Public League Championship preview

Posted: February 24, 2012


When: Today, 5:45 p.m.

Where: Community College of Philadelphia.

Records: Boys' Latin is 22-4 with a 12-game winning streak. Constitution is 17-9 with an eight-game winning streak.

Coaches: Maurice Watson Sr., Boys' Latin, fourth season, 71-29. Rob Moore, Constitution, third season, 62-22.

Previous meeting: Constitution triumphed, 58-56, in a division opener on Dec. 15, taking the lead with 0:16 left and then exhaling when a last-second trey did not connect.

Background: Boys' Latin, a charter located at 56th and Cedar in the former Transfiguration Catholic grammar school, is in its fourth PL season. This is its first title-game visit. Constitution, a special-admit School District member located on 7th near Market, is in its third PL season. It fell to Imhotep in last year's final.

Boys' Latin personnel: Maurice "Doo-Wop" Watson (Boston U.) is known for major scoring (No. 2 in city history at 2,251), but is also a savvy facilitator . . . Yahmir Greenlee shows all of Watson's traits and is extra gritty . . . Carlos Taylor (UMass-Lowell) is effective inside/outside as the perfect third wheel . . . Eric Lark/Khadafi Robinson are bangers, pick-setters . . . Off the bench, Amir Tucker mirrors Lark/Robinson.

Constitution personnel: Savon Goodman is an outrageous runner/dunker . . . Daiquan Walker has made admirable sacrifices while maintaining his own high profile . . . Fajion Jones plays off Goodman and hits boards hard . . . Craig Slade is springy and can be effective along baseline . . . Tamir Bolger is the typically spirited little guy . . . Off the bench, Amonie Holloman has moments as the King of Threeballs.

What Boys' Latin must do: Take sensible shots and hit the offensive glass, thus preventing fast breaks that lead to the Savon Goodman Dunking Exhibition. Use the frontcourt extras to take fouls on Goodman, if necessary. Hit early treys to loosen things up.

What Constitution must do: Keep running at Watson so he's not able to do whatever he pleases. Let Jones be the inside make-it-happen guy on occasion; his passing skills are decent. Get it and go as much as possible.

What can be expected: A playing duel between Watson-Walker (and let's hope it doesn't turn into an ego duel). While BL has this-season hunger, Constitution wants to make up for last year's title-game loss. All signs point to a classic. I'm leaning to Constitution, though not even at an angle to match the Tower of Pisa's. Severe foul trouble? I smell a flip-flop.