Roman Catholic vs Camden High: Preview

Why Roman Catholic SHOULD win their matchup with Camden High School tonight…

Let’s look at the matchups…

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Lance Ware, Camden’s Junior Power Forward

Lance Ware vs Seth Lundy – Ware is a highly skilled 6’9” PF. He is a very capable rebounder, ball-handler, shot blocker and shooter. Lundy is a 6’6” SF/PF that plays with a great deal of intensity. Lundy is a tenacious rebounder with range that extends well beyond the the high school 3 point line. EVEN

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Seth Lundy, Roman Catholic SF/PF

Taquan Woodley vs Jalen Duren – This is a matchup between the two most talented underclassmen in the region. Both rely heavily upon intimidation and athleticism. Both are excellent rebounders and shot blockers. Duren at 6’9” is a tad longer than Woodley who comes in at 6’7.” Right now, it appears that Woodley may be one of the strongest players in the region regardless of class. The X factor here could be composure. Woodley has demonstrated a tendency to allow his emotions to get the best of him. He has to remain even keeled for Camden to have a real chance. They need Woodley’s presence on the block. EVEN

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Taquan Woodley, Camden High School

Jerome Brewer vs Hakim Hart – Brewer has emerged as one of finest underclassmen in the region. He is a very long sophomore, standing 6’7.” He has a nice jump shot that extends beyond the 3 point line and he is a very capable rebounder. Hart is one of the best player in the area. Along with Isaiah Wong, he is a leading contender for the Catholic League MVP honor. He plays a very nuanced and subtle game. He rebounds, he passes, defends in the post and he SHOOTS. His shot is extremely soft and his range extends beyond the NBA 3 point line. Hart is one of the most cerebral players you will see… He very rarely makes poor decisions. ADVANTAGE HART.

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St. Joseph’s commit Hakim Hart, Roman Catholic

Ethan Tarte, Orlando Hildago and Nasir Lett vs Louis Wild, Lynn Greer and Justice Williams – The Camden backcourt is solid. Tarte is a big-bodied combo guard. He is effective attacking the defense off the bounce and capable of finishing through contact. Hildago is a good ball-handler and a fierce competitor. Let just doesn’t make mistakes. He is like an extension of Coach Vic Carstarphen on the floor. He consistently works to get his teammates involved and makes winning plays. The Roman Catholic backcourt features 2 high major prospects and a warrior. Louis Wild is a jack of all trades for Roman Catholic. He’s a very good shooter, strong rebounder and tough defender 1 through 4. Williams is a supremely gifted freshman combo guard and one of the top 100 players in the nation in his class. Greer is very well-rounded high major point guard prospect and also one of the top 100 players in his class. ADVANTAGE ROMAN.

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Ethan Tarte, Camden’s Senior Combo Guard

In what is sure to be an exciting action-packed contest, Roman Catholic’s advantage in the backcourt should give them a slight edge over a tough but young Camden squad.

 

Eric Dixon on Archbishop Carroll Basketball

01/13/2018

By Eric Dixon

Archbishop Carroll is long. Both literally and figuratively. The 13-man roster has just one player standing under 6’0. They have 6 players measuring in at 6’4” of better. The Patriots are also long on tradition. Coach Francis Bowe, in his first season at the Radnor, PA high school, is leading the program out of the lengthy shadow of his predecessor, Paul Romanczuk.

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Francis Bowe, Archbishop Carroll Head Coach

Coach Romanczuk helmed the program the past 16 seasons after being an assistant for four years. His passionate, detail-oriented leadership spurred the program to 10 consecutive 20 win seasons and 9 berths in the Philadelphia Catholic League final four at the iconic Palestra. In short, Coach Bowe, an 8th grade math teacher, has some long shoes to fill.

“I’ve been talking to Paul and he’s been an open book”, says Coach Bowe, after a recent road win at Cheltenham HS. He went on to describe how Romanczuk has been invaluable in helping him learn the ins and outs of managing the team. He is also grateful for inheriting a “great nucleus of kids.” Coach Bowe adds, “the cupboard wasn’t bare.”

The main contributors so far this season are senior Luke House, junior Tairi Ketner and newcomer, sophomore John Camden. The team also has burgeoning talents sophomore Anquan Hill, a wiry strong interior player, sharpshooting junior Amiri Stewart and guards senior Kiyl Mack and junior Ny’Mire Little.

House’s perimeter abilities were well known to Coach Bowe from day 1, but he was pleasantly surprised by the senior’s leadership skills and has dubbed him his “coach on the floor”. He has also invested time in improving his body. His rebounding and overall strength have improved as one of the more underrated wings in the PCL looks to draw more attention to his game.

House, 6-4, has certainly helped with rebounding (he collected an impressive 13 against Cheltenham) but he isn’t the only Patriot roughing opponents up inside. Junior Tairi Ketner, 6-7, son of the late Lari Ketner, a Philadelphia native and former UMass standout, brings quite a bit of physicality to the team.

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Tairi Ketner defends against Cheltenham star Zahree Harrison

“My job is to bring toughness and get us extra possessions,” says the burly Ketner. He made several nice power post moves against the Panthers. He was also able to wall up and make life difficult for Cheltenham in the paint on the defensive end. Ketner said he is currently being recruited by several D2 programs, most notably Georgian Court University (NJ) and Caldwell University (NJ), who offered Ketner a scholarship following the Cheltenham win.

Anquan Hill, 6-8, is another Patriot that has contributed a strong interior presence. Surprisingly strong given his slight frame, Hill showed a penchant for blocking or altering shots and garnering some tough rebounds.

“I love defense,” says Coach Bowe, who noted that that is what he hung his hat on when he led Valley Forge Military Academy to the best 5 year stretch in the school’s history. His love of defense is being imparted to his Carroll players. That was evident during a 5 minute stretch that spanned the 1st and 2nd qtrs of the game that saw 10 straight Panther possessions end in miss shots or turnovers. The first quarter ended with Carroll having surrendered a mere 3 points to their hosts.

Adding to the talent and length of the team is Westtown transfer, 6-7 John Camden. He is an athletic, talented shooter who is adept at making shots off the catch and bounce. His arsenal also includes an impressive mid range fade.  Camden is currently a 3-star prospect according to 247Sports who holds offers from Miami (Fl), Penn State, Xavier, Temple and Syracuse, amongst others.

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John Camden recently transferred from Westtown to Archbishop Carroll

Camden, who only recently transferred to Carroll last month, has been impressed with the “big school feel” on the Montgomery county campus. That was one of the non-basketball influences on his decision to change schools. As far as basketball, the allure of playing in the vaunted PCL was the biggest reason he’s rapidly become a Patriot.. “It was a quick turn around, like two days,” says the easy-going wing forward.

Coach Bowe’s squad is 6-5 and has used the lessons learned during a challenging non-conference schedule, that included a close loss to Wildwood Catholic and a game versus Boys Latin of Baltimore (MD), to run to a 4-1 record in the PCL.

“We want to look at the record and judge it based on the level of the competition,” according to Coach Bowe. “Who did we play?” Well, they will be playing some tough teams over the next few weeks and we will see how far their length can carry them.

 

Lincoln University BBall Players Victimized!

Over the past 25 years, I’ve had the same conversation with young Black men and women from urban areas like Philadelphia, PA, Camden, NJ, Baltimore, MD, Paterson, NJ Newark, NJ Wilmington, DE, Bronx, NY and Washington, DC. It goes like this… “Do something wrong, they are gonna plaster your picture all over the front page of the newspaper and you’ll be the lead story on the local news.”

Ask Na’im Crenshaw, Jamal Nichols, Malik Hines, Trayvon Reed, Jeremiah King, Delonte West and at least 50 others? I’m sure they got tired of hearing the same shit… The mainstream media will CRUSH you and your reputation!

But it must be repeatedly emphasized and reinforced. It takes just a few seconds to destroy a good name and reputation you spent a lifetime building.

The widely reported situation faced by a group of Lincoln University basketball student-athletes serves as a clear example of this dynamic.

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The local media has plastered pictures of these young men across millions of television screens.

“Arrested”, “Charged”, “Theft”, “Assault”…

These are the words attached to the images. UGLY… Real UGLY shit… Their mothers, grandmothers, girlfriends, teachers, Principals, counselors, etc. all see these images and can’t help but wonder… “What did they do?”

But… then one realizes these same student-athletes played, very well I might add, in a basketball game last night.

Lincoln University ended the Claflin University men’s basketball team three-game winning streak on Wednesday (Dec. 19), defeating the Panthers, 82-74, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) contest.

Lincoln was led by Deaquan Williams with a double-double, 20 points-19 rebounds. Cameron Campbell added 17 points.

After Claflin cut a 13-point (58-45) lead to 60-54 at the 9:28 mark of the second half, Lincoln used a 10-3 run to extend the lead back to 13, 70-57, with 6:14 left in the game.

The six-point deficit would be the closest for the Panthers.

Every single player named in media reports suited up and played for Lincoln in this contest.

Moreover and more importantly, Lincoln University posted bond for the players enabling them to be released.

Wait… What?

Yes… Lincoln University bailed the kids out of the county jail, transported them back to campus, allowed them to suit up and play in an important CIAA contest.

What school does that for students that have been arrested and charged with theft and assault? What gives? There must be much more to the story than the local “mainstream” media is reporting.

Well… Here it is…

Sources close to the families of several students tell very similar stories. According to these sources, there has been a rash of dormitory burglaries on the scenic Lincoln campus.

Last week the rooms of several players on the women’s and men’s basketball team were broken into and ransacked. Items such as Playstations and wallets were stolen. The players contacted Lincoln University’s Department of Public Safety.

According to sources, Lincoln Public Safety took over three hours to respond to the reported burglaries. When they did respond, they confronted the student-athletes and interrogated them as if they were suspects and not victims. This interaction left the student-athletes wary of Public Safety’s commitment to protect them and their belongings.

The thief used a debit card stolen from one of the student-athletes to order food. The student-athlete was able to ascertain information about the transaction from his/her bank. With this information, the student-athletes were able to determine who was in possession of the debit card and very likely the perpetrator of the burglaries.

Sources report that one of the student-athletes saw the “thief” on campus. He/she contacted other victims and they decided to confront the thief to retrieve their belongings. The thief balked and became aggressive toward the student-athletes. A physical confrontation ensued.

The thief was injured during the melee. Apparently, he suffered a broken arm. Hence, assault charges.

The student-athletes retrieved their belongings from the thief’s dormitory room. Supposedly surveillance cameras captured images of the student-athletes taking their belongings from the thief’s room. Hence, theft charges.

Sources have confirmed that the thief was immediately suspended from school and barred from campus.

The student-athletes were bailed out by the University and won their 5th straight basketball game last night.

Should they have beaten the thief? Probably not… Should they be charged with theft? Absolutely not!

Black Cager Sports applauds Lincoln University for it’s handling of the matter after the Department of Public Safety FUCKED UP the initial complaint.

Hopefully, these facts will emerge and be considered when the student-athletes appear before a Chester County judge in January.

Let this be a lesson… “Do something wrong, they are gonna plaster your picture all over the front page of the newspaper and you’ll be the lead story on the local news.”

They were wrong to beat the thief… Maybe, they should have just held him until the Department of Public Safety arrived three (3) hours later… But, their behavior was not criminal.

At least I hope that’s how the judge and the District Attorney sees things.

McDevitt Defeats Archbishop Wood!

Archbishop Wood has a very good boy’s basketball team. For the past few years, they have been one of the elite programs in the vaunted Philadelphia Catholic League. Tommy Funk (Army), Tyree Pickron (Quinnipiac), Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Karrington Wallace (Central Connecticut State), Matt Cerruti (Lock Haven) and Seth Pinkney (Quinnipiac commit) have forged a legacy that is being capably carried forth by Julius Phillips (senior), Daeshon Shepard (Sophomore), Rasool Diggins (sophomore) and Jaylen Stinson (sophomore).

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Collin Gillespie, Wood Alum

Wood remains one of the most respected scholastic basketball programs in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Tonight… They were the second best team in the gym at McDevitt High School.

Named Head Boys Basketball Coach McDevitt in May 2017, Will Chavis has quickly turned the program into a contender for one of the highly coveted spots in the Catholic League Final Four at the Palestra.

Defeating Archbishop Wood before a full house tonight, let’s everyone know: McDevitt is for real…

They have a prolific scorer. Robert Smith, a 6 ft, 180 lbs junior southpaw is on a fast track to a 1,000 points in just 2 seasons. Smith is a crafty player with great vision and offensive skills. For a player just beginning his junior season his skills are advanced. He is smooth. He can shoot, handle and pass. He does an excellent job of breaking down opponents and taking what the defense gives him. He can stroke it from outside as well as get by his man and take it to the rim. He is especially effective going to his left hand.

Tonight, he earned every one of his 18 points. Wood sophomore, Jaylen Stinson was given the task of containing Mr. Smith. For those who have yet to observe Stinson play defense, let me try to adequately describe his approach.

Jaylen’s commitment to man-to-man, on ball, defense is truly spectacular. For much of the game, it appeared that Stinson and Smith were “slow dragging” in a $1.00 basement party. Still, Smith never forced anything and showed great patience throughout the hard fought contest.

Smith’s running mate, junior PG Ahmir Harris played an exceptional floor game. He was very composed and make several big shots when Wood trimmed the lead to an uncomfortable margin.

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Ahmir Harris (center) and Jamil Manigo (right)

But, the player of the game was junior PF Jamil Manigo. A decidedly undersized “big”. Manigo had to contend with Wood’s high flying super athletic front court of Shepard, Phillips and Jackson. Keep in mind… Each of the Wood forwards jumps considerably higher than Manigo. Each of the Wood forwards runs faster than Manigo. But, it wasn’t a track meet… It was a basketball game.

At first glance, one thinks Manigo he should be playing in a 35 and over league. He’s not exactly svelte. I don’t think there was ever a moment when he could have jumped over a copy of Daily News.

But tonight… He seriously out played his Wood counterparts. As noted earlier, he is undersized, but make very effective use of guile and skill to compensate. Manigo is not a great athlete, and could be even more effective if he worked on his conditioning. He has a strong lower body, and shows impressive body control in his midrange and post game. Displays command of several offensive moves in the post. He possesses a very soft touch. He is a very good rebounder on both ends of the floor.

Manigo is ready made for small college basketball… D2s and D3s should be lining up to talk to the kid. He put up 19 points and controlled the boards, while helping to limit Phillips to 7, Shepard to 9 and Jackson to 0. IMPRESSIVE!

Lastly, it should be noted that on 6 consecutive occasions, McDevitt emerged from time outs of the end of quarter stoppages and ran plays that led to relatively easy baskets… Six straight times!

That is a testament to Will Chavis’ ability to make in-game adjustments and his player’s commitment to executing.

Damn good win! Damn good coach! Damn good team!

Notice served!

They Are Who We Thought They Were…

“Now if you want to crown them, then crown their ass! But they are who we thought they were!”

Dennis Green, Cardinals Head Coach 2006

With 43 points and 14 rebounds in the Gonzaga DC Championship Game Abington’s Senior Superstar, Eric Dixon (WeRone Hoops), officially put the PIAA on notice! Playing against a tough, deep and talented St. Frances Academy squad that is perennially ranked in the top 25 nationally, Dixon put on a performance for the ages. He scored in every way imaginable… jump hooks, fade aways, up and unders, turn around jumpers, face up 3s, etc. Eric was really digging deep into his bag… The DC crowd was in awe of his skill level. He was named tournament MVP despite losing to the Panthers in the title game. Dixon (Villanova commit) is now the all-time leading scorer in the history of Abington HS basketball with over 1700 points. He will likely end up in the 2400-2500 range when it’s all said and done.

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Eric Dixon, named MVP after scoring 43 points and pulling down 14 rebounds

Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Senior All-American candidate, Naheem McLeod (PYO Hoops) kicked in the door for his senior season. Before a full house in a new gymnasium McLeod exploded for 41 points and 14 rebounds to lead P-W to close win over Norristown. The 7’3″ McLeod (Florida State commit) displayed a wide range of skills in this contest. He advanced the ball in transition, he pulled up and made jumpshots beyond 3 point range, there were a few no look passes and of course about a gazillion dunks! As a senior, McLeod clearly understands that this year’s team will only go as far as he can carry them. He appears more than ready to carry the load.

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McLeod in action against Norristown. (Photo Credit: Raw Sports)

Cheltenham’s Division 1 prospect, Zahree Harrison ’20, jump started the Cheltenham campaign with two outstanding performances. Harrison was named the MVP of the Tip Off Classic after filling the stat sheet with12 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in the first contest and piling up 23 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in the second game. He continues to garner interest from mid-major programs along the eastern seaboard.

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Harrison (center, holding MVP trophy) after title game

Constitution’s “Big 2” Keshaun “Champ” Hammonds and Jabari Merritt scored 21 and 17 points, respectively, as the Generals defeated Miguel Boc’s young and fiesty West Catholic Prep squad. Looking for extremely big things from Hammonds and Merritt this season. Both are being closely monitored by several mid-major programs.

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Keshaun “Champ” Hammonds, Division 1 combo guard prospect

La Salle’s Senior point guard Allen Powell is off to great start. He had 17 points and 7 assists in the first game of the season. The next game he put up 19 points and again dished 7 assists while earning the MVP in the Scholastic Play-by-Play Tip Off Classic! Led by Powell, La Salle is a real threat to make it to the Palestra this year. Several low to mid-major programs have been inquiring about this sharpshooting point guard.

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Allen Powell, La Salle Senior Point Guard

Neumann-Goretti sophomore Chris Evans, came out letting it fly! Lil’ Money connected on 6 out of 7 three point field goal attempts and earned an MVP award in the Scholastic Play-by-Play Tip Off Classic. His range and the green light Carl Arrigale and the Saints have given him will pose problems for opponents all season.

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Jeremy Treatman and Chris Evans, Neumann-Goretti sophomore

Yes… It’s early…

But, they are who we thought they were!

This week, Overbrook, led by the dynamic Division 1 PG prospect, Naim Walker ’21 and the prolific scorer Khalif Washington ’19, travels to O’Hara where they will face first year coach Ryan Nemetz’s squad. They will also host arch rival West Philadelphia on Thursday.

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Khalif Washington, center

Donta Scott (Maryland commit), Dahmir Bishop (Xavier commit), Chereef Knox (Undecided), Jamil Riggins (Binghamton commit) and Fatayn Wesley (undecided) lead nationally ranked Imhotep as they host Hammonds, Merritt and Constitution on Tuesday. On Saturday, Imhotep faces Delaware powerhouse Samford in the Diane Mosco Tournament at Archbishop Wood.

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Donta Scott, Imhotep Senior

Then on Sunday…

Roman Catholic attempts to hand Imhotep it’s first loss in Philly in three years. Scott, Bishop, Knox, Riggins and Wesley were freshmen the last time they tasted defeat in a local matchup. Seth Lundy (Penn State commit), Hakim Hart (St. Joseph’s commit), Louis Wild (undecided), Lynn Greer (ESPN top 100), Jalen Duren (ESPN top 5) and Justice Williams (ESPN top 100), more than any other local team in recent memory, possess the talent and athleticism to matchup with mighty Imhotep. The game could very well come down to a chess match between the Imhotep Head Coach and Roman’s Matt Griffin.

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Roman Catholic Star, Seth Lundy