SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) has played one of the toughest schedules in the country, with games against four teams that have spent time in the Super 25 high school boys basketball rankings. All four of those games were losses, however, but on Sunday, the Saints defeated regionally ranked Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) 72-69 in the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
The difference is a healthy Quade Green. The speedy 6-1 guard, a Kentucky signee, has been slowed at times this season with a back and ankle injury. At full strength Sunday, he had 29 points, five rebounds and 10 assists.
“I am very happy to be healthy,” Green said. “I was a little sluggish in the beginning, but in the second half, I just had it coming for my team. As a team, we all came together with hard work. I got my legs under me this game and the difference is I was healthy.”
Neumann-Goretti (9-5) needed nearly every one of Green’s points because J.P. Moorman, a Temple signee, had 26 points for the Bengals (22-3).
“It was nice for us to win one of these games,” Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale said. “It’s was good to see J.P. and it’s good to see a guy like that come to the city.”
Greensboro stayed close with strong defense, but Bengals coach Fred Johnson said Green made pressing difficult.
“If we had to do it over again, we would have pressed more, but I was concerned he would blow right by us,” Johnson said. “We have tape on them playing six games and this is the best game I’ve seen him play.”
The Saints also gave Green more support than Greensboro Day gave Moorman. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree had 18 points and nine rebounds and was tasked with slowing down Moorman.
“Dhamir got off to a slow start,” Arrigale said. “He’s been a constant for us. They were so perimeter oriented, it kind of took Dhamir out of his game defensively a little bit.
“He normally cleans up around the rim. He was out of sorts early and we needed him to get on the right track. When we play these types of games, Quade (pronounced Quad-ay) and Dhamir (Da-Meer) have to come up big.”
Green had missed three games because of the various injuries and 10 days of practice. Arrigale saw something this past week, however, that gave him hope.
“He’s finally close to where he was before he got injured,” Arrigale said. “I saw his burst the other day in practice, when my little freshman challenged him. We were looking forward to this one, this last one, before we really dig into our league.”
Green was feeling well enough this past week to even do a little recruiting for Kentucky. He stopped in on a practice session for Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.) at Hoophall to get big man Mo Bamba’s attention.
“I just looked at him and just smirked at him and he just laughed,” Green said. “Me and Mo, I’ll tell him everyday (to go to Kentucky). He brings length, so I could go out on a pick-and-roll and you know he’s got my man. He’s a shot deflector and he changes shots.”