Roselle Catholic rolls past Pope John XXIII for their second TOC Championship

By Anthony Caruso III
March 24th, 2015, 12:13 AM EST

Trenton, NJ – Roselle Catholic Lions have defeated the Pope John XXIII Lions for their second Tournament of Champions Championship in three years. They also won this event in 2012, as they defeated St. Joseph-Metuchen Falcons by 15 with the final score of 65-49.

On Monday night at the Sun National Bank Center, Roselle Catholic won 57-45 over Pope John XXIII.

Isaiah Briscoe Roselle Catholic Lions Pope John XXIII Lions NJSIAA Sun National Bank Center

Isaiah Briscoe (Photo by Mustafa Abdullah)

Roselle Catholic outscored Pope John XXIII in the first three quarters. However, in the fourth quarter, Pope John XXIII outscored them 16-12.

Isaiah Briscoe had a game-high 27 points for Roselle Catholic. He was the only player in the entire game with 20 points.

“I was just being Isaiah,” Briscoe said. “My teammates give me confidence and tell me when to take over the game and when it’s time to score. I believe in them, and they believe in me.”

Nazi Reid added 12, while Chris Silva had 8. Taahir Prelaw contributed four and Pierre Sarr had three. Kameron David had two and Matt Bullock one.

Pope John XXIII had three players in double figures. Moustapha Diagne had 15, while Jeromy Rodriguez added 13, and James Scott had 10. Matt Zignorski had five, and Ray Montilus added two.

Roselle Catholic nearly led by double digits for much of the fourth quarter. Following a Scott basket, the lead was cut to 9 at 51-42.

The green and white Lions had a lead as much as 18 in the fourth. After a Briscoe basket, they led 51-33.

Roselle Catholic began to increase their lead in the third as it began to go to double digits. Scott cut the lead to 31-21, before Roselle Catholic pushed the lead to 12.

They would have the lead up to 16 at the end of the third.

“I saw him pick and chose his moments,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff said. “He didn’t try to do everything early, but he did find those opportunities to impose his will on the game, so to speak, and I thought when he did that it helped us get separation, which was what we needed.”

There were two ties in the second quarter. But once Roselle Catholic got the lead, they wouldn’t let it go. They were up 31-19 at halftime.

Rosalie Catholic led 11-8 after the first quarter. After the game was tied at 6, RC outscored them 5-2.

“Every poll, every newspaper around the country said we had to win the state championship, and if we didn’t it would be a bad season. That’s a lot of pressure to put on kids,” Boff added. “The thing I’m most proud of with this group is that they just dealt with that pressure. They dealt with the expectations and they were fantastic.”

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