The Catholic League Championship Came Down to Overtime in A Game for the Ages As Part of a Fantastic Double Header.

The Palaestra is one of those formidable, powerful, descriptive terms describing a structure from ancient Greek times – which featured an open-court configuration.

Athletes would train in the Palestra — from boxers to wrestlers in one of humanity’s ancient gymnasiums.

They had nothing on our building at the University of Penn.

In overtime on Monday night in the boys Catholic League Championship at the Palestra, #1 Roman Catholic was locked in an overtime battle with #5 Archbishop Ryan. With just seconds left and trailing 44–42, Archbishop Ryan appeared to have won the game when they hit a three-pointer to go up 45–44.

Roman Catholic High School — Philadelphia’s first Diocesan high school in all of America founded in 1890 — who just honored the 115th anniversary of its 1902–03 basketball team — was going for its 34th PCL Championship for basketball. The 1902–1903 team was Philadelphia’s first integrated high school basketball team — and possibly the first in the United States.

With time running out, Roman did not utilize a timeout. They brought the ball up the court, utilized a set offense, and won the championship with a pull-up, foul-line jumper with no time remaining on the clock, 46-45.

Earlier that evening, it took double overtime for the Archbishop Wood to defeat Archbishop Carroll 54–52, which featured Archbishop Wood making eight free throws down the stretch to win the game.

Penn’s Palestra — first built in 1927 and named by Greek Professor William N. Bates — the location of many great games including a 26–15 Penn win over Yale on New Year’s Day of that year — had yet another fantastic finish occur within its walls.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons.

The Palaestra’s of Pompeii and Olympus were athletic training areas in ancient Greece.

On Monday night, OUR Palestra was the scene of two more championships.

Congratulations to all four teams on great, winning seasons.

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