Are the Cahillites, who feature sophomore stars Jalen Duren and Justice Williams as well as savvy senior guard Lynn Greer, the best team in the Philadelphia Catholic League and the entire Southeastern Pennsylvania region?
Or does that distinction belong to the senior-heavy Saints led by seasoned standouts such as Che Evans, Hakim Byrd, Cameron Young and Jordan Hall?
That’s not to discount talent-rich Westtown School or public-school suburban power Methacton or several other challengers for the crown in the ridiculously loaded Philadelphia Catholic League.
Best news: This all will play out on the court. Neumann-Goretti will host Roman Catholic on Jan. 17, and the teams could meet again in the PCL playoffs at the Palestra.
It’s the first week of January. Teams are clear of the holidays, entering into the teeth of league play, and preparing to settle these debates on the shiny hardwood and above the rim.
Here’s the new Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10, with last week’s rankings in parentheses:
1. Roman Catholic (1) 6-3: The Cahillites split two games at a showcase event in Wheeling, W.Va., last weekend and head into PCL play with three games against familiar foes this week, starting with a visit from dangerous Bonner-Prendergast on Tuesday afternoon.
2. Neumann-Goretti (2) 9-2: St. Joseph’s recruit Jordan Hall is averaged 9.3 points with team highs of 67 rebounds and 51 assists for the balanced Saints. Neumann-Goretti, which is 6-0 against Pennsylvania foes, will play at Bonner-Prendergast on Friday night.
3. Westtown School (3) 5-3: Penn recruit T.J. Berger with 23 points in a 66-56 victory over National Christian Academy (Md.) at the Slam Dunk to the Beach showcase in Lewes, Del. Jaylen Warley, Dereck Lively and Franck Kepnang also scored in double figures.
4. Methacton (4) 10-1: Senior guard Brett Eberly scored 16 and senior guard Erik Timko added 15 as the Warriors beat rival Norristown in the first game on their new gymnasium floor.
5. Archbishop Wood (5) 7-3: Junior guard Jaylen Stinson with 20 as the Vikings rolled to a 78-51 win over Father Judge on Sunday. It was the cap of a high-scoring weekend as Wood scored 164 points in victories over Philadelphia Catholic League foes West Catholic and Father Judge. Junior guard Rahsool Diggins added 17 in the win over Father Judge, making five three-pointers.
6. Archbishop Carroll (6) 9-1: Junior forward Anquan Hill showed his versatility in an imposing win over Devon Prep on Sunday, making a trio of three-pointers and throwing down three dunks. Hill recently picked up an offer from St. Joseph’s.
7. Cardinal O’Hara (9) 10-0: The Lions’ guard play was stellar in a victory over St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday. Senior Tre Dinkins and juniors Adrian Irving and Anthony Purnell controlled play with pressure defense, penetration, ball movement and three-point shooting. Dinkins and Purnell iced the cake with a pair of alley-oop dunks.
8. Gratz (7) 9-2: Duane Satchel, a burly senior center, dominated the paint with nine points and 10 rebounds in a big win over Pennsbury. The Bulldogs have a telling week ahead with games at Bartram and home vs. Sankofa.
9. Imhotep Charter (8) 6-4: The Panthers have rallied from a tough, four-losses-in-five-games stretch with a pair of victories over Public League foes Constitution and Overbrook. Imhotep Charter will host Math, Civics and Sciences in a key Public League Division A game Wednesday night.
10. Bishop McDevitt (10) 5-4: The Lancers have rallied from a 2-4 start that included a three-point loss to Archbishop Wood and three setbacks to quality out-of-state foes with three straight victories. Rovert Smith scored 14 and Jamil Manigo added 13 in a 42-39 win over La Salle on Friday night. The Lancers will visit Cardinal O’Hara for a key PCL clash Monday night and have an interesting battle with North Jersey non-public power Gill St. Bernard onSaturday at a showcase event at Kean University.