Ahmin Williams was upset that Plymouth Whitemarsh trailed perennial Catholic League powerhouse Neumann-Goretti by three points at intermission and the team’s undefeated streak was in jeopardy.
“Truthfully, I got on my teammates pretty good in the locker room,” the senior guard said. “I said to them, ‘We’re the better team. Let’s go out there and prove it.’ ”
With Williams leading the way, the Colonials did exactly that against the Saints in Saturday’s Philly.com/Rally Play-By-Play Classic at Harriton.
Plymouth Whitemarsh started to pull away at the end of the third quarter and stayed perfect with a 66-57 showcase victory in Bryn Mawr.
With Neumann-Goretti ahead by 32-26 early in the third quarter, Williams nailed three consecutive three-pointers to give Plymouth Whitemarsh, which is 20-0 and 12-0 in the Suburban One League American Conference, the lead for good.
Williams produced 22 points, three assists and two rebounds. His nifty feed to 7-foot-2 center Naheem McLeod resulted in a dunk that gave the Colonials a 52-42 cushion with 5 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the game.
Jim Donofrio’s squad, which is ranked No. 2 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, trailed the No. 4 Saints by 25-18 in the second stanza.
“The reason we ended up winning was defense,” Williams said. “We communicate with each other well, apply full-court pressure, and force teams into committing turnovers.”
Overall, Williams, who missed the entire playoffs last season with a foot injury, shot 8 for 12 from the field (4 for 6 from beyond the arc) and 2 for 2 for the line.
Donofrio credited physical toughness for his team’s success. “Physically, this is the strongest basketball team I’ve ever had,” he said. “We have lifted weights throughout the season.”
Senior guard Ish Horn contributed 13 of his 19 points against Neumann-Goretti in the second half; McLeod, a 7-foot-2 junior center, managed 11 boards and 10 points; and 6-4 senior forward Alan Glover notched 12 points and nine caroms.
Have the Colonials, who last season went 26-6 and advanced to the PIAA Class 6A state quarterfinals, made it a goal to go undefeated this year? “We’re really not that focused on the record,” Williams said. “We’re just trying to play hard and get better every game.”
Ahmad Williams, Ahmin’s twin brother, chipped in seven boards, five assists, and three points in the latest triumph.
Dymir Montague, a wing guard who recently committed to Holy Family, paced the Saints (14-5) with 18 points. Fellow senior guard Noah Warren was next in line with 13 points.
In the preceding game at Harriton, junior combination guard Jalen Gaffney netted 23 points and 6-9 forward Jake Forrester had 14 as Westtown knocked off Timber Creek, 71-57. The Chargers, ranked No. 4 in South Jersey by the Inquirer, were spurred by senior wing Maurice Murray’s 16 markers.
Neumann-Goretti 13 16 9 19-57
Plymouth Whitemarsh 13 13 20 20-66
NG: Chris Ings 5, Dymir Montague 18, Marcus Littles 11, Ja’Cor Smith 4, Noah Warren 13, TaQuan Woodley 4, Ahmad Fair 2.
PW: Ahmin Williams 22, Ish Horn 19, Naheem McLeod 10, Alan Glover 12, Ahmad Williams 3.