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Martinsburg knocks Goretti girls from ranks of unbeaten

January 29, 1999

Martinsburg vs. GorettiBy DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - As it turned out, ruining the 20-0 record of the St. Maria Goretti girls basketball team was as easy as 1-2-2.

From what looks like the most basic of defenses, No. 6 Martinsburg literally released the hounds on the Gaels Thursday night. The Bulldogs forced 12 first-quarter turnovers from its matchup zone and kept pouring it on for a 62-38 rout.

[cont. from sports page]

"We came out with a lot of intensity tonight," Martinsburg guard Tiffany Twigg said. "When we played up there, they hit their 3s against us. We didn't want that to happen tonight."

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Goretti had handed Martinsburg a 49-47 loss back on Dec. 22 behind an early barrage of 3-pointers and lob passes over the Bulldogs' press. But the 1-2-2 zone, mixed in with a 2-2-1 press, allowed the Gaels just one point in the first quarter and only 10 in the first half.

"They're a good perimeter shooting team," Martinsburg coach Don Bullett said through a very large grin. "We had to eliminate as much of that as we could to make them beat us under the basket."

The problem for Goretti - it rarely got to the basket in the first quarter.

The 12 turnovers limited the Gaels (20-1, 8-1 Apple Valley League) to just seven shots in the quarter, and they missed them all.

"We dribbled too much," Goretti coach Gary Carter said. "You can't do that against a zone. We never established that pass to the free-throw line, and that didn't let us work our inside-outside game."

Even when the Gaels tried to get the pass there, Martinsburg usually tipped it away. The athleticism of Maggie Robinson, LaToya Parks and the rest of the Bulldogs was overwhelming, as they raced out to get plenty of transition opportunities.

Even when the layups didn't fall, the offensive rebounds usually did. And there were plenty of rebounds for the Bulldogs (8-4, 4-1) - 54 on the night, including 13 from Robinson and 11 each from Twigg and Parks.

"It's just being in the right spot at the right time," the 5-foot-5 Twigg said with a smile. "But we still had to take it up strong once we got, and we did that.

"Everybody did that tonight. Everybody played their role real well."

Robinson finished with 20 points for the Bulldogs, Twigg had 14 and Parks had 12. Denise Mong added six points and seven rebounds, and helped hold Brianne Hamilton, Goretti's leading scorer, to only three points before she fouled out.

Jen Piccolomini had a game-high 22 for the Gaels, but she needed 22 shots to get there.

"Hey, one game doesn't make a season," Carter said. "We'll be fine, we'll be back. There's no doubt."

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