ROSELLE, NJ - In the end, size was the difference as Roselle Catholic defeated Marist High School 66-46 in the NJSIAA Parochial B quarterfinals Thursday evening at Roselle Catholic High School. The game featured two teams ranked in the top 20 in the state, with Roselle Catholic coming in ranked third and Marist holding down the 20th spot.
Roselle Catholic jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a layup by Niels Lane off the opening tap, a three-pointer by Simeon Wilcher and a dunk by Clifford Omoyuri in the first two and a half minutes. Omoyuri, a 6-10 center, is one of the top recruits in the state, courting offers from Rutgers, Arizona State and Auburn.
Marist bounced back after the timeout on baskets from Donavan Long and Keith Mency to cut the lead to 7-4. The Royal Knights and Lions traded baskets until a 5-0 run on a three-pointer from Corey Floyd and a basket from Ahmad Robinson gave the Lions a 19-11 lead after one quarter.
Roselle Catholic continued its dominance inside in the second quarter, as Omoyuri had six more of his game high 20 for the Lions. Marist, whose tallest starter is 6-5, needed to be hot from the three point line, but struggled outside, and trailed 39-25 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Royal Knights make a run at Roselle Catholic, as their pressure defense bothered the Lions, the slower tempo throwing the Lions out of rhythm. Marist outscored Roselle Catholic 12-9 in the quarter, cutting the lead to 48-37 at the end of three quarters.
Whatever momentum the Aviators had picked up, disappeared in the fourth.
After Adam Silas hit one of two foul shots to cut the lead to 10, Roselle Catholic went on an 11-0 run behind eight points from Omoyuri to out the game out of reach.
Omoyrui had a triple double for Roselle Catholic, scoring 20 points, retrieving 14 rebounds and making 10 blocks, while taking advantage of a five to seven inch height advantage over whomever was guarding him for Marist. Lane had nine assists for the Lions and Roselle Catholic was without top scorer CJ Wilcher, who is headed to Xavier University in the fall.
Marist was led by Manny Toha and Mike Jackson, who each had 11 points. Junior Jae Shawn Felder sank two free throws in the final minutes for the Royal Knights to record the last points scored in a boys varsity basketball game for Marist.
Roselle Catholic, 21-7 on the season, advanced to the semifinals where they will face the Patrick School on Saturday.
Marist, which is shutting its doors in June, finished its final season with a 22-6 record. Roselle Catholic improved to 21-7.
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