WRITTEN BY: ANTHONY SIMURO
The Palestra was sold-out for the PCL semifinals and Neumann-Goretti gave the fans their money’s worth.
Neumann routed Archbishop Ryan in their semifinal matchup, 89-55, and did so in an impressive fashion. Shooting 13-18 from beyond the arc, Neumann advances to their eighth consecutive PCL title.
The Saints commanded the game the entire night executing on both ends of the floor. Junior guards Quade Green and Zane Martin were unconscious from the field for the Saints and led the way for them the entire night. Green dropped 31, hitting six three-pointers and Martin dropped 30, hitting five of his own three-pointers on the night. Martin also reached his 1,000 career point, to join the prestigious 1,000 point club for his high school.
“It feels good seeing that first shot go in, it gives us momentum, and then we pick it up on the other end,” said Zane Martin. “I took this game as a regular game and that really helped me make more shots and get into rhythm.”
Neumann headed into the half ahead of Ryan 39-21, despite the valiant effort from Ryan’s senior guard Austin Slawter, who let the way for the Raiders with 16 points on the night.
It was the same story in the second half for Neumann, as they added 50 more points and hit eight more three-pointers. Ryan couldn’t seem to get into rhythm and were just a step behind Neumann all night. If Neumann wasn’t hitting three-pointers, they were driving to the basket and converting tough shots at the rim.
With Ryan’s fan section trying to keep them in the game, they couldn’t quite close the gap. Neumann extended their lead to 34 points in the second half of the game and won in a dominating fashion, 89-55.
“We come to play and win. It’s going to be a tough game no matter who it is, that’s the advantage of playing first, we can get to relax, watch the game now after we took care of our end, the game’s a long way away, we’ve got three or four days to get ready for the game,” said Coach Carl Arrigale. “I’m hoping the game isn’t close Monday, but if we get into a close game we can shoot fouls (shots) and can shoot the ball. We have experienced guys, so I’m not really worried about that.”
The Saints were a perfect 13-0 in PCL play heading into the playoffs and haven’t lost any momentum since starting their playoff run. Cruising past Bonner-Prendergast in the quarterfinals and now Ryan in the semis, Neumann looks to reclaim the championship title against Roman Catholic on Monday.