WRITTEN BY: ANTHONY SIMURO
The semifinal matchup between Roman Catholic and Archbishop Carroll was a classic PCL grudge match that went down to the wire. It was in every sense a “barn-burner” and the type of game you want to see as a spectator.
With seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Roman Catholic held their breath as Archbishop Carroll’s senior, Ryan Daly, rose up for the game winning jumper. Once the shot rimmed out you could hear a giant exhale from half of the gym, while the other half looked on in disbelief.
With the final buzzer sounding, the Roman Catholic bench stormed the court to embrace their teammates and begin the celebration. Carroll could not believe what just happened. Despite trailing by a few points almost the entire game, Roman had come back to win by one, 64-63, in a game that many of the players will remember for a long time.
Roman Catholic’s Tony Carr led the way with 24 points and gave his team momentum when they needed it most. Dropping 15 of his 24 in the second half and pairing that with some aggressive defense down the stretch, Roman was able to emerge victorious.
“I just didn’t want to let my team lose. I feel like I’m the leader on this team and down the stretch I’m just trying to do whatever I can to get the win,” said Tony Carr. “We just work so hard and we tune in every day in practice and to finally get the results again, it’s just a great feeling.”
Alongside Carr, were his senior companions Lamar Stevens and Nazeer Bostick. Stevens had 13 points on the night, with a massive slam-dunk late in the fourth quarter that turned the tide for Roman. Bostick added 14 of his own points accompanied by some huge offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter that helped Roman get some second chance opportunities.
Throughout the night, Carroll was also led by their three seniors: John Rigsby, Josh Sharkey and Ryan Dal. Rigsby had 16 points and stayed consistent throughout the four quarters on both sides of the ball. Sharkey also stayed consistent, having put up 15 points and making some clutch baskets for Carroll. Daly, the PCL MVP, ended the game with 21 points, and a last second shot for a chance to win his team the game.
Ahead at the half 36-33, and after the third quarter 53-49, Carroll looked as if they were going to pull this game out. It was in the fourth quarter however, that Roman decided to step up big. Carr, Bostick and Stevens combined for 15 points in the fourth quarter and propelled the Cahillites to their stunning win.
Roman’s Nazeer Bostick did a wonderful job down the stretch to deny Daly the ball, holding him to only six points in the second half, which was a major key in securing Roman’s one point victory. With under 20 seconds left to play, Carroll, who was down by one, was able to take the last shot for a chance to win the game. Luckily for Roman, Daly’s shot rimmed out and they were able to hold on for the 64-63 win.
Roman advances to the PCL championship for the third straight year, and looks to win back-to-back championships, something they haven’t done since the 1999-2000 season.
“I’m proud of these guys and how they’ve grown as a team and how they’ve developed as young men. Nothing more than let’s tip it up, let’s go,” Roman’s coach Chis McNesby said. “It’s going to be a great, great sold-out Palestra and it’s going to be an awesome game.”
Roman looks forward to facing Neumann-Goretti on Monday 2/22 in the PCL title game at The Palestra at 8:45 p.m.