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Bishop McDevitt’s run stopped by Neumann-Goretti in PIAA-3A quarterfinals

PHILADELPHIA >> Neumann-Goretti catapulted to the PIAA Class 3A semifinals after escaping with a 65-54 win over Bishop McDevitt at Jefferson University.

Although Neumann-Goretti was breezing along with a healthy double-digit lead for most of the contest, a spirited 4th quarter rally by the Lancers brought them to within 6 points at 57-51 with just over a minute to play. However, the Saints were able to regroup in the last minute and extend the lead to a more comfortable margin, thanks mainly to some clutch foul shooting down the stretch.

Prior to Saturday’s match-up with N-G, some of the McDevitt players were making comparisons to themselves and the UMBC team that upset No. 1 ranked University of Virginia in the NCAA March Madness Tournament on Friday. Indeed, McDevitt players could relate to a lower seeded team entering a showdown with a No. 1 seed where few people would have expected them to make much noise.

In truth, McDevitt had just come off with victories in the first two rounds against teams that had higher rankings, namely Kutztown and Notre Dame Green Pond. In both those games, the Lancers played crisp basketball offensively and defensively, while making few mistakes.

Against N-G, the Lancers did not shoot that efficiently and were guilty of numerous turnovers, but it certainly didn’t dampen their resolve. According to soph guard Ahmir Harris, “every player put their heart out on the court” as they fought tooth and nail till the final buzzer.

McDevitt’s Qian Boone, who played in his final scholastic game mentioned that first-year coach Will Chavis had told his players that they were “on a stage” where “they needed to take risks” if they were going to advance deeper in the state tournament. Boone, who is considering attending Penn State-Abington or Arcadia next fall, was surprisingly upbeat despite the loss. He expressed that he was “proud of his teammates because they played as a team and lost as a team”. He plans “to come back to root for the team next season”.

Neumann-Goretti had only a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter against the pesky Lancers. That was partly due to fact that the Saints missed their first six foul shots.

They extended that lead to 31-17 at half, spurred on by Hakim Byrd who posted 13 2nd-quarter points. N-G had a 17-point lead in the 4th quarter, until McDevitt started its frantic comeback. Shamir Mosely supplied most of the firepower but notching all of his 13 points in the 4th to put a scare into N-G.

N-G head coach Carl Arrigale, while being pleased overall by his team’s performance, was “not at all happy about the way they finished” as McDevitt began to turn up the heat. His thought his players “played a terrific defensive game until things got a little ragged near the end.”

Handling full court pressure and cutting down on turnovers were a few things he will tweak in practice Monday as his team prepares for the semifinal round on Tuesday against either Loyalsock Twp (Dist 4) or Trinity (Dist 3).

As disappointed as some of the McDevitt players were about their abrupt exit from the playoffs, many of the underclassmen feel that they will be competitive with the upper echelon of the Catholic League in the years ahead.

Most of the core players in the McDevitt lineup will be returning including DaQuane Williams, Cameron Gardner, Ahmir Harris, Kyle Hines, Shamir Mosely, Jamil Manigo, and Robert Smith. They can all look forward to another chance at slaying the N-G Goliath again in next years playoffs.



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