Quick Thoughts on Last Nights Catholic League Semis at the Palestra..

By Amauro Austin Sr


FB: aasnotes.com

IG: @aasnotes

Twitter: @AA215

Here is my rapid fire review of last night’s Electric Catholic League Semi-Final doubleheader at the fabled Palestra.. Going in when asked by a handful of people what my predictions were and I consistently stood on my thought that these were 50/50 ball games and that they proved to be as both games were wire to wire, every possession counts type games with one team truly outlasting the other.. I often don’t like to post right after events like this to give myself a little bit of time to gather my thoughts and process what I saw.. So here goes..

Wood Sr G Gus Salem drives on Roman sr wing Jermai Stewart-Herring

Game 1: Since 2009, 14 seasons only 3 teams have won Catholic League titles (Neumann-Goretti 8, Roman Catholic 4 & Archbishop Wood 2) so after yesterday’s results no one new will join the club.. The Roman-Wood game ultimately became a battle of who would challenge the defending champion Saints for the crown.. Roman is home to the best point guard in the City in Sr St Joseph’s Signee Xzayvier Brown along with D1 level forwards in 6-7 Anthony Finkley (Also St Joseph’s) & 6-8 Soph Shareef Jackson, however the heart and soul of the team comes in the form of bookend 6-4 senior wings Jermai StewartHerring & Erik Oliver-Bush. And in close games their intangibles always pay dividends.. Both are team friendly grunts that appear to be a joy to coach.. I personally appreciate what those two youngins bring to the table immensely and will never have a problem recommending for colleges if/when their names come across my desk.. They are both “Foxhole guys” and that character trait is bigger than sports cause it’ll take you to great heights in life.. Trust Me!!! The other Cahillite role player Jr G Bobby Cottrell, a transfer from Simon Gratz, quietly had a nice game in the 6th man role with 10 big points.. And Jackson played a “Man’s” game in the painted area. His IQ is as impressive as they come from patience in low post scoring opportunities to his decision making and passing in high post action. I enjoy seeing players improve and Big Reef has done that daily.. The Vikings had their chances but came up just shy.. These two clubs will likely see each other for a third meeting on the season in the 6A State Semis in a few weeks.. The development of jr wing Jalil Bethea has been meteoric.. Our local class of 2024 is star-studded with 7 or 8 high Major prospects.. One could easily.. easily.. easily call him the best prospect of the bunch.. Bethea steps on the floor shining with the Bruce Leroy Glow.. He takes shots that many can’t even get off and most don’t make.. I expect Viking Soph wing Milan Dean Jr to become a serious force after his big experience in these playoffs. He’s already improved greatly from December to now playing with no fear and in high gear.. Again we expect Wood to make a deep run in the state playoffs just like last year when they dropped a decision to Roman in the state title game so buckle up and stay tuned..

Roman sr PG Xzayvier Brown is THE guy on this year’s Nationally ranked Cahillites team

Game 2 was a battle of attrition between the defending champs and the upstart West Catholic Burrs who were making their 2nd consecutive Palestra appearance.. The Saints experience and pedigree pulled them through a spirited effort from the Burrs that extended the defending champs to OT.. The Saints overall guard play is only rivaled by that of Imhotep around these parts with 2 high level D1 point guards in junior classmates Rob Wright III & Khaafiq Myers. The Burrs plan tonight was to pay extra special attention to the Baylor committed Wright, whose one of the best scoring lead guards in the Nation, and make others beat them. The Saint playa who got that memo was impressive 6-6 Jr SF Amir Williams, who’s worked himself into an Elite corner 3-point shooter, nailed 5 all from the corners en route to 17 points. His other basket was a high-flying ally-oop slam on a pass in transition from Wright who still managed 15p, 10r & 6a.. 6-8 Sr C Sultan Adewale banged his way to 18p, 12r & 5b.. Myers did a nice job controlling the game on both ends as West own high scoring sr PG Budd Clark only scored 12 tonight.. One thing I have to say though is I wanna see Myers become at the very least a 75% free throw shooter.. He’s too good (important) of a player to be shooting 50% from the foul line on the season.. It almost cost the Saints tonight. Point Guards are tasked with making free throws especially late in games cause obviously they’ll have the ball in their hands the most during the stretch run.. Otherwise watching Myers and Clark was a thing of beauty.. Both have similar pit bull like mentalities and neither gave an inch.. Sr SF Zion Stanford, a Temple signee, played one of his best games of his career getting 23pts & snatching 12 boards on the biggest of stages.. Special shout goes out to Burr Senior G Amyr Walker, the PJ Tucker of the Catholic League. His play doesn’t go unnoticed as he’s a coach’s dream. Gives dogged effort on defense while making timely plays like the buzzer beating put back to send the game into OT, on offense. He’s said to be a tireless worker that played JV last year as a junior while also dropping more than 20 pounds to get himself in top shape. His changes allowed him to become a starter on a Final-4 Catholic League team.. SALUTE to you Amyr!!! Full disclosure as a Burr alum I left the building proud of how they competed even in defeat after last year feeling a little down after getting beat by Ryan in the same spot as the heavy favorite.. I was so upset that I didn’t attend last year’s title game between NG & Ryan.. I expect the Burrs to again be favored to win the upcoming 3A State title but this time I see them closing the show after last year’s upset loss to eventual champion Devon Prep.. And Monday night will be another magical night in front of 9000 people at the fabled Palestra..

NG Jr Wing Amir Williams buried 5 three point baskets in the OT win over a tough West Catholic Burr squad

Please like, share & subscribe if you enjoy this content.. Yours in Sports… — AA

One response to “Quick Thoughts on Last Nights Catholic League Semis at the Palestra..”

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