Allderdice's thrilling run ends against Roman Catholic in PIAA Class AAAA championship
March 19, 2016 9:58 PM
Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane comforts Allderdice Jordan Rawls after the team lost to Roman Catholic 73-62 in the PIAA Boy's AAAA Championship game at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 19.
Allderdice's Jahi Ogbonna goes up for a basket as Roman Catholic's Nazeer Bostick, left, and Lamar Stevens defend in the first half of the PIAA Boy's AAAA Championship game at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 19.
Allderdice's Jahi Ogbonna, left, and Tyler Williams double team Roman Catholic's Tony Carr in the first half of the PIAA Boy's AAAA Championship game at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 19.
By Mike White / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HERSHEY, Pa. — Allderdice was the best team from the Pittsburgh City League in almost a decade. The Dragons had some size, shooters, guards who could handle and a certain swagger that helped them make a state championship game for the first time in school history.
But it still wasn’t enough to measure up against a power from Philadelphia.
Roman Catholic had everything Allderdice had — and more. The Cahillites were the Cahighlights Saturday night when they defeated Allderdice, 73-62, in the PIAA Class AAAA title game before a crowd of 5,265 at Giant Center in Hershey. It was the second consecutive title for Roman Catholic, a team with three Penn State recruits.
Philadelphia Roman Catholic 73, Allderdice 62
Allderdice takes on Philadelphia Roman Catholi in PIAA basketball action. (Video by Justin K. Aller; 03/19/2016)
The loss ended a wonderful season and a memorable playoff run for Allderdice (28-2), which was the first City League team to make the PIAA final since Schenley’s great team in 2007. Things started wonderfully for the Dragons as they scored the first 10 points of the game. But Roman Catholic’s size — and talent — eventually took its toll. Roman Catholic (27-4) outrebounded Allderdice by 22-9 in the first half and by 38-25 for the game.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m not disappointed,” said Allderdice coach Buddy Valinsky. “That was a great team out there. We could play them 100 times and we might beat them once.”
Roman Catholic’s Lamar Stevens, a muscular 6-foot-7 forward and a Penn State recruit, had 27 points, seven rebounds and four dunks for Roman Catholic. “Lamar Stevens is a beast,” said Allderdice point guard Ramon Creighton.
Valinsky said, “Stevens just killed us. He’s going to kill a lot of people [in college].”
Guards Nazeer Bostick and Tony Carr, two other Penn State recruits, added 15 and 13 points, respectively. Carr, a 6-4 point guard, also had eight rebounds. The Cahillites had 17 assists on 23 field goals.
Allderdice got 21 points from senior guard James Jackson and Creighton added 19 points, consistently getting by Roman defenders on his way to the basket. He also scored his 1,000th point, which gave Allderdice three 1,000 point scorers in the senior class. The other two were Jackson and his twin brother, Tim.
But as good as Allderdice was at times in this game, the Dragons were outmanned. Creighton had eight turnovers and foul trouble hurt Allderdice throughout the game. Jordan Rawls, a 6-5 senior, and Dajuan Dugger both fouled out and Creighton had four. Allderdice had 22 fouls to only 11 for Roman. Allderdice made only 4 of 8 free throws while Roman made 24 of 32.
“It wasn’t that they were too good. They were just too big,” Creighton said. “One thing we didn’t deal with this year was size. Size overcame speed in this game.”
“They wore us down,” Valinsky said. “We’re big, but we’re really not muscular.”
The game started nice enough for Allderdice, which took a 10-0 lead. Roman missed its first eight shots and didn’t have a field goal until Stevens scored with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
But foul trouble started to plague Allderdice in the second quarter. Three Allderdice starters finished the first half with two fouls and sixth man Dugger had three.
Still, Allderdice held a 24-18 lead in the second quarter until Roman went on an 11-0 run to go ahead, 29-24, with 1:58 left in the half. Roman led at halftime, 33-30.
Allderdice stayed close for a while in the third quarter and Creighton’s 3-pointer brought the Dragons within 39-38. But two dunks by Stevens were part of a 12-2 run that put Roman ahead, 51-40. Allderdice never got any closer.
Although it was a tough way to close the season, this Allderdice team should be remembered for a while in the Pittsburgh area. The Dragons dominated most opponents and captured the attention of the city and their school. Ten buses from Allderdice made the trip to Hershey.
“The dream is over, but the history lives on with what this team did, which is nice,” Valinsky said.
Creighton said, “We will always remember this year. It might not be history for [Roman], but it’s history for us. We didn’t win, but I still believe we’re one of the best teams ever in the City League. We will believe that forever.”
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