BENSALEM >> Lynn Greer III drove into the lane, rose up with purpose and put down a one-handed slam early in the fourth quarter.
It was an exclamation point not only on the day for the sophomore point guard but for the rest of his Roman Catholic teammates. The Cahillites started hot, weathered an injury to Seth Lundy and never let up as they faced a red-hot Central Bucks West team in the state quarterfinals on Saturday at Bensalem.
Hakim Hart and Allen Betrand combined for 47 points while Greer nearly had a triple-double as Roman won 75-56 to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.
“It was a good game for us because we played as a team,” Greer, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, said. “I think we had like 15 assists in the first half. It’s always fun when we’re playing together like that.”
Roman (22-6) scored the first seven points of the game and after the Bucks got their feet under them, closed the quarter strong to take a 17-8 lead. Then, Betrand and Lundy, the standout junior forward, collided while trying to contest a shot that left both players shaken up.
Betrand was able to walk off the floor with a clear limp while Lundy stayed down and eventually had to be helped to the back. Roman coach Matt Griffin said it was a left ankle injury and if absolutely needed, Lundy probably could have gone back into the game. As it was, the 6-foot-6 wing was able to keep his seat on the bench and watch his teammates do the rest.
“Our strategy was to apply pressure without giving up layups so we needed great weakside help and I thought we did that,” Griffin said. “We just bothered them with our length. We committed to the defensive end. They run really good offense but we just tried to contest all their shots on the perimeter.”
West ends its season at 23-8 and as coach Adam Sherman told his group in the locker room, with nothing to regret. The Bucks won an SOL Continental title, made the SOL tournament title game, reached their first District 1 tournament final four in a long time and advanced further than any other team by getting to the state’s elite eight.
— Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3) March 18, 2018
Falling behind early though, was the last thing they wanted to have happen. Coupled with a brutal shooting night that included a 3-of-22 showing from 3-point range, it was a tough ask for the Bucks to come all the way back once Roman built a sizable lead.
“They’re a high-energy team, great athletes and great players,” West senior forward Collin MacAdams said. “They’re smart and they really they showed athletic they were. They came out with fire in the beginning and that hurt us a little bit.”
MacAdams, playing his last high school game before heading to California (Pa.), posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Shane McCusker scored 12 and Jake Reichwein had 10 as they both wrapped up their terrific careers.
Sherman noted that in order for West to have won, the Bucks would have needed to play with a lead or within a few possessions the whole way. With the tandem of Roman’s great start and the Bucks’ collective poor shooting, it was too much.
“I have to look at the season as a whole and these guys accomplished a heck of a lot,” Sherman said. “This is a tight-knit group that really enjoyed their time together. They invested a lot, it’s crazy how many days they spent together.
“The room was full of tears but that’s how you want a season to end. There’s a deep bond and they’ll remember this season forever.”
Betrand started the game in attack mode and Greer said the Towson-bound senior is such a great penetrator, the Cahillities want him to do that right off the bat. The 6-foot-4 guard ended up with 23 points and hit 11-of-13 free throws. Hart had a couple big shots in the first quarter but really got going after Lundy went down.
The junior wing, who is also a terrific defender, posted 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor with three 3-pointers, added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He has nine steals in Roman’s three state playoff games and scored at least five points in every quarter on Saturday.
“Hakim’s always an option for us,” Greer said. “He’s a knock-down shooter so we look to him to hit threes when we’re down. We didn’t need him to make those shots today but he did anyway and I love playing with him.”
— Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3) March 18, 2018
Roman faces WPIAL power Pine-Richland, last year’s state runner-up, on Tuesday.
After he was finished with postgame interviews, MacAdams made his way over to Greer and exchanged a hand shake and a couple words with the Roman guard. MacAdams and Greer had never met, but the game brought them together.
“Just shared some respect,” Greer said. “He wished us luck and I told him I had a lot of respect for his game.”
ROMAN CATHOLIC 75, CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 56
ROMAN CATHOLIC 17 17 18 23 – 75
CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 8 12 14 22 – 56
Roman Catholic: Hakim Hart 9 3-3 24, Allen Betrand 6 11-13 23, Lynn Greer III 4 2-3 10, Seth Lundy 2 0-1 4, Louie Wild 2 0-0 6, Nasir Lett 2 0-0 4, Justin Lai 1 0-0 2, Michael Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 27 16-20 75.
Central Bucks West: Collin MacAdams 6 8-13 20, Mika Munari 2 0-1 4, Shane McCusker 3 5-5 12, Jack Mulhearn 1 0-0 3, Jake Reichwein 2 6-7 10, Jack Neri 2 0-0 5, Connor Briece 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 19-26 56
3-pointers: RC – Hart 3, Wild 2; CBW – McCusker, Neri, Mulhearn.
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