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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Losing Wednesday night in the Catholic League semifinals should have been the first and immediate thing on Shep Garner's mind. Instead, he was thinking states.

A sophomore at Roman Catholic, which lost to Neumann-Goretti, 73-56, Garner said he's looking forward to next month's PIAA Class AAAA tournament. Not for the chance to win a state title, but for the chance to see his hometown team -- Chester High.

"I'm real excited because I'm from Chester, so it's good to know we could run into them along the way," said Garner, who had 20 points in Wednesday's loss. "I'm friends with the whole team – Darius (Robinson), Rondae (Jefferson), Kareem (Robinson), Richard (Granberry), Tavaune (Griffin), everybody. I'm with them every weekend. It's good to think about playing against your childhood friends, guys you played in the Biddy League with."

Garner said he considered "staying home" and attending Chester High will all of his childhood friends, but in the end, he said "Roman was just the right fit for me."

"That's his home, so I expect him to be excited about that," Roman Catholic coach Chris McNesby said of Garner. "With these guys, I'll play against anybody. They're a good group of kids."

In related news, Chester senior Shanier Cottman was spied at the Palestra Wednesday for the Catholic League semifinal doubleheader. He said he was there to see Chester natives like Garner of Roman, as well as Archbishop Carroll's Yosef Yacob, Isaiah Warren and Francis Jackson.

Carroll lost to St. Joseph's Prep, 59-48, in the other semifinal. The Patriots will play Philadelphia Electrical next Wednesday in the District 12 Class AAA third-place game at Archbishop Ryan High School.

(Photo courtesy

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