Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Saints' Stars Too Much for Planets

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Saints' Stars Too Much for Planets

Article excerpt

HERSHEY, Pa. - Mars' plight Friday night was summarized after the first eight minutes. The Planets shot a sizzling 66 percent from the field in the first quarter, scored an impressive 23 points - and still trailed by six.

Mars, a team filled with marksmen, met its shooting match Friday night, and then some. The Neumann-Goretti Saints, a power from the Philadelphia Catholic League with four future Division I college players, were too much for Mars in a lot of ways, especially shooting.

In a game that was pretty much all Saints, Neumann-Goretti defeated Mars, 99-66, in the PIAA Class AAA championship at the Giant Center in Hershey.

It was the sixth time in seven years that the Saints were canonized state champs and this title had some historical significance. The 99 points set a championship game record for any classification. This is the 97th year that the PIAA has been staging title games, and the 33-point margin tied the biggest blowout in Class AAA championships (Uniontown beat Norristown, 90-57, in 1962).

Neumann-Goretti (27-4) was impressive in a lot of ways against a Mars team that was playing in its first PIAA title. But really, Neumann-Goretti won the game with a tremendous shooting exhibition in the first half. Neumann-Goretti made 20 of its first 28 shots in the first two quarters. The Saints shot 61 percent overall in the first half and 60 percent (9 of 15) from 3-point range. Neumann-Goretti led at halftime, 53-33.

"When they're shooting the ball from the outside like that, they have to be one of the best teams in the country," said Mars coach Rob Carmody. "Not in the state, but in the country. They have everything. They're strong, they're physical, they're athletic, they're big and they're long."

Neumann-Goretti cooled off a little in the second half, but still made 46 percent (11 of 24) from 3-point range for the game and 60 percent (38 of 63) overall from the field. …

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