For 3rd time in less than a week both RC hoop teams will be home on same night in states; Each seeks to advance to Wednesday’s championship games

Girls' hosting Trenton Catholic first before boys' face Wildwood Catholic Monday at The Lions' Den

For the third time in less than a week there will be a state tournament doubleheader at The Lions’ Den at Roselle Catholic with both RC varsity basketball teams playing on Pat Hagan Court.

On Monday in the Non-Public, South B semifinals for both it will be the top-seeded girls’ hosting fourth-seeded Trenton Catholic at 6 p.m., followed by the second-seeded boys’ hosting third-seeded Wildwood Catholic at 8.

The finals for both are scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. – the girls’ – and 6 p.m. – the boys’ at Jackson Liberty.

Both RC teams lost as the top seeds in the quarterfinals of their Union County Tournaments to eighth-seeded teams, so  each is doing its best to bounce back from those early exits and excel in state tournament play.

So far so good.

The girls’ are 22-4 after beating Doane Academy and Ranney in the first two rounds. The Lions have won three straight and seven of their last eight.

Roselle Catholic’s 2011-2012 season ended in this round at second-seeded Trenton Catholic, with the fourth-seeded Lions falling 49-34 to finish 20-7.

That was the last game RC’s Marcia Senatus played for the Lions. Senatus transfered to Trenton Catholic so she could play her senior season there.

Without Senatus in the lineup this season, RC still managed to post a Union County-best fifth straight 20-victory season. The Lions also three-peated as the Union County Conference’s Watchung Division champion.

Trenton Catholic is 20-6 after state wins at home over Wardlaw-Hartridge and St. Joseph’s, Hammonton.

Monday’s other semifinal pits third-seeded Sacred Heart of Vineland at second-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s, with a 4:30 p.m. tipoff.

The boys’ are 20-5 and like the girls’ on a three-game winning streak, including state wins at home over Ranney and Rutgers Prep.

The other semifinal Monday is fifth-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s vs. top-seeded Patrick School of Elizabeth, with a 7 p.m. tipoff at Rahway.

The Patrick School, this season’s UCT champion, is 22-3 and has won 11 straight, including a state home win over Trenton Catholic after receiving a first round bye.

The Celtics last loss Jan. 22 at Elizabeth 59-48. The Patrick school split with Elizabeth and were swept by Roselle Catholic in Union County Conference-Watchung Division play. With a record of 9-1, RC won the Watchung Division for the first time.

The Patrick Schoool defeated Gill St. Bernard’s 58-38 in the Hoop Group Tipoff Classic at West Orange back on Dec. 15.

Gill St. Bernard’s defeated Roselle Catholic 63-59 on Feb. 1 at the Prudential Center in Newark. Since then RC is 7-1, with the lone defeat coming right before the final buzzer to Union 64-63 in a UCT quarterfinal at Johnson.

– JR PARACHINI

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