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Roman rides the "Horse" to the PCL crown

02/24/2015, 7:30pm EST
By Aron Minkoff

Aron Minkoff (@AronMinkoff)

When a horse gets its motor going, it’s best to hop on and go for a ride.

That’s exactly what Roman Catholic did en route to its Catholic League championship win over six-time defending champions Neumann-Goretti.

The horse, of course, being junior Nazeer Bostick, who earned his affectionate nickname from his gritty style of play and relentless attack of the glass.

And with all of the talk coming into the championship game centered around the stellar guard play of Neumann-Goretti, it was Bostick who stole the show, as the horse led the Cahillites in both scoring and rebounding with 23 and 12 apiece.

“His nickname is the horse, and he brought that mentality. That is his personality, that is who he is, that is what he does,” Roman coach Chris McNesby said.  “I am so proud of him to do that on this big stage. He just kinda willed us. He played with so much heart. He gave us some big buckets that are just championship type plays.”

Bostick, a transfer from Math, Civics & Sciences, is in his first year at Roman Catholic and really capitalized on his first opportunity to shine under the bright lights of the Palestra.

“This is why I came to Roman Catholic,” Bostick said. “I told everybody that this is what I’m gonna do and I did it.”

Bostick scored nine of his game-high 23 points in a second quarter that saw Roman really pull away from Neumann-Goretti.

“Everybody doubted us,” Bostick said. “But I told everybody, I was gonna will my team. I willed my team to a victory.”

In the 22-10 second quarter stretch, he was a perfect 4-4 from the field, including a clutch three-point basket in response to a Quade Green three-pointer to keep Roman’s first half lead at double digits.

In a second half that saw the Saints storm back, Bostick ensured that they never claimed the lead or even tied it. Bostick ended a 7-0 Goretti run with a layup to start the fourth quarter.

With 1:44 remaining in the game, Roman’s lead had been trimmed down to one, at 58-57, and who else but Bostick connected on a layup to silence the Saints comeback.

“People thought that I couldn’t handle the ball under pressure,” Bostick said. “And that is why I came, to show everybody that I am out here doing things that they thought I couldn’t do.”

The 6-foot-5 wing may not have the prettiest looking jump shot in the world, but what he lacks in shooting accuracy he more than makes up for in willpower and hustle.

“He showed that South Philly heart,” Roman junior Tony Carr said. “I was a little sick, I was getting double-teamed, going through some things in the game, but he led us the whole way, he never gave up on me and he just rode us the whole time.”

For Bostick though, it was just another night of play in a string of successful showings against the Catholic League’s best.

When Roman and Goretti met the first time this year, Bostick chimed in 14 points.

“He did it the first time,” senior Manny Taylor said. “I expected the same thing from him this time. He is a horse. He really is a horse, and that is why we call him that.”

When the Cahillites defeated Archbishop Carroll in both the regular season and the semi-finals he contributed 22 and 15 points respectively, and in a rare loss to LaSalle he recorded 15 points.

“I just do whatever it takes for my team to win,” Bostick said. “That is all I do. I’m not trying to come out here and score 30, none of that. Just do whatever it takes… leave everything on the court, by the time this game is over, you should be tired and that’s what I did. I feel very tired.”

Taylor said it best when he added that his motto this year was to “eat, sleep and beat the streak.”

Taylor, Bostick and the rest of the Cahillites can sleep well tonight after riding the horse to the promised land.

Roman will be back in action on Friday when they play for state playoff seeding against Martin Luther King.

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