Will Slover (@WillSlover31)
For the Neumann-Goretti Saints, who are led by five-star point guard and University of Kentucky signee Quade Green, the jury was still out on how they would perform when the 6-foot floor general had an off night.
That “off night,” at least by Green’s standards, came for Green on Tuesday at the hands of Archbishop Carroll, when he was held to just 11 points on 3-of-7 shooting, but still managed to dish out 10 assists.
On a night where Green was constantly bugged by double and triple teams as soon as the ball reached his hands, his supporting cast came through big time to propel the Saints to an 83-71 win in front of a packed home gymnasium in their Philadelphia Catholic League opener.
On Wednesday, Neumann-Goretti’s supporting cast consisted of senior forward and Villanova signee Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, junior guards Noah Warren and Dhymir Montague, and sophomore guard Christian Ings.
The 6-foot-8 Cosby-Roundtree took advantage of Archbishop Carroll’s lack of size underneath as he turned in a monster performance of 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting, 18 rebounds, and six blocks while Warren and Montague scored 16 and 10, respectively.
But it was the sophomore Ings whose performance stole the show on Tuesday night.
The 5-foot-10 guard scored 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, while also adding in four assists and three rebounds, in his first real Catholic League action during his time at Neumann-Goretti.
“It’s a great feeling,” Ings said. “Being out there, my first home game that I’m actually playing in and people get to see what I got. It’s my coming out party, I just tried to play my hardest and show we’re in good hands even when Quade is down.”
Eleven of Ings’ 16 points came in the first half, which is where Neumann-Goretti established their lead, as they held a 40-35 advantage going into the break and would never look back.
“After the second shot went in, I was just feeling it,” Ings said. “I was just like, ‘Yeah, it’s going in. This might be my night.’ We needed points and it just seemed to be me tonight to get the points.”
While Ings was a force on the offensive side of the ball for the Saints, it was his energy on both sides of the ball that Neumann-Goretti head coach Carl Arrigale was most thrilled with.
“He gave us some energy and he did a good job,” Arrigale said. “He’s getting better and he had a really good game tonight.”
Defensively, the lightning-quick Ings was active in the passing lanes, forcing numerous Archbishop Carroll turnovers, and was also given the daunting task of guarding freshman A.J. Hoggard for the majority of the game.
The 6-foot-3 Hoggard, certainly one of the area's most promising freshman prospects, was held to just nine points on just 3-of-10 shooting, while being guarded primarily by Ings.
“Guarding him, I just tried to make him go to his weaknesses,” Ings added. “I just made sure that he didn’t get to the rim. He’s a great finisher inside and a great facilitator when he gets to the rim so I just made sure he couldn’t get into the paint.”
While Hoggard was their main focus, Neumann-Goretti still had to worry about the rest of Archbishop Carroll’s talented roster, including senior and West Chester commit Colin Daly.
“We wanted to try to slow Hoggard down, he’s what makes them go,” Arrigale said. “And we know Colin, he’s been on the team for a couple of years. We tried to crowd him as much as we could and not give him the room to make shots because he’s a good shooter when he has that space.”
Daly, the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter, was held to just 11 points and 1-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc as the Saints threw various different defensive looks his way the entire night.
With two of their top threats being held in check, carrying the scoring load for Archbishop Carroll were guards Khari Williams and Justin Anderson.
Williams, an uncommitted senior, finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while Anderson, a junior transfer from Academy of the New Church who holds an offer from Saint Joseph’s, had a game-high of 22 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc.
For Carroll, the loss drops the Patriots to 8-2 on the season and they will host another PCL foe, Cardinal O’Hara, on Thursday.
Neumann Goretti, who improves to 4-4 with the win, will travel to Conwell-Egan on Thursday in a matchup of two squads who took home 2015 PIAA State Championships in their respective classifications.
With just one of their 14 Philadelphia Catholic League contests out of the way, and each team putting a huge target on the consensus five-star recruit Green’s back, Arrigale is optimistic about his team’s ability to play at a high level if their star is struggling to score the ball.
“It was good to see those guys step up and make some plays when we needed them,” Arrigale said. ‘A lot of times they rely on him (Green), but it was nice to see. If those guys can keep growing then I think we’ll be at our best when the time comes.”