Goretti takes conference lead

January 28, 2001

Goretti takes conference lead

By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

When watching St. Maria Goretti's Matt Spierenburg warm up, one can get the easy impression the Gael's 6-foot-8 junior could be your buddy. He is a grinning, hand-shaking guy, radiating a friendly smile and positive vibes.

But come game time, Spierenburg is all snarls. He's pit bull mean and lean.

Spierenburg blocked 10 shots on Sunday and fed enough rebounds to teammates Rodney Gibson and Matt Turner to account for 44 points as Goretti muscled into first place in the Baltimore Catholic League with a 64-47 win over Archbishop Spalding.

Spierenburg, who was matched up against the Cavaliers' 6-10 Will Bowers dominated the paint on both ends of the floor holding Bowers to zero points and forcing Spalding to back their offense to the perimeter.

"We didn't want them to beat us inside," Spierenburg said. "I think (Bowers) had 12 down there the first time in a close game, so we didn't really want to give them that chance."


In fact, the Cavaliers decided early to repeat the game plan that forced Goretti into making a game-winning shot in the final 10 seconds in the first matchup between the two teams.

Spalding coach Mike Glick slowed the pace in the first quarter as both teams were held to single digits and neither team scored until well below the four-minute mark.

"That is our trademark, a slower pace," Glick said. "We definitely wanted to set the tempo."

And the Cavaliers did behind the play of Division 1A Canisius-bound senior Chris Ravello and Corey Hudson. Spalding trailed 19-16 at the half as Goretti's Gibson drained a 3 a minute before the break.

"We were in a good spot, but Goretti is a good team." Glick said. "We felt we could come out in the third quarter and open up."

But Ravello, who ended the game with 10 points, never really got moving on offense and Goretti would open the second half with a 19-0 run that sealed the game.

The Cavaliers went over 11 minutes without scoring a point.

"I like to credit our kids when they do well," Goretti coach Cokey Robertson said. "I am shockingly surprised, but pleased. These guys have come together and are playing especially good defense."

"We felt if we stayed on Ravello, they couldn't get the ball inside that easily," Tanner said of the Gaels' defensive effort. "They set screens for (Ravello) really well, but we stayed on him."

Gibson had 24 points for the Gaels while Tanner had 20.

No. 5 Goretti 64, Archbishop Spalding 47


Ravello 10, Hudson 12, Hazen 6, Thompson 6, Durr 4, Brackney 3, Latonic 3. Totals 18 5-7 47.


Gibson 24, Tanner 20, Spierenburg 7, Davis 6, Wills 5, Green 2. Totals 18 24-32 64.

A. Spalding97922-47


Three-point goals - Archbishop Spalding 6 (Ravello 2, Hazen, Brackney, Latonic, Thompson), St. Maria Goretti 4 (Gibson 2, Tanner 2).

JV - Archbishop Spalding, 45-19 (SMG: C.J. King, 9 points)

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