Neumann-Goretti defeats New-Hope Solebury in 2nd Round of PIAA 3A State Championships
WYNCOTE, PA –
The Neumann-Goretti Saints, a defending state champion, defeated the New Hope-Solebury Lions 59-36 on Thursday night in Cheltenham High School in a PIAA 3A girls basketball second round matchup.
The Neumann-Goretti Saints are a defending state champion. But the New Hope-Solebury Lions, who came in with a 28-1 record and were the District 1 3A runners-up behind undefeated St. Basil’s, didn’t play scared and hung with the Saints through the first quarter. Thanks to five points from Alana Davidson, the future Davidson Wildcat, and some solid team defense, the Lions only trailed 13-9 at the end of one quarter of play.
However, Neumann-Goretti was just too quick for New Hope-Solebury and their ability to score in transition, create turnovers on the full court press after a made basket, and offensive rebounding ultimately proved too much for the Lions.
The Saints started the second quarter strong on both ends of the floor and scored the first eight points of the frame. NHS did not hit a field goal in the 2nd quarter with their only points coming at the line as a result of the Saints being in the penalty. As a result, Neumann-Goretti took a solid 26-12 lead in the locker room at halftime.
Sarah Wilson of New Hope-Solebury connected on a three-pointer at the 5:30 mark of the 3rd quarter for the Lions first field goal since late in the first quarter. But after that three-pointer, Neumann-Goretti got an and-one from Chyna Nixon and a quick steal and layup from Ashley Jones for a quick five points, and a 33-15 lead at the 4:57 mark, thus forcing a NHS called timeout.
Even though the Lions got another three from Wilson and a couple of nice layups from Davidson late in the quarter, the Saints basically dominated the third quarter, doubling up the Lions 20-10 in the frame, to take a 46-22 lead into the 4th quarter, and ultimately held on for the 23-point victory.
“We started to pick it up in the 2nd quarter and start to pick it up as the game goes on,” stated Neumann-Goretti head coach Andrea Peterson on her team’s slow start. “Sometimes we change things up, but really the steals and the layups and the fast breaks are our go to and we’ll continue to work on that.”
Even being down by double-digits, New Hope-Solebury continued to hustle and play good basketball against the defending state champion Neumann-Goretti Saints. Even though, Neumann-Goretti was the team to prevail and move on to the state quarterfinals, the Lions played their hearts out and kept the game competitive. The Lion fans showed their appreciation for the team when New Hope-Solebury head coach Andy Krasna took out his seniors and starters to a standing ovation with 1:30 left to play.
“The first quarter I thought we came with a lot of energy,” stated Krasna after the team’s second loss of the season. “Neumann-Goretti turned the ball over early and we capitalized on it, but their transition offense was so tough and we just couldn’t get back on defense and I think that was really the whole story.”
“Some of our girls have only lost two games (in their careers) and some have only lost five games, so losing is very emotional for them,” Krasna continued. “We are so proud of them and I think it’s going to give some of the younger players and incentive to work a little bit harder in the offseason and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
Neumann-Goretti senior guard Minika Glenn led all scorers with 23 points and fellow senior guard Chyna Nixon finished in double-figures with 12. In her homecoming after playing most of her career at Cheltenham, Saints senior guard Ashley Jones scored 9 points. For New Hope-Solebury, Davidson finished with 13 points and Wilson had 11.
“It’s a quick turn around,” Peterson continued regarding the change of schedule due to the inclement weather. “We play today, one day of practice and we play again on Saturday. We just gotta bounce back, enjoy the win, and get ready for who we are playing next.”
(Photo Credit - Amanda Dedieu)