop Ryan junior Colin Reed, who scored 22 points to lead the Raiders past Cardinal O’Hara.
“Going into that game, we knew West was a tough, scrappy team that we couldn’t take lightly. A win against them would be a good momentum booster for us because they’ve beaten some tough teams, so it was a great win for us. In the Catholic League, where you never have a night off and you’re constantly playing well-coached, talented teams, every game means something.” – St. Joseph’s Prep senior Kyle Thompson after his 18 points helped the Hawks topple West Catholic.
“We are just taking it game by game. We feel the pressure and target on our back, but we also know what it feels like to be the underdog, too, so we do not let that get to us.” – Archbishop Wood senior Tyree Pickron, asked about the challenge of being the defending Catholic League champion.
“Playing Wood first and being able to stay with them the whole game instills confidence in our entire team and really solidifies our belief that we can play with any team in our league.” – Father Judge senior Tom Quarry following a hard-fought loss to defending league champ Archbishop Wood.
John Knebels can be reached at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.
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I wonder how much shenanigans goes on behind the scenes as these schools search the holy grail of a state title. Would love to know how many of these athletes and their families are paying full freight in tuition like those families who have always supported the parish schools and high schools. Maybe someday we will know.