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Roman Catholic always seems to find a way to win the Catholic League basketball championship.

The Cahillites’ latest title, achieved Monday night at a raucous, sold-out Palestra, defied conventional logic.

Trailing by one point with the final seconds ticking away, senior guard Kabe Goss took an inbounds pass from sophomore Sammy Jackson, dribbled up court, stopped inside the foul line circle, pulled up, and with the clock about to hit triple zeroes, swished a game-winning jump shot that gave Roman Catholic a 46-45 overtime victory over Archbishop Ryan.

While the ecstatic Cahillites mobbed Goss, the devastated Raiders were left in total disbelief that the program’s first-ever PCL crown, which seemed so tantalizingly imminent, had somehow escaped their clutches. In the previous possession, Ryan senior Ryan Everett had hit a corner three-pointer with eight seconds left that had given the Raiders a short-lived 45-44 lead.

Then Goss ruined the Ryan party in storybook fashion, supplying the Cahillites with their PCL-best 34th championship, their second straight, and their sixth in 10 years.

“With time running down I didn’t think a timeout was necessary,” said Roman coach Chris McNesby, who captured his fourth title. “If we would have called a timeout with four seconds left, there’s not enough left to get something good. Kabe was in the flow and he was up the floor and they were backpedalling . . . it still feels surreal.”

Man of the Moment: Senior Kabe Goss scored at the buzzer to give Roman Catholic a 46-45 overtime win over Archbishop Ryan in PCL championship. (Photo by John Knebels)

Flanked by three teammates while speaking at a post-game press conference, Goss described what every lifetime basketball player dreams about but rarely, if ever, actually experiences.

“I turned around and had a look at the time,” said Goss. “I saw that there wasn’t enough time to get into anything. So I had to trust myself and have confidence in myself.

“It could have been anybody. Today was just my name. I’m glad my guys trusted me with the ball. I’m glad my coaches trusted me with the ball in the last couple of seconds. Like I said, it could have been anybody. A lot of reps went into that jump shot. I’m just happy it was me today.”

Goss finished with 10 points. Junior teammate Shareef Jackson grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 16 points – including a game-tying shot off an assist from Goss with 3.1 seconds left in regulation, followed by a Ryan timeout one second later. For the Raiders, senior co-PCL Most Valuable Player Thomas Sorber collected 16 points and 11 rebounds while senior teammate Darren Williams added a dozen points.

Before he left the Palestra and now standing by himself, Goss was asked one more time to reflect on what had just occurred.

“It will be a great bedtime story for my grandkids,” said Goss with a smile. “It will be a great bedtime story.”

But not a fable. It really happened.


Contact John Knebels at or on ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, @johnknebels.

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