The Carroll Times

The Student News Site of Archbishop John Carroll High School

The Carroll Times

The Carroll Times

Boys basketball beats Allentown Central Catholic, Pats move to third round in states

Girls basketball beats Conestoga, advances to quarterfinals

The conventional wisdom around the Archbishop Carroll Varsity Boys Basketball team in 2024 has been simple: they’re just not ready.

This was the judgment despite the boys running through an out-of-conference schedule nearly unscathed and then taking care of most of their Philadelphia Catholic League (the best league in the state) opponents with relative ease, even challenging some of the league’s perennial contenders on their way to the sixth seed in the Catholic League playoffs. That was the placement they used to bring themselves one call or one bounce of the ball away from a Catholic League semifinals bid in a heartbreaking loss to Neumann-Goretti. 

At the end of all that, critics everywhere stoked their claim and spoke on how the Pats finished ‘just where everyone expected them to.’ Even after that, the Pats moved into the state playoffs, took down Big Spring,  and then took down a top-ranked club in Allentown Central Catholic, 62-56, Tuesday night at Norristown Area High School.

“Nobody wants to see us succeed,” said sophomore captain Ian Williams. “So the fact that everyone will know that we are going to take over the city soon is all we need to have in the back of our minds. It’s all that mattered to us.”

The boys’ win came just after the girls basketball team defeated Conestoga, 37-33, in a game decided by foul shots in overtime. With that victory, the girls will play in the quarterfinals contest Friday against Parkland in a quest to retain their crown as state 6A champs.

In the boys game, the Pats came out on their heels and looked sluggish as Allentown worked a hard zone defense, something that has incapacitated Carroll all year long. While the Pats were able to hold the Vikings at arm’s length, Allentown would begin to pull away in the second period, bringing it all the way to a 13-point lead at one point in the ballgame. 

As the buzzer sounded for halftime, the fact that their season could be over in 16 minutes if they didn’t turn something around may have stuck unpleasantly in the boys’ minds. Either that or a stern speech from head coach Francis Bowe may have been just the push the Pats needed to get over the edge. 

“He said, ‘We lose, we done,’” said freshman forward Munir Greig. “It was like, do we really want to come into school every day and not play basketball? So we said that we’d come out and take it over; we’d come back and win this game and play Friday night.”

To begin the half, Carroll swung a pass out to freshman Darrell Davis (who finished the night with 14 points) on the wing for a three that he drained, and from then on it was all Pats. 

Carroll, behind the offensive efforts of Munir Greig and Davis in the second half, was able to take its first lead of the game with just about six minutes to go and never looked back. 

The Pats eventually dribbled the clock out and began to look ahead to their third-round matchup on Friday.

“This gives us all the confidence,” said Bowe. “It’s just whoever is in front of us. It is March Madness and we know how to play the game our game. Now we have a game Friday night and we just need to have some fun with it.”

With the win, Carroll punches its ticket to the third round of the PIAA 4A State Playoffs and will take on Carver E & S on Friday with a time and place yet to be determined. 

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