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Goretti girls defeat Patriots

February 14, 1999|By JACK HILL III

The St. Maria Goretti girls wanted to make sure that they set the tone early in their game Saturday against Thomas Johnson.

The sixth-ranked Gaels did just that, outscoring the Thomas Johnson Patriots 19-4 during the first quarter.

That got the Gaels (26-2) on track for an easy 66-28 victory on Saturday afternoon at Goretti.

Senior point guard Jen Piccolomini shot 54 percent from the field, making seven of her 13 field goal attempts. Piccolomini finished with 22 points, six fewer than the total scored by Thomas Johnson (4-15).

"I think that we are a strong team," Piccolomini said. "I think that we have beaten everybody's expectations by being stronger than what they thought we would be. We have a lot of weapons. Anybody can score on any given night. One person will carry us on one night, and then somebody else will carry us on another night. Everybody has gained confidence in their shooting, and that makes us a better team."

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Piccolomini didn't have to carry the load herself. Guard Melissa Pingley fired in 16, including four 3-pointers, while center Brianne Hamilton scored 12. Piccolomini and Hamilton had eight rebounds and five assists each. Senior Laura Seibert came off of the bench to contribute five rebounds and four assists.

The Gaels shot 67 percent from the free-throw line, making 18 of 27.

The Gaels came out smoking at the beginning of the game as they quickly built a 10-0 lead during the first 3 minutes, 15 seconds. Piccolomini and Hamilton scored five points each during that spurt.

Piccolomini had already accumulated nine by the end of the first quarter to help extend Goretti's lead to 19-4.

Piccolomini grabbed five of her eight rebounds during the second quarter to help the Gaels remain in control as they increased their advantage to 29-9 by halftime.

Piccolomini and Pingley had five points each during the third quarter to help Goretti raise its lead to 51-20.

Piccolomini added eight points in the fourth quarter to help the Gaels win by the final margin.

"The key to any team is to have team chemistry," coach Gary Carter said. "We're just having fun and that is the most important thing. I have got to be happy with the way that the girls have been playing this season. We have been doing a good job of getting the ball to the open person."

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