Neumann-Goretti 67, St. Joseph's Prep 43
Neumann-Goretti coach Carl Arrigale didn't know what to expect from his squad in Monday afternoon's Catholic League showdown against St. Joseph's Prep.
Not after it lost to Chicago's Whitney Young by 29 points and then, two days later, had a record league winning streak stopped at 73 games by La Salle.
As it turned out, Arrigale got much more than anyone expected. Putting their recent woes behind them, the visiting Saints, buoyed by a stellar defensive showing, crushed the Hawks, 67-43, at Kelly Fieldhouse.
"We fought hard, supported one another," Arrigale said. "The support was great. We communicated well and got out on their shooters."
The Prep, usually dangerous from three-point territory, shot a ghastly 5 for 26 from beyond the arc. N-G's Hanif Sutton, a 5-9 senior guard who covered Notre Dame commit Steve Vasturia most of the way, headlined that effort.
"He's a lot taller than me," Sutton said of the 6-5 Vasturia. "I tried to get underneath him as much as I could. And my quickness kept him from driving past me."
Wing guard Ja'Quan Newton bunched 11 of his 15 points into the second half; forward John Davis posted 12 points and 10 rebounds; and guard Lamarr Kimble hit two treys en route to 10 points.
"That loss to La Salle really opened our eyes," Davis said. "Before that, we kind of had the mindset that no team in the league could beat us."
Sutton, who talked afterward with Princeton assistant Dan Geriot, scored six of his eight points in the second quarter. He added five rebounds and three assists.
"Defense is a lot of about your will to do it," the second-year starter said. "It's about wanting it more than the other guy."
Also contributing for the Saints (9-4 overall, 5-1 league) were Tony Toplyn (eight points, five boards) and subs Jamal Custis (six, four) and Troy Harper (five, three).
For the Prep, which slipped to 10-3 and 3-1, Vasturia (6 for 17 from the field) and Wake Forest commit Miles Overton (6 for 15) struggled mightily.
"Their defense was terrific, and we didn't match their intensity," Hawks coach Speedy Morris said. "That was probably the worst loss we've had in my 12 years here."
Neumann-Goretti 17 15 18 17-67
St. Joseph's Prep 7 15 11 10-43
NG: Hanif Sutton 8, Ja'Quan Newton 15, Tony Toplyn 8, John Davis 12, Lamarr Kimble 10, Jamal Custis 6, Troy Harper 5, John Mastrando 3.
SJP: Dan Nedbal 3, Steve Vasturia 14, Miles Overton 16, Chris Clover 3, Kyle Thompson 3, Kyle MacWilliams 2, Mark Hueber 2.