Seth Lundy said Roman Catholic had a “slight chip on its shoulder” going into its Sunday afternoon showdown against Imhotep Charter.
Imhotep was ranked No. 16 in the country in USA Today’s preseason top 25, while similarly talented Roman was nowhere to be found on the list.
“We knew we were one of the top teams in the country,” Lundy said. “We wanted to come out here and make a statement.”
Lundy and the Cahillites did just that, pulling away from the Panthers down the stretch and emerging with an 82-69 victory before a large crowd at Community College of Philadelphia.
Roman, which came in ranked No. 2 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, outscored No. 1 Imhotep by 18-5 over the final four minutes.
“We spread the floor, got open shots, and defended pretty well,” said Lundy, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior wing who is bound for Penn State.
Lundy totaled a game-high 27 points, eight rebounds (four on offense), two assists, a steal, and a blocked shot.
“Seth is always looking to be challenged,” Cahillites coach Matt Griffin said. “He doesn’t want anything to come easy. He came up big for us on a big stage.”
Lundy shot 7 for 12 from the field (3 for 5 from beyond the arc) and 10 for 10 from the line in 25 minutes.
In addition to gaining national recognition, Roman (3-1) gained payback for the 65-44 loss it was dealt by Imhotep in a showcase event last year at Philadelphia University.
“I think we were definitely an underdog going into this game,” Griffin said. “But we know if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we can beat any team.”
A back-and-forth, fast-paced contest was deadlocked at 64 midway through the fourth stanza. A 6-0 run that was capped by Lundy’s fall-away, left-baseline jumper provided breathing room.
Lundy, who last season helped lead the Cahillites to their third PIAA Class 6A state title in four years, played AAU ball in the offseason for Team Final. “I worked on every aspect of my game,” the 18-year-old said.
Roman’s Jalen Duren, a 6-8 forward and highly touted freshman, produced 17 points, 14 boards (six on offense), two steals, and two blocks.
“I think, for the most part, he controlled the glass and established himself as one of the best freshmen in the area and in the country,” Griffin said.
Cahillites junior point guard Lynn Greer III registered 13 points, four assists, and three boards; 6-6 senior wing and St. Joseph’s recruit Hakim Hart chipped in nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals; and senior reserve guard Louie Wild hit two first-half treys en route to 10 points.
Donta Scott, a Maryland recruit, led Imhotep (3-1) with 24 points. Fellow senior Chereef Knox contributed 21 points (18 in the first half), eight boards, and four assists.
Imhotep Charter 16 24 14 15-69
Roman Catholic 18 21 18 25-82
IC: Fatayn Wesley 3, Dahmir Bishop 9, Jamil Riggins 4, Chereef Knox 21, Donta Scott 24, Elijah Taylor 8.
RC: Lynn Greer III 13, Justice Williams 4, Jalen Duren 17, Seth Lundy 27, Hakim Hart 9, Louie Wild 10, Kyle Maska 2.