Neumann-Goretti rolls in showdown

Neumann-Goretti's Ciani Cryor, driving to the basket past Wood's Catey McFadden, scored 13 points. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Neumann-Goretti's Ciani Cryor, driving to the basket past Wood's Catey McFadden, scored 13 points. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Posted: February 03, 2014

To play for the Neumann-Goretti girls' basketball team means to be in a constant state of motion.

On defense, the Saints use quick feet to slide and get in help position, while their hands relentlessly badger the opposing player. Those same hands tip countless passes, ensuring that no passing lane is safe.

On the offensive end, the Saints move well off the ball and need only a couple of dribbles to get enough space for an open shot.

In other words, the Saints are go-go-go right from the tipoff.

You would have been hard-pressed Saturday to find a moment - other than a timeout or trip to the foul line - when a Neumann-Goretti player was caught flat-footed, as The Inquirer's top-ranked team in Southeastern Pennsylvania continued its unbeaten streak by defeating second-ranked Archbishop Wood, 55-38.

The host Saints (18-0 overall, 9-0 Catholic League) handed league rival Wood (15-2, 7-1) its first PCL loss and its first defeat against an in-state opponent.

And they did it because of the fastbreak.

A lot of local teams run the floor well and move the ball effectively in transition, but the Saints might be the most efficient at earning quick points.

It starts with dynamic junior point guard Ciani Cryor.

"That's just how we play," said Cryor, who finished with a game-high 13 points. "That's our game - run the floor and get quick buckets."

Any Saints player can be on the receiving end of a pass after streaking down the floor. From junior guard Sianni Martin to senior forward Ella Awobajo, most members of the N-G lineup are quick and good ball handlers.

On defense, the Saints frustrated the Vikings all game, as Wood received few open looks and couldn't get in a rhythm.

A team that usually hurts opponents with strong outside shooting, Wood hit only four three-pointers, as the Neumann-Goretti express rolled on.

"18-0 - it's not easy," Awobajo said.

Neither is keeping up with the Saints.

Archbishop Wood 11 7 9 11 - 38

Neumann-Goretti 21 12 15 7 - 55

AW: Bailey Greenberg 11, Jess Kaminski 7, Lizzy O'Leary 5, Aubree Brown 4, Laura Trisch 4, Shannon May 3, Rachel Day 2, Brit Keyes 2.

NG: Ciani Cryor 13, Sianni Martin 11, Ella Awobajo 9, AJ Timber 7, Alisha Kebbe 6, Kaschae Harris 3, Kamiah Smalls 2, Stephanie Brown 2, Tanesha Sutton 2.


rallysports@phillynews.com

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