Roman tops La Salle in semi

Roman Catholic's Tony Carr shoots over La Salle's Langston Ellison during the second quarter. Carr, a sophomore, led the Cahillites with 12 points in the 52-45 victory.
Roman Catholic's Tony Carr shoots over La Salle's Langston Ellison during the second quarter. Carr, a sophomore, led the Cahillites with 12 points in the 52-45 victory. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 21, 2014

Roman Catholic built a sizable lead, sweated out a few tense fourth-quarter minutes, and moved closer to its first Catholic League boys' basketball championship since 2007.

The Cahillites, who led by as many as 17 points late in the third quarter, thwarted a spirited late rally by La Salle and posted a 52-45 triumph in a league semifinal Wednesday night at the Palestra.

Solid free-throw shooting down the stretch spoiled a possible upset. After the Explorers cut the gap to 46-43 on Sean Greenberg's three-pointer with 11/2 minutes to play, Chris McNesby's squad went 6 for 6 from the line.

"No matter what happens, we still believe we're going to win the game," Roman senior Shep Garner said. "We just have that mind-set."

Roman, ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, will play for top Catholic League honors at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Palestra.

Against La Salle, which trailed by 39-24 entering the fourth quarter, a quick start and balanced scoring were key for the Cahillites.

Sophomore floor general Tony Carr (12 points), junior forward Manny Taylor (10), and junior wing Gemil Holbrook (10) were double-digit scorers. Garner and fellow senior guard Rashann London scored nine and eight points, respectively.

"That's been the way it's been all year for us, which is good," McNesby said. "We have multiple players who can score."

The Explorers' comeback was sparked by 6-foot-7 forward Dave Krmpotich (15 points, 10 boards, three blocks) and Greenberg (11 points).

Greenberg's third three-pointer of the game trimmed Roman's lead to 44-40 with 3 minutes, 38 seconds to go. Najee Walls' trey from up top brought La Salle to within three (46-43) with 1:18 left.

"Credit La Salle," McNesby said. "They weren't going to go away quietly. They fought hard, battled. They weren't going to lie down."

London, Garner, and Holbrook each went 2 for 2 from the line in the last 35 seconds. The Cahillites were 9 for 11 on free throws in the fourth period and 18 for 23 overall.

Roman played without 6-6 junior TreVaughn Wilkerson, who had suffered an ankle injury in practice Sunday.

La Salle 3 9 12 21 – 45

Roman Catholic 10 11 18 13 – 52

LS: Najee Walls 7, Dave Krmpotich 15, Jalen Herdsman 11, Sean Weatherspoon 1, Sean Greenberg 11.

RC: Tony Carr 12, Rashann London 8, Manny Taylor 10, Carnell McGirt 1, Shep Garner 9, Gemil Holbrook 10, Paul Neuman 2.


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

|
|
|
|
|