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Gaels come up with extra effort to trip Dons

January 20, 2001

Gaels come up with extra effort to trip Dons



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


St. Maria Goretti's boys basketball team did what they needed to do to secure the win ... and little more.

After establishing an early lead, the fourth-ranked Gaels seemed content to allow Loyola to either tie the score or take a slim lead only to regain the advantage. But that tact was good enough for a 54-49 Baltimore Catholic League victory over the Dons Friday night.

Trailing by three at the three-minute mark of the third period, Goretti rallied to score the game's next 11 points for a 41-33 lead early in the fourth quarter. But eight straight points by Loyola tied things at 41 before the Gaels - behind five points apiece by Derrick Davis and Matt Tanner - staved off the rally to preserve the win.

Two steals down the stretch by Davis and clutch free throw shooting by Tanner were instrumental in keeping the Dons at bay.

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"We turned the ball over far too many times, and a lot of those turnovers turned into layups at the other end," said Loyola coach Jerry Savage. "They have a good team, and we can't afford to make those kind of mistakes against them."

It was a Davis layup with 1:06 left that provided the Gaels (12-5, 3-2) with a 49-43 margin. But Chris Clunie, who finished with 20 points for the Dons, drained a 3-pointer five seconds later to close the gap to three.

Tanner took over from there for the Goretti, sinking four of five free throws.

"(Tanner) is an 80 percent free throw shooter," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "You always want your best free throw shooters at the line."

After Tanner and Rodney Gibson combined for 13 points - mostly for the paint - to spark St. Maria to a 19-14 lead entering the second period, the Dons (6-11, 0-5) went to a 2-3 zone defense that seemed to befuddle the Gaels.

Forced to shoot from the perimeter, Goretti watched Loyola climb into the lead with a 12-2 run with 3:40 left. But a jumper by Tanner and a Matt Spierenburg layup off a Davis assist trimmed the deficit to 26-25 before Tanner drilled a 19-footer at the Buzzer for a two-point Goretti lead at the intermission.

A fast-break layup by Davis made it 30-26 to open the third quarter, but again the Dons responded with a 7-0 run for a 33-30 lead.

Tanner paced Goretti with 20 points, followed by Gibson with 15 while Davis added 11.

Goretti 54, Loyola 49



LOYOLA (49)

Ford 10, LeVine 7, Frisby, 9, Clunie 20, Murphy 3, Totals 17 11-16 49.

ST. MARIA GORETTI (54)

Gibson 15, Spierenburg 6, Tanner 20, Davis 11, Adenhart 2, Totals 20 13-20 54.

Loyola1412716-49

St. Maria199719-54

Three-point goals - Loyola 4 (Clunie 2, Ford, LeVine). St. Maria 1 (Tanner).

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