Simon Gratz High hasn’t been good in Public League regular-season play.
The Bulldogs have been perfect.
Gratz (18-3) is 9-0 in Public League Division A competition. The Bulldogs are 13-0 overall against Public League foes.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround from last season, when Gratz was 3-7 in division play.
“A lot of these guys have been with me for a while,” Gratz coach Lynard Stewart, a former standout player for the Bulldogs and at Temple, said earlier this season. “They have experience, which is so important.”
Led by seniors such as guards Yassir Stover and Yasir Rowell, swingman Ross Carter and center Duane Satchell, Gratz is one win away from finishing the regular season with an unbeaten record in the Public League.
Gratz will host dangerous Division A rival Math, Civics and Sciences (14-5, 6-2) on Thursday in the Bulldogs’ final game of the regular season.
Here’s the new Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10, with last week’s rankings in parentheses:
1. Neumann-Goretti (1) 14-2: Speaking of perfect in league play, the Saints improved to 8-0 in the Philadelphia Catholic League with a 66-55 win over previously unbeaten (in league games) Archbishop Wood on Friday night. Neumann-Goretti’s backcourt of senior Hakim Byrd and junior Hysier Miller led the way, combining for 41 points in a spirited battle with Wood junior guards Rahsool Diggins and Jaylen Stinson. The Saints have a busy week, with PCL games at Archbishop Ryan on Monday, home vs. St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday and at Cardinal O’Hara on Sunday.
2. Archbishop Wood (2) 14-4: Junior Daeshon Shepherd’s offensive rebound and three-point play with 0:42 on the clock rallied the Vikings from a 61-60 deficit and led the way to a 65-63 win over Brooklyn Collegiate on Sunday in the All-City Classic. In Friday night’s loss at Neumann-Goretti, the Vikings got 15 points from Diggins and 13 each from Stinson and Shepherd but hurt their chances of winning on the Saints’ floor by going 2-for-10 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Wood will have a key game at No. 8 Archbishop Carroll on Friday night.
3. Westtown School (3) 17-7: Senior guard T.J. Berger, a Penn recruit, set a school record with 11 three-pointers Tuesday on his way to 35 points in a victory over Germantown Friends. One day earlier, the Moose stunned Hamilton Heights Christian, of Chattanooga, Tenn., which had been ranked No. 2 in the nation by MaxPreps, at an MLK Day event in the Washington, D.C., area. Berger hit six three-pointers and junior guard Jalen Warley added 14 points in that statement victory. Westtown will finish its regular season Tuesday vs. Friends’ Central in advance of the Friends Schools League playoffs.
4. Roman Catholic (4) 10-7: The Cahillites’ big three of senior Lynn Greer and sophomores Jalen Duren and Justice Williams led the way in a pulse-pounding, 76-70 win over Archbishop Carroll on Friday. Greer scored 24. Williams, whose offensive game seems to take another step forward every week, generated 25 points, and Duren was all business in the paint as usual with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Roman Catholic will visit West Catholic on Wednesday, host La Salle on Friday and travel to Cardinal O’Hara on Sunday.
5. Methacton (5) 18-1: Senior center Jeff Woodward, a Colgate recruit, became the program’s all-time leading scorer Thursday, passing the mark of 1,289 career points set in 1993 by Andrew Smith. Senior guard Erik Timko went for 25 against Norristown and 23 against Pottstown as the Warriors extended their winning streak to 15 games. Methacton will play at Upper Merion on Tuesday and host Owen J. Roberts on Thursday.
6. Bonner-Prendergast (6) 13-3: Senior Tyreese Watson with 25 and sophomore James Welde with 13 as the Friars rallied from an eight-point deficit after three quarters to beat La Salle, 53-47, Thursday. Junior Malik Edwards is averaging 13.2 points with a team-high 26 three-pointers for Bonner-Prendergast, which will play at Cardinal O’Hara on Monday, host Archbishop Ryan on Friday and visit West Catholic on Sunday.
7. Malvern Prep (7) 19-4: Senior guard Deuce Turner with 39 points as the Friars beat William Allen, 80-77, in a showcase at Parkland on Sunday. Earlier in the week, senior guard Spencer Cochran scored 21 points and Turner added 16 as the Friars continued their dominance in the Inter-Ac League with a 75-62 win over top challenger Episcopal Academy. Malvern Prep, which has won 12 in a row, will host Germantown Academy on Tuesday and visit Springside Chestnut Hill on Friday.
8. Archbishop Carroll (8) 12-5: Senior center Tairi Ketner with 23 points and 11 rebounds and junior swingman John Carroll with 23 points with four three-pointers as the Patriots beat La Salle, 68-64, on Sunday. Ketner, a burly Bryant recruit, went for 17 points with 11 rebounds in a hard-fought loss to Roman Catholic on Friday night. Archbishop Carroll will play at Bishop McDevitt on Wednesday and host Archbishop Wood on Friday.
9. Gratz (9) 18-3: The balanced Bulldogs are led in scoring by senior guard Yassir Stover, who averages 17.3 with a team-high 36 three-pointers. Senior swingman Ross Carter averages 11.5 points, senior guard Yasir Rowell averages 10.9 points, and senior center Duane Satchell is good for 8.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Gratz can seal up sole possession of the Public League’s Division A title as well the overall No. 1 seed in the league playoffs with a victory Thursday over Math, Civics and Sciences.
10. Imhotep Charter (10) 12-5: Freshman guard Rahmir Barno hit a three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer, went 6-for-6 from the foul line and converted a clutch jumper in the lane with 1 minute, 40 seconds to play in a 38-35 win over Haverford School on Sunday in the All-City Classic at Archbishop Wood. Imhotep Charter will play Sankofa on Tuesday and Mastery North on Thursday in advance of what the Panthers hope will be a strong run in the Public League playoffs.