It was an all-junior performance; too bad there wasn’t an encore.
In an effervescent showdown between two of the Catholic League boys’ top basketball teams Jan. 8, visiting Archbishop Wood edged Cardinal O’Hara, 67-63, shocking the previously undefeated Lions and their roaring fans.
Wood’s all-junior starting lineup featured Jaylen Stinson (16 points), Daeshon Shepherd (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Muneer Newton (11 points, 13 rebounds). That trio barely outmaneuvered 19-point contributions by O’Hara juniors Adrian Irving and Anthony Purnell.
“We came into the game hoping we could prove that we are the best team in the league,” said Stinson. “I think we proved that.”
Stinson scored Wood’s final six points, including two free throws with under five seconds remaining that sealed the victory for a Vikings team that led by 13 points midway through the third quarter before O’Hara (11-1 overall, 4-1 league), helped by senior Tre Dinkins’ 13 points, clawed to within 65-63 with seven seconds left.
While winning their sixth straight, the Vikings (8-3, 4-0) remained one of the Catholic League teams without a league defeat. Archbishop Carroll and Bonner-Prendergast are also 4-0; Neumann-Goretti is 3-0.
“It’s the Catholic League,” said Stinson. “There are a lot of really good teams. You have to be prepared every game.”
In Catholic League girls’ basketball, Neumann-Goretti and Archbishop Wood lead the Red Division with a 3-0 record, just ahead of Cardinal O’Hara at 3-1.
In the Blue Division, St. Hubert’s is 3-0 and Lansdale Catholic 2-0. The two teams meet 7 p.m. tonight, Jan. 10, at Hubert’s.
This is the first time the girls have competed in a Red/Blue Division. It was created to balance the competition. Each team plays its division opponents twice, and in the postseason, the seven teams in the Red join the top three finishers from the Blue.
The top six teams receive byes; the seventh-seed hosts the 10th, and the eighth hosts the ninth, followed by the quarterfinals at the home of the higher seeds.
So far, there have been no loud complaints.
“The new league creates a lot of great competition,” said Archbishop Carroll senior All-Catholic Erin Sweeney. “Every game you have to show up and play your hardest, because every game is going to be difficult.”
Contact John Knebels at Jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103