Neumann-Goretti's Dymir Montague went from being last year's sixth man to a key starter this season. He says that has been a mixed blessing.
While the senior guard is a fixture on the hardwood, his play is closely scrutinized by longtime Saints coach Carl Arrigale.
"He gets on me pretty good," Montague said with a laugh. "Sometimes, I even get yelled at for other people's mistakes."
Montague stayed on Arrigale's good side for most of Friday night's Catholic League matchup against Archbishop Wood, producing 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals in a 56-52 victory at 10th and Moore Streets.
The other senior starters for N-G are guard Noah Warren and 6-foot-8 center Marcus Littles.
"Noah and Marcus don't say too much, so we need Dymir to be a vocal leader," Arrigale said. "He's done a nice job of accepting that role."
Montague shot 4 for 7 from the field, including 3 for 4 from beyond the arc, and 3 for 4 from the line. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder buried a pair of first-half three-pointers.
"I try to take whatever the defense gives me," the 18-year-old said. "I just go out and play my game."
Last year, former N-G assistant John Mosco and the Vikings beat the Saints in the regular season and in the Catholic League championship game.
"Coach Arrigale stressed it enough to put it in the back of our heads," Montague said. "But he told us to just play relaxed and as a team."
N-G, which held on after leading by 42-30 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, improved to 12-3 (7-0 PCL) to stay alone atop the standings.
Warren drilled a pair of treys while equaling Montague's 14 points; Littles, a George Washington recruit, posted 10 points and seven boards; and junior guard Christian Ings contributed eight points and six assists.
Warren's steal and layup gave the Saints a 52-42 advantage with 1 1/2 minutes remaining. But the Vikings (7-7, 4-3) responded with an 8-0 spurt that was capped by Tyree Pickron's putback.
Wood's Andrew Funk cut the gap to 53-52 on a layup with 16 seconds to go. Ings then converted a pair of freebies, and Funk's three-point heave from way up top was wide of the mark.
Pickron, who has a commitment to Quinnipiac, and Funk, a Bucknell signee, paced the visitors with 19 and 14 points, respectively.
N-G was missing 6-7 TaQuan Woodley, an up-and-coming freshman reserve.
"He hasn't been feeling real well lately," Arrigale said.
Archbishop Wood 11 18 8 15-52
Neumann-Goretti 14 21 10 11-56
AW: Tyree Pickron 19, Seth Pinkney 8, Julius Phillips 5, Andrew Funk 14, Karrington Wallace 6.