Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Defending Champions Go Down Hard Neuman-Goretti 79, Seton-Lasalle 34

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Defending Champions Go Down Hard Neuman-Goretti 79, Seton-Lasalle 34

Article excerpt

HERSHEY, Pa. - While discussing what had just transpired with his team, Seton-LaSalle coach Spencer Stefko was asked what needed to happen Friday for the Rebels to have a chance at winning. Stefko said make a few more shots.

Yeah, like 20 more.

Seton-LaSalle came into the PIAA Class AA championship with thoughts of defending its title against the same Neumann-Goretti team Seton-LaSalle beat a year ago. Obviously, this Neumann-Goretti team was a tad different than 2014.

Neumann-Goretti, a Philadelphia Catholic League team, turned this title game at Giant Center into a giant blowout. Neumann-Goretti put on one of the most impressive and dominating performances in PIAA history when it beat Seton-LaSalle, 79-34.

The 45-point spread marked the second-biggest margin in 43 years of girls title games. The 79 points were the second-most scored in a title game. And the 34 points tied for the third-fewest scored by a WPIAL girls team in a PIAA championship.

But should Neumann-Goretti's performance be all that surprising? After all, the Saints (30-0) are USA Today's No. 1-ranked team in the country.

"I did not know they would be this much better than a year ago. But man, they are," Stefko said. "They're special. They deserve every ounce of credit in the world. Man, they're good. They're good on offense, good on defense and when they shoot like that, they're tough."

Neumann-Goretti, which boasts four starters headed to Division I colleges, made 54 percent (31 of 57) from the field and 47 percent (9 of 19) from 3-point range. Seton-LaSalle (23-8), meanwhile, shot 21 percent (11 of 52) from the field and 21 percent (4 of 19) from 3-point range.

On top of that, Neumann-Goretti outrebounded Seton-LaSalle, 47- 27.

"I came in obviously thinking we had a chance, but they're an unbelievable team," said Nicolete Newman, a senior guard for Seton- LaSalle. …

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