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BCL honors Goretti's coach, players

February 27, 2001

BCL honors Goretti's coach, players



BALTIMORE - St. Maria Goretti boys basketball coach Cokey Robertson knew he was in for an interesting season with the Gaels for 2000-2001.

He just didn't think it would be this kind of interesting.

"This wasn't really expected," Robertson said of his 24-9 team that's ranked No. 6 in The Herald-Mail poll. "I've been really surprised how well they play together."

Monday, they handed him an even bigger surprise at the Baltimore Catholic League luncheon - the league's coach of the year honor. Buoyed by league player of the year Rodney Gibson and fellow first-teamer Matt Tanner, Goretti enters the league tournament quarterfinals as the top seed one year after losing three starters and all of its bench.

"They've bonded together really well," Robertson said. "And they've been a good defensive team all year."

Early, the Gaels' inexperience showed in a spectacular loss to Washington Catholic Conference champion DeMatha and a bitter defeat to the league's runnerup, Gonzaga. But the losses didn't kill the Gaels, it only made them stronger.

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"Those losses were tough," Robertson said. "But the important thing was that we didn't get down in the game after that. We got some good wins against some good teams ... and we realized we were as good as everyone else."

In addition to Gibson and Tanner, sophomore guard Derrick Davis was named to the third team and junior center Matt Spierenburg received honorable mention.

Goretti begins its title chase at 6 Wednesday at Goucher College against No. 8 Loyola.

- Dan Spears

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