Neumann-Goretti Defeats Holy Ghost Prep in PIAA Class AAA Quarterfinal

3-16-12 @ Norristown Area (Norristown, PA)

PIAA Class AAA Quarterfinal

Game 2011-12 #222 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 64 Holy Ghost Prep (Bensalem, PA) 37

Please note: scroll down to the following article for a score-by-score summary of this game.

Two time defending PIAA Class AAA state champion Neumann-Goretti never trailed in this easy win over Ghost.  Ghost came into this game with a 28-1 record and a 14 game winning streak.  A member of the Independence division of the Bicentennial League, Ghost does not play a particularly challenging schedule.  Their only previous loss this season was at home against division foe Lower Moreland, a team that Ghost beat on two other occasions this season.  Neumann-Goretti came into the game with a 25-3 record and an 11 game winning streak.  The last time that Neumann-Goretti lost to a Pennsylvania team was the first game of last season, when they fell to Council Rock North on a neutral floor.

Neumann-Goretti was too strong and too quick for Ghost.  While Ghost plays deliberately on offense and their games are typically low scoring, Neumann-Goretti's defense did not try very often to pressure Ghost into a quicker tempo.  However, Neumann-Goretti's defensive play in this game was terrific, and they didn't overplay in their man-to-man, so Ghost had no opportunities for backdoor cuts to the hoop.  When Neumann-Goretti had possession of the ball, they got it up court quickly and did not delay in taking shots.  Because of Neumann-Goretti's outstanding offensive rebounding, missing some shots here and there was not much of a problem.  Neumann-Goretti had 13 offensive rebounds in this game, compared to eight defensive rebounds for Ghost.  The winners scored 14 second chance points in the game.  Ghost had lots of difficulty defending against Neumann-Goretti, and none of the several defensive schemes that they tried was particularly effective.

For the winners, 6' 3" sophomore Jaquan Newton had 19 points, nine of them in the second quarter when Neumann-Goretti forged an insurmountable lead.  His teammates, 6' 5" senior Derrick Stewart (Rider recruit) and 6' 4" junior John Davis, had 17 points and 12 points, respectively.  In his final high school game, 6' 1" Ghost senior Jeff Ainsley led his team with a dozen points.  Neumann-Goretti was 7 for 14 from the free throw line, while Ghost was 8 for 12 from the stripe.  Neumann-Goretti made six threes in the game, and their tight man-to-man defense held Ghost to one three.  Neumann-Goretti had a big rebounding margin, 28 to 16.  The raw figures are illusory, though, as five of Ghost's rebounds came late in the fourth quarter when mostly reserves were on the floor.  Ghost committed 13 turnovers, while Neumann-Goretti had eight miscues.  Neumann-Goretti blocked four shots in the game, while Ghost's only block was an impressive one by 6' 4" senior Tom Heston.

Several hundred Ghost students wore red tee shirts and sat together to cheer for their team.  As the game wound down, these kids chanted the names of Ghost's senior players and of the coach, Tony Chapman.  At the end of the game, the Ghost team and coaches walked over to where the kids in red were sitting and applauded the cheering students.  It was a nice touch, and a good way to end the team's terrific season.

Neumann-Goretti will face Boys' Latin Charter next week in the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AAA state championship tournament.

Neumann-Goretti 14 13 19 18-64
Holy Ghost Prep 8 8 13 8-37  
 

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