Eastern York basketball cracks ESPN Rise Fab 50
For all this talk about Neumann-Goretti's national ranking, it seems Eastern York is getting a little love from at least one poll.
The latest ESPN Rise Fab 50 has the Golden Knights ranked 49th ... a mere 47 places behind its opponent for tomorrow night (the Saints are second in the latest rankings). ESPN Rise also ranks Eastern 16th in the Northeast region.Still, kudos to Eastern York (31-0) for impressing somebody on the national level -- not easy, considering the Golden Knights haven't had the benefit of traveling out of the state or playing other nationally known teams. Neumann-Goretti traveled to Hawaii this year and played, among others, Houston Yates (ranked by many as the top team in the country).
In other news, the confidence of the Eastern York players showed after Friday's win against Abington Heights may or may not have irked Neumann-Goretti. Here's a passage from a preview story for Tuesday's game published in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Golden Knights sixth-man Davin Zimmerman told the York Daily Record on Friday that the Golden Knights "think we deserve that ranking," referring to the consensus of Neumann-Goretti being the No. 1 team in the state."I don't really get into that he-said, she-said stuff, but we're going to all settle this . . . on the court," said Saints senior guard Tony Chennault, who averages a team-high 19.3 points per game and 5.7 rebounds and is headed to Wake Forest."What's [Zimmerman] supposed to say, that he wants an autograph?"
Not a whole lot there, if you ask me. ... I just thought it was interesting that it was even bought up to Chennault. You can read our preview for Tuesday's game here.
Also, here are a few quotes from my conversation with Eastern coach Larry Fisher on Monday night:
On the challenge of playing Neumann-Goretti:
"You got to be careful what you asked for. We wanted this game forever, and now we got it. We got to be ready to play it.
"That's all we have to do is be better than them this one night."
On the mentality of his team going in:
"I don't sense any kind of nervousness. I'm sure we're going to have those moments right before the game when we start to sense the magnitude of it.
"They're very confident, we should be. We've got a lot of wins."
On wanting to play the Saints:
"We were definitely eyeing it up all year. We knew they only way we could matchup with them was like this. They weren't going to schedule us.
"The minute the brackets came, the first thing we did was run and see if we could play Neumann. "
On what Eastern has to do to win:
"We have to limit turnovers and not give them easy transition baskets. And we've got to knock down shots when they're give to us. We can't have an off moment. That combined with being smart, making them play a lot of defense.
"We were happy getting into a running match with almost any team we played this year. This is the only team we don't want to do that with. We can score a lot of points, but I don't know if we can win a 90-87 game."
On being the underdog:
"It's the first time we've been a big underdog this year. I'm not sure the guys have felt that. It's the first time the pressure has been off a little bit."