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Roman dominates Bonner-Prendergast with 53 point first half

02/02/2015, 11:15pm EST
By Aron Minkoff

Aron Minkoff (@AronMinkoff)

There is a common saying in college basketball that once the calendar hits February, the real season starts. For high school basketball teams, the regular season is just about over once the calendar changes into the second month of the year.

Some teams start playing younger players, to work on building a foundation for next year’s team. Other teams, such as Roman Catholic, are buckling down and getting ready for a deep run in league (and hopefully state) playoffs, if they are fortunate enough.

The Cahillites look like they’re ready for the playoffs to begin, as they flexed their muscles against the Bonner-Prendergast Friars on Monday en route to an 81-50 victory.

The game was well on its way to being over at the 6:23 minute mark of the third quarter, when the ref invoked the PIAA mercy rule. The mercy rule is enacted whenever a team is up by 40 or more points at any point in the game, and the rule dictates that clock only stop for timeouts as well as fouls in the final minute of each quarter.

“You never really expect that to happen. but you obviously hope you play well,” Roman coach Chris McNesby said. “Its good to see that type of play at this time of the year. I told our guys ‘this is the time of year in February that we really want to be playing our best basketball.’”

They certainly look like a team that is capable of making a deep run in the Catholic League and state playoffs. At 19-1 (10-1 PCL), the Cahillites have played great basketball throughout the season; their lone loss came at the hands of LaSalle College High School. Roman lost that game, 56-55, nearly two weeks ago.

In today’s game, Roman used its defense to set the tone early on in the game. The Cahillites started the second quarter with a 13-2 run that was spearheaded by four consecutive steals by Roman. They held the Friars to just nine points all quarter.

Senior Gemil Holbrook ended the first half with back-to-back 3-pointers and picked up right where he left off out of the break, hitting two more treys to begin the second half.

“When he makes one, he makes three,” McNesby said. “We kinda have to find him again right away.”

Holbrook, a 6-foot-5 wing headed to Rider in the fall, was not shy at all and added that he felt confident all game and thought that “we just move the ball around, point guards finding us in transition.”

Holbrook led all scorers today with 22 points which included 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Junior guard Tony Carr recorded 12 points of his own and chimed in a game-high seven assists. The high-major Division I prospect–with offers from schools like Temple, Penn State, Maryland and more–had his full arsenal on display as he also picked up three steals.

“It is very important to me to get assists,” Carr added. “That is one of the main things that I focus on in addition to defense is getting assists, because I know when I am doing that I am being aggressive, but I am also getting my teammates involved in the game. [If] they are involved, I think it’s pretty tough to beat us.”

Roman was also led by junior Paul Newman who contributed 11 points and seven rebounds, sophomoreD’Andre Vilmar chimed in 14 points as well as juniorNazeer Bostick who put up 12 points.

“I think guys like D’Andre Vilmar and Nazeer Bostick have been helping us win,” Carr said. “And with the help of Paul Newman on the offensive glass [it] has been great. And the leadership from coach and myself, it’s just all been coming together. I think that if we keep doing what we are doing we are going to be one of the best teams in the league and definitely contend for a championship.”

Of note, big man Manny Taylor who had previously been a starter for Roman did not play in the first half. Taylor missed practice and the Cahillites previous game against St. Joseph’s Prep after leaving early for a visit with Rutgers this past weekend. Taylor is committed to attend Rutgers on a football scholarship.

The biggest key for Roman seems to be the distribution of the ball. The team tallied 15 total assists in what has been a stretch of unselfish play from the Cahillites according to McNesby. All five starters scored well into the double digits and the team looks poised for a state playoff run.

Roman will be in action next on senior day, Friday, February 2 when it hosts Archbishop Wood. This game will serve as the Cahillites second-to-last game before the postseason.

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