Roman Catholic has captured 30 Catholic League basketball championships, including two of the last three. Bonner-Prendergast, meanwhile, last claimed the first-place hardware 30 years ago.
The Cahillites look to add to their already crammed trophy case at Broad and Vine Streets, and the Friars seek to end a lengthy drought when the teams square off for the crown at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Palestra.
On the girls’ side, defending champion Cardinal O’Hara takes on Neumann-Goretti for top honors at the hallowed arena at 6:30 p.m.
After an eight-year dry spell, Roman won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. It is making its seventh appearance in the final in the last 13 years.
In the teams’ regular-season meeting six weeks ago, the visiting Friars nipped the Cahillites, 68-66, in overtime.
Matt Griffin’s squad is paced by 6-foot-6 junior wing Seth Lundy, sophomore point guard Lynn Greer, 6-3 senior guard Allen Betrand, and 6-5 junior forward Hakim Hart.
Bonner-Prendie counters with a lineup headed by dynamic junior guard Isaiah Wong, 6-8 senior center Ajiri Johnson, 6-9 junior forward Tariq Ingraham, and junior wing guard Mike Perretta.
Lundy and Greer average 16.2 and 15.6 points, respectively. Betrand, a Towson recruit, and Hart both average 13.7 points.
Wong, the Catholic League’s most valuable player, averages 21.6 points. He racked up 32 points, 15 rebounds, and nine assists in a quarterfinal win over Cardinal O’Hara.
With the high-leaping Betrand producing 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and blocking five shots, Roman (19-5) held off St. Joseph’s Prep, 69-66, in Wednesday’s semifinal.
With Wong and Ingraham each scoring 10 points and grabbing nine boards, Bonner-Prendie (22-3) reached the final with a 48-45 triumph over Archbishop Carroll. Johnson chipped in nine caroms and eight points.
Roman has to make sure Wong doesn’t take over the game; limit the second-chance opportunities for Johnson and Ingraham; and closely defend Perretta’s three-point attempts.
Bonner-Prendie has to keep the versatile Lundy from flourishing inside and outside; Jack Concannon’s group must also quickly close the lane when Greer tries to get to the rim; and view Betrand and/or Hart as potential X-factors.
Pick: Roman, 61-56.
O’Hara (19-4) is aiming for its second straight Catholic League title and 11th in the last 21 years. Neumann-Goretti (17-5) is trying to earn gold for the third time in five seasons.
The Lions, guided by longtime coach Linus McGinty, bested Archbishop Wood, 39-35, in a semifinal. They have a strong one-two punch in 5-10 Maura Hendrixson, a Drexel recruit, and fellow senior guard Mackenzie Gardler (Villanova).
The Saints escaped Archbishop Carroll, 48-47, in a semifinal that was decided by Tatiana Jones’ trey with five seconds remaining. It marked the 100th career victory for Andrea Peterson, a 2004 Carroll graduate.
Neumann-Goretti’s headliner is Jabria Ingram, a 5-8 senior who averages about 17 points and is bound for Hartford. Support comes from Jones, a 6-foot junior forward, 5-11 senior forward Daijah Parmley, and junior guard Kiara Kroger.
Also in the mix for O’Hara are senior guard and lockdown defender Molly Paolino, 5-9 sophomore forward Stephanie Huseby, junior wing Kerry Patterson, and 5-8 junior forward Erin Welde.
Behind 20 points from Ingram and 10 from Jones, the Saints bested the Lions, 47-42, in the teams’ regular-season meeting. O’Hara was paced by Gardler’s 23 points.
Pick: Neumann-Goretti, 43-37.