Rarely has there been such a marquee contest between city basketball teams this early in the season.
Roman Catholic, ranked No. 2 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, will clash with No. 1 Imhotep Charter at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Community College of Philadelphia.
Roman and Imhotep are the defending PIAA Class 6A and 4A state champions, respectively.
The Cahillites (24-6 last season) are fueled by a dynamic trio: 6-foot-6 forward and Penn State recruit Seth Lundy; 6-6 wing Hakim Hart (St. Joseph’s); and point guard Lynn Greer III.
Matt Griffin’s squad was greatly bolstered by the arrival of two highly touted freshmen: 6-8 forward Jalen Duren and guard Justice Williams. Both are part of USA Basketball’s national junior training program.
The Panthers (31-2 last year) have an imposing six-man rotation made up of 6-7 Donta Scott (Maryland); 6-5 Dahmir Bishop (Xavier); 6-6 Jamil Riggins (Binghamton); 6-6 Chereef Knox; 6-8 Elijah Taylor; and point guard Fatayn Wesley.
Roman opened the season last weekend in a tournament at DeMatha Catholic (Md.), posting a 72-63 win Saturday over Archbishop Carroll (Md.) in the semifinals before falling to DeMatha, 70-61, in Sunday’s final.
Hart, with 14 points, led five double-digit scorers as the host Cahillites downed West Catholic, 81-63, in Wednesday’s Catholic League opener.
Imhotep began its season -- and Public League Independence Division action -- Tuesday with a 77-58 defeat of Constitution. Bishop and Scott produced 19 and 17 points, respectively.
Imhotep was ranked No. 16 nationally in the preseason by USA Today. Andre Noble’s team finished No. 5 last season.