The Palestra was rocking on Monday night as Roman Catholic took down the 6-time defending Philadelphia Catholic League Champions Neumann Goretti. The Palestra is one of Philadelphia’s most historic sports venues and with a sold out crowd the atmosphere was incredible. The Palestra has a seating capacity of 8,722 and every seat was filled for Monday nights big time game between two of the Catholic Leagues most storied programs.
Roman Catholic took down Neumann Goretti 64-59 behind a monster performance from Math Civics & Sciences transfer Nazeer Bostick. The 2016 SF finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds on the night, willing his team to victory making big play after big play from the opening tip until the final whistle. Team leader Tony Carr had nothing but good things to say about his teammates big night, “Wow man, he showed that South Philly heart. I was a little sick, I was being double teamed going through some things in the game but he led us the whole game. He never gave up on me he just rode us the whole time.” said Carr.
Neumann Goretti has won the previous six Catholic League titles and although they trailed 38-23 at the half, it looked like they were going to win their seventh straight as they had all the momentum, trailing by just one point with 1:55 left in the game. The play that made the difference in the last two minutes was the old fashion three point play from the talented 2017 SF D’Andre Vilmar with 44 seconds to go in the contest to give Roman Catholic a 63-57 lead. When asked how they held off the Goretti comeback Carr had this to say “As Nazeer would say we showed great calmness, we showed great poise, we didn’t panic, we didn’t get on each other we just stayed together and got the win.” Togetherness was the key in the win for Roman Catholic as each member of the team did their part to hold off the Saints.
Although Neumann Goretti fell short of winning its seventh consecutive Catholic League title, Quade Green played well in the loss finishing with 21 points. The Sophomore point guard showed why he is the best player in the city of Philadelphia in his title game performance as he kept his team within striking distance scoring 14 of his teams 23 first half points. The young guard will have two more chances at winning the Catholic League title and with most of his supporting cast returning he will have every chance to do so in the next two seasons.
Neumann Goretti will return four of its five starters next season with Lamarr Kimble graduating and heading to St Joseph’s next season. Neumann Goretti guards Vaughn Covington, Zane Martin, and Rasheed Browne are all juniors and forwards Dhamir Cosby Roundtree and Emil Moody are both just Sophomores. With the bulk of their scoring returning Neumann Goretti has a very good chance of returning to the big stage again next year and will have a chance to avenge this years tough loss.
Roman Catholic beat Neumann Goretti earlier in the season in a tightly contested 71-68 game. Neumann Goretti drops to 22-2 on the year with both losses coming to the Cahillites. The Saints are still the overwhelming favorite to win the AAA Pennsylvania State title. The win brings Roman Catholic to 24-2 on the year and solidifies the Cahillites as the best team in the city. Roman is also expected to win the Pennsylvania state title in AAAA play. Roman Catholic will certainly enjoy this Catholic League Title but looking forward to next season, they will also be returning the bulk of their key contributors and may meet up with Neumann Goretti again next year in another marquee matchup at the Palestra. Roman Catholic will return four of five starters also with Tony Carr, Nazeer Bostick, D’Andre Vilmar, and Paul Newman all set to return for their title defense.