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Kirkland comes through to lift Roman over GA

Wes Kirkland was fed up. The Roman Catholic forward became more and more frustrated as the Cahillites missed shot after shot.

Wes Kirkland was fed up.

The Roman Catholic forward became more and more frustrated as the Cahillites missed shot after shot.

"I just figured that I had to make a big play," Kirkland said.

Make that big



Scoring seven straight fourth-quarter points, Kirkland led Roman to a 66-64 victory last night over Germantown Academy in the Philly High School Basketball Invitational at Philadelphia University.

Kirkland, a 6-foot-5 forward, pulled the Cahillites within two points (61-59) on a putback with 1 minute, 46 seconds remaining. He followed that up with a three-pointer on Roman's ensuing possession to give his squad the lead for good. Kirkland added another basket with 49 seconds left to give the Cahillites a 64-61 cushion.

"We don't take to losing," said Kirkland, who finished with 10 points. "Our No. 1 priority is to win.

"I just felt confident after that first shot."

Prior to his heroics, Roman, ranked third in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, saw a 14-point lead turn into a five-point deficit.

The Cahillites (2-0) missed nine consecutive field-goal attempts and were held scoreless during an 8:02 second-half stretch.

Roman's drought was the result of a box-and-one defense Germantown Academy (2-3) used in the second half to shut down Cahillites' point guard Maalik Wayns.

With a man constantly in his face, Wayns was unable to build upon an outstanding first half. The 6-foot-1 junior scored 21 of his 23 points before intermission. Wayns made six three-pointers in the first half. He was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately for the 10th-ranked Patriots, it didn't matter. Kirkland turned out to be the hero.

"The great teams are not made up of just one player," Germantown Academy coach Jim Fenerty said. "Roman is a great team. Their other guys stepped up."

With the win, Roman coach Dennis Seddon moved to within one victory of 500 career wins. The longtime coach has a 499-122 record. Roman will try to secure the milestone Friday against Bishop McNamara (N.Y.) in the first round of the Gonzaga Classic (D.C.)

In the second invitational game, St. Joseph's Prep defeated Penn Charter, 48-39.

Senior guard Matt Williams finished with 16 points and five rebounds to lead the ninth-ranked Hawks (3-1) to their third consecutive victory.

Sophomore guard Travis Robinson paced the Quakers (0-4) with a game-high 21 points before fouling out late in the game.

Roman Catholic21 20 13 12 - 66

Germantown Academy22 9 15 18 - 64

RC: Rakeem Brookins 7, Maalik Wayns 23, Courtney Stanley 9, Aaron Brown 6, Will Kirkland 11, Wes Kirkland 10.

GA: Dean Melchionni 4, Peter Haines 2, Eric Yuschak 6, Joe Hill 12, Cameron Ayers 18, Jeff Holton 22.

St. Joseph's Prep12 11 9 16 - 48

Penn Charter9 10 8 12 - 39

SJP: Joe Meehan 11, Phil Giordano 4, Matt Williams 16, Rich Hoffman 6, Mike Bradley 2, Mike Leithead 8, Brandon Robinson 1.

PC: Chris Kurz 3, Justin Renfrow 1, Mark Rhine 9, Don Rauchut 2, Dylan Moody 3, Travis Robinson 21.