Philadelphia Catholic League: Same Shit… Different Year

Zion Stanford is a muthafucka… With him in the lineup early in the game against Roman Catholic, West Catholic was cruising and in control. Then with about 6:00 minutes left in the first half, Stanford picked up his 2nd personal foul. West Catholic Coach Miguel Bocachica decided to bench his star for remainder of the first half.

Over the course of the next six minutes, an eight point West Catholic lead evaporated and then became a five point halftime deficit.

Essentially… that was it…

Even when Stanford returned for the start of the second half, West Catholic was unable to regain control of the game. Cincinnati commit Daniel Skillings, Jr. demonstrated why some consider him the finest player in the City of Philadelphia. Skillings had 25 points, grabbed nine tough rebounds and blocked four shots in a magnificent performance against a very talented West Catholic squad.

Xzayvier Brown, Roman Catholic PG

Some of the credit for the point swing after Stanford’s second foul has to go to Roman Catholic’s new and old Head Coach Chris McNesby and his outstanding point guard Xzayvier Brown ’23. McNesby and Brown recognized that West Catholic was switching on the perimeter and on three consecutive possessions they waited until Brown was matched up with West Catholic big man Nasir Griffin trying to contain him at the top of the key.

Brown, a high major PG prospect, used a variety of step-back, in and out and crossover moves to create space and score. It was working and McNesby stuck with it. Also, in the third quarter, with Stanford on the floor, McNesby and the Cahillites went to rookie Shareef Jackson in the post and he was able draw a third foul on Stanford.

Dan Skillings, Roman Catholic

Saddled with foul trouble most of the night, Stanford was unable to play with his usual reckless abandon.

While he scored 12 points and had a spectacular blocked shot, Stanford was unable to really reimpose himself on the game. Adam “Bud” Clark tried to pick up the offensive slack while constantly probing the Roman Catholic defense on his way to scoring 20 points.

Maybe West Catholic will run into Roman Catholic again… Maybe next time Stanford can avoid foul trouble next time… Maybe things will be different… But, then again maybe not…

One thing for sure, Roman will have their own muthafucka in uniform by then. And, he used to play for West Catholic. Today, Anthony Finklea a 6’7” 220 lb power forward, ranked in the top 150 by Rivals, sat on the Roman bench in street clothes. Pretty soon, he will be on the floor. Already a tough out, when Roman adds Finklea’s skill, size, toughness and determination they will become the clear favorite to take yet another Catholic League title.

As it stands Archbishop Wood (5-0) is the lone unbeaten team in the Catholic League. Roman (6-1), West (5-1) and Archbishop Ryan (4-1) each have one loss. Neumann-Goretti (1-0) has only played one game. Ryan travels to Wood Monday night and Neumann-Goretti goes to West on Wednesday.

Ryan and West need to find a way to win these games. Roman, Neumann-Goretti and recently Wood have had a stranglehold on the Catholic League Championship. West and Ryan are the upstarts… They’ve been knocking on the door for a few years now…

Nobody is in a hurry to let them in…

It’s an exclusive club… Carl Arrigale, Chris McNesby and John Mosco are cardholding members. Miguel Boc and Joe Zeglinski are trying hard to get in… Membership requires that Ryan and West start beating Roman, Neumann-Goretti and Wood when it counts… Didn’t happen today… Joe gets a shot at John tomorrow and Boc gets a shot at Carl on Wednesday…

The Catholic League… Same shit… Different year.

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