As the buzzer sounded Tuesday night at Freedom High, Neumann-Goretti players walked off the floor quietly. They had just defeated Dunmore, 55-30, to advance to the PIAA Class AA state final, but you couldn't tell by looking at them.
There were a few hard claps and some smiles, but the cheering was limited.
Tanesha Sutton carrying Ciani Cryor off to the locker room was the only indication that the Saints had just won their 29th contest in a row.
The Saints will look for win No. 30 on Friday, at noon, as Goretti contends for the program's first state title against Seton La Salle at the Giant Center in Hershey.
"We are determined, hungry," Sutton said.
After the Saints jumped out to a 17-4 lead after one quarter, they stalled in the second, scoring a measly four points in the period.
"Not just strange, it was terrible," N-G's Ella Awobajo said. "We weren't running in transition like we usually do. We didn't play our best today. We were lucky we won.
"We didn't play the Neumann-Goretti ball."
The Saints played the Neumann-Goretti style of basketball in the second half, running the floor and taking it to the 27-3 Bucks. N-G was led by Sutton, who scored a game-high 16 and was a force on both ends.
"I did what I am supposed to do," Sutton said. "My team needed me to step up."
The Saints grabbed 51 rebounds and had 16 steals and 5 blocks in a defensive tour de force.
"One last game for my high school career and then I'm done," Awobajo said. "I'm ready for this, the finals."
In other words, if the Saints win on Friday, the celebration won't be subdued.
Dunmore 4 6 8 12 – 30
Neumann-Goretti 17 4 13 21 – 55
D: Mariah Maciejewski 10, Kayleigh Semion 6, Jill Korgeski 5, Megan Connors 3, Maddie Martin 3, Megan Hartshorn 2, Mara Walsh 1.
NG: Tanesha Sutton 16, Ciani Cryor 13, Ella Awobajo 10, Sianni Martin 5, AJ Timbers 4, Alisha Kebbe 4, Stephanie Brown 2, Kashae Harris 1.