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BASKETBALL: Philadelphia Catholic League Boys' & Girls' Basketball State Preview

By John Knebels, 03/08/17, 5:00PM EST


PHILADELPHIA – Three days after capturing their 51-year programs first-ever Catholic League boysbasketball championship, several members of Archbishop Wood were asked to describe the celebratory mood of the school, their peers, and themselves.

   They preferred to talk about the present.

   “We enjoyed it the past couple days, but now we have more to do,” said Villanova University-bound senior guard and league MVP Collin Gillespie.It has been crazy socially the last couple days just having people you don't really know in the area come up to you and congratulate you and stuff like that, so it's been pretty cool

   “Practice hasn't been the best, but we're starting to get re-focused on what the big goal is for the end of the year and that is to win the last two championships.”

   That was less than 10 days ago.  

  Since setting a Catholic League championship record for the largest halftime deficit comeback (13 points) and defeating Neumann-Goretti, 65-58, the Vikings have already captured a district title and now await competition in the PIAA state tournament.

Wood senior Matt Cerruti cuts down net after winning the PCL title - PSD photo by Zamani Feelings

Senior Matt Cerruti admitted that winning the league titlehonestly hasn't really sunk in yet.” That said . . .

    “We really aren't really paying attention to that,” he said. “We (focused on winning) a district championship first and the hopefully a state championship after.”

   At states, Archbishop Wood will have Catholic League company. Lots of it


   The Vikings are one of amazing seven Catholic League boysteam that begin pursuit of state glory. On Friday at 7:30, top-ranked Division 5A Wood takes on New Oxford at Philadelphia University; top-ranked Division 3A Neumann-Goretti faces York Catholic 6:00 at Southern High; Division 3A West Catholic plays Lancaster Mennonite 8:00 at Garden Spot; and 5A Archbishop Carroll meets Great Valley 7:30 at Spring-Ford.

   On Saturday, top-ranked Division 6A Roman Catholic battles Perkiomen Valley 5:00 at St. Josephs Prep; 6A Archbishop Ryan plays Parkland 6:00 at Bethlehem Freedom; and 4A Conwell-Egan faces Saucon Valley 5:00 at Archbishop Carroll.


   For the girls, Friday competition includes 6A Cardinal OHara vs. Upper Dublin 6:00 at Philadelphia University; 4A Lansdale Catholic against Berks Catholic 8:00 at Father Judge; and 2A West Catholic vs. Columbia 7:30 at High School of the Future. On Saturday, 5A Archbishop Wood faces West Chester Henderson 3:30 at Archbishop Carroll; 5A Archbishop Carroll takes on Mount St. Joseph 4:00 at Cheltenham; and 3A Neumann-Goretti meets Middletown 3:30 at St. Josephs Prep.

“We will never get tired of thinking about winning the Catholic League championship,” said Cardinal O’Hara senior Mary Sheehan, who scored a game-high 15 points in O’Hara’s 77-36 District 12 championship win over Central. “As great as that was, we’d love to do even more.”

(John Knebels can be reached at