Basketball coaches often stress the need for balanced scoring. Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) displayed it perfectly on Saturday.
All seven players who took the court scored, and three went for double figures as Neumann-Goretti pulled away for a 59-49 victory over No. 3-ranked St. Andrew’s in the Coaches vs. Cancer PA/DE Challenge at Cheltenham High School.
“They made some big shots in the third quarter that helped start their momentum,” St. Andrew’s coach Terrell Myers said. “They have so many weapons that it’s hard to fight back. They have multiple guys that can put points on the board.”
St. Andrew’s (1-2) got off to a hot start, as Ben Bentil scored on an offensive rebound, Myles Stephens went coast-to-coast for a dunk and Evan Thomas hit a driving layup for a 6-2 lead.
Neumann-Goretti (3-0) gradually closed the gap and ripped off seven straight points to take an 18-14 lead after one quarter. The Pennsylvania team then started the second period with an 8-2 run, with Ja’Quan Newton’s layup pushing the lead to 26-16.
St. Andrew’s fought back, as Bentil scored on a spin move and Stephens and Will Brown drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the margin to 29-27 at the half.
But Neumann-Goretti started the second half with a 10-2 surge, with Troy Harper’s layup making it 39-29. St. Andrew’s clawed back within 49-45 on Stephens’ driving layup and free throw midway through the fourth quarter, only to see Neumann-Goretti put it away by hitting 6 of 7 free throws down the stretch.
“When you can put five guards on the court, it’s hard to come back in that situation,” Myers said. “It was hard for us to match up. But I’m proud of my guys. I thought they fought hard.”
Stephens led St. Andrew’s with 22 points, while Bentil – a Providence signee – added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Neumann-Goretti got 14 points from Newton, 11 from Harper and 10 from Lamar Kimble.