Neumann-Goretti takes down Archbishop Wood in PCL opener

WARMINSTER >> There’s no such thing as a good loss. Especially a league loss, and for Archbishop Wood particularly against Neumann-Goretti as the two teams have ramped up a bitter rivalry over the past couple seasons.

It took Wood all game long to put something together offensively, but three quarters of putting itself behind the eight-ball the fourth quarter blitz from the Vikings wasn’t enough as they fell to Goretti 45-38 in the Philadelphia Catholic League opener for both Tuesday.

“There’s encouragement (but) we want to win the game,” Wood coach Mike McDonald said. “No matter who were playing we want to win the game. There’s disappointment and a lot of negatives to take from it obviously.”

Wood (2-1, 0-1 league) struggled to get anything going offensively through the first three quarters of the game as missed shots, miscues and sloppy play saw Wood post only 19 points through the first three quarters of play.

The problem with the Wood offense however was not entirely self-inflicted, as the Vikes could not figure out how to crack the code of the Neumann-Goretti (4-0, 1-0) zone defense and the stellar athletes the Saints rolled out on the court.

“It was what I expected,” McDonald said. “They get after you, they switch on everything. They have a lot players that can play so they can switch and match up with anybody.”

As the fourth quarter hit, most people probably would have figured the game was all, but over with the Vikings trailing by 17 points entering the final frame.

Wood fought hard in the fourth, finally knocking down some jump shots it missed earlier in the game and got some post action working with Katie May and Bailey Greenberg. The Vikings won the fourth quarter 19-9, limiting the Saints to only one field goal in the quarter.

Through the first three quarters Wood lacked confidence. Whatever Wood was missing in the first three quarters it finally found in the fourth. There isn’t much explanation as to why the Vikings played the way they did in the first three quarters, but it was likely just the fact its only the third game of the season for Wood.

“It’s the third game, first Catholic game and it’s one of the top teams in the country,” McDonald said. “It’s normal to be a little bit jittery. We’re still figuring out rotations and stuff like that so I think its common to start that way against a team like that but you cant.”

It would be foolish to project a Catholic League rematch this early in the season with both teams still having a lot of work to get there but as McDonald put it its definitely the Vikings goal.

“That’s where we expect to get every year,” McDonald said. “Obviously from the day to day its just a matter of getting better, improving and get ready for the next opponent.”

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