Friday, December 12, 2008

Classic Big 5 Battle

I had the privilege of attending last night's chapter of the Holy War. I am a Villanova fan. I am also a basketball fan. And I am also a Philadelphia fan. So yes, I root for Villanova, but I love the Big 5, I love its traditions, I love that it is unique to Philly, and I hope to see all the city schools do well. And I love when Big 5 match-ups add to that tradition. Last night's 'Nova/St. Joe's game certainly didn't disappoint.

After a first half in which St. Joe's came out crisp and intense while 'Nova looked flat led to a 9 point St. Joe's lead, the second half lived up to the hype and produced an exhilarating game. Villanova seemed to find some energy. Maybe they realized they were playing one of their biggest rivals, at home, on national TV.

'Nova began the second half chipping away at the lead. This set the stage for a back-and-forth final 5 minutes, with the teams trading blows. Scottie Reynolds, who struggled early with poor shot selection and decision making (and making the Reverend look like a genius in the process), took over the game, hitting big shot after big shot and nailing the game-winning free throws with less than 5 seconds remaining.

As the Reverend mentioned in an earlier post today, Ahmad Nivins and Darrin Govens were bright spots for St. Joe's, who played a nice game and have nothing to hang their heads about. They certainly had the 'Nova faithful feeling uneasy.

In the end the more talented Wildcats overcame the scare and got the victory. It was a great game. It was a great game for Villanova, it was a great game for the Big 5, and it was a game Philadelphia can be proud of. Another Big 5 classic

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