Roman Catholic wins its third PIAA state championship in four years

Roman Catholic’s Allen Bertrand says something to Lincoln’s Sanhei Day with only seconds to go before Catholic wins the Lincoln vs. Roman Catholic HS Boys Class 6A PIAA State Championship basketball game at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. on March 28, 2018. On right is Roman Catholic # 23 Seth Lundy.

HERSHEY, Pa. — Roman Catholic won its third state title in four years Wednesday night in an exciting, up-tempo gem at the Giant Center that showcased some of the best players Philadelphia has to offer.

The Cahillites, also the winners of the Catholic League championship, beat Lincoln, 92-80, in a rematch of the District 12 championship game, which Lincoln won earlier this month.

Seth Lundy led the Cahillites with 28 points, Hakim Hart added 26, and Lynn Greer III scored 20. Louie Wild and John Kelly also filled important roles and made plays late.

Senior forward Allen Betrand, even with foul trouble, added 14 points, five assists and five rebounds.

“It’s a blessing to win a state championship,”  Betrand said. “They got us the first time in the city championship, everybody doubted us again, but we always make everybody believe again.”

Lundy, who had battled an ankle injury during the state tournament, had no trouble keeping pace with the speedy Railsplitters. In addition to making 8 of 16 shots from the field, he added nine rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots.

Hart shot 12 of 17 from the field and added three steals.

The Cahillites went ahead, 54-45, with about 3 minutes, 50 seconds left in the third quarter before Lincoln senior Khalif Meares sparked the Railsplitters with a run of his own.

Meares, a 6-foot-3 senior, finished with 28 points, including 24 in the second half. Roman responded with an 8-0 jolt and eventually ended the frame with a 61-59 lead.

“We’re used to that,” Lundy said. “It’s not a good thing, but we’re used to it. It’s happened to us all year. We’ve won so many games within five points this year, so we’re used to that type of stuff.”

Junior guard Louie Wild and senior forward John Kelly also filled important roles and made plays late.

The 1,600 patrons inside the Giant Center were treated to a lively finish, and although Lincoln lost, its contingent of fans showered the Railsplitters with applause.

Shikeir Morrsion, a senior guard, finished with 14 points, as did junior wing Emeul Charleston.

Lincoln, however, went cold late and Lundy scored nine in the final frame, giving him 17 in the second half.

He was a freshman on the 2016 Cahillites team that won the school’s second of a back-to-back title run. Early on, the Railsplitters (25-7) seized some semblance of control in the first quarter before Greer ignited a 7-1 run that put the Cahillites back in business.

Roman rode that wave to a 21-18 lead after the first and 26-20 bulge with 6 minutes, 18 seconds left in the half. Day helped Lincoln get close with clutch shooting to end the half.

The play that likely sealed Lincoln’s fate was started by Betrand, who drove the middle and fed Hart for two in a play reminiscent of Hart’s finish to win the PCL title at the Palestra.

 

Roman Catholic 21 18 22 31-92

Lincoln 18 18 23 21-80

RC: Allen Betrand 14, Lynn Greer III 20, Hakim Hart 26, Seth Lundy 28, John Kelly 2, Louie Wild 2.

L: Khalif Meares 28, Shakeir Morrison 14, Sanhei Day 8, Tyree Corbett 6, Jahi Randall 4, Emeul Charleston 4, Paul Lewis 4, Aseem Luckey 2.​