We Had a Ref Go Down in the PCL Championship

screengrab via wooderboys/IG

Monday night, basketball powerhouse and #4 seed Neumann-Goretti took on the Cinderella #6 seed Archbishop Ryan at the Palestra in the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship. Unfortunately, midway through the game, we had a ref blow a tire and he needed to be helped off the court:

Biggest stage of the year for Philadelphia high school basketball, sold out crowd, and you gotta sit on the Palestra floor waiting for the trainers. Brutal. He originally refused the cart and wanted to gut it out, but the pain proved too much and he was carried off the floor. There are rumors swirling that this same ref had a heart attack during a game last year. Maybe this is a sign to hang up the whistle. You had a great run.

Catholic League basketball is the best. Look at this crowd! Its the only basketball game Penn can sell out during the season:

The game was awesome. I’ve been to every PCL championship since 2015, other than last year’s COVID one. This was easily in the top-3. I thought Neumann was going to win by 20 based on the eye test alone. Instead Ryan countered every blow and matched up well with Neumann. They had shifty guards that could get to the basket and a big man that took over at different parts of the game. Not to mention a shooter who had the green light every opportunity he got, and his four 3’s in the first half kept it close.

The game felt a little different than past PCL Championships because both teams were so young. In the past, the final typically features some of Philly’s best talent and future D1 stars. In the last several years the championship game featured Collin Gillespie, Jalen Duren, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Lynn Greer III, Hysier Miller, and going back further, guys like Malik Wayans, Tony Chenault, Scoop Jardine, and Rick Jackson all played in it. Neumann won the game 61-57 and pulled away after Ryan had three chances to tie it at the end. Carl Arrigale, Neumann’s coach, secured his 12th PCL title and they were popping tops on 2 street all last night: