Lynn Greer III stood at the corner of the court and chucked three-pointers during pregame warmups Wednesday night before Roman Catholic’s PIAA Class 6A basketball playoff against Lower Merion at Cardinal O’Hara High School.
Those warmups were the only action the junior point guard saw after being ruled ineligible for the state playoffs when his hardship waiver was rejected.
But the absence of Greer from the lineup didn’t change the game’s outcome for the Cahillites. Roman Catholic still came away with a dominant 74-55 victory over the Aces to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.
“We definitely miss [Greer] on the court,” said senior forward Seth Lundy, who scored 22 points. “But as Coach says, ‘Next man up.’ And the next guy in the rotation came up and played big minutes, so that’s what the next guy is doing off the bench, and they’re doing a good job at it.”
The next man up off the bench was freshman guard Justice Williams, who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also had six assists. Williams scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
Williams scored seven points as the Cahillites jumped out to a 21-8 lead after the first quarter.
“He’s a special player,” Roman Catholic coach Matt Griffin said. “He’s really progressed as a player. Everybody has to do a little bit more without Lynn, who does so many things for our team.”
And the Cahillites delivered. They were led by a balanced scoring attack that featured four players in double figures.
Senior guard Louie Wild scored 11 points, including three treys, and freshman center Jalen Duren notched 18 points and six blocks.
The Aces brought the score within eight points with 4 minutes, 44 seconds left in the second quarter, forcing Griffin to call a timeout after Lower Merion guard Steve Payne hit a layup. He finished with 13 points.
But that was as close as Lower Merion got as Lundy drained a three after the timeout that started a 13-3 run to end the first half.
“We ran into an absolute buzz saw tonight,” Lower Merion coach Gregg Downer said. “They’re one of the greatest high school teams I’ve ever competed against. It would’ve taken a perfect performance to just stay in the game.”
Lower Merion guard Jack Forrest scored 23 points, including 15 in the third quarter, but the Aces were already in too deep of a hole at that point.
The Cahillites will face La Salle in the quarterfinals on Saturday, which marks a rematch of the Catholic League championship.
Roman Catholic has beaten the Explorers twice already this season, but that doesn’t mean it will take them lightly.
“They know us, we know them,” Lundy said. “That game is going to come down to who wants it more.”
RC: 21 21 16 16 74
LM: 8 14 21 12 55
RC: Seth Lundy 22, Jalen Duren 18, Justice Williams 13, Louie Wild 11, Hakim Hart 9, Kyle Maska 1