Paul VI will be trying to win a game Monday night.
But the Eagles will have an ulterior motive when they face Philadelphia Catholic power Roman Catholic in a 7:30 p.m. tip at Philadelphia University.
"I'm really hoping this is the kind of game that can help us down the road," Paul VI coach Tony Devlin said. "We'll be playing against a great program in a great venue. It's a great opportunity for our kids."
Paul VI is 1-0 after opening the season Friday night with an 80-48 victory over Triton. The Eagles are No. 2 in The Inquirer South Jersey Top 10.
Roman is 2-0 after Saturday's 49-44 victory over Neshaminy. Led by standout sophomore guard Shep Garner, the Cahillites are No. 10 in The Inquirer Southeastern Pennsylvania Top 10.
"I know our kids can compete," Devlin said. "We're going there to win the game. But I also think that a game like this will help us later in the season."
Paul VI was 24-2 and No. 1 in the rankings last season when the Eagles were upset by Red Bank Catholic by a 75-73 score in the first round of the South Non-Public A tournament.
The Eagles' focus this season is to avoid a repeat of tournament disappointment. A regular-season battle with a perennial power such as Roman Catholic is part of that process.
"That's all I can think about," Paul VI senior guard Ron Curry, who has signed with James Madison, said of the loss to Red Bank Catholic. "That left such a bad taste in our mouths. We're going to do anything we can to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Tigers roar. Woodrow Wilson beat Cherokee, 63-53, on Friday night in the Tigers' first game under new coach Bert Ayala.
Senior forward Mikal Harris led Woodrow Wilson with 21 points. The balanced Tigers had six other players score between nine and four points.
"He's a hardworking, talented, motivated young man," Ayala said of Harris. "It isn't often you come across a 6-5 player who has guard ability like he does."
Tough defense. Cherry Hill East got off to a great start in its first game under new coach Dave Allen with a 61-36 victory over Timber Creek on Friday night.
Senior guard Marc Schlessel scored 18, and senior forward Jake Gurkin added 14. But the key was the Cougars defense, which held the Chargers to just 19 points through the first three quarters.
Cherry Hill East also got a lift from junior swingman Gary Hettinger, who scored 12.
"He played very well in his first varsity game," Allen said of Hettinger. "He was the biggest surprise."
Game shortened. Friday night's Atlantic City at Millville game was ended with the Vikings holding a 63-48 lead midway through the fourth quarter because of an altercation on the court.
One player from each team was ejected.
Atlantic City was awarded the victory.
"It was an unfortunate situation," Atlantic City coach Gene Allen said.
This and that. Rancocas Valley is relying heavily on senior guard Tariq Jett while senior forward Dom Twitty recovers from an ankle injury. Jett scored 21 as the No. 8 Red Devils beat Pemberton, 65-33, on Friday night. . . . Trenton Catholic transfer Ronny Paden, who has signed with St. Peter's, has made an immediate impact at Willingboro with 23 points in a 60-43 win over Pemberton and 22 in a 68-42 win over Wildwood Catholic.
Freshman Tim Delaney, a 6-foot-8 forward, scored 22 in his varsity debut as Pitman beat Pennsville, 51-36. . . . Two other freshmen made immediate impacts as twins Nick DePersia (10) and Robby DePersia (eight) combined for 18 points in Haddonfield's 93-37 victory over Collingswood. . . . Cherry Hill West senior guard Marquis Goodman is averaging 26.5 points through two games. . . . Some of this week's top games include No. 8 Rancocas Valley at No. 4 Willingboro on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m., No. 10 Paulsboro at improved Haddon Township in a Colonial Patriot clash on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and Lenape at No. 9 Camden Catholic on Wednesday at 7 p.m.