By: Rich Flanagan
Photos/Videos: Rich Flanagan, Mike Nance, James Williamson, Patty Morgan, Kathy Leister, JJ Michalski, Geanine Jamison & Vita Marks.
PHILADELPHIA - Three years ago, Robert Smith Jr. and Ahmir Harris were beginning their careers at Roman Catholic. Two years ago, Glenn Smith was coming off the bench for Archbishop Ryan. Cardinal O’Hara boasted players in Jordan Hall, Malik Edwards and Eric Chamberlain.
Archbishop Wood and Bonner-Prendergast the number one overall seeds in the Philadelphia Catholic League those two seasons. Fast forward two seasons and there has been a lot of movement around the league.
Robert Smith Jr. Glenn Smith and Harris are starters for Bishop McDevitt, who are coming off their most successful run in school history and have led the Lancers to the No. 2 seed in the postseason. Hall is the point forward for Neumann-Goretti and headed to St. Joe’s University next season. Edwards has taken his game to another level for Bonner-Prendergast in his second season there while Chamberlain has led West Catholic to its first league playoff appearance since 2013-14. Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Tyree Pickron (Quinnipiac) and Matt Cerruti (Lock Haven) led the Vikings to top seed three years ago and now Rahsool Diggins, Jaylen Stinson, Daeshon Shepherd and Marcus Randolph have Archbishop Wood back atop the league heading into the playoffs.
Here is a recap of the final weekend of action in the Philadelphia Catholic League:
Roman Catholic 74, Archbishop Ryan 61 >>
Lynn Greer III led the way for the Cahillites with 20 points while 6-10 sophomore Jalen Duren dominated inside with 20 of his own. Justice Williams added 16 points and freshman Xzayvier Brown chipped in eight.
Gediminas Mokseckas followed up his 29-point game against Archbishop Carroll on Feb. 3 with a 27-point performance against Roman.
Senior big man Christian Isopi had his fourth game with at least 10-or-more points in the last five as he scored 12 and junior point guard Dominic Vazquez had 14 points for the Raiders.
#3 Roman senior Lynn Greer III, who notched his 1,000th career point this season, led the Cahillites with 20 pts. vs. Ryan - PSD Photo by Mike Nance
Cardinal O’Hara 61, Neumann-Goretti 54 >> In the biggest upset of the weekend, Tre Dinkins had 19 points and Adrian Irving had 14 as the Lions defeated the Saints for the first time since 2008. Big man Solo Bambara was the only other scorer in double figures for the Lions, who led by 16 at the break, with 11 points.
Hall had 14 points and also recorded a block, which led to a layup by junior Blaise Vespe and cut the lead to 57-54 with 43.3 seconds remaining. Hysier Miller had 11 points and Hakim Byrd scored 10 points for the Saints.
O’Hara closed things out at the free-throw line to finish league player with a winning record for the first time since 2001.
Archbishop Carroll 70, St. Joe’s Prep 56 >> After having 17 points in a crucial win over the Lions on Wednesday, Amiri Stewart scored 19 points in his final regular-season home game and Tairi Ketner (Bryant) added 17 points for the Patriots. John Camden finished off his first full season in the league with 15 points.
Trevor Wall scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and Chris Arizin had 15 points for the Hawks, who trailed by 12 at the break. Brian Geatens had 10 points including two triples.
Archbishop Wood 79, La Salle 62 >>
The Vikings four leading scorers put together a complete game as Rahsool Diggins (20 points), Jaylen Stinson (19), Daeshon Shepherd (16) and Marcus Randolph (10) all finished in double figures. Muneer Newton also had a strong game with 12 points.
Sam Brown, the starting running back for the Explorers football team, scored 20 points in fourth game back since missing almost all of the season with an injury he suffered during the football season.
Mike DiPietro and 6-5 freshman Horace Simmons had nine points apiece for La Salle.
Bishop McDevitt 47, Bonner-Prendergast 45 >> Jamil Manigo had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds including the final six points to put the finishing touches on the win. He scored on a strong drive to put the Lancers up one then got free inside for a basket and hit two shots from the charity stripe to seal it. Malik Edwards, who had 14 points including a pair of three-pointers, missed the game-tying shot from deep with 8.7 seconds left.
Robert Smith Jr. had 14 points with two triples and Shamir Mosley had seven points. Tyreese Watson (14 points) hit an off-balance trey to cut the deficit to 47-45 with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Oscar Uduma, a West Chester football commit, had six big points starting in place of Donovan Rodriguez, who was out (sick).
Father Judge 63, Lansdale Catholic 61 >>
The Crusaders finished their season a two-game winning streak behind 17 points from senior guard Angelo Colon and 14 from electrifying junior Nahseer Johnson.
Justin Blythe chipped in 10 points in the victory.
Jimmy Casey had his fourth straight game in double figures with 17 points and Jamir Hicks posted a season-high 20 points for Lansdale Catholic.
Kellan Ward also had 10 points in the loss.
West Catholic 57, Devon Prep 55 >>
Kaseem Watson hit four three-pointers on his way 16 points and 6-6 sophomore Nasir Griffin went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch as the Burrs survived a tough outing against the Tide in double overtime to clinch their first postseason appearance since 2013-14.
Nick Crowe (18 points) drilled the game-tying three-pointer to send the game into 2OT and went 7-for-8 from the foul line for the Tide.
Sharpshooter Chris Patton hit five triples on his way to 17 points.
St. Joe’s Prep 59, La Salle 56 >> Four starters scored at least 11 points led by Keenan with 18 points as the Hawks secured a league playoff bid for head coach William “Speedy” Morris in his final season. Geatens, Wall and Jimmy King all had 11 points each while Arizin added eight.
Jake Timby had 20 points and DiPietro scored 12 in the final game of their high school careers. Brown had nine points for the Explorers.
Bonner-Prendergast 80, Lansdale Catholic 40 >>
Watson set up a matchup with the Cahillites in the league quarterfinals by pouring in 20 points in his final regular-season game and fellow senior Cobe Ruley had a career-high 15 points for the Friars.
Edwards added 10 points of his own.
Hicks led the Crusaders with nine points while Casey and Jake Coonahan had six points each.
Neumann-Goretti 88, West Catholic 65 >> Hall closed out his final home game in style with a triple-double (15 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) and Miller scored a game-high 21 points for the Saints. Che Evans, a San Diego State commit who transferred in from Dulaney (Md.) in the offseason, had 10 points in his season debut after rehabbing from an injury for the entire year. Vespe had 14 points as Neumann-Goretti clinched the No. 3 seed and will play Cardinal O’Hara in the quarterfinals.
Chamberlain, the Burrs’ leading scorer, had 15 points and Zion Stanford was the only other player in double figures with 10 points.
Devon Prep 75, Conwell-Egan 50 >> Nick Perullo sank three three-pointers and finished with 23 points and Crowe had 17 points as the Tide finished the year with a win to keep the Eagles winless in league play. Jack Samms chipped in 10 points for Devon Prep, which completed its second season in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
KJ Davis, who led Conwell-Egan at 12.2 points per game, scored 25 points and freshman Alex Ings had five points.
Archbishop Wood 81, Archbishop Ryan 57 >> Diggins finished off a masterful regular season with 26 points as the Vikings secured the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs for the first time since 2016-17.
Randolph had 13 points and Shepherd chipped in 10 points.
Mokseckas finished a torrid stretch to end the year with 23 points and Luke Boyd scored 17 points which included hitting five three-pointers for the Raiders, who will host West Catholic in a first-round playoff matchup on Wednesday.
Bishop McDevitt 74, Roman Catholic 69 >> Manigo (20 points, eight rebounds) hit a clutch three-pointer then Robert Smith Jr. (15 points) converted a tough and-one to help close out a decisive victory over the Cahillites.
The Lancers’ final 13 points were scored at the free-throw line with Manigo hitting five and Mosley hitting three. Bishop McDevitt received notable contributions from Harris, who posted 13 points including three three-pointers and five rebounds, freshman Terrell Pitts, who had seven points, and 6-8 junior forward Alassane Amadou, who hit two triples and recorded a block in extended minutes in fourth quarter.
Greer posted 29 points including 11 in the fourth and one of those baskets give the Cahillites a 54-53 lead with under four minutes to play. Duren had a double-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds and five rejections while Williams scored 16 points on 5-for-18 from the floor.
Here are the final Philadelphia Catholic League regular-season standings:
Archbishop Wood (13-1)
Bishop McDevitt (12-2)
Roman Catholic (10-4)
Cardinal O’Hara (9-5)
Archbishop Ryan (8-6)
Archbishop Carroll (8-6)
St. Joe’s Prep (6-8)
West Catholic (5-9)
La Salle (3-11)
Father Judge (3-11)
Devon Prep (3-11)
Lansdale Catholic (2-12)
Here are the players who surpassed 1,000 career points this season:
Lynn Greer III, Roman Catholic
Robert Smith Jr. , Bishop McDevitt
Marcus Randolph, Archbishop Wood
Rahsool Diggins. Archbishop Wood
Trevor Wall, St. Joe’s Prep
Jamil Manigo, Bishop McDevitt
2019- 2020 All-Catholic Team
Most Valuable Player:
Rahsool Diggins, Archbishop Wood
William Speedy Morris Coach of the Year:
Kevin Funston, Bonner & Prendie
Rahsool Diggins, Junior – Archbishop Wood
Jalen Duren, Sophomore – Roman Catholic
Robert Smith Jr. , Senior – Bishop McDevitt
Hakim Byrd, Senior – Neumann-Goretti
Jamil Manigo, Senior – Bishop McDevitt
Justice Williams, Sophomore – Roman Catholic
Tyreese Watson, Senior – Bonner & Prendie
Lynn Greer III, Senior – Roman Catholic
Jaylen Stinson, Junior – Archbishop Wood
Jordan Hall, Senior – Neumann-Goretti
Aaron Lemon-Warren, Junior – Archbishop Ryan
Hysier Miller, Junior – Neumann-Goretti
Tre Dinkins, Senior – Cardinal O’Hara
Trevor Wall, Senior – St. Joseph’s Prep
Gediminas Mokseckas, Senior, Archbishop Ryan
Daeshon Shepherd, Junior, Archbishop Wood
Cameron Young, Senior – Neumann-Goretti
Donovan Rodriguez, Senior – Bonner & Prendie
Malik Edwards, Junior – Bonner & Prendie
Marcus Randolph, Junior – Archbishop Wood
John Camden, Junior – Archbishop Carroll
Tairi Ketner, Senior – Archbishop Carroll
Adrian Irving, Junior – Cardinal O’Hara
Anthony Purnell, Junior – Cardinal O’Hara
Nahseer Johnson, Junior – Father Judge
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Boys Basketball Philadelphia Catholic League Arch. Carroll Boys Basketball Arch. Ryan Boys Basketball Arch. Wood Boys Basketball Bishop McDevitt Boys B-Ball Bonner & Prendie Boys B-Ball Cardinal O'Hara Boys B-Ball Conwell-Egan Boys Basketball Father Judge Basketball La Salle Basketball Lansdale Cath. Boys Basketball Roman Catholic Basketball Saint Joseph's Prep Basketball Neumann/Goretti Boys B-Ball West Catholic Boys Basketball