Green helps Neumann-Goretti cast a chill on Archbishop Carroll

RADNOR — As Quade Green walked past his coach and out of the Neumann-Goretti locker room Friday night, Carl Arrigale paid him one of the most sincere compliments a dead-eye shooting guard can receive.

“He’s cold-blooded,’ the longtime coach said.

None of the members of the raucous capacity crowd at Archbishop Carroll’s gym that had just solemnly filed out were in any position to dispute that.

Green nailed a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left on the clock, leading the Saints to a come-from-behind, 71-69 win in a seesaw classic between the Catholic League rivals.

The Saints, who trailed by six at the half and as many as seven in the third quarter, came storming back to reassume the top spot in the Catholic League thanks to Green, who scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than the final dagger.

Arrigale, whose team had failed to convert on a similar end-of-game situation in a loss to Roman Catholic this season, let Friday’s play out when two free throws by Josh Sharkey with 10.7 seconds left nudged Carroll ahead, 69-68.

Lamarr Kimble, who had just missed the front end of a one-and-one, drove the ball up the court, penetrated and kicked out to Green, who hit nothing but nylon with his triple from the right wing.

“I didn’t even know (Kimble) was going to throw it to me,’ Green said. “I called for it, and I just followed my mechanics.’

“He’s not afraid of anything,’ Arrigale said of Green. “It’s an unbelievable quality to have at his age. He’s not afraid of the moment. He’s not afraid of anything. He thinks he’s the best.’

Green is also the one who jolted Neumann-Goretti back to life from a rare mid-game lull. The Saints scored just five points in the second quarter, which Carroll started with a 10-0 run. The Patriots held a two-point lead after three quarters, until Green got in the act with back-to-back 3-pointers — the first, a 28-footer, then a pull-up in transition — that breathed new life into the Saints.

That set the tone for a rip-roaring fourth quarter, with NG’s stable of guards trading runs to the hoop with Sharkey and Derrick Jones. Sharkey scored 10 of his 21 points in the final frame, while Jones collected 26 points and 13 rebounds (most off his own misses) on the evening. Jones’ ability to control the glass was almost enough for the Patriots to banish their recent Catholic League albatross, but they couldn’t finish it off.

Part of that was the relentlessness of the Neumann-Goretti guards, who returned points from 12 of the Saints’ final 15 possessions. Whether it was Green or Kimble (15 points) getting to the hoop or dishing off to Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (13 points, including six on 3-for-3 shooting in the fourth), the inability to stem the tide of the Saints’ momentum ultimately doomed Carroll.

“They have great players,’ Sharkey said. “That’s what they’re about. They have great guards and they’re very tough to defend. Quade and Lamarr really stepped up at the end.’

Until those final few minutes, Carroll (11-5, 6-2) looked ready to banish the demons of its recent struggles against NG and seize possession of first place in a logjammed Catholic League. They rattled off a 17-3 run in the second quarter, with 3-pointers by John Rigsby and Ryan Daly surging the momentum in their favor.

Their lead grew to 46-39 late in the third quarter when Daly tipped home an offensive rebound, and despite a quick 4-0 spurt from NG, the Patriots took the momentum into the final quarter thanks to Rigsby’s block of a Kimble 18-footer at the buzzer.

The fourth quarter is when, befitting their championship pedigree, the six-time reigning Catholic League champs came alive. Jones and Sharkey continued to get their points, but the Saints ability to go 16-for-19 from the free throw line meant they got the better of the counterpunching.

Whether that little extra swagger that comes with all those titles played a role in their sure finish to the game is open to interpretation.

“I think we believe that we can beat anybody,’ Sharkey said. “It just came down to rebounds and getting stops, and we just didn’t do that at the end of the game. I think that’s what it’s all about. I think we played a great game, and it just came down to rebounds and getting stops.’

“We’ve got the confidence at the end of the game,’ Carroll senior Samir Taylor said. “We’ve just got to finish. It’s unlucky I guess.’

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