More often than not, when the Roman Catholic bus arrives at any parking lot of a Catholic League school, the “talent game” is won the minute the Cahillites disembark.
But, wins, Roman is learning, are earned on the court.
If the ultra-talented Cahillites play like they did Friday night at La Salle, victories are almost sure to follow.
In Roman’s 73-67 triumph, significant contributions were made by many, and they didn’t all have to do with scoring points.
“Well that’s the name of the game,” said coach Matt Griffin, “getting five guys to play together, not worrying about who gets the credit. That’s such a hard thing to do when you have a lot of talent.
"And that’s been a challenge for all of us. But over the last ... six or seven games we’ve taken major steps forward. We don’t care about who gets the credit. We don’t talk about how many points you score. We talk about dives on the floor, rebounds, shot-contests, box-outs ... selfless actions that really help us win.”
Senior wing Hakim Hart led that department Friday with 21 points (9-of-12 shooting), but he also added six rebounds.
Freshman forward Jalen Duren added 19 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked a shot.
In addition to Lynn Greer III’s 14 points, the junior guard added six rebounds and six assists.
Senior reserve Louie Wild added toughness, two points, three rebounds, and three assists.
Even freshman Justice Williams made plays that helped first-place Roman (15-4, 10-1) take a 40-31 edge into halftime.
Sparked by senior guard Allen Powell, however, La Salle (17-2, 10-2) took a 49-48 lead into the fourth quarter. Jake Timby adder 14 points, while Konrad Kiszka finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds.
In the final frame, Roman’s defensive tenacity made the difference.
“We have six players on our team capable of getting 20 points any given night, and we know that,” said senior Seth Lundy, who scored his 1,000th career point Friday night.
Later, he added, “Defensively, if all five guys on the court buy in, diving on loose balls, taking charges, going for offensive rebounds, we know we’re the best team in the country.”
Roman 15 25 8 25 -- 73
La Salle 13 18 18 18 -- 67
R: Hakim Hart 21, Jalen Duren 19, Seth Lundy 14, Lynn Greer III 14, Justice Williams 3, Louie Wild 2.