By Amauro Austin Sr
The vaunted Philadelphia Catholic League Playoffs kick off this week and finish 2 weeks from today on Monday February 27th at the Historical Palestra. We’re gonna give our thoughts here on the upcoming festivities in a short preview.
About 6 weeks ago we previewed what was to come in the league schedule and man oh man has it been an exciting season.. Just as we suspected everyone knocked off everyone.. Prep recently beat Roman then lost to O’Hara who lost to Roman who beat Wood who beat Prep in OT a week ago then lost to West who also lost to Prep in OT but Wood is the only team that beat Neumann and did so on the road and then Neumann, without its top player, beat Roman. And Ryan lost to Roman, Neumann & Prep but beat everyone else.. Yes, if you can keep up it’s been that kinda year although I believe the playoffs won’t be as chaotic..
So who are the favorites??? Well the more things change, the more they stay the same and the two programs who’ve stood the test of time carrying this league for decades (In Roman’s Case half a century) in Neumann-Goretti & Roman are my picks to make it to the Final which isn’t a Risky bet as they’re seeded 1 & 2 going in to the 10-team field.. However, you can never count out Ryan who seems to be a Palestra fixture, though there’s no guarantee that Ryan gets by visiting West in this Friday night’s quarterfinal game. The other set Quarterfinal game is a 50/50 proposition as well as Prep travels to Wood..
The games begin on Wednesday night with 2 first round matchups as Judge travels to Carroll in an 8/9 game that will determine who marches in to South Philly Friday night to take on the #1 Saints of Neumann-Goretti.. The 7/10 game will match bitter rivals against each other in the battle of Delco as Bonner-Prendie goes to see their nemesis O’Hara in what will likely draw a huge crowd.. The winner gets to play Roman on Friday night..
The biggest date of the year in high school hoops round these parts is annually the Catholic League Semis at the Palestra. It never fails to sell out the 9000 seat Hoops Mecca and you’ll always find your favorite hoop heads there holding court somewhere in the arena. This year’s big date is next Wednesday, February 22nd with game 1 tipping off at 6. Be there or be Square!!!
On another note, after some braining storming I’ve decided to take initiative in a new concept with respect to All-Star selections.. No I won’t have my own All-Catholic or All-Public or All FSL or All-Inter-Ac teams but what we’re going to do is name the AA’s Notes All-County teams for our 5 County Region. 12 players on each team leading into a 25 player All-Region Team.. This project will take place here on aasnotes.com in early April. I also serve on the PA Sportswriters board so all players to make all county here will get a nomination for All-State.. Perfect Segway.. Good luck everyone, Let the Games begin!!!!
Please Like, Share & Subscribe.. — AA