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Bring on Cardinal O’Hara

The Neumann-Goretti girls’ basketball team is looking forward to taking care of business Thursday at Philadelphia University.

Photo provided by Andrea Peterson

Flashback to the 2016 girls’ basketball season. The Neumann-Goretti Saints were riding one of those attention grabbing win streaks. We are talking a 23–0 regular-season mark and 43-straight league victories. But the one game that breaks the winning momentum — a 40–36 loss to Archbishop Wood in the Catholic League championship — provides an added drive to take care of unfinished business.

Instead of focussing on the past, coach Andrea Peterson has her 18–4 squad focussed on the present, which would be Thursday’s Catholic League semifinal game against Cardinal O’Hara (6:30 at Philadelphia University).

“We’ve had a really good few days of practice, and I know that girls are ready for this game,” she said of her second-place squad. “O’Hara is a tough team and it’s going to be a good game. We just need to continued to stay focused, and everything else will fall into place.”

With a win, the East Passyunk Crossing-based squad will earn a return trip to The Palestra to face the winner of the other semifinal between Archbishop Wood and Archbishop Carroll.

Seniors Chyna Nixon, Ashley and Minika Glenn have played key roles in helping Neumman-Goretti maintain its winning ways. The trio turned in a balanced scoring effort in a recent regular season win over St. Hubert, 79–43. Jones led all scorers with 26 points while Nixon chipped in 18 and Glenn added 11.

“These are three young women who have never been put in a position to lead a team, but they have stepped up and continue to push our younger players,” Petterson said.

Like the regular season, teamwork is another strength of this talented squad, with newcomers and veterans both contributing to the winning cause.

“The girls have been great so far,” Petterson said. “I am asking some new players to fill roles and step out of their comfort zone. They are an amazing group of young women and I am so thankful I get to coach these kids.”

When the girls have a break in the action, there is a good chance you will find them rooting on their male counterparts who played in last night’s boys’ semifinal game against Roman Catholic, which started after press time.

“They definitely share a unique bond,” Peterson said of the two teams. “I don’t think there are many schools in the country that can say both boys and girls team compete for championships every year. They are a close group who like being around one another. We will be cheering the boys on from the stands [Wednesday] night!”

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