Philadelphia High School Sports
Most Memorable Playoff Games
Involving Catholic League Teams
(2008-09 Through 2016-17 School Year)

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  In 2008, I did a list of the 50 most memorable playoff games in city history.
  Since then, the Catholic League has been a PIAA member and that means a lot more playoff
games have taken place . . . from league to City Titles to states.
  Below you'll find my list of the 50 most memorable playoff games involving CL schools --
football, basketball and baseball only -- over these last nine school years.
  As mentioned in 2008 . . .
  What makes a game "memorable"? Sometimes it's the sheer quality of the game itself, or a truly
special performance by one or more participants, or the historical context of the game, or the
fact that the result was a gigantic upset, or even the fan involvement during or after the game.
  Mostly, it's just a feeling. Again, this is one man's opinion and please understand that it was
hard to make these decisions. (And harder still to cast aside other strong contenders.)
  I'll list these one by one on a daily basis. Please note: **The bottom 25 will be in no special order.**
The top 25 WILL be listed in order.

  Thanks for paying attention, and I hope you'll enjoy the list.
  -- Ted Silary

Nos. 1 Through 25

***No. 1***
At Widener University)
Neumann-Goretti 8, Bonner 7 (14 inn.)
  Everyone got a late start to the holiday weekend as this baby lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes, and tied
the city record for longest playoff game, innings-wise (also a '71 Pub semi). Junior righthanded
reliever John La Motta, who had pitched just one league inning all season (and had absorbed the
Saints' lone CL loss), went an amazing nine innings (most allowed by PIAA rule) to get the win.
He allowed one run, four hits and whiffed 10, and only 21 of his 97 pitches were balls. Josh
Ockimey capped a three-run third, pulling N-G into a 4-4 tie, by clobbering a home run to dead
center that cleared the 400-foot mark by a lot. Also, he ended the game at 8:12, with darkness
warming up in the bullpen, by milking a four-pitch walk. For Bonner, Jim Haley went 3-for-5 and
scored three times while Frank Saviski turned two hits into as many RBI. The teams combined
for 23 hits (five for extra bases) and 14 errors, and left 33 runners on base. A whopping 424
pitches were thrown.

No. 2
(At Hersheypark Stadium)
La Salle 24, State College 7
  Again the white stuff agreed with the Explorers, who gave the Catholic League its first state football
title in just Year No. 2 of PIAA membership. With heavy snow predicted (for once, the weather
folks were correct), the game was moved up from 7 to 2 p.m. Mike Bennett opened the scoring by
hitting a 37-yard field goal and that success enabled him to tie 2003 SJ Prep grad Pat Kaiser for the
city record, with 26. Jamal Abdur-Rahman, Tim Wade and wideout Sam Feleccia (55 yards; 21-160),
who received extended RB duty after Abdur-Rahman suffered a knee injury, ran for one TD apiece.
Drew Loughery passed 5-for-11 for 109 yards. Steve Sinnott (seven tackles) forced/recovered a
fumble and Vinny Migliarese intercepted a late pass. The artificial surface was kept relatively decent
by a snow plow and guys with shovels. Due to safety concerns, La Salle officials canceled five buses
(two for the band, three for other students).
  Note: The quarterfinal vs. Easton was also played in snow.

No. 3
(At O'Hara)

Bonner-Prendie 41, O’Hara 38
  Collin DiGalbo ran/passed on 43 of the Friars’ 53 plays (30 of the last 32; plus a 23-play streak)
and had direct involvement in 38 points to pace an amazing win. B-P trailed by 28-0 and 35-7
before storming back. DiGalbo passed 16-for-27 for 326 yards and three TDs (two to Mike
Ockimey -- 6-136) while adding 95 yards and three scores on 16 carries. He also ran for a conversion.
For O’Hara, J.T. Blyden rushed 21 times for 152 yards and one TD while Dashawn “Day-Day”
Darden (two rushing TDs) passed 11-for-22 for 141 yards and one score. Ockimey preserved the
win making an interception on B-P’s 4 with 17 seconds remaining. Two weeks earlier, B-P had lost
to O’Hara, 36-35, in OT, blowing a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead.

No. 4
(At Widener University)
Neumann-Goretti 18, La Salle 13
  In an all-time crazy contest, La Salle scored the first 11 runs in the initial two innings and N-G, the
home team, scored the last 15 in its final two at-bats. The Saints were one out away from being
10-runned, at 13-3, in the fifth when frosh Josh Ockimey crunched a two-run homer. A bases-loaded
walk, followed by an uncaught popup, made it 15-3 in the sixth, then Ockimey hammered a three-run
triple, thus becoming the first player in city leagues playoff history to post as many as five RBI in
consecutive games. Earlier in that rally, winning reliever Joe Gorman (double) and Jimmy Kerrigan
(homer) walloped hits worth two RBI apiece. For La Salle, Ryan Otis and starting pitcher Nick Burns
halved six hits, P.J. Acierno had three RBI and Corey Baiada slammed a homer.

No. 5
(At Carroll/Wood)
West Catholic 49, Tri-Valley 32
  This one featured all-time circumstances. The lights in Carroll's gym went out with 2:29 left in the
third quarter, and with West ahead, 34-17. They never came back on and, finally, at 5:19, 1:50 after
the blackout, a decision was made to finish the game at Wood, roughly 25 miles away. The resumption
began at 7, with eight West supporters in the stands, and ended 20 minutes later. Total time consumed:
4 hours, 50 minutes. Aquil Younger sparked West with 17 points, including the first two at Wood on a
layup. Vincent Ho scored 10 of his 13 points at Carroll.

No. 6
(At Tennent)
Roman 45, SJ Prep 17
Starting with Tyrone Brown’s tackle for a safety, the Cahillites stormed to 38 consecutive points
over the final 25 minutes. Chris Johnson-Cruz, filling in for injured starter Michael Keir, passed
8-for-14 for 230 yards and five TDs, most in city postseason history, with three going to Taishan
Tucker (4-116) and two to William Fuller (3-69). Johnson-Cruz, who’d thrown only one pass all
season, also ran 62 yards for a score. Tucker and Marcus Kelly (26-135 rushing) had interceptions.
The Prep’s Skyler Mornhinweg passed 14-for-33 for 258 yards, primarily to Jim Hurley (8-115)
and Eric Medes (3-111, TD).

No. 7
At Hershey's Giant Center)
Conwell-Egan 62, Aliquippa 51
  While completing the most amazing basketball run, by far, in school history, the Eagles bumped off
the 29-0 Quips to assure 12 would become the first district in PIAA history to pull off a four-title
sweep. (This game started at 2 on Saturday. Roman-King, an all-Philly battle for AAAA honors, was
set for 8.) LaPri McCray-Pace (22) and Stevie Jordan (21) led the way and Chase Kumor (14) hit
three treys. McCray-Pace and Sean Kelly halved 16 rebounds and the former dealt four assists. The
Eagles hit their first 11 free throws of the fourth quarter, which they won, 23-16.

No. 8
(At Plymouth-Whitemarsh)
La Salle 29, SJ Prep 28
  For the fourth time in 10 years, the Explorers downed the Prep in a championship game (one Red,
three AAAA) after dropping the teams' regular season battle. And this one was an all-timer. With 49
seconds left, Nick Rinella made a TD catch with major Barnum & Bailey qualities. From the right
side, he steamed downfield and just beyond the goal line, in the exact middle, reached high to get his
left hand on a 24-yard pass from Chris Ferguson. While tumbling to the ground, backward
, Rinella
gathered in the ball to erase a 28-23 deficit at 0:49.
Three defenders were in the vicinity. La Salle,
which fell into a 14-0 hole, also received TDs from Charles Headen (pass from Ferguson), Jared
alls (pick-six) and Syaire Madden (rush; 26-73) while Matt Savage thumped a field goal. Ferguson
finished 12-for-23 for 185 yards
for first-year coach John Steinmetz, thanks largely to Winston
Eubanks (5-76) and Headen (4-67). For the Hawks, Benny Walls ran seven times for 115 yards and
two long scores (44, 55) while Richard Carr returned an interception 95 yards for a TD.
In the four
table-turnings mentioned above, the Explorers lost the regular season meetings by 68 total points
(28, 7, 8, 25) before winning the title games by 16 total points (7, 7, 1, 1). They achieved the same
feat vs. Judge in 2008 -- a win by 28-20 after a loss by 28-14.

No. 9
(At Hersheypark Stadium)
St. Joseph's Prep 49, Pine-Richland 41
  Thirteen hundred and 29 all-purpose yards later, defense finally prevailed as Olamide Zaccheaus
made a leaping, end-zone interception at 0:00, thus handing the Hawks their second consecutive
crown. D'Andre Swift ran 22 times for 220 yards and three TDs and added a fourth score on a pass
from Jack Clements (9-for-16, 217, three). Zaccheaus, who also rushed for a TD, turned three
catches into 123 yards. Nick Vandevere mixed an interception with 14 tackles and Jake Strain had
nine stops. P-R won the all-purpose and scrimmage battles, 731-598 and 591-547, and Ben DiNucci
passed 33-for-47 for 385 yards and four scores.

No. 10
(At Ryan)
Carroll 70, Neumann-Goretti 65
  Carroll had dropped 18 in a row to the Saints, counting a pair of playoffs. But on Friday the
13th, it finally experienced good fortune in the series thanks to DJ Irving (26 points, perfect swish
from three-quarters court as the third quarter ended) and a 28-for-36 performance at the line (N-G
was 9-for-22). Juan'ya Green scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Pat Daly led the
bench brigade by thrice taking charges. For N-G, Tony Chennault rang up 10 of his 21 points
in the final 4:09. The Patriots forged ahead to claim the CL's first state championship.

No. 11
(At North Catholic)
North Catholic 66, Judge 64
In the Falcons' final game in their famous Pit, Bobby Makor beat the buzzer (maybe, there was
MAJOR doubt) with a mid-range, right-wing jumper that was finally ruled good by referee L.B.
Rebstock three-plus seconds after the ball passed through the net. Makor notched 18 points, five
rebounds and two steals. This was not his family's first brush with a "final" NC sporting event.
His sophomore brother, Michael, was a starting lineman for the grid squad, which topped Frankford
in its finale, played at La Salle University. Star linebacker David D. Williams grabbed this one's final
rebound after Judge's Nick Sullivan hit one of two free throws at 36.3. Six-nine junior Seamus
Radtke led Judge with 17 points, seven rebounds, six blocks. Joe Kehoe (16) hit three of his four
threes in the fourth quarter.

No. 12
(At Plymouth-Whitemarsh)
La Salle 28, SJ Prep 27 (OT)
City playoff records took a beating as the Explorers, before an overflow crowd, captured their
fifth consecutive championship and avenged a regular season loss. Sean Coleman caught 14 passes
(former record 12) for 138 yards and four TDs (FR three) and Chris Kane notched four TD passes
while posting 328 yards and erasing the bests for completions (31, FR 22) and attempts (46,
FR 42). In OT, after Olamide Zaccheaus scored for Prep on a 10-yard run and the PAT went
awry, La Salle won it with Kane's 5-yard, right-to-middle slant to Coleman and Ryan Winslow's
kick. Zaccheaus also tallied on a reception and 90-yard kickoff return. This was just the second
OT final in CL history (also 1990).

No. 13
(At Wood)
Wood 14, Roman 13 (9 inn.)
In the highest scoring one-run playoff in CL history, the Vikings rallied from deficits of 6-0 and
13-8 and won it in the home ninth on a no-out, bases-loaded hit by pitch (drawn by Kyle
McCrossen). The teams halved 28 hits. Roman created an 8-8 tie with one out in the seventh on
Steve Herbetko's solo homer. John Hildebrand (double) and Herbetko (another homer) slammed
hits worth two runs apiece in a five-run eighth. Wood battled back on two-run doubles by
McCrossen and Mike Kerns and Sean Duckworth's chopped RBI single over a drawn-in infield.
Jeff Courter pitched one uneventful inning to win it. He was the only one of seven pitchers to yield
no runs. Matt McAllister led Wood with four RBI. McCrossen and Kerns had three apiece.
Hildebrand and Herbetko managed four apiece for Roman while A.J. Vagliani was the game's only
player with four hits.

No. 14
(At Conwell-Egan)
Bonner-Prendie 49, Conwell-Egan 47
  Playing for the third time in four days (also two wins over West Catholic), the visiting Friars
completed a 22-9 fourth quarter as Christian Lane made a steal near midcourt and raced to the
hoop for the winning layup with 10.7 seconds remaining. John Hargraves (11), Lane and Keith
Washington (10 apiece) scored in double figures. The Catholic League coaches expanded the
number of All-Catholic honorees from 20 to 30 in 1970
, then down to 25 in 2011. Over 47
seasons, B-P was the first team with no All-Catholic honorees to win a regular playoff; the Friars
(this year) and Lansdale Catholic (in 2013) had won pre-playoffs
with no A-Cs. C-E, the defending
PIAA Class AA state champ but stilllooking for its first triumph in a CL playoff since its initial
season of membership (1964), was led by Vinny Dalessandro (16).

No. 15
(At Widener University)
Neumann-Goretti 3, Bonner 1 (8 inn.)
  In the visiting eighth, after twice fouling off bunt attempts, junior lefthander Joey Gorman nixed
his coach's suggestion to hit away, sacrificed John Snyder (double off the Blue Monster) and Mike
"Zoom" Zolk (intentional walk) to third and second, then watched Marty Venafro and Jimmy
Kerrigan deliver RBI singles. A 1-2-3 bottom half gave the Saints (perfect at 21-0 overall) their
second title in three years and Gorman win No. 3 of the playoffs over seven days (two as a starter;
15 total innings). Gorman, the junior class president, allowed four hits in this one and retired 13 of
the final 14 batters. N-G's Joey Glennon (single in second) and Bonner's Paul Shepherd (groundout
in first; also gunned down three would-be basestealers) had the game's other RBI. The weather
conditions featured oppressive heat and humidity with not a hint of a breeze.

No. 16
(At Northeast)
Wood 30, Pottsgrove 28
Jerry Rahill ran or passed on 36 of Wood's 42 plays and scored the winning TD on a 9-yard,
right-side keeper with 59 seconds remaining. Overall, he accounted for 339 yards thanks to
14-for-22, 245-yard passing (one TD) and 14-94 running (two more scores). Sam McCain, first
cousin of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan, made six catches for 92 yards and five came on scoring
drives. His last three snags were posted during the game-winner. Scott Adkins began the evening
by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a TD.
It was the sixth different way he'd scored
in '09.

No. 17
(At Northeast)
La Salle 35, SJ Prep 28
  Junior Kevin Forster, the last of four brothers to cause the Hawks so much heartache in football
and/or lacrosse, scored the winning TD on a 37-yard pass from Drew Loughery and then ran to
the sideline, right near that same end zone, to exchange hugs with Rob, Jack and Randy. It was
his first TD catch of the season. The Explorers rallied from a 28-20 deficit as Loughery finished
21-for-31 for 297 yards and one score apiece to Jamal Abdur-Rahman (5-58), Sam Feleccia (4-59)
and Connor Hoffman (6-91) in addition to Forster (4-74). In four games vs. Prep over two seasons,
Loughery passed
74-for-130 for 1,182 yards and 12 TDs. The Hawks received three passing TDs
from soph Skyler Mornhinweg (8-for-16, 151). Two went to Colin Rodgers.

No. 18
(At Penn State)
Neumann-Goretti 65, Chartiers Valley 63
  CV's T.J. McConnell launched 32 shots en route to that many points, but he missed his last one, a
right-wing trey at 0:03 with Lamin Fulton jumping toward him, and N-G had its three-pack of
championships (Catholic League, City, State) while becoming only the fourth CL team in 61 years to
finish with just one loss (30 wins); no squad went perfect during that time frame. Tony Chennault
contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds and three assists while Danny Stewart made a visit to the same
numbers neighborhood (17 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks). Mustafaa Jones (14) popped home
four treys and dealt four assists. Stewart's follow with 2:31 left put N-G ahead for good, 59-57.

No. 19
(At Widener University)
Neumann-Goretti 5, La Salle 4 (8 inn.)
  With one out and soph Joe Lolio, a 5-3, 148-pound pinch-runner recently promoted from the JV,
on first base, Joe Kinee was ordered to bunt for a hit by coach Mike Zolk. Not exactly confident
because he’d failed to get one down in fair territory all season, Kinee did so this time and a wild
throw enabled Lolio, running on the pitch, to dash all the way home and give N-G its second
consecutive title and third in four years. In sweltering heat/humidity, three days after having two ribs
popped back into place by Dr. John Law, a relative of catcher Nicky Nardini, Joey Gorman threw
144 pitches before being switched to left field one batter into the eighth. The win went to John
La Motta, who’d thrown nine relief innings four days earlier in a 14-inning semifinal win over Bonner.
Josh Ockimey clubbed a two-run homer in the third while Joey Glennon (sac fly) and Anthony Adams
(single) had RBI in a two-run sixth, creating a 4-4 tie. Nardini and Marty Venafro became just the
second and third players to start for three CL champions. Frank Ryan did so for St. James from 1961
to ’63. For La Salle, Kevin Long went the distance and Chris Melillo posted two RBI (sac fly, single).

No. 20
(At the Palestra)
Neumann-Goretti 59, SJ Prep 57 (OT)

  After being fouled on a follow with 1.3 seconds remaining, and with a beyond-energetic capacity
crowd looking on, Ja'Quan Newton strolled to the line and tallied his 20th and 21st points, thus
handing the Saints their fourth consecutive title and 70th straight win, counting playoffs, in CL
competition. The possession started with a missed flip shot, off a drive, by Hanif Sutton. N-G coach
Carl Arrigale captured his eighth CL crown, the same number garnered by Prep boss William "Speedy"
Morris, who coached Arrigale at Penn Charter in the '83 and '84 seasons. Newton made a huge play
with just over a minute remaining. After soaring to get his hands on an errant inbound pass at midcourt,
he saved the ball to Prep's Gene Williams. An easy layup seemed imminent, but Newton arrived out of
nowhere to register a block and Billy Shank scored at the other end, making it 57-52. Stephen Vasturia
(19 points, 11 rebounds) created  a tie with a way-out-there trey at 0:56 and two free throws at 33.9.
Shank and Derrick Stewart (13 points, three threes), rotation members even as freshmen, were the last
two guys to cut down the net. John Davis (12) and Newton (11) topped N-G in rebounds and Stewart
notched three blocks. Sutton dished five assists and shared dog-him duties with La'Quan Coaxum on
Vasturia, a junior already committed to Notre Dame. Miles Overton (16) and Williams (12) also scored
in double figures for Prep; Overton missed some time with an ankle injury and fouled out 36 seconds
into the extra session. Just 12 players participated, and the number hadn't been that low since 1984's
final offered a very similar result (Bonner 58, La Salle 56).

No. 21
(At Plymouth-Whitemarsh)
SJ Prep 30, La Salle 20
Having failed to win championships four times since '06 after finishing first in the regular season, the
Hawks needed the confidence a nice start would provide. They got it: Pat Walsh kicked a 25-yard field
goal and Jawan McAllister caught a 30-yard pass from Chris Martin 14 seconds later after Walsh
recovered a fumble on the kickoff (forced by Joe DuMond). Martin finished 8-for-12 for 172 yards and
three TDs, but injured his left knee while lead-blocking for Olamide Zaccheaus (10-109) on a 12-yard,
wildcat-formation TD run in the fourth quarter. John Reid (also an interception) and McAllister (2-87)
had the other TD receptions. Vince Moffett hustled for 13 tackles (11 solos) and made strong contributions
to the early success with a 40-yard kickoff return and 32-yard reception. For La Salle, which ran 81 plays
to Prep's 36, Kyle Shurmur passed 22-for-36 for 222 yards and a TD to Jimmy Herron. That came with
7.9 seconds remaining, then Armen Ware stopped Shurmur on a conversion keeper, thus assuring the win.
Jordan Meachum contributed 158 yards of rushing/receiving. La Salle had win five consecutive AAAA

No. 22
(At the Palestra)
Wood 65, Neumann-Goretti 58
After falling into a 30-15 hole, the Vikings roared to a 50-28 advantage while winning their first championship
in 51 seasons of CL competition. A loss in a final prevented N-G coach Carl Arrigale from claiming the outright
league record for championships for the third consecutive year -- he remained tied with former Roman boss
Dennis Seddon at 10 -- and the man who was able to experience unbridled joy was his long-time buddy and
former assistant, John Mosco. League MVP Collin Gillespie (Villanova commit) exploded for 22 of his 24 points
in the second half while lifting his career total to 1,016, thanks to a 6-for-7 performance from the floor (two
treys) and 8-for-9 from the line (all in the last quarter). He also dealt six of his seven assists beyond intermission.
Matt Cerruti (10), Tyree Pickron (nine, all on threes) and Gillespie (six) combined for all 25 of Wood's third
quarter points. Cerruti and Pickron finished with 15 and 13 markers, respectively. Seth Pinkney had eight points,
four blocks. Quade Green (18, Kentucky), Noah Warren (13) and Mike Millsip (11) scored in double figures for
the Saints. Green added seven assists and Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (also 'Nova) swept 11 boards. This
was the 80th CL final. Never before had a champion overcome a halftime deficit as high as 13 points (31-18).
In '97, Neumann trailed Carroll by eight, then won by eight. Due to the partial collapse of a wall in its gym on
Jan. 6, Wood played 16 league games, counting playoffs, in 12 venues -- Bensalem (2), La Salle High (2),
Palestra (2), Ryan (2), Arcadia University, Bonner-Prendie, Conwell-Egan, Holy Family University, McDevitt,
O'Hara, Philadelphia University and Wood.

No. 23
(At Penn State)
Neumann-Goretti 3, Bishop McCort 0
  While enabling the Saints to seize their third state championship of the school year (also boys/girls basketball),
Ethan "E" Pritchett fired a three-hitter with eight strikeouts, five walks and a 123 pitch count. Brian Verratti
eached base in all four of his plate appearances, drawing two walks, getting plunked once and creating a 3-0
lead with a two-run, fifth-inning triple to right-center. He also stole three bases and scored a first-inning run
on a steal/E-2 combo. RJ McGettigan had two of N-G's five hits. N-G became the fifth school in Pennsylvania
history to win two boys state titles in the three major sports in the same academic year. This dual feat was the
first to involve baseball. Heavy rain caused a 108-minute delay just before McCort, of Johnstown, batted in the
home fourth. When play resumed, Pritchett walked three before humping up for a two-out, looking third strike.
In four rounds of state playoffs, N-G allowed just one run total and none over the last 24 innings (1, 9, 7, 7).
Pritchett yielded no runs over his final 26 innings of the season -- six in a CL semi vs. Bonner-Prendie, six in
the City Title vs. MaST Charter (Joe Messina finished), seven in a state quarterfinal vs. North Penn-Mansfield
(that game went nine innings, Jared Healey finished) and seven in this one.

No. 24
(At Plymouth-Whitemarsh)
La Salle 38, North Penn 35
  Before an overflow crowd that roared pretty much non-stop, the Explorers earned a second consecutive
berth in the state final while storming back from FIVE deficits (7-0, 14-7, 21-17, 28-24, 35-31). The
game-winning score came on a 25-yard pass from Matt Magarity (10-for-19, 180 yards, two TDs) to soph
Sean Coleman (5-114-1), then Joe Naji's deflection enabled Ryan Geiger, whose face had been wiped clean
of blood (from three cuts) moments earlier during a timeout, to caress a clinching interception. Coleman also
pilfered a pass. Jamal Abdur-Rahman ran 21 times for 142 yards (88 short of 4,000 for his career) and
three scores.

No. 25
At Bethlehem Freedom)
Neumann-Goretti 113, Scranton Prep 71
  Three and a half weeks after breaking the record for points in a Catholic League playoff (104 vs.
Bonner-Prendie in a quarterfinal), the Saints racked up the most points scored by a CL team in all varieties
of postseason games. Plus, the starters combined for 100 -- Zane Martin (27), Quade Green (26), Rasheed
Browne (18), Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (15) and Vaughn Covington (14). Covington hit four of N-G's
eight, first-half treys. Green finished with seven assists and five steals.

Nos. 26 Through 50

No. 26
(At Conwell-Egan)
McDevitt 58, Conwell-Egan 57
  Playing a do-or-die game for the third consecutive day, the lower-seeded Lancers lassoed this win as Jayson
Clark passed to Amin Taylor (17 points, seven rebounds) for a three-point play and his fifth assist with 14
seconds left, then hit a clinching free throw at 0:04. Tyrell Long (four blocks) and frosh Qadir Burgess halved
30 points. With Burgess (5-for-7) and Taylor (3-for-4) leading the way, McDevitt shot better on treys (8-for-16)
than it did on twos (11-for-25). In all, the Lancers were playing for the fourth consecutive day. The string began
with a 102-69 loss to Neumann-Goretti and then a win over Bonner-Prendergast to earn a preplayoff with
Judge. These two CL playoff wins were just the third and fourth in the school's 51 seasons of membership.
C-E was denied its second; No. 1 had come in '64. The Eagles were led by Stevie Jordan (19), LaPri
McCray-Pace, Jordan Burney (13 apiece) and Vinny Dalessandro (10). Burney was a junior. The others
were sophs.

No. 27
(At Immaculata University)
Neumann-Goretti 3, SJ Prep 2

  This one featured all kinds of weird circumstances. The combatants owned the lowest winning percentage
in regular season play (.542 -- N-G was 7-5, the Prep was 6-6) in CL title game history and only the final
run was officially earned. Plus, when the Saints scored twice in the home seventh to win it, they had no hits.
N-G scored one in the first on Nicky D'Amore's sacrifice fly. In the seventh, the sequence unfolded like this:
walk, error, walk to load the bases, HBP (RBI for Joe LaFiora) and wild pitch to win it as Aidan Baur raced
home. N-G's Jeff Ciocco, a transfer from Paul VI, in South Jersey, pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts.
The Prep's Colin Scanlon allowed just one hit, a single by LaFiora, and fanned five. The Prep scored its runs
in the second on singles by Keith Flaherty and Jeff Manto, a transfer from Conwell-Egan. The title was N-G's
fifth in eight years. just short of Carroll's league record of five in seven ('96, '97, '99, '01 and '02). The
Patriots also won six in eight (another in '04).

No. 28
(At the Palestra)
Roman 72, Neumann-Goretti 65
  While winning a second consecutive championship asa lower seed, and raising their record in CL finals
played at the Palestra to 18-4, the Cahillites stormed to an 11-0 lead and came within a whisker (tie at
44-44) of staying ahead throughout.
The Penn State-bound trio ofLamar Stevens (22, also 13 rebounds),
Tony Carr (21) and Nazeer Bostick (12, 11) led the way and sticky defense forced N-G, 13-for-23 in a
semifinal victory over Ryan, to experience 2-for-22 struggles beyond the arc. Roman made no threes
(attempted just four) and missed eight free throws over the final 2:54.
This was season No. 30 for the
three-point rule. Roman also made no threes while winning championships in '90, '94 and '00. All other
champs notched at least one. N-G's scoring was mostly done by Vaughn Covington (16), Quade Green,
Zane Martin (15 apiece) and Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (14). The latter added 18 rebounds and
six blocks. The Cahillites dedicated their win to beloved assistant Thomas "Hockey Puck" McKenna,
who'd been forced to miss nearly two months due to health problems.
He was kept abreast of the game's
details via cell-phone calls.

No. 29
(At Widener University)
Neumann-Goretti 3, La Salle 1 (8 inn.)
Leaving behind the disappointment of five title-game failures along the way, the Saints (nee Pirates)
won their first championship since 1960 with only two seniors among the 10 starters. Junior lefty Mark
Donato spun a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and pitched shutout ball over the final seven frames. The
decisive run scored as Reno Regalbuto singled, stole second and raced home on Al Baur's single.
Donato then managed a misjudged double, courtesy runner Blaze Cedrone moved to third on an
obstruction call and Joey Armata beat out an infield single. La Salle lefty Shawn O'Neill also went the
distance (seven hits) while trying to match his dad's accomplishment; Shawn Sr. pitched Judge to the
'76 CL crown. Brendan McCoy singled home La Salle's run. In the fifth, catcher T.J. Burgmann posted
both putouts on a wacky doubleplay -- 9-2-6-2 after Baur singled to right.

No. 30
(At Hershey's Giant Center)
Neumann-Goretti 69, Carroll 67
  N-G claimed its fifth state championship in six years (except for 2013), in part, by performing much
better at the line (21-for-29 to 10-for-25). Zane Martin went 8-for-9 at the stripe en route to 26 points
and his conversion of a double-bonus provided a five-point lead with 12 seconds remaining. Vaughn
Covington (17), Quade Green (14) and Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (10) also scored in double figures for
the Saints. Covington tied for his team's rebound lead with seven and dealt five assists. In nine
postseason games, Green shot 60-for-101 from the floor and 24-for-46 beyond the arc. For Carroll,
loser of 30 of its last 31 meetings with N-G, Derrick Jones powered for 30 points, 18 rebounds and six
blocks while point guard Josh Sharkey scrambled for 13 points, 10 boards and five assists. N-G's win
completed a boy-girl sweep. In a game eight hours earlier, the lady Saints crushed Seton La Salle, 79-34.

No. 31
(At Hershey's Giant Center)
Neumann-Goretti 64, Susquehanna Twp. 57 (OT)
  A day after his mother passed away, Ja'Quan Newton exploded for a career high 33 points (six in
the extra session) and a team-high eight rebounds as the Saints seized their fourth state title in five
years (also 2010-12). The outburst, best by a Catholic League player in a state playoff, finalized his
total at 1,972, the No. 9 effort in city history. Troy Harper (12) and Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble also
scored in double digits and Tony Toplyn blocked a late jumper to assure OT.

No. 32
At Northeast)
Wood 61, Gratz 18
  Soph Jack Colyar broke the record for TD passes in a City Title with five . . . and did so quite
impressively, thank you. He owned the mark by the end of the first quarter, having gone 7-for-7 for
291 yards. Also, the scores averaged 55 yards with a long of 71 and a short of 45. He finished 9-for-13
for 309, thanks primarily to Raheem "Speedy" Blackshear (2-116, two TDs), Shawn Thompson (2-99,
two) and Mark Webb (3-74, one). Thompson paced the ground attack with seven totes for 132 yards
and one score while Dan Zanine thumped seven PAT. For Gratz, Qashah Carter produced 69 yards
and one TD on eight carries, caught three passes for 31 yards, returned a kickoff 91 yards for a score
and even completed a pass for a 62-yard gain.

No. 33
(At Parkland High, in Allentown)
Neumann-Goretti 1, Bloomsburg 0
  Ethan "E" Pritchett spun a two-hitter with nine punchouts as the Saints won by shutout for the fifth
time in 10 postseason contests; the MLB record is four by the Giants in 1905, 2010 and '12 and the
Yankees in '98. The run scored in the third thanks to singles by Brian Verratti and Vinny Vaccone, a
passed ball and a wild pitch.

No. 34
Penn State)
Carroll 75, Greensburg Salem 54
  The Patriots, who had to capture a winner's in-loser's out District 12 consolation just to make the
tournament, completed a strong state-title run with amazing balance. Kasheef Festus (18), DJ Irving
(17), Juan'ya Green (16) and Andre Wilburn (12) reached double figures in points and Ben Mingledough
came close with eight. All five of those guys also claimed from five to seven rebounds. Carroll won the
middle quarters, 41-20. Irving made seven steals. Green had five assists. This was the second game of a
night doubleheader. In the opener, O'Hara's girls (AAAA) missed out on a chance to become the Catholic
League's first state champ in a loss to Mt. Lebanon. The next night, Carroll's girls completed an emphatic
sweep of state titles by swamping Lampeter-Strasburg, 68-45.

No. 35
(At Penn State)
La Salle 4, Conestoga 2 (8 inn.)
  Working on three days' rest, Dominic Cuoci became eligible to earn the win when Brian Buckley lined
a two-run single to center in the visiting eighth. John Scheffey posted the save with a 1-2-3 bottom half.
The state title was the Explorers' second in three years and, as in 2012, they rebounded after falling
short for Catholic League honors. Buckley finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI and twice made
strong plays at first base to prevent throwing errors. Cuoci (single) and Jimmy Herron (sac fly) had the
Explorers' earlier RBI. Cuoci allowed eight hits (three did not leave the infield) and two walks (one
intentional) while striking out two.

No. 36
(At Lincoln)
SJ Prep 63, Bartram 56
  Coach William "Speedy" Morris won his first City Title in 38 years (1974 with Roman) and star junior
guard Stephen Vasturia tied the game record for points, which had stood alone since 1955. The owner?
None other than Overbrook's Wilt "Dippy" Chamberlain, with 35 vs. West Catholic in 1955. This game
took place one day after the 50th anniversary of Chamberlain's 100-point game with the Philadelphia
Warriors. After shooting 3-for-12 for seven points in the first half, Vasturia exploded for 28 in the second
half (17 in fourth quarter). He shot 10-for-22 (six treys) and 9-for-9. The Hawks went 13-for-34 beyond
the arc and tried just 11 regulars, hitting six. Gene Williams (four treys) added 14 points. Tom Stewart,
usually the seventh man but not used in the CL semis and final at the Palestra, accounted for 13 points
with seven of his own and two assists that led to six more. The Hawks were without star junior swingman
Miles Overton (thumb surgery). For Bartram, which lost the last quarter, 21-12, Terrieck Williams sniped
8-for-9 for 17 points.

No. 37
(At Saint Joseph's University)
Neumann-Goretti 77, Imhotep 74
  Four nights after failing to win a seventh consecutive Catholic League championship, the Saints claimed
City Title No. 7 in a row as Quade Green (25 points), off a pass from Vaughn Covington, drained a
right-corner trey, his fourth, with one second remaining. The triumph was No. 400 for 17-year coach
Carl Arrigale. In the CL final, the Saints shot 1-for-7 at the line (two front ends) in the fourth quarter.
This time they went 18-for-22 overall as Zane Martin (22 points) led the way with a 14-for-16 performance.
Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (17 points) sniped 5-for-6 on threes. Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree blocked
five shots. Daron Russell (21), DeAnte Robinson (18, 10 boards) and Jaekwon Carlyle (12) topped 'Tep.

No. 38
(At La Salle High)
Ryan 9, Wood 8
The Raiders used an eight-run fourth to build a 9-2 lead, then held on -- yes, for dear life -- as Wood
scored five in the six and one in the seventh. With two away and runners on first and second, Sean
Kovacs replaced winner Kevin Mack and served up a jolt caught right in front of the centerfield fence
by a slightly off-balance Pat Kwiatkowski (on his final step, his foot slid on the warning track). Colin
Budny had two hits, including a capping RBI double, in Ryan's outburst. He also made a tag to complete
a rundown in Wood's sixth after Brett McCrossen's double brought in two runs. Chris Zikmund's homer
to left-center, which immediately followed, thus was good for just two runs, not three. Mark Golic had a
three-run double in Ryan's fourth. Mike Spahits homered for Wood in the first.

No. 39
(At Carroll)
Carroll 77, Wood 70 (2 OT)
  The visiting Vikings stormed back from a 13-point, third-quarter deficit, but missed three shots at the end
of regulation and had problems with turnovers/missed free throws in the stretch of the second OT.
Carroll's Ryan Daly, the coaches' MVP (like his dad, Brian, in the Southern Division for Bonner in 1988),
totaled 30 points and
11 boards while point guard Josh Sharkey was a whirlwind with 17 points, 13 rebounds
eight assists. Wood placed all five starters in double digits, and almost did so in numerical order -- Tommy
Funk (16), Collin Gillespie (15), Tyree Pickron (14), Keith Otto (13) and Matt Cerruti (10).
The rebounders
almost accomplished that feat as well -- Pickron (nine), Funk (eight), Gillespie (six), Seth Pickney (five),
Cerruti (four) and Keith Otto (three).

No. 40
(At Northeast)
SJ Prep 35, North Penn 25
  D'Andre Swift's 21st carry of the night turned out to be quite the memory maker. A 12-yard gain enabled
him to dislodge 2008 grad Jamir Livingston (3,996) from his spot atop the school's list of leading career
rushers AND lift him past 4,000 yards to 4,003. In all, Swift carried 31 times for 268 yards (4,112 career)
and four TDs and his fourth quarter was extra special (13-174-three). Marquez McCray passed 11-for-25
for 146 yards and Terrance Greene turned a kickoff return into an 81-yard TD. Richard Carr (two
interceptions), Dejuan Dandridge (pick, fumble recovery) and Chris Lowndes (nine tackles, forced fumble)
were the defensive headliners. With the Hawks nursing a 28-25 lead,
aLowndes force/Dandridge pounce
combo gave them the ball at their own 24 with 2:48 remaining. In the waning moments, Swift dashed 58
yards to NP's 1 and scored on the next play. For NP, junior Kelly Macnamara, a girl, hammered a 28-yard
field goal.

No. 41
(At O'Hara)
Neumann-Goretti 32, West Catholic 14
Aside from seizing its first championship since 1954, N-G caused the Burrs to part company with a 52-game,
nine-season league winning streak in the Blue/AA divisions. Counting two subregional wins, West had won 54
in a row against division opponents. Khalil Roane hustled for 209 yards and one TD on 31 carries, Ray
Lenhart passed 6-for-14 for 164 yards and one TD, Aamir Brown made four catches for 108 yards, Miles
Brewer turned three rushes into 14 points (two TDs, one conversion) and Michael DiFrancesco, also a key
blocker, had eight tackles. For West, Calil Wortham ran 16 times for 123 yards and one score.

No. 42
(At Judge)
Judge 5, SJ Prep 4 (11 inn.)
Kevin Conroy smacked a mammoth solo homer in the first, capped a three-run home seventh with an RBI
groundout and singled to plate the winning run in the 11th. He also got the W with four shutout relief innings,
escaping two hairy jams to boot. Jim Delaney scored the tying and winning runs. Matt Stahl (single) and
Greg "Buddy" Brooks (double) delivered RBI hits for Prep.

No. 43
(At Lincoln)
La Salle 42, Bartram 40
  Troy Hockaday scored 15 points and, as part of a box-and-one, helped to hold Virginia Tech-bound
Tyrone Garland, at that point the No. 3 career scorer in city history (2,184), to eight as the Explorers won
a hoops CT for the first time since a Tom Gola-led team did so in 1950. With Hockaday defending, Garland
missed a late trey and Joe Brown (nine rebounds) added a free throw at 1.1. Steve Collins shot 4-for-7 and
4-for-4 for 12 points. Bartram's leaders were Quasim Jones in points (12), and Darrell Lane (10) and Devin
Moore (nine) in rebounds. The Braves were missing two starters due to assorted issues.

No. 44
(At La Salle High)
Bonner 5, Wood 4 (11 inn.)
Seventh-inning RBI singles by Joe Haley (one out) and Ronnie Scull (two out) enabled the Friars to force
extra innings, then Jim Murphy took a first-pitch curve on his left knee to end it with one away in the 11th.
Scull pitched shutout ball over 4.2 innings and contributed two significant defensive gems; his diving catch
of a popped-up bunt resulted in a doubleplay, and he tagged out a runner near third after the screaming
Friars duped the guy into thinking a non-existent pickoff throw had sailed into centerfield. Wood's highlight
was Jeff Courter's two-run double.

No. 45
(At Council Rock North)
La Salle 49, Allentown Allen 47
  In an all-timer, the Explorers roared back from a nine-point deficit (45-36) over the final 1:51 and Eddie
Mitchell (24) hit a fadeaway, beyond-the-foul-line jumper at 0:02 to win it. Sub Kevin Piotrowicz posted
seven points during the surge, two on treys and another after drawing an intentional foul. Mitchell nailed
his game-winner on that subsequent possession. Joe  Brown had 10 points and six rebounds.

No. 46
At Southern
West Catholic 63, Kennedy-Kenrick 21
  Rob Hollomon turned his first four carries into TDs of 36, 35, 59 and 12 yards and finished with six scores
and 212 yards on just nine opportunities. Hollomon smashed the city postseason records for rushing TDs
(four) and total points (32). He also had an interception. Curtis Drake accounted for two TDs, rushing 16
yards for one and passing 57 yards to Eric Young for another. West rang up 56 points in the first 16 minutes,
33 seconds, and its 35 plays generated 458 yards (13.1 average). Tim Carroll went 9-for-9 on PATs,
breaking the postseason mark of seven. With the score at 63-14 in the THIRD quarter, backup QB Kyle
Heggs was instructed to take a knee on four straight plays at K-K's 15. For the Wolverines, Ryan Sejda ran
for one score and passed for another.

No. 47
(At McDevitt)
McDevitt 56, Judge 46
  In year No. 50 of CL membership, the Lancers finally claimed playoff win No. 2 (also 1989) as Tyrell Long
shot 10-for-15 en route to 22 points. He also slid into someone standing in a doorway while trying to save a
loose ball.
"All I saw was leggings and legs and pants and jeans. Then I looked up and . . . 'Ohhhh. I hope
I don't get suspended.' " The someone was
principal Mary Kirby, who kiddingly told him later, "Tyrell,
when you came out the door, that was my leg you hit! It's all black and blue! I'm going on workman's comp!"
Kenyatta Long (no relation) posted eight assists and four steals, Tymere Wilder added five dimes and Dural
Watson drained a trio of second quarter treys. For Judge, which dropped its eighth consecutive postseason
outing, the leading scorers were Brandon McGuire (11) and Jeff Seigafuse (10); they were spectators for the
first 7 1/2 minutes for violating a team rule.

No. 48
(At Philadelphia University)
Roman 56, SJ Prep 55
Student upstaged Teacher as Matt Griffin, Roman's first-year coach, bested the team guided by his high school
coach and former boss, Speedy Morris. Chris Kuhar canned a layup for his only points with 4.8 seconds remaining
and Kyle Thompson (21 points) was able to hit only the first of two free throws at 0.7. Allen Betrand (17, 7-for-10)
and Jon-Paul Sanders (12, 6-for-8) shot well from the floor while leading the Cahillites. Frosh Lynn Greer -- he
and Carroll's AJ Hoggard, both third-teamers, were the first freshmen to earn All-Catholic honors since Carroll's
Kashif Payne in 2000 -- dished five assists. Edward Croswell (14, eight rebounds) and Darius Kinnel (10, six assists)
also scored in double digits for the Prep, which battled back from a 40-30 deficit.

No. 49
(At Neumann College)
Neumann-Goretti 10, SJ Prep 9 (9 inn.)
  The Saints suffered a serious blow in the home seventh when the Prep, with two away, mounted a four-run rally to
create a 7-7 tie. Ray Toto (double for two runs), Jeff Lynch and Greg "Buddy" Brooks (singles) had the RBI. Reno
Regalbuto pitched shutout ball thereafter and the winning uprising featured a walk to Dom Riverso, a stolen base
and a groundball single to center by frosh Marty Venafro. Regalbuto also had two hits, one RBI. Riverso and his
brother, Mike, combined for three apiece of hits and RBI, five runs scored and four stolen bases. Toto (three RBI)
and Gio Morales (three runs scored) stroked four hits apiece for Prep. The game featured 27 hits (16 for Prep) and
45 baserunners. With 43, these two games broke the city record for runs scored in semifinals. There'd been 41 in '87
(CL) and again in '88 (PL).

No. 50
(At Saint Joseph's University)
Conwell-Egan 67, Freire 31
  In season No. 52 of CL membership, the Eagles finally claimed their second postseason win as LaPri McCray-Pace
(7-for-7, 16 points), Steve Jordan (15, four apiece of assists/steals), Vinny Dalessandro (14, 13 rebounds) and Chase
Kumor (11, three treys) scored in double digits. In the locker room afterward, the Eagles celebrated by bouncing around
on the balls of their feet and -- ouch -- Dalessandro dislodged a drop-ceiling panel with his head. The first postseason
triumph, a 59-47 success over Neumann, had taken place in a 1964 semifinal at the Palestra. Since then Egan/C-E had
gone 0-11 in CL playoffs (nine, various rounds), CTs (0-1) and state playoffs (0-1). Calil Moultrie led Freire with nine
points. The Dragons were placed in this game after honchos realized Audenried, which played in AA throughout the Pub
tournament, was actually a AAA school.