City championships captured; state playoffs next

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Neumann-Goretti sophomore Robert Wright (pictured here in the Philadelphia Catholic League championship game) led the Saints to a Class 4A city championship with a 28-point effort against West Philadelphia. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

Neumann-Goretti High School made it 2-for-2 as both the boys and girls basketball teams captured city championships last week.

The boys team defeated West Philadelphia, 87-65, in the District 12 Class 4A championship at Abraham Lincoln High School on March 4 on the strength of a 28-point effort from Robert Wright and a 25-point effort from Masud Stewart. Aamir Hurst added 10 points for the Saints while Khaafiq Myers contributed eight. Neumann-Goretti raised its record to 18-4 and has won five straight, which included a Philadelphia Catholic League championship on Feb. 28 at the Palestra. The Saints will play Eastern Lebanon County on Tuesday in the opening round of the PIAA Class 4A state playoffs at Cardinal O’Hara High School at 7:30 p.m.

The Neumann-Goretti girls won their 3A city championship by defeating Imhotep Charter, 54-45, on March 3 at La Salle College High School.

The Saints received a 33-point effort from senior Mihjae Hayes to lift their record to 11-9 and win the PIAA District 12 title. Senior D’Ayzha Atkinson added 10 points in the win.

Imhotep won the Philadelphia Public League title in February by defeating Mastery Charter North Pickett, 55-45, in the championship game. 

Neumann-Goretti begins its state title run against Brandywine Heights in the opening round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs on Tuesday at Cardinal O’Hara at 6 p.m.

Honors and States for Southern

Joining Neumann-Goretti in the boys Class 4A tournament was South Philadelphia (14-7), which grabbed the fourth seed out of District 12 in Class 4A and will visit District 11 winner Bethlehem Catholic (19-6) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. 

The Rams announced that senior Dayan Warren made first team All-Public and junior Yassir Joyner made second team. Warren has averaged north of 18 points per game while grabbing eight rebounds per contest. Joyner was the Rams’ leading scorer during the regular season, averaging 20 points a game.

Oh, What a Knight

String Theory’s best season in school history has been rewarded with multiple awards. Eric Funaro received coach of the year for the Philadelphia Public League’s National Division for the Knights, who were 14-9 entering the Class 3A state playoffs and will play Executive Education (13-7). 

Junior Jajuan Nelson (13.2 points per game) was named first team All-Public and received player of the year honors for the National Division. Senior Michael Varallo (12.0) earned second team All-Public recognition and senior Riyaad Oliver (seven) was voted third team. 

Fagans Gets 2nd Team

Academy at Palumbo’s Andrew Fagans was named second team All-Public as the senior led the Griffins with 13.3 points per game. Palumbo finished with an 11-11 record, which included a PPL playoff win.

Rockets on a Roll

Audenried’s girls team qualified for the Class 4A tournament and will to take on undefeated Gwynedd Mercy (24-0) in the first round of the state playoffs on Wednesday at Wissahickon High School at 6 p.m. The Rockets were 15-10 and are the fourth seed out of District 12.