Watching a team exit the floor after playing Neumann-Goretti is like watching a person who has been scammed.

The pain is palpable. The victims wear that I-can't-believe-this-just-happened look.

The Neumann-Goretti Saints may not win a PIAA Class AAA state title, but they remain a feared opponent, capable of pulling out wins even when things are not going their way.

Neumann-Goretti's latest display of grit came last night in the District 12 Class AAA final at Temple's Liacouras Center.

Poor Franklin Learning Center.

The Bobcats had the victory in their grasp.

They outran the Saints. They outshot them. They even outhustled them during long stretches.

But in the end, Neumann-Goretti defeated Franklin Learning Center, 80-78, in the district final.

"We knew at clutch time we were going to win," said junior guard Tony Chennault, whose squad is ranked second in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer.

Neumann-Goretti is also the nation's 20th-ranked team, according to the ESPN Rise Fab 50.

"We have mental toughness," added Chennault, who was named most valuable player of the game.

"You have to be mentally tough. There are going to be a lot of games where shots are not going to fall. The refs are not going to make the right calls. That's just a part of playing through adversity."

Thanks in large part to Chennault and Tyreek Duren, that's what happened in the fourth quarter.

Their team was down by 57-50 when the backcourt mates combined to score 20 of the Saints' 30 points in the final quarter.

Chennault, a 6-foot-2 swingman, scored 12 of his team-high 22 points in the quarter. The Wake Forest recruit also finished the game with eight rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Duren collected eight of his 18 points in the final eight minutes. The 6-0 junior's final points came on a three-pointer that gave the Saints a 75-70 advantage with 1 minute, 27 seconds left.

Denzel Yard, the Bobcats' standout point guard, led all scorers with 29 points. The Siena signee made seven three-pointers while scoring his 1,000th career point.

Both teams are in the Class AAA state tournament.

Neumann-Goretti gained the district's No. 1 seed with the victory. It will face District 3's fifth-place team, Steelton Highspire, in the first round Saturday at a neutral site. That day, Franklin Learning Center (19-6) will meet the loser of last night's District 1 final between Strath Haven and Phoenixville at a neutral site.

Neumann-Goretti 19 20 11 30 - 80

Franklin Learning 18 15 24 21 - 78

NG: Andre Gillette 10, Tony Chennault 22, Tyreek Duren 18, Mustafa Jones 6, Daniel Stewart 11, Lamin Fulton 13.

FLC: Jamil Drake 4, Basir Fulmore 6, Turhan Griffin 2, Jerrod Johnson 8, Nasir Jones 13, Marquis Purnell-Childs 8, Karl Riley 8, Denzel Yard 29.