Philadelphia High School Basketball
Catholic League Playoff Recaps, 2016-17

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  Bonner-Prendie 65, Conwell-Egan 51: Talk about scoring balance. Christian Lane and Dylan Higgins scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, while Justin Gans, Ajiri Johnson and Tymir Cooper racked up 12 apiece. Gans put the host Friars ahead for good, at 23-21, with a three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer. Lane, whose steal/layup with 10.7 seconds remaining had beaten the same foe in 2016's same round, added seven assists. Darien Simmons (16) topped C-E.
  Carroll 59, La Salle 37: The Patriots made bold statement by posting a first quarter shutout, at 9-0. Frosh point guard AJ Hoggard was electric, finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Khari Williams added 14 points while Justin Anderson tabbed 11 and Colin Daly drained three treys for nine. For the visiting Explorers, Jarrod Stukes paced 13 of his 15 points into the fourth quarter.

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Wood 65, Bonner-Prendie 43: MVP Collin Gillespie added six apiece of rebounds/assists to 21 points and the Vikings helped their cause by shooting well (17-for-22) at the line. Drama pretty much disappeared thanks to a 9-0 run that ended the second quarter. Ajiri Johnson topped B-P with 16 points while Tymir Cooper had eight points and as many assists. Wood used Bensalem's gym for this one. It had to play all games on the road after cinder blocks tumbled down from a south-end wall in thegym on Jan. 6.
  Neumann-Goretti 73, Carroll 55: Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree enjoyed pretty close to a dream performance, shooting 9-for-12 en route to 22 points and sweeping 21 rebounds. Quade Green contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Christian Ings repped the bench guys by totaling 12 markers. For the visiting Patriots, who dropped the first quarter, 22-12, Justin Anderson and Khari Williams halved 28 points and Colin Daly added 11 (along with eight boards and four steals).
Roman 56, SJ Prep 55: At Philadelphia University, Student upstaged Teacher as Matt Griffin, Roman's first-year coach, bested the team guided by his high school coach and former boss, Speedy Morris. Chris Kuhar canned a layup for his only points with 4.8 seconds remaining and Kyle Thompson (21 points) was able to hit only the first of two free throws at 0.7. Allen Betrand (17, 7-for-10) and Jon-Paul Sanders (12, 6-for-8) shot well from the floor while leading the Cahillites. Frosh Lynn Greer -- he and Carroll's AJ Hoggard, both third-teamers, were the first freshmen to earn All-Catholic honors since Carroll's Kashif Payne in 2000 -- dished five assists. Edward Croswell (14, eight rebounds) and Darius Kinnel (10, six assists) also scored in double digits for the Prep, which battled back from a 40-30 deficit.
  Ryan 68, Judge 58: Matiss Kulackovskis, an import from Latvia, shot 9-for-17 (two treys) and 5-for-7 for 25 points for the Raiders, who used a 20-10 second quarter to assume command from their Northeast Philly rivals. Izaiah Brockington (14) and Fred Taylor (11) also scored in double figures, guard Chris Palantino claimed a game-high eight rebounds and Taylor recorded seven rejections. For visiting Judge, senior guard Marc Rodriguez, the only 1,000-point career scorer in school history (1,260), used nifty sniping (9-for-13 floor, 6-for-9 treys, 8-for-12 line) to rack up 32 points, just short of the school record (34). He reached 32 by hitting two free throws with 44 seconds remaining. He took no shots thereafter. Matt O'Connor had 12 points. Mike Power distributed six assists.

Doubleheader at the Palestra
  Neumann-Goretti 67, Roman 56: Though N-G was known all season primarily for the non-stop feats of its headliners, guard Quade Green (Kentucky commit) and post player Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (Villanova), lesser lights stepped forward and seized the night with the score at 35-35 midway through the third quarter. An 8-0 run featured a three-pointer by Noah Warren, a three-point play by sub Dymir Montague and a mid-range jumper by another bench guy, Christian Ings. In a 26-21 fourth quarter, Cosby-Roundtree shot 3-for-3 and 7-for-8 for 13 of his 17 points while adding five of his 12 rebounds. Green totaled 18 points and six assists overall. Seth Lundy (20, nine rebounds) and Allen Betrand (19, 10) paced Roman, which had topped N-G in the previous two championship games. Point guard Lynn Greer, a freshman, suffered a pre-game injury. He tried to play, but sat down after a very short stint.
  Wood 75, Ryan 66: Collin Gillespie (Villanova) posted the third highest point total in CL playoff history, shooting 8-for-14 (one trey) and 16-for-18 for 33. Only 39-point outbursts by Roman's Kyle Locke ('92 final) and Carroll's Juan'ya Green ('11 quarterfinal) were better. Gillespie sniped 10-for-12 at the line in the fourth quarter to help assure Ryan would get no closer than five. He also led the Vikings in rebounds (nine) and assists (four). Matt Cerruti and sub Andrew Funk halved 20 points; the former had five rebounds and three steals. For Ryan, before fouling out with 3:22 remaining and the deficit at eight, lefty Izaiah Brockington shot 12-for-21 (one trey) and 6-for-8 for 31 points. Fred Taylor added eight points, five rebounds and three blocks.

At the Palestra
  Wood 65, Neumann-Goretti 58: After falling into a 30-15 hole, the Vikings roared to a 50-28 advantage while winning their first championship in 51 seasons of CL competition. A loss in a final prevented N-G coach Carl Arrigale from claiming the outright league record for championships for the third consecutive year -- he remained tied with former Roman boss Dennis Seddon at 10 -- and the man who was able to experience unbridled joy was his long-time buddy and former assistant, John Mosco. League MVP Collin Gillespie (Villanova commit) exploded for 22 of his 24 points in the second half while lifting his career total to 1,016, thanks to a 6-for-7 performance from the floor (two treys) and 8-for-9 from the line (all in the last quarter). He also dealt six of his seven assists beyond intermission. Matt Cerruti (10), Tyree Pickron (nine, all on threes) and Gillespie (six) combined for all 25 of Wood's third quarter points. Cerruti and Pickron finished with 15 and 13 markers, respectively. Seth Pinkney had eight points, four blocks. Quade Green (18, Kentucky), Noah Warren (13) and Mike Millsip (11) scored in double figures for the Saints. Green added seven assists and Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (also 'Nova) swept 11 boards. This was the 80th CL final. Never before had a champion overcome a halftime deficit as high as 13 points (31-18). In '97, Neumann trailed Carroll by eight, then won by eight. Due to the partial collapse of a wall in its gym on Jan. 6, Wood played 16 league games, counting playoffs, in 12 venues -- Bensalem (2), La Salle High (2), Palestra (2), Ryan (2), Arcadia University, Bonner-Prendie, Conwell-Egan, Holy Family University, McDevitt, O'Hara, Philadelphia University and Wood.

Class 6A
At Southern
  Roman 68, Lincoln 59: A three-point play by Da'kQuan Davis capped a 7-0 run to start the second half -- it started at 31-31 -- and sent the Cahillites on their way. Davis shot 7-for-8 from the floor en route to 19 points. Seth Lundy (16, also 13 rebounds) Allen Betrand (12, nine) and Jon-Paul Sanders (12) likewise scored in double figures and Chris Kuhar set a City Title record for most points scored without the benefit of a field goal -- nine. Khalif Meares (19) and Shikeir Morrison (17) topped Lincoln, which had won a Pub championship (at the 6A level) for the first time since 1965.
Class 5A
At Judge
  Wood 87, King 51: This one was over shortly after it started. Thanks to three successes from beyond the arc, the Vikings stormed to an 11-2 lead in 2 1/2 minutes and rolled from there. They owned a 28-14 bulge after one quarter (three more treys) and Collin Gillespie's assists total was up to six. Gillespie finished with a triple double -- 14 points, 11 rebounds and a CT-record 11 assists. Matt Cerruti sniped 4-for-6 on treys and 7-for-9 overall while contributing 20 points. Tyree Pickron (15) and Keith Otto (12) joined those guys in double figures and Seth Pinkney (nine, four blocks) just missed. Wood committed only eight turnovers. Qadir Burgess (11) led King.
Class 4A
At Phila. University
  Imhotep 84, Conwell-Egan 54: The Eagles created at least a hint of concern for 'Tep when they faced just a two-point deficit after one quarter. Alas, the score over the next two sessions was 41-16. Thanks with help from four three-pointers, Eric Esposito led C-E with 17 points. Darien Simmons (13) and Patrick Robinson (10) offered support. No Eagle snagged more than five rebounds. Daron Russell and David Beatty halved 26 points for Imhotep.    
Class 3A
At SJ Prep
  Neumann-Goretti 65, Del-Val 58: In 2016, D-V had prevented N-G from winning an eighth consecutive City Title, so the motivation for revenge was high. But the Saints were coming off a loss to Wood in the Catholic League final and the first quarter did not go well (20-8 deficit). In all, Quade Green shot 9-for-18 and 12-for-13 for 31 points to become just the third player in CT history to score at least 24 points in three appearances. The others? Absolute Philly hoops royalty -- Overbrook's Wilt Chamberlain and West Philly's Gene Banks. Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree added 11 rebounds and three blocks while 16 points were provided by subs Christian Ings (nine) and Dymir Montague (seven). Mahki Morris (19), Antwine Butler (16) and Dion Harris (14) were the top Warriors.