No. 3 ROMAN CATHOLIC 54, No. 1 ARCHBISHOP CARROLL 46
Roman Catholic coach Chris McNesby said he removed Manny Taylor from the starting lineup for a period to "motivate, not punish" the junior forward for a less-than-complete effort.
"We wanted him to be more of a power inside and on the glass," McNesby. "We expected more than three rebounds a game from him. We knew he could do better."
Apparently, the plan worked.
Sunday afternoon at packed Philadelphia University, with an inspired Taylor scoring 20 points and collecting nine rebounds, the Cahillites, ranked No. 3 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, upended No. 1 Archbishop Carroll, 54-46, in a Catholic League showdown.
Taylor, who rejoined the starting lineup last Monday against Father Judge, shot 8 for 13 from the field and 4 for 6 from the line. He added a steal and blocked shot.
"It was a big game for us," the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder said. "TreVaughn [Wilkerson, another 6-6 junior] and I were talking before the game about how much better Carroll thought they were than us. We had to show them what we could do."
Shep Garner, a Penn State commit, chipped in 10 points, including seven in the final frame, five assists, three boards, and two steals in Roman's biggest win of the season. Fellow senior guard Rashann London, who is bound for Drexel, added nine points and three assists.
"In my eyes, we were supposed to win this game," Garner said. "I don't see it as an upset like some people do."
The contest was deadlocked, 18-18, at intermission. Roman (10-2, 4-0 Catholic League) used a 6-0 spurt, including Taylor's foul-line jumper, to gain some breathing room at 29-22. London's connection from the baseline made it 33-25.
At the end of the third stanza, Wilkerson (six rebounds, two blocks) answered Derrick Jones' put-back slam with one of his own, giving the Cahillites a 35-29 edge.
"The Roman frontcourt outplayed our guys," Patriots boss Paul Romanczuk said. "They were tougher than us mentally and physically. [Taylor] impacted the game in a lot of ways."
In the fourth quarter, Wilkerson's reverse layup and Holbrook's follow gave Roman, which went 11 for 14 from the line down the stretch, a 41-31 advantage. Game over.
"We wanted to gain some respect," McNesby said. "We're not going to hang our hat on this one game, but we wanted to let people know we're also a pretty good team."
Jones, a 6-6 junior standout, paced Carroll (9-2, 3-1) with 17 points and five boards. Senior guard Austin Tilghman managed 11 points, four assists, and four rebounds.
With the Cahillites switching schemes on defense, the Patriots shot 18 for 51 (35.3 percent) from the field. They connected on only 1 of 15 tries from beyond the arc.
"We came into the game shooting pretty good on threes," Romanczuk said. "I thought we took some uncharacteristically quick shots."
Roman sophomore lead guard Tony Carr recorded six boards and five asists.
For Carroll, whose only other loss was to Oak Hill Academy (Va.), 6-9 junior center Ernest Aflakpui totaled nine boards, including five on the offense end. Freshman guard David Beatty had eight points and three assists.
Archbishop Carroll 10 8 11 17-46
Roman Catholic 11 7 17 19 -54
AC: Joe Mostardi 3, Ernest Aflakpui 5, Derrick Jones 17, Austin Tilghman 11, David Beatty 8, Josh Sharkey 2.
RC: Tony Carr 7, Rashann London 9, TreVaughn Wilkerson 6, Manny Taylor 20, Shep Garner 10, Gemil Holbrook 2.