Walls, from Mount Airy, was, of course, joking, but after a 3-for-6 day at the foul line, he certainly left his mother, Sheila Walls, with some material.
"Ugh! I'm gonna hear it from her, yep," he laughed. "She's gonna be on my case about that one. 'You should have kept your hand in the air.' That's what she'll say."
Walls (three assists, two blocks) may have missed a few early, but his two freebies with just seconds left provided ample cushion for victory.
And while he may joke about mom's basketball knowledge, Walls said her encouragement helped when playing time proved elusive.
Last season, La Salle was led by star senior guard Amar Stukes, who is now a collegiate Explorer. In fact, when this season began, questions abounded as the Explorers were left with inexperienced and unproven underclassmen.
While Najee sat on the bench last season, mom's message was, "Your time is coming, don't worry about it."
"She's a single mother," Walls said. "She's raised me by herself since I was a year old. We've just been pretty tight ever since. She's my mom and my dad so I just play for her, that's all I really do. I just play for her."
Neither team taxed the scorekeepers. Both teams probed patiently, which prompted one onlooker to quip, "a typical Catholic League matchup, 27-25 [final score]."
David Krmpotich, a 6-7 forward, led all scorers with 13 points (3-for-4, 7-for-7 at the foul line). He also netted two dunks, both off Walls' assists.
Senior guard Andrew Riviello led the Crusaders (9-10, 4-7) with nine points on 3-for-12 shooting. The La Salle defense surrendered just 1-for-5 shooting from trey against a Lansdale team that nearly knocked off undefeated Roman Catholic with a three-point barrage in an in overtime loss in early January.
For Walls, defensive pressure is his calling card and it has helped to earn him meaningful minutes.
"It's been pretty tough with playing time here," Walls said. "I just continue to work hard and just follow what the coaches want me to do. I've waited my turn, and they've said, 'It's your time,' so here it is."
Walls credited an older brother, cousin and brother-in-law with introducing him to basketball. He also said his father, Kitt Walls, has started to attend games for the first time this season.
"When I was younger, I wouldn't care if he didn't come around, but now since he's here, it feels good to be like, 'That's my dad right there,' " Walls said.
His stated goal is to make his mother proud by earning a scholarship to college. If basketball doesn't get him there, Walls is contemplating a degree in sports medicine. Mom also encouraged him through early struggles with La Salle's academic demands.
In light of that, when asked about his Super Bowl prediction, Walls showed perspective.
"I haven't watched football in a minute," he said. "I'm probably going to do my homework today. Yeah, this is a homework day."
On Twitter: @AceCarterDN