The dust has settled in Philadelphia high school hoops, in both the Catholic League and the Public League and two powerhouse programs stand atop the mountain. Neumann-Goretti HS and Imhotep Charter both completed impressive runs to clinch 3-Peats in their respective leagues.
Neumann-Goretti HS etched its mark in Philadelphia Catholic League history by being the first program ever to win the championship and go undefeated in the league three straight years. Their other Catholic League foes cannot breath easy after this year either, Carl Arrigale’s crew only graduates 5’9 St. Peter’s College-bound Lamin Fulton.
Coach Arrigale and Asst. Coach John Mosco were brave enough to venture to the Reading Hoop Group Tip-Off Showcase in mid-December, and test their extremely young team against a talent-laden Reading Central Catholic squad in a hostile environment. They won the game 58-46, after trailing by as many as 8 points in the 3rd quarter. The future is bright for NG with Hoop Group Alums 6’5 Jr. Derrick Stewart, 6’5 So. Johnny Davis, 6’2 Fr. Jaquan Newton, and 6’4 Fr. Tony Toplyn.
Coach Andre Noble’s Imhotep Charter squad and their deep stable of talent continued to dominate the Philadelphia Public League, or as it is affectionally know “The Pub.” Coach Noble’s crew have put up a gaudy record of 55-2 against “Pub” competition the last 3 years. The Panthers are the first “Pub” squad to win three consecutive titles since West Philadelphia marched to five from 1974-78.
The casual fan would obviously think the Panthers Division I-bound trio of Eric Copes(George Washington University), Ameen Tanksley(Niagara University) and David Appolon(Robert Morris University) were the main reason of this success, not necessarily the case here. Imhotep has two unsigned Seniors in 6’5 Earl Brown, 6’4 Tyheem ‘Redz’ Perrin and 6’6 Super Sophomore Brandon Austin as well that were major contributors. Brown is an extremely athletic combo forward that is transitioning his game to the perimeter. The 6’4 Perrin is a slashing wing who is very adept in creating opportunites for his teammates. According to Steve Keller of the National Recruiting Report both are definitely scholarship worthy guys at some level, but just need to find the right fit. Wherever they may end up at the next level, perspective coaches will be comforted by the fact that they will get tough-hardnosed players that are battle-tested and well coached.
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