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Gaels take cue from P's

February 07, 1997

By JACK HILL III

Staff Correspondent

The sophomore backcourt duo of Jen Piccolomini and Allison Palank combined for 11 of St. Maria Goretti's 13 fourth-quarter points Thursday night, leading the Gaels to a 54-42 win over Clear Spring in a Washington County high school girls' basketball game.

Palank finished with 20 points and five steals, while Piccolomini had 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and five steals for St. Maria Goretti (11-9).

"The main key to our victory was to just come out running tonight," St. Maria Goretti coach Gary Carter said. "Once we started to rebound well, then we were able to get our transition game going."

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Buffy Burger and Holly Aleshire opened the fourth quarter with a basket each for Clear Spring to trim St. Maria Goretti's lead to 41-36.

But the Gaels outscored the Blazers 13-6 the rest of way. Goretti led by eight when Palank made three straight baskets to increase the advantage to 54-40 with one minute remaining.

"It was a nice team win for us," Carter added. "We have been on the road for a while and it was nice to play a game back at home and also get a win."

A pair of freshmen - Kirsten Logan and Kristy Divelbliss - combined to pull down 16 rebounds for the Gaels. Gini Christman added four steals.

Sophomore forward Holly Aleshire led the Blazers (2-14) with 16 points and 21 rebounds.

"It's been three weeks since we played our last game," Clear Spring coach Karen Strait said. "We were off for a long time because of finals and a few snow days, but our girls showed a lot of intensity tonight. They are hustling on defense and that is what I am emphasizing right now. I told them that if they play good defense, then the offense will come."

Palank and Piccolomini combined to score 17 points during the first quarter as St. Maria Goretti got off to a quick start and built a 23-11 lead.

Beth McCusker scored seven of her nine points during the second quarter to help Clear Spring reduce the deficit to 32-24 at halftime.

The Blazers trailed 41-32 after three quarters.

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