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January 1, 2012Led by four second-half three-pointers from senior Billy Shank, Neumann Goretti cruised past Christ the King, 73-41 to capture the 20th annual STOP-DWI Holiday Classic tournament title.
The Saints are the second straight champion from Philadelphia as Imhotep Charter won the 2010 title.
The 5-foot-8 point guard excited the crowd with his long range three's and impressive dribbling ability that assisted in the blowout of the New York City power from Queens, NY.
After victories over Mount Vernon (65-61) and St. Thomas Aquinas (72-28), Neumann Goretti put together an impressive display over the No. 9 team in New York State. During the Saints three-game span they held opponents to less than 44 points per game, while scoring an average of 70 points per game.
Shank, the tournament Co-Most Valuable Player, finished the game with 14 points. Teammate junior John Davis, the other Co-MVP, led Neumann Goretti with 18 points, controlling the paint for much of the game. Joining the duo from Philadelphia were Jon Severe and Omar Calhoun of Christ the King. Severe recorded 12 points, while Calhoun added 11 in a rough shooting night, going 3-for-17 from the floor.
A nine-point Neumann Goretti halftime lead grew to 19 in the third quarter as 5-foot-8 point guard Shank swished three three-pointers in front of the Saints' bench, blowing the game wide open. Neumann Goretti dominated the third quarter outscoring Christ the King 19-9 and taking total command of the game.
Neumann Goretti controlled much of the first half jumping out to an 8-0 lead. The Saints displayed their ability to rebound the ball, grabbing 21 boards (10 offensive), leading to ten second-chance points.
Christ the King finally woke up when junior John Severe stole a Neumann Goretti pass and took it the length of the court for a demonstrative one-handed slam. The emphatic finish cut the Saints' lead to seven, 26-19 with 3:14 left in the half. A pair of jumpers by Davis helped push the lead back to nine before the half.
Davis and Calhoun each had nine points apiece in the first half to lead their respective teams.
Christ the King defeated St. Rita (81-67) and Wings Academy (76-65) to advance to the championship game.