In last week's debut of the Roman Report, we previewed the Gonzaga DC Classic, which was the first of many national events for Roman Catholic this season. The Cahillites were the highest ranked team in the field, and they did not disappoint. Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick defended their title from last year, thanks to a big-time effort from newcomer Lamar Stevens in the championship game. While the Penn State trio have been AAU teammates for years, Lamar just transferred to Roman Catholic from Haverford School last year.
Do you think it took him long to make an impact?
The monster slam that opens the highlight video came in the second half of Lamar's 32-point performance. He was the difference maker down low in the Cahillites' exciting 77-72 overtime victory. Tony Carr didn't have his best shooting performance, but he also chipped in 15 points with a silly ankle-breaking move at 2:12 in the above clip. Nazeer Bostick didn't fill up in the scoring column against Gonzaga, but he was superb earlier in the weekend after scoring 25 and 21 points in their first two wins over Calvin Coolidge and Good Counsel. Some notable tweets from observers:
Penn State signee Nazeer Bostick exudes toughness. Having huge game against Coolidge. Defending + making plays at rim.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) December 12, 2015
Should be noted Nazeer Bostick was tremendous earlier. Big time athlete with improving skillset. Penn State was in for trio from Roman— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) December 12, 2015
Impressed with Penn State signee Tony Carr's pace. Has such a good feel & can really pass. Going to be a big time player for them.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) December 12, 2015
There's no greater recruiting pitch for Penn State right now than the success of this Roman Catholic team on the national high school stage. In case you missed the games last weekend, you can catch the full replays on YouTube - 90-41 over Calvin Coolidge, 72-60 over Good Counsel and the championship victory over Gonzaga. With their performance over the weekend, Roman moved up two spots to No. 7 in USA Today's high school rankings.
Now it's on to the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina. Just another road-trip for the Cahillites to face off in one of the country's premiere high school tournaments. The 14th annual event features 16 teams in separate 8-team brackets. Roman will compete with the likes of No. 5 Oak Hill Academy (VA), No. 18 Huntingdon Prep (WV) and No. 12 Greenforest Christian (GA) in the national division.
Their first match-up will be tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. versus Oldsmar Christian (FL). The Eagles should pose a tough test for Roman, as they also feature three seniors with D1 scholarships. Both Eric Hester and Dontay Bassett are 3-star prospects that signed to Florida, while top-100 recruit Troy Baxter will join Geno Thorpe at South Florida next year.
Looming in the second round is a potential match-up with Huntingdon Prep, which would allow Penn State's future trio another chance to play against familiar Nike EYBL foes in Michigan State commit Miles Bridges and Indiana signee Curtis Jones. Bridges is an elite 2016 prospect with a slightly bigger frame and crazier athleticism than Stevens, while Jones is a top-100 combo guard that was former teammates with Josh Reaves at Paul VI a few years ago.
With Joe Hampton out for the season, there's not as much allure to a Roman Catholic vs Oak Hill match-up as there would have been. However, that contest would have to occur in the finals, in which case the Cahillites will have represented themselves well. This is a much more competitive tournament than last weekend's and another championship would be a major statement nationally. Fortunately we can follow along again, as live streams are advertised on the event's website.