DeMatha's run bumps Goretti in MAIT final

December 02, 2000

DeMatha's run bumps Goretti in MAIT final

By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer

It's a coach's job to meddle, tinker and mold a team into shape, putting players in the positions to succeed. Then there's times like Saturday night, when DeMatha boys basketball coach Morgan Wootten didn't want to do a thing.


"You just don't even want to say a word to them," Wootten said. "All you can do at that point is screw things up."

The nationally ranked Stags put on an offensive show for the record book in the championship game of the 18th Annual Mid-Atlantic Invitational Tournament - making 20 straight shots in the first half on the way to a 74-41 victory over St. Maria Goretti.

"I don't think I've ever seen anything like it," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "It's just one of those things you run into ... but when it's a good team and they shoot like that ..."


It all started innocently enough. DeMatha's Jordan Collins tipped in a miss to give his team a 5-2 lead with 5 minutes, 41 seconds left in the first quarter. The Stags kept making shots, but the Gaels (3-1) kept up behind Rodney Gibson's nine points to trail 19-14 with a minute left in the first quarter.

Then the shots started piling in from any and all angles: Leonard Smith's buzzer-beating layup in traffic to end the first and Warren Williams's 3, followed by a Chris Stephenson dunk, to open the second quarter were part of a 20-2 run in less than three minutes that made it 39-16.

"We played incredible defense and overplayed well to get some transition, and then the offense was patient and got great shots," Wootten said. "We played a near-perfect half of basketball. It's the stuff you dream about."

The dream wasn't totally a nightmare for Goretti. The Gaels outscored DeMatha by three points in the second half before pulling its starters and kept its emotions high despite being on the wrong side of a rout.

"We wanted to find something positive in the face of that kind of disaster," Robertson said. "We know what to do now. We'll put our gear in order and go."

If Wootten's right, the Gaels will be going up.

"You go long enough in this business and you'll see it happen. I've been where Cokey is now," Wootten said. "But I like (Goretti). They didn't quit, and most people would have given up where they kept going.

"They'll be a good team. You mark my words."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> All-tournament team: Archbishop Carroll - Kashif Payne, Dave Hooper. DeMatha - Marshall Strickland, Jordan Collins. Goretti - Matt Tanner. Outstanding Player - Rodney Gibson, Goretti. Most Valuable Player - Warren Williams, DeMatha.

MAIT Championship Game

DeMatha 74, St. Maria Goretti 41


Collins 12, Smith 7, Williams 23, Strickland 7, Garrison 10, Danley 5, Stephenson 10. Totals 31 5-10 74.


Gibson 15, Tanner 15, Carter 2, Davis 3, Spierenberg 6. Totals 17 4-7 41.


St. Maria Goretti1411106-41

Three-point field goals: DeMatha 7 (Williams 4, Strickland 2, Stephenson). St. Maria Goretti 3 (Gibson, Tanner, Davis).

Consolation Game

Archbishop John Carroll 46, St. Edmund Prep 38


Collins 2, Senat 8, Vitale 7, Bernard 5, McLeod 7, Grant 9. Totals 16 5-12 38.


Hooper 15, Dougherty 8, Payne 13, Ingram 10. Totals 14 11-19 46.

St. Edmund118910-38


Three-point field goals: St. Edmund 1 (Grant). Archbishop 7 (Hooper 3, Dougherty, Payne 3).

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