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Open Pingley sinks 3-pointers, Jefferson

February 02, 1999

Jefferson vs. GorettiBy DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Correspondent

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Melissa Pingley looks innocent enough.

St. Maria Goretti's 5-foot-7 senior guard is diminutive compared to most of the rest of the Gaels, barely noticeable in team huddles.

But with a basketball in hand and an open look at a 3-point shot, Pingley can be brutal on opposing teams.

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"They have to leave someone open, and tonight, it was me," Pingley said after her 16 first-half points - including four 3-point shots - allowed No. 6 Goretti to build an early 18-2 lead and hold on for a 48-40 victory over Jefferson on Monday night.

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With Goretti (22-1) up 6-0 four minutes into the game, Pingley took dead aim, scoring eight consecutive points as Goretti finished the first quarter ahead, 14-0. Pingley hit two 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater to end the quarter.

"It was good to get out to a quick lead, because we were coming off a loss to Martinsburg, and that was tough to take," Pingley said after finishing with 20 points. "It's nice to play a good team that comes out and respects us."

Goretti brought the lead to 18-2 two minutes into the second quarter, but Jefferson (7-5) fought back, going on a 10-2 run, including a baseline jumper and a putback from Melissa Rakes.

Pingley reloaded her shot, hitting two more 3-pointers, including yet another buzzer-beater to end the half, as Goretti went to the locker room up, 28-15.

"She was on tonight. She had a shot right there at the end of the (second) quarter, a big 3," Goretti coach Gary Carter said. "That kind of kept the momentum in our favor."

Jefferson refused to play dead, outscoring Goretti 17-11 in the third quarter to get back within seven.

The comeback was fueled by consecutive 3-point baskets from Sarah Hoffman-Benadom, who finished with a team-high 13 points.

"They could have given up a long time ago with 14 (points) down," Jefferson coach Cheryl Roberts said. "But we didn't give up."

After Goretti scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, Jefferson went on an 8-1 run to get within six, 46-40, with 56 seconds remaining.

But Goretti played keep-away to run down the clock, and Jefferson finally went down.

"Anytime you win a league game, and on the road, it's always a nice win for your team," Carter said.

Brianne Hamilton joined Pingley in double figures with 12 points for Goretti. Rakes joined Hoffman-Benedom in double-digits with 10 for Jefferson.

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