Even stars need help to shine.
Tuesday evening at the Liacouras Center, Neumann-Goretti's supporting cast helped the Saints demolish Del-Val and advance to the PIAA Class 3A finale in Hershey on Thursday.
Throughout the season, N-G has been led offensively by seniors Quade Green and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, who are heading to Kentucky and Villanova, respectively.
In Tuesday's opening game of a semifinal doubleheader, however, sophomore wing Christian Ings (14 points) and junior guard Dymir Montague (10 points) also provided a spark off the bench that helped the Saints to a 76-47 victory.
Green, who wears No. 1, still led the Saints with 17 points, but Ings and Montague combined to produce 24 points off the bench.
"Yeah, you don't have five guys staring at No. 1," said N-G coach Carl Arrigale, whose team has won the last three PIAA Class 3A titles.
Later, he added: "When [the ball] is moving and we get it to the next guy, we were open a lot today and open shots go in; contested shots start fastbreaks."
By intermission, the Saints (24-7) had assisted on nine of their first 15 field goals.
In Game 2, Lonnie Walker shone brightest. The Reading senior and McDonald's all-American turned into a supernova after the sluggish Red Knights (30-3) fell behind Archbishop Ryan by double digits early.
In the second quarter, Walker, a 6-foot-5 University of Miami recruit, scored 15 of his game-high 35 points, nabbing momentum that led to a 57-51 victory and a berth in the Class 6A finale.
Ryan led by 27-16 midway through the second quarter when Walker scored 11 points in a 13-2 run that yielded a 29-27 Reading lead at intermission.
To the delight of the thousands of loud and rowdy Reading fans who descended upon the Liacouras Center, the Red Knights never relinquished the lead and controlled much of the second-half action.
Ryan senior Izaiah Brockington led the Red Raiders (24-6) with 16 points, 14 of which came in the first half.
The 6-foot-4 guard, however, appeared to run out of steam after chasing Walker on defense and having to manufacture most of Ryan's offense.
Matiss Kulackovskis added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Raiders, while senior forward Fred Taylor was a defensive stalwart throughout, blocking seven shots, grabbing 10 rebounds, and adding six points in Ryan's first PIAA playoff run.
Reading will face District 7 Pine Richland, which defeated Carlisle, 65-60, on Tuesday.
Neumann-Goretti will face District 7's Lincoln Park, which beat Cardinal Wuerl, 54-46, on Monday.
Also for the Saints, Marcus Littles added 10 points and six rebounds, while Noah Warren added nine points. Cosby-Roundtree, saddled with foul troubles early and often, finished with six points and six rebounds before fouling out with 2 minutes, 41 seconds left.
N-G shot 30 of 51 overall and 7 of 18 from behind the 3-point line. The Saints also assisted on 14 of its 30 made field goals.
Neumann-Goretti 22 18 18 18 - 76
Del-Val 14 13 11 9 - 47
G: Quade Green 17, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree 6, Marcus Littles 10, Mike Millsip 5, Noah Warren 9, Christian Ings 14, Dymir Montague 10, Emil Moody 2, Jacor Smith 3.
DV: Antwuan Butler 12, Mahki Morris 10, Amin Dandridge 4, Dion Harris 12, Nazir Thomas 9.
Reading 8 21 11 17 - 57
Archbishop Ryan 17 10 6 18 - 51
R: Lonnie Walker 35, Wesley Butler 10, Isiah Cook 5, Tyrone Nesby 2, Jose Genao 3.
AR: Izaiah Brockington 16, Matiss Kulackovskis 13, Fred Taylor 6, Amin Bryant 8, Chris Palantino 8.