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Cretin-Derham Hall's Sam Neumann scored 39 points but it wasn't enough as Bettendorf HS from Iowa earned the close victory 71-66 at the Timberwolves Shootout Saturday, January 4th, 2014. Photo by Brian W Nelson
It felt like Sam Neumann couldn’t miss.
In the end, the 6-foot-5 junior guard fell one 3-pointer short from double digits in that category and couldn't stop Cretin-Derham Hall from suffering a 71-66 loss to outstate powerhouse Bettendorf (Iowa) on Saturday at the Timberwolves Shootout at the Target Center.
Neumann scored a career-high 39 points and knocked down nine 3-pointers. He made an art of using his teammate’s screens and showed off one of the prettier pull-up jump shots in the state.
“My shot was just going in so I just stuck with it,” Neumann said. “A little frustrating at the end with my last shot because it felt good. I shot the ball really well today so I was happy with it.”
He carried the Raiders throughout, scoring 15 in the first half and 24 in the second. He picked up the slack for fellow scorer Joe Rosga, who struggled with constant pressure and double teams from the attacking Bettendorf defense.
“Me and Joe have been dealing with it the whole season,” Neumann said. “Teams usually pressure pretty big, which opens up shots. The teammates love it because it opens up shots for them, so we just need to knock down shots.”
In the loss, Neumann was obviously able to display his improved perimeter jump shot. But he also showed an improved physicality on both ends of the court. He pointed back to his time in the summer with Nike EYBL and his Howard Pulley team..
“In the EYBL I had to play big," Neumann said. "So that helped a lot with my physicality. Everyone is so big and strong in that league. And I had to get my shot off a lot quicker so that helped my improvement.”
Neumann is still undecided on college, and Saturday's performance is sure to help in his recruitment. He seemed more concerned about his team’s development.
“This performance was good for us, this competition will make us a better team.”
Cretin-Derham Hall's Joe Rosga drives to the hoop as Bettendorf's Nicholas Baer defends the play. Photo by Brian W Nelson