Defenders fall victim to Neumann-Goretti

HAMBURG — Neumann-Goretti’s Diamond Johnson pulled up and put up a 3 which looked effortless as the defender in front of her was too slow to challenge the attempt.

The basket forced a timeout from Warrior Run, which did little to stop the bleeding as Neumann-Goretti advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs with a 69-16 win over the Defenders on Tuesday.

The Saints, boasting one of the top players in the country in Johnson, are a mainstay in the state playoff scene. For Warrior Run, it was the first time in a long time it competed at that level.

“That’s five to 10 girls on Neumann-Goretti that probably play all year round,” Warrior Run coach Andrew Shamburg said. “We have rounded athletes, but we have two and three-sport athletes. We want to work hard and get to that level. They have a desire to be there.”

Johnson, ranked by ESPN as the 14th-best prospect in the country in the Class of 2020, showed she was worth the top billing as the Saints outscored the Defenders, 25-4, in the opening quarter.

Johnson scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the quarter. She pulled up for 3s with little, to no, interference from Warrior Run. She buried all three of her attempts in the quarter and made another in the second as Neumann-Goretti took a 44-10 lead into halftime. Johnson hit a 3 in the third before being pulled for the bench.

“She was ranked by ESPN as a junior and was a huge aspect of the game for them tonight,” Shamburg said. “We watched a lot of tape on her to see what other teams did and she’s just tough to stop. Just seeing what they have is phenomenal.”

Warrior Run plays just two seniors, meaning the experience gained with this year’s run will only help the young team grow. Jordan Harman nailed two 3s, and Emily McKee finished with three rebounds. Sydney Hoffman scored all four of the Defenders’ points in the third quarter.

“Now they see this level,” Shamburg said. “They know what’s coming and this is what we need to work hard for. This team was great and if our girls what to do something great they can.”

Neumann-Goretti 69, Warrior Run 16

Warrior Run (16)

Kaelyn Watson 0 0-0 0; Sydney Hoffman 1 1-2 4; Taylor Coup 1 0-0 2; Gracey Beachel 0 0-0 0; Jordan Hartman 2 0-0 6; Marissa Pick 1 0-0 2; Avery Bieber 0 1-2 1; Amber Axtman 0 0-2 0; Emily McKee 0 1-2 1. Totals 5 3-8 16.

Neumann-Goretti (69)

Jonelle Price 3 0-0 7; Kiara Koger 3 2-2 8; Diamond Johnson 8 0-0 21; Nia Jordan 5 2-4 12; Omoiye Jordan 1 0-0 2; Sierra Bermudez 4 0-0 11; Prunelle Mungo 3 0-0 6; Sara Coppola 1 0-0 2; Chista Ricks 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 4-6 69.

Warrior Run 4 6 4 2 — 16

Neumann-Goretti 25 19 18 7 — 69

3-Point Goals: Warrior Run 3 (Hoffman, Harman 2). Neumann-Goretti 9 (Price, Johnson 5, Bermudez 3).

Records: Warrior Run (19-9); Neumann-Goretti (20-8).

Next: Neumann-Goretti vs. Dunmore, Friday, TBA.