Neumann girls hold off Muncy at the end
By JON GERARDI
MUNCY — As Abby Henderson was on the line, she calmy hit both of her one-and-one free throws to give St. John Neumann a lead again by two points roughly a minute after Makenna Snyder hit a huge jumper for Muncy to tie the game at 28.
So with 20 seconds remaining, Muncy had the ball and slowly took it upcourt, trying to hold for a good shot to tie it up and force overtime.
Neumann’s Shayna McNamee had other plans, though.
She quickly swarmed to mid-court once Muncy crossed the line, swiped the ball loose and took it down for a quick layup. As she did, Neumann’s fans, players and bench all cheered in unison as Muncy called a timeout.
The Neumann senior didn’t show a ton of emotion after the basket, but she knew that it was a dagger to Muncy. McNamee’s final basket all but iced the game and the Golden Knights left Muncy’s gym with an exciting 32-28 win on Friday night, avenging a close loss to Muncy last season.
“I had that feeling like if I make this, we’re going to win,” McNamee said of the steal and layup. “We just had that energy, that whole play had that energy and I knew if I got there fast enough, that would seal it for me and my whole team.”
McNamee was clutch throughout the fourth quarter. She drilled two huge 3-pointers, including one about six feet behind the arc in which Neumann coach Junior Parrish was leaning watching as it went in, as if to try to will the basket into the net.
McNamee not only led the team in points with 22 — two days after she had a career-high 31 — but also had team-highs in rebounds (eight) and steals (two).
“I just realized that this is my last chance I have to put up numbers like that and I have a really good team behind me this year,” said McNamee. “It’s not even about the points, I’d rather get the win, but if I have an opportunity to score and put my team up, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do what I can to get a win no matter what.”
And she did just that on Friday.
McNamee had nine of Neumann’s 11 points in the fourth quarter and routinely was the focus of attention for Muncy’s defense. And while Muncy wasn’t giving McNamee many open looks and played fairly well against her defensively, she was hitting most of what she put up.
“She got hot again in fourth quarter and that was the dagger for us. We pretty much did what we wanted to do and kept it out of her hands and kept her out of her normal rhythm,” Muncy coach Ed Rogers said. “She threw a couple bombs up toward end that just happened to go in.”
The Indians only held a lead briefly early in the game when Lenhart hit a trey 30 seconds into the game to take a 3-0 lead, but Neumann quickly scored four points to take a 1-point lead thanks to a McNamee putback.
Muncy hung in the entire game, tying the game up five times, including twice in the fourth quarter, and trailed by only a point three times.
The Indians nearly scored a go-ahead basket with 1:28 to play when Snyder scored, but a travel violation negated the basket and Neumann then reclaimed the lead roughly 40 seconds later.
“They’re really starting to just get it: never give up, never quit. You can be behind the whole game and make last basket and win. They have a really good mentality and work ethic, they’re working hard and they just keep at it,” Rogers said.
Lenhart led Muncy with eight points and Snyder had six points while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. She also had two blocks.
“She is one of best post players in league I think, to kind of neutralize her, I think Abby (Henderson) did a really good job,” Parrish said.
“She’s definitely strong, really tough. We knew she’s their main scorer and they like to work through her, we don’t blame them, she’s tough,” McNamee said of Snyder. “Abby’s tall but she doesn’t have that strength, but she really showed up tonight and I think shut her down and got in her head.”
Muncy struggled scoring in the middle quarters, only scoring three in the second quarter — off a Lenhart trey — and four in the third. But throughout those two quarters, Neumann never built a lead more than four points.
Emma Bigelow added seven for Muncy and Henderson added six points and six boards for the Golden Knights.
St. John Neumann (32)
Anne Weller 0 2-4 2; Brooke French 0 0-0 0; Abby Henderson 2 2-2 6; Gabby Lisi 1 0-0 2; Shayna McNamee 8 3-4 22. Totals 11 7-10 32.
Emma Bigelow 3 0-0 7; Kassidi Lenhart 3 0-0 8; Kaitlyn Copeland 1 0-0 2; Bella Fave 1 0-0 2; Makenna Snyder 3 1-4 6; Aleaha Bigelow 1 0-0 2, Jennifer Frederick 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 1-4 28.
SJN 10 6 5 11 — 32
Muncy 10 3 4 11 — 28
3-point goals: St. John Neumann 3 (McNamee 3), Muncy 3 (Lenhart 2, E. Bigelow 1).
JV score: Muncy, 21-17.
Records: St. John Neumann (2-2), Muncy (1-3).