HERSHEY, PA – Neumann-Goretti star Quade Green had one more game left. He wanted to make it special.
“Whatever it took,” said the University of Kentucky-bound senior. “We all had the same mindset – play hard every play.”
The results supported that collective goal.
NG celebrates with PIAA 3A State Title trophy - PSD photo by Brandon Stivers/Xtreme Photography
Led by Green’s 22 points and eight assists, the Saints crushed Lincoln Park, 89-58, in the PIAA Class 3A state championship. Neumann-Goretti has now won fourth straight state championships.
In all, 10 different players provided offense, making it more fun than usual for coach Carl Arrigale.
“It’s always good to get players time,” said Arrigale. “They work hard in practice and are excited to show what they can do.”
The Saints (24-7) led 17-9 after one quarter, but a 50-26 hurricane turned the contest into a proverbial laugher, not that anyone was laughing at Lincoln.
“We respect all of our opponents,” said senior Villanova University signee Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, who contributed 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocked shots. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve been so successful. It doesn’t matter who we play. We’re going to play hard.”
The Saints’ celebration was part joy, part relief, part vindication. After N-G blew a big halftime lead and lost to Archbishop Wood in last month’s Catholic League championship – N-G’s third straight defeat in the CL final – there was a growing concern that the Saints would be unable to muster enough energy and desire to play good basketball.
Arrigale recognized the issue and lauded his troops for how they responded throughout the postseason.
“It was devastating after we lost (to Wood),” said Arrigale. “It took a lot for these guys to step up and move on. That they were able to do that . . . it says all there is to say about this team.”
In addition to Green and Cosby-Roundtree, teammates Christian Ings (13 points) and Mike Millsip (11) reached double digits. Noah Warren added nine points and Emil Moody seven.
“It’s been a great ride,” said Cosby-Roundtree. “I’ll miss not playing here next year. It’s been special.”
(John Knebels can be reached at email@example.com.)
NG senior Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree - PSD photo by Brandon Stivers