Neumann-Goretti Beats Montour Again for Three-Peat in PIAA Boys AAA

Saturday, March 24, 2012 | 12:41 AM

The Montour Spartans jumped out to a ten point first quarter lead but the Neumann-Goretti Saints rallied to take the lead late in the second quarter and survived some poor free throw shooting down the stretch to claim their third consecutive PIAA Class AAA Boys Championship with a 48-45 victory Friday night at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Montour had a chance to tie the game with two seconds to play, but Kevin Scuilli's three point attempt from the left corner was deflected by La'Quan Coaxum, ending the dreams of the Spartans. The Saints could have pulled away but went 5 of 15 in the fourth quarter from the line, a 14 of 30 performance for the game.

Ja'Quan Newton scored 17 points for the Saints, John Davis added 11 points, all in the second half, and eight rebounds. Neumann-Gorreti finishes 28-3, without a loss to a Pennsylvania team this season.

It's the second straight victory for the Saints over the Spartans, winning 55-45. Newton, Davis and Stewart were major keys in that win, scoring 15, 14 and 13 points respectively.

The Spartans led 7-0, Dillon Buechel with the first seven points of the contest, two three pointer by Scuilli made it 15-5. Neumann-Goretti went the final 3:18 of the first period without a field goal and trailed by eight after one.

The second quarter saw the four-time District 12 champions go on a 8-0 run to knot the game at 15, the final minutes of the half saw Montour go cold from the field, outscored 14-4 in the quarter, the Saints led by two at the break.

Montour took a 25-21 lead early in the third on free throws by Dillon Buechel and two big buckets for Devin Wilson driving the lane. The Spartans had three consecutive possessions without a point, Ja'Quan Newton with a free throw to give the Saints the lead, Newton followed with a ten footer in the paint with 2:41 left in the third to extend the lead, Neumann-Goretti never trailed again.

The Spartans did not score for two minutes to open the fourth, Newton put the Saints up five with a dunk, set up by Coaxum. Scuilli hit his fourth three-pointer with just under three minutes to play. John Davis converted a basket and foul, Ryan Lewis picked up his fifth personal on the play, putting the Saints up 44-39.

Scuilli missed a pair of threes, but Neumann-Goretti could not make the free throws to pull away. Tyler Hass could not convert a pair of deep threes, but again the Saints left the Spartans in the game with poor free throw shooting. Wilson split a pair from the charity stripe to make it a two possession game at 48-42 and 32 seconds left. Buechel missed a three but Scuilli named one from the right corner to cut the deficit to three with eight seconds left.

Wilson fouled Derrick Stewart with 6.8 seconds remaining, Stewart missed both free throws, setting up the dramatic finish.

Billy Shank hit two three pointers, he finished with ten points. Derrick Stewart had only two points, but grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots. The Saints shot 16 of 38 from the floor for 42 percent and only committed seven turnovers. With the win, Neumann-Goretti becomes the first team to three-peat in Class AAA since Allentown in 1945 thru 1947. Only Carlisle has won four straight titles since the move to four classifications in 1984.

Buechel scored 19 points, he was 7 of 12 from the field and grabbed five rebounds. Scuilli scored 12, all behind the arc. Wilson scored seven points, but grabbed nine boards and handed out seven assists. Lewis scored six points and gathered eight rebounds. The Spartans started out 6 of 10 from the field, they ended 15 of 38 for 39 percent, Montour was 10 of 16 from the line and ends the season at 24-5.

Score by Quarters: 
Neumann-Goretti Saints 7-14-12-15  = 48
Montour Spartans  15-4-12-14  = 45

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